Covering roofs with thatch may seem like a construction novelty that came with sustainable architecture, but this is not the case, this is an extremely traditional and historical construction technique that has been transmitted from generation to generation. Natural elements used to be the only raw materials with which the original settlers materialized their temporary shelters or permanent homes. Currently, environmental awareness and interest in ecological construction methods have achieved more sustainable practices that aim to adapt these procedures to contemporary requirements, thus giving rise to the use of synthetic thatch, which, unlike its counterpart, is not obtained from raw materials. natural but from the use of high-density polyethylene and at the same time offer better benefits than thatch made of natural material. In this article we will talk a little about the history of this material, its construction characteristics and the trend and selection of the use of synthetic thatch.


The tradition of green roofing has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. There are few descriptions of their construction techniques, especially in tropical regions. In equatorial countries plants are the local material frequently used on roofs, and often on walls. In Africa as well as in South America this continues to be a common practice for construction in rural areas.

There is evidence of European vegetation covers since before the Middle Ages, when the first populations were formed. The creation of towns brought with it the need for a readily available, economical and durable building material like straw. Due to the fires that occurred in different medieval cities, the first current construction regulations were drawn up in London, which prohibited the construction of new green roofs and ordered the whitewashing of those that already existed with a layer of plaster.

Zimbabwe Kindergarten
Zimbabwe Kindergarten

Although at present this is a practice that is still being implemented with natural thatch, it is worth mentioning that many people around the world have started to replace natural thatch with synthetic thatch and this is mainly due to the physical and mechanical factors of the latter as synthetic thatch is easier to install, more resistant to different climatic agents, easy to install, requires little maintenance and can be manufactured so that the final product is fireproof.


This material has emerged as a substitute for its counterpart, natural thatch, as the latter may be easy to obtain but has many disadvantages that can cause large monetary losses and in extreme cases fire, as natural thatch is a dry, highly flammable material, which is why today in most countries people prefer to use synthetic thatch.


This is a material that is obtained by mixing high density polyethylene and other plastic materials, which is why it has a waterproofing factor. The material is very versatile, making it suitable for various applications and can be used anywhere, regardless of weather conditions. The simplicity of the installation makes this material a very popular alternative for many people, on the other hand being an imitation of natural thatch it also adopts its physical appearance and is available in multiple colours.


The best way to establish the difference between the different models of synthetic thatch is to take into account its fire resistance capacity, so we have mainly the following models.

  • A: Semi-flame retardant synthetic thatch, fire retardant and firecracker resistant but not flame retardant, i.e. this model, although highly resistant, is not totally exempt from succumbing to the flames of fire in the event of an accident.
Semi reinforced synthetic thacht
Semi reinforced synthetic thacht
  • B: Class B1 synthetic thatch is resistant to open flames. Thanks to this model, in the event of an incident, only the surface of the material will burn and the fire will not spread.
Synthetic thacht Class B1
Synthetic thacht Class B1


  1. synthetic thatch can be treated with flame retardants to increase safety.
  2. Recyclable, it helps to protect the environment and contributes to the development of the circular economy.
  3. It is a very hard-wearing material, can resist mould, insects and other pests.
  4. It requires little maintenance, has very low maintenance costs.
  5. It is easy to install and is available in many colours, both single and mixed.

A thatched roof allows smoke to escape from the house, which in turn kills any bugs that may nest in it. With a minimum thickness of 30cm, it is a magnificent thermal insulator in both summer and winter, preserving the internal heat, but also insulating against noise, a quality that is very much appreciated today.

Its lightness and flexibility allow it to adapt to any geometric shape of the structure, generally made of wood. In the case of typical English houses, of considerable thickness, its rounded shapes are outlined with almost imperceptible chicken wire, like a wig net for an English lord’s wig.


Synthetic thatch used for roofing is highly versatile and is used in dozens of applications, most notably:

  • 1. Facilities on ponds, riverbanks, beaches and more, creating fishing pavilions, leisure and entertainment venues, umbrellas and waiting areas for boats and buses.
Synthetic thacht parasols
Synthetic thacht parasols
  • 2. Installations in zoos, parquets, scenic spots, ecological gardens and forests, synthetic thatch provides the ideal environment, relaxing pavilions, sunshades, observation platforms and various tourist facilities.
  • 3. Hospitality and Entrepreneurship: Restaurants, hotels, resorts, residences, villas, convenience centres, adding comfort and charm to outdoor areas.

Synthetic thatch roofs are essentially temperature regulators because they allow warm air to escape between the sheets. These qualities and more make thatch roofing a unique solution for your next construction project.


Synthetic thatch is a material whose method of sale can vary between different manufacturers with the capacity to produce it, so the price and the unit with which the unit value is measured varies, although the material is generally sold in pieces of different sizes. When placing an order, it is very important to know the square metres of the space to be covered, as this is the most popular way in which suppliers sell this material.


A piece can measure between 1 and 10 metres in length and approximately 0.5 metres in width, so once we have determined how many square metres we can cover with a single piece, it is easy to know how many pieces we will need. For example: a supplier offers the material in pieces of 10 meters in length, which is approximately 3 square meters (taking into account the width), while a customer needs to cover a space of 210 square meters, then the amount of pieces that the supplier will have to sell to the customer so that the latter can cover the space of 210 square meters is 70 pieces. This is the case in which a piece can measure more than 1 metre but there are also circumstances in which suppliers sell the material in pieces of 0.5×0.5m so the client will have to buy several pieces to cover several square metres and after knowing the amount of pieces needed to cover that space, he will only have to calculate the amount of pieces necessary to satisfy his needs.


The price of the material varies mainly depending on the characteristics of the material, i.e. the colour, the flame retardant factor and the warranty offered by the supplier, so you can often find the price of a piece between 1.3 and 2.3 dollars.

Suppliers and shipping method

Nowadays it is easy to find suppliers of this material on the different ecommers platforms, although most of them are resellers and with the very high prices it is also possible to buy the material directly from the factory.

As the material is made of plastics and high density polyethylene, there are not many complications during the import process, no special permits are needed and as the material is not very heavy, this factor makes it possible to import the material in large quantities.


  • After installing the material, can rainwater seep in?

As the material is largely composed of plastics and polyethylene, it has a waterproofing factor and is therefore free from water seepage.

  • What is the lifetime guarantee of the material?

Synthetic thatch is made from HDPE or PVC materials, which means that synthetic thatch lasts for at least 20 years and longer and is less maintenance-intensive than natural thatch.

  • Can the material be used in the same applications as natural thatch?

Of course, the material not only mimics the physical appearance of natural thatch, but is also applicable in the same projects.

  • What is the Moq to make the purchase?

The Moq tends to vary according to the model selected so that for some models the Moq is 50 pieces and for other models it is 500 pieces.

  • How do I contact a synthetic thatch manufacturer?

At leisure touch rattan we have the capacity to offer you the two models mentioned in the article. You can contact our team through our website.

  • I need samples of the material, can you send them to me?

We offer free samples, and we guarantee delivery within 4-5 working days.


Synthetic thatch is undoubtedly a material with a great potential in roof covering projects in different environments. It is a material that offers the possibility to continue practising an ancestral tradition such as roof covering with this aesthetic and at the same time adapts to the new market demand for constructions using materials that are committed to the sustainability of the planet. Synthetic thatch roofs have proven to be a success in terms of exposure to the climate, which is quite harsh. The roofs are cool, durable and incredibly functional, a great alternative to traditional roofs. The roofs also provide an aesthetic look, durability and ease of maintenance that other materials do not.  

The characteristics of this product include its versatility for design and decoration. In addition, the synthetic thatch is composed of high quality polyethylene which makes it a versatile material for construction that adapts perfectly to all types of roofs or architectures. It is suitable for outdoor use, has a durability of 8 to 10 years and can be installed with industrial nails or staples. In addition, it is recommended to install the product every 20 cm, that is, 8 units per square metre. Among its benefits are the lower investment in the maintenance of the product, it has UV treatment that allows the wind to circulate faster and thus reduce the heat, it does not create habitat for bugs and insects and its installation avoids the use of natural palm.

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