Pili grass and alang-alang thatching decorates the rooftops of buildings found on tropical islands throughout the Pacific Ocean. Alang-alang thatching has been used on the islands of Bali, Timor, Sumba and others for centuries. This thatching is considered a traditional system of roofing on tropical buildings. Pili grass has been used for roofing buildings in Hawaii. It’s not clear if pili grass roofs are indigenous or were introduced from Polynesia, but this thatching has centuries of recorded use in the Hawaiian islands. The blades of these grasses are tough and strong.
These days, there is a high demand for pili grass and alang-alang thatching. This abundance of demand has created an undesirable effect on the natural materials and end roofing products.
“Because of the demand for alang alang for tourism projects in Bali and the loss of the beachfront margin to hotels, there has been a lot of grass production in fertile soils that were normally used for other farming, also using fertilizer to allow faster harvesting,” New Native Plants Hawaii at the University of Hawaii reports. “The alang alang made from this raw material is inferior which shortens the lifespan of the roof material.”
If you want an authentic Pacific Islands thatched roof look, you don’t have to settle for sub-par natural grass. Even under ideal conditions, our eco-friendly, synthetic thatch roofing material outlasts natural pili grass and alang-alang thatching. Part of our Regions series, Kona roofs were designed to replicate the look of pili grass and Asian alang-alang grass thatching. This product is a careful blend of wide leaf and small grass reeds. It will ensure that your building looks stunning with an authentic tropical look.