Clefts are characterized by extremely rapid growth and a shapely habit, these two factors combine to produce straight grained, lightweight wood ideal for high quality cricket bats. Making the finest quality cricket bats requires the careful selection of the world’s best raw materials.
The timber we use is Salix Alba Caerulea (Cricket Bat Willow), grown in England. The willow is renewably harvested across the whole of England and sold through the wood yards of Essex and Suffolk. Most manufacturers obtain their willow from suppliers in the south of England; the largest of which are J.S Wright and Sons. The willow is supplied as clefts; nowadays usually kiln dried.
Willow arrives at Cricket Bat Maker in raw clefts pre graded by J S Wright & Sons. When the Willow is processed at Cricket Bat Maker it will be regraded cosmetically. After it is pressed it is regraded again on performance. Examples of these Willow Grades can been seen bellow and are as follows: Players Grade, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4.
When crafting the perfect bat for you it is important to choose the right base material. We hand grade all our English willow, and depending on the bat you have selected we can usually find a willow cleft with number of grains and the look that you want.