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Numerous uses of straw as a material: (A) Straw bale construction project in Willits, California. (B) Gypsy wagon with wood wheels and straw cover. (C) Straw mat, woven. (D) Korean sandals (chipshin), ca. 1950s, straw - Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto. (E) Bedding and packaging. (F) Woven basket.
A bunch of chopped micro-straw at FeF (see: Earth Plaster page)

This page is a stub - please help expand it, especially by writing a section on OS hardware needs.

Straw is a wonderful, versatile raw material that is cheap and abundant. It has numerous historical and novel uses (see Wikipedia entry for examples). Older uses included the thatching of roofs, paper-making, ornamenting small surfaces as a “straw-mosaic” for plaiting into door and table mats, mattresses, and for weaving and plaiting into light baskets, artificial flowers, etc. Some of these uses are labor-intensive but machines could be developed to do some of this work. More recent uses include things like the production of butanol via ABE fermentation (not currently profitable).

Open Source Hardware Needs

  • various machines: see uses on the Wikipedia page (examples: weaving, cording, chopping, baling, etc.)
  • for example, a straw weaving machine (see example) could create inexpensive straw mats for all kinds of uses, such as ground cover, erosion control, insulation, packaging, etc.
  • a straw chopper would be useful to prepare straw as a medium for growing mushrooms


  • Straw board
  • House insulation (with Borax)
  • Bales
  • Bioplastics
  • Paper making
  • Mulch and agriculture feedstock
  • Charcoal production
  • Fuel pellets
  • Baskets


  • Paper showing that straw is a viable feedstock for papermaking - [1]

External Links

Straw used for mulching of blackberries at FeF.