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Thatched roofs and thatched panels from Kunai or Blady grass (alang-alang) 


Thatch is made from bundles of Kunai grass (biological name: Imperata Cylindrica) locally named "alang-alang" for the construction of thatched roofs. They come in panels.

For the houses made in Bali two types of Kunai grass can be used. A quality that grows on the island of Lombok, just East of Bali, and a quality that grows in Bali.

The indigenous grass that comes from the island of Lombok has small but rigid leaf blades. Bali grass is rougher and wider. An example is shown below. The standard length of a panel is 2.80 meter. Width varies between 0.8 and 1.20 meter.  For export purposes in containers we advise to apply a reduced length of 2.20 meter to fit and store as many panels as possible.  

Bali grass (6 months dried)   Lombok grass (fresh cut)

The grass is dried for at least 6 months and non-seeding, latched to Bangkirai battens (not bamboo, which will not stand the test of time !!!).  

After production each and every panel is visually checked by our supervisors and vigorously shaken to discard any lose grass, dust and/or insects. Damaged panels or panels with too low a grass covering will be rejected.  Prior to shipment the grass is treated with both Ethylene Oxide and Methyl Bromide as to kill any hiding insects. This special treatment will earn you the ETO Certificate without which you will not be able to import thatch into your country. Worse,....all thatch will be destroyed.

Grass in bundles   Example of thatched roof (inside)



Panels can either be woven with white thread or black thread.


Thatched roofing is an ideal product for roofs of gazebos, bungalows, villas, etc. It does not only have an attractive look, but it also has the capability to insulate. Depending on the height of the roof, internal temperatures can be reduced by 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit).     

When laid by a professional thatcher, a thatched roof will not leak (normally the roof pitch is some 35 degrees or more).

Maintenance is easy. In Indonesia thatched roofs are hardly maintained, provided the roof is kept free from debris (fallen leaves and bird nests removed). Due to the humid nature major maintenance is required only after some 10 years of installation. After some 15 years a complete overhaul may be necessary. In dryer countries life time will increase (there are records of some 20 years).

Important information for our customers in both Hawaii and Australia

Thatch requires a special approach for use in Hawaii and is typically not allowed in residential construction. Australia has very strict import rules and regulations (AQIS). We only use non-seeding alang-alang (minimum 6 months dried), while this old non-seeding grass is thoroughly fumigated with Ethylene Oxide and Methyl Bromide prior to shipment, strict regulations exist  in almost all countries.

No mistake shall be made between a Phytosanitary Certificate and an ETO Certificate, as follows:

bulletA Phytosanitary Certificate is a certificate issued by the Indonesian Quarantine Office (a Governmental office) on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Certificate states that all plant products have been treated using the Indonesian Quarantine standard.
bulletA Fumigation Certificate (Ethylene Oxide & Methyl Bromide gas) is issued by a fumigation company who has been accredited by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS) & the Indonesian Quarantine Office. Both the ETO & Methyl Bromide gas Certificate will be issued separately.
bulletETO fumigation is mandatory by AQIS for several items such as: bamboo, banana leaf, waterhyacinth, seagrass, thatch 


NOTE: We do NOT sell thatch for export. This page only provides technical information about the thatch that we use for our homes and gazebos.




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Last modified: October 01, 2011
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