How to Build Using Wattle and Daub

Wattle construction methods have a long history dating back at least for the past 6,000 years, and in many parts of the world is still used. This method of construction has made a comeback in recent times by those who are searching for a sustainable material for construction. This type of construction is called wattle and daub. 

This method of construction started with a series of upright posts driven into the ground with interweaving twigs between them…

… Once the weaving was complete they were daubed with a mixture consisting of clay, earth, dung and some sort of vegetable fiber as reinforcement. This mixture was applied over the woven twig framework on both sides. It was usually pretty weather proof…”

How to build a Wattle and Daub house

“Building a wattle and daub house recreates a historical method of building. Wattle and daub are a method of incorporating a basket-like wall (wattle) with an earthen layer (daub) that is plastered into and around the wattle. This method was combined with other methods to form a house. Though the wattle and daub did sometimes form the structure of small houses for the exceptionally poor, the method that was preferred for hundreds of years was to use this method to build walls around a timber-framed home (giving rise to ‘Tudor’ style architecture)…”

dab’ and ‘wattle and dab’) is sort of like papier mache for living in. It’s something strong and serviceable built of something unlikely.

In Europe, the framework of wattle and daub begins with a timber-framed house. The large spaces between timbers is grooved – splines are inserted vertically in the grooves, parallel to each other. Then thin reeds or splits are woven back and forth between the splines. This provides a framework for mud (daub) which is pressed in from both sides against the woven wood. It all dries together into a solid mass and then is generally whitewashed with a lime solution…”