Last edited 12 Dec 2020


Daub is a sticky composite that has been used as a building material for earth building techniques for over 6,000 years. It is a form of mud plaster made from a combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw.

When used in the technique known as wattle and daub, it is supported by thin branches (wattle) that are woven together. Daub does not have the good insulation properties of straw-bale or clay-straw, but it does provide good thermal mass.

Typically, the component ingredients of daub are a combination of binders which hold it together (clay, lime, chalk dust, and so on), aggregates which provide bulk and stability (subsoil, sand, crushed stone, and so on), and reinforcement which aids flexibility and controls shrinkage (such as straw, hay and other fibrous materials). Daub is usually mixed by hand but traditionally livestock was used to tread it together.

Once the daub has been applied to the wattle (sometimes in more than one layer) it must be left to completely dry before being whitewashed which provides resistance to rain.

Certain regions of the world have continued to use daub as a building material, and it has become more prevalent with the rise in popularity of sustainable building techniques and materials.

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