Note: See also the files: p-tents-msg, pavilions-msg, tent-floors-msg, tent-sources-msg, tent-making-msg, tent-care-msg, tent-painting-msg



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tent-fabrics-msg - 8/26/10
Fabrics and treatments to use in tents.
NOTE: See also the files: p-tents-msg, pavilions-msg, tent-floors-msg, tent-sources-msg, tent-making-msg, tent-care-msg, tent-painting-msg.
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From: lcatlett at milton.u.washington.edu (Lynn Catlett)

Date: 16 Apr 91 15:48:17 GMT

Organization: University of Washington, Seattle
Greetings, all, and a small contribution to the pavillion discussion. We made

ours of a heavy oxfordcloth-like material from the rem table. The three

sections (white/grey/white) are french seamed and the whole is hung on 10'

center poles (hems are roped). The sewing was awkward but not difficult

with two people cooperating. The worst part--endless and expensive--was

waterproofing the dumb thing. It's 12' x 15' and contains something over

three gallons of Thompson's. egad. However, it's a pleasure to play in,

so I must say it was worth it. It's also possible for one person to pitch it,

'though two make quick work. It's very light and "handy."
Good luck with your project!
Lin Yin Ho

Ming Ho Tang

An Tir

From: kinsey at nas.nasa.gov (Cassandra L. Kinsey)



Date: 15 Apr 91 21:32:05 GMT

Organization: Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation Facility NASA


Dear Gentlefolk,
Depending how much time you are willing to spend on your pavilion, we

were able to make our day pavilion for under $200. We bought two large

painters tarps and sewed them together, the tarps alone were under $70.

Our pavilion has a floor space of 11.5' x 14', between two 6' poles on

the ends, with 8' center poles (lots of room in my opinion.) However, we

still have to take off the Fuller-O'Brian logo's on the side :). I think,

all together we have spent at least 40 man hours on this pavilion.
Euriol of Lothian

(mka Cassandra Kinsey, kinsey at nas.nasa.gov)

From: djheydt at garnet.berkeley.edu

Date: 21 Apr 91 04:28:50 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley
In article <47483 at ut-emx.uucp> awbm at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Allison Welch) writes:
>was thinking of using shade cloth (not as fancy as the fabric some use) which

>is available at h rdware stores, intended for shading plants.


If by "shade cloth" you mean what I think you mean--a sort of

homespun loosely-woven out of millimeter-wide strips of plastic--

I don't suggest it. Wouldn't that fall apart almost at once under

use? Your poles and ropes and the wind and gravity and cosmic stuff

like that are all going to be pulling at it in different directions

and I don't think it's tough enough to hold up.


The traditional goat hair or wool that others on this group have

described will work very well because they're not only tough but

flexible. Other things we use include canvas of various weights

and nylon ripstop. My household has two Viking ship-shelters

made (by a professional khayyam who builds hang-gliders in the

outside world) of heavy waterproofed canvas--these serve as bedrooms.

We also have a sunshade/kitchen/great hall of nylon ripstop tarps

sewn together, which are beginning to show that "ripstop" only goes

so far, and if we have to go on mending and re-grommeting it much

longer we're going to get the same khayyam to replace it.


Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin Dorothy J. Heydt

Province of the Mists djheydt at garnet.berkeley.edu

Principality of the Mists University of California,

Kingdom of the West Berkeley

From: dlc at hpfcso.FC.HP.COM (Dennis Clark)

Date: 19 Apr 91 22:32:03 GMT

Organization: Hewlett-Packard, Fort Collins, CO, USA
/ lcatlett at milton.u.washington.edu (Lynn Catlett) / writes:
>Greetings, all, and a small contribution to the pavilion discussion. We made

>ours of a heavy oxfordcloth-like material from the rem table. The three

>sections (white/grey/white) are french seamed and the whole is hung on 10'

>center poles (hems are roped). The sewing was awkward but not difficult

>with two people cooperating. The worst part--endless and expensive--was

>waterproofing the dumb thing. It's 12' x 15' and contains something over

>three gallons of Thompson's. egad. However, it's a pleasure to play in,
Ooph! I tried to use Thompson's and it did not work very well, one that is

somewhat better (though still $12 per gallon) is something called CanVac that

your local tent/awning maker will have in stock, it smells better and works

much better on the canvas.


>so I must say it was worth it. It's also possible for one person to pitch it,

>'though two make quick work. It's very light and "handy."

>

>Good luck with your project!



>

>Lin Yin Ho

>Ming Ho Tang

>An Tir


>----------
More on fabric. I have used 12 oz canvas that has an off-white color and is

untreated and without sizing. It came in 72" widths for $8.50 per yard.

Rather expensive, and lots of time invested in sewing. I also sewed the guy

ropes into the seams of the canvas, the stress is much better distributed in

that way.
Kevin MacKinnon - Unser Hafen - Outlands

From: trifid at agora.rain.com (Roadster Racewerks)

Date: 21 Apr 91 17:48:54 GMT

Organization: Open Communications Forum


Any heavy, closely woven cloth similar to canvas should work, provided it is

made of fairly tough thread (pull a piece of thread off the end of the bolt and tug until it breaks!) should serve. Denim, canvas, twill, etc. should work (if you never put them away damp...they might rot in storage) often without use of waterproofing. I'm seriously considering making my roof of a VERY heavy

brocade bedspread. I'm almost convinced it will prove waterproof, and may take

it with me and use it as a pup tent this summer, as a "test run"...


Elaine NicMaoilan

trifid at agora.rain.com

From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Size at Pennsic - Again

Date: 1 Jun 1993 19:20:51 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering
Greetings from Fiacha,
Sebastian asks about expensive sailcloth.
When I went shopping for material for my pavilion I found sailcloth in a

local fabric store. It cost about $3.50 a yard for 60" material and was

available in a variety of colors. I do not recall the exact fiber content

but it was close to 50/50 polyester/cotton.


Neither sails nor pavilions need to be made from fabric that would make

a mail carriers sack look flimsy. Sails for light airs might weigh an ounce

per square yard.
Sailcloth is simply tightly woven twill so that it is both flexible and

resistant to the wind.


Denim, as used for making jeans, is shorthand for "sailcloth d'Nimes". Denim

would probably be an expensive alternative form which to make a pavilion.


Another point to consider. Grimm's tents are made from heavy canvas which is

not waterproofed. They rely on the first soaking to swell and mat the fibers

into impermeability. Fire and fungus protection may be more of an issue.
My feeling has been that few SCA owned pavilions see enough use to justify

the expense of the heavier fabrics. My $350 pavilion has survived 7 seasons

and so has cost me $50 a year. A commercial pavilion would have to last

more than 20 years to reduce to a similar cost.


Fiacha

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: whheydt at pbhya.PacBell.COM (Wilson Heydt)

Subject: Re: Tent Size at Pennsic - Again

Organization: Pacific * Bell, San Ramon, CA

Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1993 22:47:24 GMT


In article <1uga6j$gif at usenet.pa.dec.com> haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock) writes:

>Sebastian asks about expensive sailcloth.

>

>When I went shopping for material for my pavilion I found sailcloth in a



>local fabric store. It cost about $3.50 a yard for 60" material and was

>available in a variety of colors. I do not recall the exact fiber content

>but it was close to 50/50 polyester/cotton.
The reference is probably to what modern sails are made of. I really

can't speak for current practice, but 20 years ago, the preferred

material was dacron, because of the very limited stretch to it. I

*think* these days a favored reinforcement on larger craft is kevlar.


In any case, a true sail cloth will be woven very tightly--so as to

prevent the wind from simply passing through the sail.


Spinakers are generally made of nylon.
>Another point to consider. Grimm's tents are made from heavy canvas which is

>not waterproofed. They rely on the first soaking to swell and mat the fibers

>into impermeability. Fire and fungus protection may be more of an issue.
Dragonwing used canvases running from about 3 oz. to 10 oz. The

canvas was treated for both water resistance and fire retardant.

Sicne the work was done for sale, the materials had to meet California

state requirements for tents.


--Hal
Hal Ravn, West Kingdom

Wilson H. Heydt, Jr., Albany, CA 94706, 510/524-8321 (home)

--

Hal Heydt |



Analyst, Pacific*Bell | If you think the system is working,

510-823-5447 | Ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

whheydt at pbhya.PacBell.COM |

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: nusbache at epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher)

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Organization: University of Toronto - Tent Engineering

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1993 16:30:39 GMT


In article DSKULLY at lando.hns.COM (DAWN) writes:

>Adnar Dunnigan asks:


>>What I am wondering is would 10 oz. duck canvas (100% cotton) work for a

>>period pavilion? It is 58/60" and retails at $5.98/yd.


In my experience 10oz canvas is quite a decent material to work with.

The Borough of Southwark Trayned Bandes kitchen and bath tent is made

of 10oz canvas, and it has held up rather well. It is quite large --

about 15'x10' by 9' high, and while it is difficult it is not

impossible for one person to carry the bundled cloth.
10oz cotton canvas can shrink a lot. A lot a lot. If you don't

pre-shrink the tent, you will have a lot of trouble.


It is, mind you, not a pavilion. It is very much a tent. I don't

relish the idea of sewing all the intricate bits of a pavilion with

such a heavy fabric.
>>Any other suggestions besides rip-stop.
There are other sorts of tent nylon, which will result in less

embarassment when you look your visitors in the eye and tell them it's

silk. Some are coated, and are quite water-resistant; but of course

the coated nylons don't breathe worth a damn.


My primary dwelling tent is 8oz cotton twill. Works for me.
Of course the optimum in mediaeval comfort can be achieved with a

gore-tex tent.


Silk would be a great tent fabric, but you would have to adhere to

period methods of construction, lest you find your tent shredding in

the wind. Do not use an old parachute, though: they are generally

nylon, and turn to napalm when they catch fire.


There are commercial tent fabrics which are pre-treated to be

water-resistant and fireproof. If you are going to camp in the dry

parts of the country, you might want to think about something like

that. Last time I checked, though, the stuff went for at least C$9

per metre.

>>Finally if this is good material what is the preferred method of treating

>>it for water resistance?
A good thick canvas will swell up when it gets wet, and 10oz cloth is

thick enough to keep the rain out, except for a bit of fine mist from

a heavy rain. Untreated 8oz cloth will let in a bit more mist. The

mist is generally not enough to damage the contents of your tent.


The main reason to waterproof a tent is to prevent rot and

discoloration. There are other ways to prevent rot: making sure the

tent can dry freely in the air, for instance. And I, for one, rather

like the battleship-grey colour of a well-used canvas tent.


Of course if you're after an upper-class effect, you might prefer to

paint your tent with something flammable like oil paint. Cariadoc has

been known to recommend beeswax, which creates a mandatory no-smoking

zone, since it could cause a tent to behave like a candlewick.


A lot of people paint their canvas tents with something like

Thompson's Water Seal, or the much pricier stuff from camping supply

stores. I have never heard of a controlled experiment to determine

whether it makes a difference in the field, however.


My final word: 10oz cotton good, but hard to work with. Don't

waterproof it unless you want it to keep its colour.


Aryk Nusbacher

From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle FitzWilliam)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Date: 8 Jul 1993 18:36:11 GMT

Organization: Bergental, East Kingdom


In article <1993Jul8.163039.1757 at epas.toronto.edu> nusbache at epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher) writes:

>

>[much deleted]



>

>A lot of people paint their canvas tents with something like

>Thompson's Water Seal, or the much pricier stuff from camping supply

>stores. I have never heard of a controlled experiment to determine

>whether it makes a difference in the field, however.
While I have never header of a controlled experiment using Thompson's Water

Seal, I performed a before-and-after experiment with my own tent. With heavy

rain (simulated using a garden hose), I got the fine mist inside the tent that

you mentioned (which, although it may not _damage_ the tent contents, is still

noticeable when you climb into the bedclothes. After applying the Water Seal

(using a four inch paint brush and much patience), I repeated the heavy rain

application, and got no mist inside the tent. As for breathability, the

design of the tent has vents new the peak (modified Viking ship shelter).


>My final word: 10oz cotton good, but hard to work with. Don't

>waterproof it unless you want it to keep its colour.


Or you prefer dry bedclothes... ;-)
Lyle FitzWilliam

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lyle H. Gray Internet (personal): gray at cs.umass.edu

Quodata Corporation Phone: (203) 728-6777, FAX: (203) 247-0249

--(My opinions are my own, and do not represent my employer's opinions)--

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Organization: University of Chicago

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1993 00:25:47 GMT


"silk would be a great tent fabric, but you would have to adhere to

period methods of construction, lest you find your tent shredding in

the wind." (Aryk)
I can't remember ever having that problem. The Mark II version had a

wool/silk blend roof which eventually started to tear, but the silk

walls never gave us any trouble, nor did we have any problem with the

Mark I (half scale, used a little) which was, as I remember, all

silk. Precisely what non-period methods of construction were you

considering--duct tape?


"Of course if you're after an upper-class effect, you might prefer to

paint your tent with something flammable like oil paint. Cariadoc

has been known to recommend beeswax, which creates a mandatory

no-smoking zone, since it could cause a tent to behave like a

candlewick." (Aryk)
Before I did the first beeswax waterproofed tent, I experimented with

waxing pieces of cloth and setting them alight. So far as I could

tell, they were no more inflammable than the same cloth unwaxed. I

know that seems surprising--perhaps it is because the amount of wax

per square foot is just not that large.
Currently, my recommendation is the same as yours--tightly woven

fabric with no additional treatment.


As to a no-smoking zone, that is not a big problem in the encampment.

So far Hossein is the only one who has persuaded me that he is

smoking a period mixture in a period fashion, and we (unfortunately)

do not see all that much of him.


David/Cariadoc

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: nusbache at epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher)

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Organization: University of Toronto - Tent Engineering

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1993 00:39:01 GMT


ddfr at midway.uchicago.edu writes:
>"silk would be a great tent fabric, but you would have to adhere to

>period methods of construction, lest you find your tent shredding in

>the wind." (Aryk)
>... Precisely what non-period methods of construction were you

>considering--duct tape?


If I were building a silk pavilion, I would be most worried about the

roof panels; and I would use crow's-foot mounts for the guy lines. I

have experimented with crow's feet, and have found that they do a

great job of distributing stress. What I would be worried about is a

tentmaker sinking grommets into the fabric -- works with canvas

(sometimes with a bit of reinforcement), but with silk ... I would

prefer the crows' feet.
A crow's foot is a mount which has each guy line anchored to the roof

at several points by means of a multifurcated mounting.


>Before I did the first beeswax waterproofed tent, I experimented with

>waxing pieces of cloth and setting them alight. So far as I could

>tell, they were no more inflammable than the same cloth unwaxed. I

>know that seems surprising--perhaps it is because the amount of wax

>per square foot is just not that large.
Good to know.
>As to a no-smoking zone, that is not a big problem in the encampment.

>So far Hossein is the only one who has persuaded me that he is

>smoking a period mixture in a period fashion, and we (unfortunately)

>do not see all that much of him.


I have, in the past, trusted Alfred Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture,

after all it has some pseudo-Elizabethan art work on the tin ...

Actually, pure Virginia tobacco can be had from the tobacconist in

Mill Creek Mall in Erie, and from Ivan at the Continental Smoke Shop

on Murray Ave. in Pittsburgh. Either place will also sell you pure

Latakia.
Good to hear that you'll be there this year,


Aryk

From: longo at eggo.usf.edu (Andrea Longo)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Date: 9 Jul 1993 04:59:41 GMT

Organization: University of South Florida, Department of Computer Science and Engineering


epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher) writes:

>

>A lot of people paint their canvas tents with something like



>Thompson's Water Seal, or the much pricier stuff from camping supply

>stores. I have never heard of a controlled experiment to determine

>whether it makes a difference in the field, however.

>

I have tried Thompson's on a canvas cloak and seen it done on tents. The



overall effect is less than desirable. The cloak was a bad idea because it

became very stiff but was somewhat more water-resistant as long as you don't

stand out in the downpour for very long. The tent was a *very* bad idea.
I have seen several tents done this way and all of them misted badly because

the canvas can't swell at all. I believe all the household's tents are

treated, but I don't know what with. The dining fly is made in two layers,

fabric over plastic tarp, probably the best option I've seen. (I tell you,

its where *I* run when the downpour starts.)
There must be some kind of treatment avaliable, because the tents we usually

bring to events aren't that bad. With the storms we see here, there is

usually more of a problem with water going under the tent than thru the

canopy, that isn't a problem unless there is extended heavy rain if the tent

is treated in some fashion. (In Trimaris, you expect everything you own to

get soaked and be damp the entire event, if not from actual rain, then the

humidity.)

From: jab2 at stl.stc.co.uk (Jennifer Ann Bray)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Date: 9 Jul 93 10:09:25

Organization: STC Technology Ltd., London Road, Harlow, UK.


On the basis of a large quantity of woolen cloth found on the Gokstad

ship (10th Century Viking Ship burial) which was either sails or tent

covering or possibly doubled up in function as both, I tried making a

viking tent with woolen cover.

It works wonderfully whilst up, no water at all gets through to the

inside, you can touch the fabric and after a night of force 7 gales

and torrential rain, it felt only slightly damp. The water seems to

wick down to ground level within the cloth. I poured gallons of

proofing solution over part of the tent and left th rest untreated

when I ran out, the treated section behaves exactly the same as the

rest, what a waste of proofing solution.

I recently attended a meeting of the medieval sress and textile

solution and heard that edward 1sts campaign tents were made out of

multiple layers of linen canvas, if wool works so well why did he

resort to linen? the stuff kept wearing out and a major expense in his

campaigns was upkeep of the tents. they were also difficult to

transport because they were so bulky with many layers of cloth

required for each tent.

The only thing I could think of was that wool absorbs water and takes

a while to dry, but with multiple layers making up Edwards tents, I

would have thought the linen would have held water aswell. did edward

have acess to more linen and less wool or something?

I get on fine with my wooly tent, any thoughts from you canvas campers

on why the switch to linen happened?


(incidentally I'm not a millionaire, I got the wool from a shop that

sold mill seconds and ends very cheap, cheaper than I could get any

other cloth at the time, I'll admit that was a big factor in making a

woolen tent)


jennifer

Vanaheim Vikings (not S.C.A. just passing by)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kreyling at lds.loral.com (Ed Kreyling 6966)

Subject: Re: Tent fabric

Organization: Loral Data Systems

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1993 19:03:36 GMT
In article <21itvt$itt at suntan.eng.usf.edu> you write:

>>

>I have tried Thompson's on a canvas cloak and seen it done on tents. The



>overall effect is less than desirable. The cloak was a bad idea because it

>became very stiff but was somewhat more water-resistant as long as you don't

>stand out in the downpour for very long. The tent was a *very* bad idea.

>

>I have seen several tents done this way and all of them misted badly because



>the canvas can't swell at all. I believe all the household's tents are

>treated, but I don't know what with. The dining fly is made in two layers,

>fabric over plastic tarp, probably the best option I've seen. (I tell you,

>its where *I* run when the downpour starts.)


Hi Andrea,
I hate to burst your bubble but all the household tents Master Sean and I have

treated have been treated in Thompson's Waterseal. I must admit that I have

never tried it on a cloak. It does seem to stiffen the tents somewhat but so

does CAMVAC. (Note: camvac is what Panther Primitives uses on their tents.)

Sean and I prefer Thompsons because of availablity. I do not recomment either

solution for synthetic tents (nylon etc.). Even at this years TMT both viking

tents and the marquee tent stayed dry. Robert's round tent did not stay dry

because it had been treated with bleach to remove mildew and then not re-treated

with Thompson's.
Master Erik

From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Date: 9 Jul 1993 21:50:31 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering


Greetings from Fiacha,
I agree strongly with the concept on not using any waterproofing agent for

vegetable fiber tent material.


If misting is seen to be a problem, fit the tent with a liner of light muslin.

The liner will provide an insulating air space to moderate the interior

temperature as well as absorbing the mist.
As to the switch from wool to linen for tent fabric I can offer a few

suggestions. Wool can absorb three times its weight of water, or so I have

been told. Thus a saturated wool tent is going to be very heavy and the

saturated fabric may not be able to support its own weight. Having such a tent

collapse on you in the middle of a downpour could persuade a king to find an

alternative. Waterproofing wool is either difficult or smelly. I have been

told that milk is the only viable waterproofing material for wool and it needs

to be reapplied every third soaking.


Linen, being a vegetable fiber, absorbs water into the fibers, swelling them

to produce an impenetrable fabric. The saturated fiber is stronger than the

dried fiber thus saturated tent fabric should not fail under its own weight.
Linen is also a fundamentally stronger fiber than wool. Thus linen can be

used to make larger and heavier tents than is possible with woolen fabrics.


In general, it seems to me that linen canvas is a better choice for tent fabric

in, the unpredictably wet, Western European climate. Wool is the preferred

material for nomads because they tend to operate in predictably dry climates

and tend to herd sheep for a ready supply of the raw material.


Fiacha

AnTir


From: palmer at cis.ohio-state.edu (sharon ann palmer)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Date: 10 Jul 1993 06:31:15 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University Dept. of Computer and Info. Science
In article <21kp77$a09 at usenet.pa.dec.com> haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock) writes:
>Linen is also a fundamentally stronger fiber than wool. Thus linen can be

>used to make larger and heavier tents than is possible with woolen fabrics.


>Wool is the preferred

>material for nomads because they tend to operate in predictably dry climates

>and tend to herd sheep for a ready supply of the raw material.
I am working from memory, but I believe that at least modern, and probably

period wool tents were made from very coarse wool or goats hair.

Since many period sheep were double coated, this would make sense.

You comb the wool to separate the soft, fine wool to use for clothing

and the coarse, stronger wool to use for tents, rugs, sails, etc.

I expect that modern, available wool fabric probably does not

resemble the wool fabric that would have been used for a tent.
Wool does get weaker when wet, but I know that the Vikings used

wool sails. I think that a sail would have more stress than a

tent and would certainly get wet.
Linen is an older fiber than wool, but I it is a lot more work

to prepare. It also requires land and time dedicated to growing it,

while the sheep or goats were probably kept anyway for their

meat. A linen tent might have been more expensive

than a wool tent. At least in my time (9th cent Danish) wealthy

people wear linen or even silk and poor people wear wool.


Ranvaig

Sharon Palmer palmer at cis.ohio-state.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kreyling at lds.loral.com (Ed Kreyling 6966)

Subject: Re: Tent fabric

Organization: Loral Data Systems

Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1993 13:28:07 GMT
In article <21qf1o$njp at suntan.eng.usf.edu> longo at eggo.usf.edu (Andrea Longo) writes:

>I've heard about using Thompson's is from what I did and from Margarete

>and a few others complaining about theirs.

>

>So how did you apply it? That can make a lot of difference.



>

>(See, I *told* you it was a bad idea for me to make a tent... :)


Margarete's tents are nylon and Thompson's does not work well on synthetics.

I apply Thompson's (and Camvac if I'm using that) with a bug sprayer. I

actually got the idea from the Chirurgeons. I went out and bought one of

those big bug sprayers that you have to pump up. Fill it with Thompson's and

put up the tent. Spray on the Thompson's until the fabric is saturated and the

liquid starts to spread away from the sprayer (flowing downhill). This seems to

be the correct amount to really seal the tent. The Thompson's actually soakes

into the fabric and causes it to swell. I pay particular attention to the seams. Leave the tent up until it is dry. Repeat every year or so.


This process seems to work so well that my tents seem to become the wet weather refuge for those whose tents have flooded out.
Erik.

From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tent Fabric

Date: 13 Jul 1993 14:19:05 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering


Greetings from Fiacha,
In response to Ranveig, I don't know enough to be able to say anything about

the effectiveness of coarse wool for coarse strong fabric, although I have my

doubts.
The suggestion that linen is an older fabric is neither true nor relevant. We

were discussing King Edwards selection of linen for tents in a country that

had known both fabric for over a thousand years. What might be relevant is the

recent introduction of the floor loom and the spinning wheel to the flemish

weavers.
Assuming that the Vikings sailed with wet sails may also be a dangerous

assumption. I do not know enough about viking sailing practices to be willing

to bet that they maintained sail under adverse conditions. I would also like

to read a detailed analysis of the sail fabric. Could you point me at a

reference work?
The more I think about it, the less sure I become. I can imagine techniques

for making hard strong woolen fabric but have no idea if they were used. I can

imagine the wool bacame a preferred raw material for luxury fabrics to the

point that coarse strong wool was more expensive than the equivalent linen.

I can imagine that a linen tent was lighter and so easier to pack and erect

than the equivalent woolen tent. I can imagine lots of things without knowing

that any of them match reality.
What I know of commercially available woolens and linens today makes me

prefer linen to wool for tents today.


Fiacha

From: scj427 at aol.com (SCJ427)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: oilskin

Date: 22 Jul 1995 03:38:32 -0400
If you are looking for "oilcloth" for use in waterproof enclosures it is

still commercially available. It is a cotton duck treated with thick

resinous oil. The stuff is waterproof and seems to attract charged

particles like crazy. The archaic stuff is great to place in entranceways

to controlled work areas to keep down dust and nasty things like

microparticles of radionuclides.


I don't know a retail supplier but it comes with a 3-M label on the rolls.

48" and 60" rolls. I keep threatening to sneak out with the roll ends to

make a pavilion.
Stefan MacMorrow ap Rhovannon

From: savaskan

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: TENT making/selling question

Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 22:21:59 -0700

Organization: ElectriCiti, Inc.


Clare Ni Mhaille wrote:

> 1. What weight of canvas would be best to use: 8 oz or 10 oz? I

> understand that heavier weight canvas can pull apart once you start

> cutting into it.


I have used 10 oz with good success.

> 6. Any miscellaneous suggestions? [This is first tent and all...]


I would look for Marine canvas that is treated for fire retardancy and

mildew resistance.


Julianna

From: yacko at mint.net (yacko)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Flame proof tent canvas

Date: 18 Jul 1996 16:37:28 GMT

Organization: Maine InternetWorks


In article <31EBF383.79D9 at csc.com>, kate field says:

> I'm looking to flame proof my tent for Pennsic.

>I've gone through the phone book under awnings, tents, and fireproofing,

>and called most of the listings, but can't find one that carries

>something to flame retard a canvas tent...does anyone have other ideas

>on where to look?


Try Campmor in Paramus NJ. Call information for a number. They have all sorts

of stuff for treating fabric. Of course, I must mention, no tent s flame

proof, ever. Best bet of all is to keep the flames out as much as possible. A

flashlight isn't period, but a burning tent sticks to you rather un-nicely.


Yacko

Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 19:33:29 -0400 (EDT)

From: ALBAN at delphi.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: tents (French Bell or otherwise)
In re. waterproofing tents: I have a tent I bought from, er, ah, I forget

now, but I did buy it from one of the four already mentioned. It came

untreated for fireproofing and untreated for waterproofing.

(In other words, it's cotton duck, without anything on it)


It's survived two Pennsics, so far, without one drip at all inside the

tent. And this despite the fact that small puddles form in the ceiling

when there's a massive downpour. No drips inside. None.
Now, if you should make your own tent, you may need to waterproof

because the material you use may need it - but I don't think the

commercial tents need it all that much, if at all.
Alban

Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 19:48:46 -0700

From: Sue Clemenger

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Canvas issues (was simple pavilion)--longish
Cotton canvases come in a number of weights, and with any number of

different (chemical) treatments. Sunforger, IIRC, is cotton canvas that

has been chemically treated to be mold and mildew resistant--very

similar to "marine finish" canvas. You can also get this fabric with an

additional treatment (borax-based) that makes it

flame-retardant/resistant.


Some things to be aware of:

*Some states only allow certain types of fabric/tents to be shipped into

that state (I remember CA for sure, don't know about others). If you

live in one of the restrictive states, you may be able to find ways to

get around it, though....I know that my employer had to be quite

careful.
*If you're making a tent that you don't want to leak and fall apart

right off the bat, you want fabric that's at _least_ as heavy as

good-quality sturdy denim (say, 6 oz. plus). Also, use a decent-quality

thread--I'd recommend something with a poly or nylon core (for

strength), and a cotton exterior. When wet, the cotton will swell, and

serve to help plug the holes in the fabric left by the sewing needle.
*The most pliable and easiest to sew would be the "natural" (untreated)

canvas, but it would also be the one most susceptible to mold, mildew,

insect problems, etc. The more heavily treated the fabric is, the more

it shrinks--flame-retardant canvas can be darned near waterproof.

However, this also makes it progressively harder to sew, as your machine

and needle have to work harder to "punch" through the fabric. Make any

sense? This difficulty is, of course, pretty negligible when only sewing

through a single layer, but a big pain in the behind when sewing a hem,

or a fancy seam, etc. (think back, and remember how cranky many home

machines can be when you're trying to hem your jeans or something). So,

yes, unless you've got a kickass, heavy-duty machine, you very well may

have -uh- "fun" trying to sew with it (maybe you could get a scrap from

someone, and try that, first?)
*As I mentioned above, these are chemical treatments, so make very sure

you're not sensitive/allergic to the chemicals _before_ you invest all

that money in the fabric or a purchased tent. Because of job-related,

long-term exposure to exactly these things, I am now quite allergic to

anything that makes stuff fire retardant/fire resistant (common in

sleeping bags, furniture, some fabrics such as Nomex, etc), as well as

any cosmetic or cleaner or laundry additive containing Borax. It

doesn't bother most folks, but it's something to be aware of....


--Maire, survivor of seven years as a custom tent/tipi/awning/anything

else made of fabric.....

Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 11:46:42 -0800

From: John LaTorre

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Canvas issues (was simple pavilion)--longish


Sue's post is a very good overview of the fabric and sewing

situation, and I have only one quibble with it.


Sue Clemenger wrote:
> The more heavily treated the fabric is, the more

> it shrinks--flame-retardant canvas can be darned near waterproof.


In my experience, the reverse is true. The more heavily

treated the fabric is, the /less/ it shrinks. The people who

make Pyrotone and Fyrecoat (fire, water, and mildew

treatment) list their fabric as capable of up to 2%

shrinkage, and experience has proved that even that

percentage is high ... probably less than 1% in the tents

I've made over the past ten years. I don't have any figures

for Sunforger, but a look at the Panthermastersmiths

pavilions (which use this fabric almost exclusively) reveals

that they are designed to be fairly non-dimension-critical

... the fabric could shrink or stretch a fair bit without

impeding the tent's performance.


For more information on fabrics and tent-sewing, I

shamelessly recommend two pages on my web site:


http://midtown.net/dragonwing/diy.htm for general stuff

http://midtown.net/dragonwing/col9804.htm for fabrics


I'd also recommend Tanya Guptill's Medieval Pavilion

Resources, which has tons of information culled from the

Rialto, newsgroups, and other sources:
http://www.teleport.com/~tguptill/tent.html

--

John LaTorre (Johann von Drachenfels)



Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 14:25:41 -0600

From: "Marguerite"

To:

Subject: Re: Canvas issues (was simple pavilion)--longish


Just a note Sunforger still will set on fire and will not put it self out. A

good weight for canvas is 15oz.


It is thick enough that it will stop the dripping if you make the pitch

right on your roof. NO less then a 40 degree slope. On water proofed

material the slope can be less. The higher the pitch of the roof the better

results you will have.


Margeurite

Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 19:13:58 -0700

From: Sue Clemenger

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Canvas issues (was simple pavilion)--longish
Good point--apparently what I said didn't come through clearly enough.

What I had in my head, at least , was the knowledge that all of these

canvases start out basically the same--as untreated, plain cotton

canvas. The stuff I worked with was, at this stage, lighter, fairly

flexible, a little rough-textured, and, oh, 38"-39" wide. Putting it

through the process(es) that make it into Marine-Finish quality results

in a fabric about 36" wide, smoother, lighter-colored, and a little

stiffer. Putting it through the additional step to make it flame

retardant gets you a fabric that can be 34" or less, slightly off-white

to blinding-white, relatively stiff, and fairly smooth.

So...if you buy a basic "cabin" tent (shaped like a house, pretty much),

say 9'x12', with a 5' side wall, and an 8' peak, and it's made out of

one of the less-processed fabrics, you can expect some shrinkage the

first couple of times it gets wet. If your frame isn't adjustable, you

can end up with a high-water tent (kinda like high-water pants). This

would be less of an issue with folks who are only using poles to hold up

their tents, obviously, but it's something to be aware of....
--Maire
John LaTorre wrote:

>

> Sue's post is a very good overview of the fabric and sewing

> situation, and I have only one quibble with it.

>

> Sue Clemenger wrote:



>

> > The more heavily treated the fabric is, the more

> > it shrinks--flame-retardant canvas can be darned near waterproof.

>


> In my experience, the reverse is true. The more heavily

> treated the fabric is, the /less/ it shrinks.

From: Heather Hillhouse

Date: March 16, 2010 10:33:47 AM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: [CALONTIR] Pavillions


Hi All... I'm pondering replacing my tent- currently a small walled wedge style, and in some of the research I've been doing, materials other than canvas have been listed. Specifically, I found mention of a extant piece that was wool, and the person writing about it had some pretty positive things to say about wool as a tent fabric. Has anyone around here made a wool tent? Advantages or disadvantages? Thoughts?
Derdriu

From: "greywlf2.excite"

Date: March 18, 2010 10:55:24 AM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Pavillions
Yes wool was used in period for tents. Those I've read about or talked to have all said the same thing about wool... it stretches and sags considerably when wet. I've always avoided using it for tents for that reason.
Ld Anlon GreyWolf

From: Shannon Ward

Date: March 18, 2010 12:25:46 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Pavillions
Anlon GreyWolf said

<<< Yes wool was used in period for tents. Those I've read about or talked to have all said the same thing about wool... it stretches and sags considerably when wet. I've always avoided using it for tents for that reason.
 >>>
I know wool was used for Bedouin tents – a much drier climate. Was wool used for tents in any other time and place?

And while we are on the subject, what were tents made out of in Europe in the Middle Ages? I seem to remember a class given a long, long time ago that documented a silk tent.


Tatiana D.

From: Ted Eisenstein

Date: March 18, 2010 2:09:02 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Pavillions
<<< Tatiana, why was wool used for bedouin tents? >>>
I'm not Tatiana, but I should note that wool need not be hot. I've got a nice,

light-weight wool suit that's quite wearable in the summer.


<<< I would have that the hot dry climate would want a cooler fabric. >>>
Wool isn't hot if it's several feet from your skin....or, rather, no hotter than

a similar weight cotton is. If the tent is of a darkish tent, I would imagine

it would help in air circulation: sun warms it up, warm air rises and escapes

and cooler air comes in from the bottom and the door flap. Wool also dries

from the inside out if it gets wet (which is why mountain climbers and other

outdoorsy people love it), which keeps the insides dry if and when it rains.

Cotton dries from the outside in, which might raise the humidity levels.
I'd also think that Bedouins, who are, if memory serves, migratory, would have

more wool available (sheep, camels, and maybe goats) than they would cotton. Go

with what's within arms reach, and cheap.
Alban

From: Clayton Neff

Date: March 18, 2010 1:05:11 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Pavillions
<<< Tatiana, why was wool used for bedouin tents? I would have that the hot dry climate would want a cooler fabric. Now I'm really curious. :) >>>
From http://www.mcdonough.com/writings/new_geography.htm:
The Bedouin tent, for example, shows how simple and elegant-how suited to locale-good design can be. On the move in their migratory rounds, the Bedouins needed shelter that was both portable and reliable in a variety of conditions. On the plains of the Sinai, temperatures often rise above 120 degrees fahrenheit. There is neither shade nor breeze. But the black Bedouin tent of coarsely woven goat hair provides a breathing membrane. The black surface creates a deep shade while the coarse weave diffuses the sunlight, creating a beautifully illuminated interior. As the sun heats the dark fabric, hot air rises above the tent and air from inside is drawn out, in effect creating a cooling breeze. When it rains-as even in the desert it sometimes does-the woven fibers swell, the tiny holes in the fabric close, and the structure becomes tight. The tent is lightweight and portable and can be easily repaired; the fabric factory-the goats-followed the Bedouins around, providing valuable wool while transforming the botany of the desert into horn, skins, meat, milk, butter, and cheese. When the tent wears out, it can be composted, returning nutrients to the precious soil of a river valley oasis. This ingenious design, locally relevant and culturally rich, makes the desert skyscraper's stark separation from local material and energy flows look downright primitive.
-- Logan --

From: Lorraine Gehring

Date: March 19, 2010 12:25:32 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu



Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Pavillions
Years ago I read a book completely about Middle Eastern tents -- the type we call bedouins in the SCA.
The author said that the women typically stake the end of a loom outside the tent and weave a long strip of cloth made of goat and camel hair. The weaver starts at the edge of the tent shade and moves back. As the strip grows, the stake is moved further away from the tent.
When finished, the strip of cloth then becomes the newest part of the tent. The top seam is opened and it is added to the top. The oldest, most worn piece -- the piece closest to the ground -- is removed. The tent ages in stages, with the ragged or stained pieces closest to the ground.
Wish I could remember the book. IIRC, the European author lived with the Bedouin for awhile.
Lorraine



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