1971. Straw mats, or mats formed from reeds, are very generally used as a protecting cover on the Continent, and found there much cheaper than bast mats. In general, they are formed by gardeners for themselves in the following manner:ï¿½An oblong square is formed by four laths, along the two ends of which (fig. 545. a a) are driven as many nails as it is wished to have binding cords (b); six of these cords are generally used in a mat four inches wide. The cords are of tarred rope yarn, and the straws or reeds are laid on them in handfuls, and are bound to the longitudinal cords by other small cords, also of tarred rope yarn. For greater convenience, the cords used for tying are made up in little balls (c). Mats of this kind are better made by two men than by one man; and by placing the frame on a raised bank or bench, than by placing it on the ground, and obliging the man to stoop. Wheat straw is best, and next that of rye.