Tag Archives: Canvas covers

Acrylic Canvas

Yes, to most tent people, the idea of acrylic canvas, sounds strange and unnatural, on these beautiful, traditional nomadic structures. But, the truth is, of course, that to make cotton and polycotton able to withstand the elements in a European climate, various chemical products need to be applied. Don’t worry, all have passed safety tests.

If you have lived in or worked with canvas, you are well aware of the black spot mould which appears and the inevitable deterioration of the fabric. We recommend, every year, to clean the canvas with a soft brush and mild detergent and then to reproof the canvas with a reproofing solution (we can supply a paint-on FWR (flame, water and rot-proofed) solution). Acrylic canvas, however, doesn’t rot.

8 years ago we made this yurt cover for Tithe Farm B&B in Lincolnshire, England. They chose to have acrylic canvas, rather than the usual cotton canvas we were working with at that time, for longevity.

After standing outside for 8 years in Britain (to quote Biff Vernon, the yurt owner): “The fabric is still completely waterproof. The only problem we had was that where the six ropes that hold the top star down rub on the canvas at the roof/wall angle little holes have been worn. We stuck patches on with fabric glue to reinforce these and wrapped the ropes in a fabric sleeve to reduce the pressure. That might be less of a problem with curved roof poles but ours are straight so there’s quite a sharp angle”. (This issue can be prevented by threading a small piece of clear plastic hosepipe onto the star ropes, to sit on this shoulder of the roof rafter).

(Guess which is new and which is 8 years later).

image2-3

A more natural fabric like cotton or even polycotton would have well perished long ago in these conditions. The synthetic fabrics are woven and look very much the polycotton, only hang a bit more stiffly.

And here is the lovely little wedding pavilion at Cornish Tipi Holidays which we made 7 years ago, which we have heard, is still fine, only a bit ‘not perfect and wedding’.FullSizeRender-4

FullSizeRender-3

These fabrics were PU coated, but we are now working with a FWR (flame, water and rot-proofed), fabric in which the proofing is in the fibres themselves, so is permanent, and can’t be removed.

Acrylic canvas is expensive, and not for everyone, but weighing up all the odds and external conditions, may be worth the investment, especially for a more upmarket look.

The meaning of פירגון

פירגון (firgun) is a an Hebrew term that means – giving someone credit, to speak highly of another person without any investment for yourself, telling of the worth of a third party individual.

So in the firgun slot of today we would like to speak of another yurt maker we think highly of, Henry Dowell .

It was a several years ago….. we were contacted to make a cover for Henry, for a school yurt, soon later another followed when he bought another of our yurt covers, one that was a part of a job that went bad.
He made the frame to the cover measurements, which was very clever.

20140610-172443-62683543.jpg

Few years have now passed and we have seen Henry becoming one of the most popular yurt makers in the country, his nice yurts are very reasonably priced, and he is easy to work with (I know not all of us yurt makers are like that, I mean easy to work with).

We have seen so many yurt makers come and go, partly due to the fact that yurt making is like hunting gathering, sometimes you have no orders, and sometimes you hunt for big game, a reality which led a few to diversify and hire yurts too, for those moments when the prey does not come near enough.

Here is an amazing hire yurt Henry just finished.

 

Henry Dowell yurt palace

20140610-173354-63234210.jpg

A really interesting yurt type we think, and that cute little upper storey trellis is adorable, with it’s mini doors (where the flu comes out of).

We feel like there is really not near enough of this type of פירגון (firgun) going on, the fact that there is not even an English equivalent sheds some doubtful light on the chances of it becoming a full scale activity in these parts, especially not amongst yurt makers, who tend only to their own yurt hunting.

We recently finished a 32ft cover, for (the now famous) Henry, which actually gave birth to this blog entry before it became a Hebrew lesson.

Here are a few pics of the cover making, as you can see the 32ft cover is a big thing, below you can see the joining seam, (this seam is when you have to feed the whole cover through the machine) It went through the machine like butter, so all the worry about trying to join such a big one and it not going through the machine was for naught.

yurt cover making

yurt cover making

Yurt cover making in front of yurt

Yurt cover making

And here it is in it’s new home

yurt cover complete

30 yurt cover complete

And finally if you follow the link you can see a movie of Henry putting this 32ft yurt up, amazing how quick he does it too!.

Yurtshire and yurt covers in the making

Our spring cover rush has come to a head this week, when we were called to increase the size of the yurt covers from one of the Yurtshire sites: all three yurts were to be extended from 16’6″ to 17′ diameter. The yurt covers we made were perfect but it turned out the frames were erected too small when the measurements were taken (we make all our covers from measurements so we usually don’t see the frames), and now needed to grow some to allow for all the furniture. We took our Mercedes camper-Worksop truck, loaded with a sewing machine and all the equipment needed to do the job. And drove through the night to Umberslade farm, home of the lunar festival. 20140523-180648-65208032.jpg The three yurts looked so perfect on arrival. Yurt cover before adjustment I was wondering what the owner was thinking, I thought wow what a good job we did, as he was late we thought to ourselves maybe we can just tell him we fixed it when he gets there without doing anything. But being the nice elves we decided to start stretching the yurt covers using some Spirits Intent cover wizardry.making yurt covers on site We were somewhat tired from not having slept properly, although driving through the night brought the nomads in us awake. So by the time the owner arrived with some extra covers from one of the other Yurtshire sites, it was getting very clear it is going to be a very long day. We had to get one of the yurts changed while the holiday makers were still using it. So that was the main challenge for lunchtime, they agreed to give us an hour to do so, with some extremely fast roof cover magic we got that done, and when they came back they said they did not even notice the difference (don’t know if we should see it as a compliment). Yurtshire yurt cover It was now mid afternoon and we still had to open two yurt roofs, and extend the walls of both, the weather forcast was for heavy rain in the night, so leaving the yurts roofless was no option. We were sewing for all we were worth, and so when our friend Henry Dowell (fellow yurt maker) came to collect his 32ft cover, we were in stitches, not sure if it’s because we were so devastatingly tired, or that the jokes were actually funny. It was 21-00 pm and we realised we just did a 5 to 9 work day. Totally exhausted we went home into the truck to sleep, the last joke for the night was “it was a really hard day’s work (understatement) just to stretch those yurt covers a few cm”. It was near death by yurt making, we thought it was funny anyhow. In the middle of the night the rain came quite hard.. overland truck and yurt covers making …so at 4 am one of us (not saying who) went out to put the chimney through the star cap. I guess we earned our breakfast. yurtshire yurt covers complete And so on departure the three yurts looked lovely (but not very much unlike when we arrived). Tom Sterne (the owner) was fun to work with, and we both agreed the yurts did look better, it was amazing how much difference that extra space did.

The Busy Bees of Tent Making

It’s that time, once again, when the people wake up from their winter hibernation, look at the daffodils and say, “Crikey it’s spring – better get moving”.

For Spirits Intent, and our now sister, Wild Canvas, this means making yurts, tipis, Bushcraft tents and custom covers ready for the season. Much of our work is the sewing side of things, and many have already designed their campsites over the winter, but there’s always a few calls that go : “Hi, just dug my 2 yurt canvases out of the barn, and realise that they have holes in them, and it may rain this year, so we probably need new ones. I know it’s a bit late but is there any chance you can get them done by the end of the week?”

We like challenges and somehow it all happens.

The next delivery of canvas

The next delivery of canvas

Yurt Felt
Yurt Felt

 

Swimming in the P V sea...big camp roof cover for Wild Wise

Swimming in the P V sea. Camp cover for Wild Wise

Sand and Khaki Canvas Mountain

Sand and Khaki Canvas Mountain

 

Yurt Canvas and Felt linings for Henry Dowell (www.yurtmaker.co.uk)

Yurt Canvas and Felt Peak going to  Henry Dowell

 

2 more of those Wild Canvas Baker Tents - ready for the wilds

2 more of those Wild Canvas Baker Tents – ready for the wilds

Of Mountains and Canvas, of Baker Tents and the Welsh Robin Hood

IMG_0347

The Yurt Cover mountain range

Been staring at mountains of canvas for some time now….

IMG_0348

Yurt wall ridge

…which decided us it is time to go to the mountains in canvas (in our larger baker-tent). As you may know we currently live in Wales which happens to be very Wild and beautiful, especially around here. On a Canvas delivery last week we were told about the Welsh Robin Hood – Twm Sion Cati so we decided we are going to start exploring at Dinas Hill.

IMG_0334

Dinas Hill

His magical cave just happens to be just south of my favourite spot the Llyn brianne reservoir, and we quickly scaled the hill to the cave, and amazingly we found our names on the wall of fame: it is a Welsh secret that anyone who carves their name in that cave becomes…….. (not going yo tell you if you don’t know it already or it would not be a secret).

IMG_0353

The Cave wall of fame

It  reminded me later on, when came to a waterfall, of the Journey to the Heart of the World by Ian Baker where he goes to seek the illusive mythical waterfall, but to get to it he has to follow a set of directives. The Tibetans believe that the landscape is the body of a goddess and her secret spots are “Beyuls“: (spots that are gateways, some are described like Paradise, some are places in other worlds), but in order to get to the waterfall he had first to go and visit the mountain top, and that also could not be done directly. So circling around Dinas Hill made think about all that, the Body of the Welsh Goddess and her Wild spots. I am a great advocate of the power of the wild, in fact I secretly hope that religion will revert back to the days before gods, when mountains and valleys are where the powers are, powers before they solidified into personifications as mountain gods and goddesses – of rain and thunder) when naturalism was pure and power was pure and nature was pure……. ok enough, breath.

IMG_0308

Waterfall

IMG_0548

At the top of Devil’s Staircase

IMG_0316

At the bottom of Devil’s Staircase

We went through forests and up and down the hills looking for a spot to pitch up that night and and ended up going of the road on one of the most off-road routes in wales: the Strata Florida 4×4 track.

This to me is the best part of Wales, where wild oaks and rough mountains come together, “where wild horses are in the face of the battle”

IMG_0325

Wild Horses with face for a battle

It was getting dark, and we realised that our cute little 4×4 just defeated the most 4×4 worthy track and that in fact we don’t feel much for green laning, when with a sigh when we hit the the tarmac again and stopped bouncing. Why people call this fun defeats me with all the burning clutch smell, and fearing for the vehicle anatomy, like worrying about shock absorber bushes etc, , you know that picture of fording a river with your Defender, I mean seriously ?

IMG_0396

Baker Tent

So anyhow… we took back to the lake, and,almost dark we quickly pitched up the tent, (the Land Rover Campfire Tent without the Land Rover) and went wooding in the dark and the rain, like good gypsies do.

IMG_0395

Baker tent (campfire tent) by the lake

IMG_0362

Fire Lit

IMG_0408

Gypsy tipping tea

That night was lovely: the wildness of the place and darkness poured colour into my dreams and I felt energised sleeping there by the power of the wilds which was enhanced by fasting the whole day, and walking (and some intense 4x4ing) the Welsh Goddess.

IMG_0371

Morning Coffee Yoffi

We woke up early to an amazing misty morning, with canvas banging in the rain and the wind, and our hearts feeing wild. It was like a scene from one of Bill Mason’s documentaries, and a grand victory for the baker Tent, which has proved itself the real tent of the wild. We were recently involved in a heated debate (ok actually it was only me that got heated) about the ups and downs of this fabulous open fire tent, one of our new wild canvas range.

So no more Debate.

Sewing inside the White Horse yurt and Baker Tent mk 2

20130529-105411.jpg

Tipi cover inside yurt

 

Had to quickly finish the tipi cover, as we are about to make The Baker tent mk 2. This one will have wooden toggles to secure the doors/walls instead of the double d-rings we had on the last one, which are more in keeping with the old style look we want the “Wild Canvas” brand to have.

20130529-115352.jpg

Toggles drilled

 

20130529-115407.jpg

And threaded with parachute cord

20130529-120451.jpg

Baker Tent mk 2 section plan

Here is the sections plan for the Baker tent, still quite complicated (even with the plan). The trick is what gets sewn first to what, to make all seams waterproof.

20130529-130743.jpg

Little egg that just hatched

20130529-130757.jpg

Alignment of seams

20130529-130805.jpg

The little hatchling

20130529-131013.jpg

And the famous toggles now in the seam