12 years ago
around on various farms that dated from the time of the Depression and that
were largely built out of a substance called petrified hessian (hessian
being what Americans call burlap).
To build these structures, a wooden frame would be constructed and then
hessian (burlap) would nailed to the frame whilst being stretched tight.
The hessian would then be painted with a mixture made up of water, alum,
cement, salt and lime. After about 3-5 coats of this mix, the structure
would be weather proof and the walls stiff and surprisingly durable (given
that even I can remember them and I wasn't born till after WWII). It was a
very cheap form of putting up shelter and seems to have been used for
poultry sheds and similar structures.
I was wondering if this form of building was used in other parts of the
world but google is surprisingly quiet about it even if I do use burlap as a
search term instead of hessian. Has anyone come across it before?