Jute and Reed are a good reinforcement for clay plaster.
Over 400 years ago almost all ceilings in the 17th century Amsterdam canal belt were covered with reed and then finished with a layer of plaster. Most of the ceilings from that time are still there and very much in tact! Especially the vapour permeable features of clay on reed support the preservation of the construction which is typically exposed to water that rises up from the ground through osmosis.
Jute is used in those circumstances where different materials such as stone and wood have to be bridged with plaster, and/or where stucco layers are exposed to a lot of tension, jute can be used to cover the entire area. Jute and Reed reinforcement for clay plaster is completely ecological and is 100% biodegradable. In March 1993 we tested Jute and Riet at TNO and a fire-resistance test was made for a reed ceiling on wooden counter battens with a 20 mm clay plaster finish. The result was a fire resistance of a good 2 hours and 5 minutes.
Jute is a long, soft, shiny, vegetable bast fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. Jute is one of the cheapest natural fibers, and the second most used after cotton. The jute fibers are mainly composed of cellulose and lignin.
A mat of reed consists of freshwater reed stems, which are attached to each other with wire. Unlike a reed plate, the mat can be rolled up. Perlon or metal wire is used as the binding wire.
For more applications and clay construction techniques:
Tierrafino organizes workshops, seminars, and training courses on the application and plastering of clay plasters and finishes, reinforced clay plasters, stucco Lustro, clay paints, Tadelakt, lime plaster, and on natural building with clay. If you are interested please register here!