Wattle & Daub: Craft, Conservation & Wiltshire Case Study
3.6 Daub
4.1 Soils
4.1.3 Strength
4.2 Dung
4.2.2 Lignin
4.2.3 Urine
4.3 Fibre
5.4.2 Renewal

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4.1 Soils

The physical characteristics of a daub are primarily dictated by its main constituent – the earth. It is therefore important to understand this material and its basic properties. The soil properties that are key to the performance of daubs are:
  • constituents and particle sizes
  • • plasticity, as a modulator of linear stability [50]
  • strength

These properties may be measured on-site (in the field) or in a laboratory and can be used to understand the historic selection and mixing of soils or in the specification and selection of materials for new daub.

[50] Unlike solid earth construction, the key characteristics of the clay in a daub panel can be described by two dimensions. Since the orientation, i.e. height and width, of effects such as cracking are of little relevance, the properties can be described most simply through a linear shrinkage characteristic.