Tag Archives: yurt making

Canvas Troubleshooting

 

If you have canvas tents or are thinking of getting some, you need to know something about canvas care as well as looking after tents in general. Some site owners avoid tents because of the maintenance – one should remember that they are tents after all and you can’t just put them up and not think about them when the Weather Gods are playing or let them sit unheated through the winter. If you want something with lower maintenance, best go for something more solid like a hut but personally, I think the romance, beauty and simplicity of nomadic tents, such as tipis and yurts, is well worth the effort.

tipi drip strip

Looking up in a tipi

So canvas…first I would advise you NOT go for cheap canvas however tempting it seems. A lot of the imported Mongolian yurts are made from a heavy canvas which is made for the dry climate of Mongolia but doesn’t adapt well to damp European climates and the canvas will quickly leak. Our main work is making yurt covers, and have re-covered many a Mongolian yurt barely in its infancy.

spirits intent

Sewing yurt covers

The usual canvas used in the UK is 12oz FWR (flame, water and rot-proofed) poly/cotton, Before 2007 it was cotton that was more popular, but the rot-proofing agent used in the proofing was banned, so a new one was used which was actually water-soluble! It meant that there was a batch of bad canvas around that time and we heard horror stories of canvas rotting after a year. Although a new rot-proofing agent was developed, the industry had moved into poly/cotton as it is more rot-resistant and stronger, with 50% polyester content it’s really a game changer.

It’s hard to say how long canvas lasts as it depends on many factors, so we don’t offer any guarantee on its life, but if looked after, one can expect 5-7 years for a tent left up all year. One consideration in pitching your tents is the choice of location. If pitched under trees, the canvas gets dirty from falling leaves and the run-off from tree sap and this can contribute to it perishing. Trees to be extra careful of are pine and willow. Also, obviously, if pitched in the shade the canvas doesn’t dry out so quickly and generally in the UK, the damp is more damaging than UV (although this summer has challenged that trend!) In hotter climates, such as Southern Europe the UV exposure continent, damages the cotton element of the canvas so it is worth thinking about alternatives to poly/cotton (see below about acrylic canvas).

Our Yurt and tipi garden in Israel

Next …general maintenance… we recommend reproofing the canvas once a year which can greatly increase its longevity. Before reproofing one should clean the canvas with a soft brush and warm water, no soap, no scrubbing, no pressure washing, but as long as you reproof the canvas well it should be OK. Remember that any cleaning will remove some of the proofing. (Obviously, white canvas shows the dirt and mould more than other colours, so many of our customers, when replacing yurt covers are choosing to replace white covers with darker colours, such as sand).

Reproofing is usually done with a paint-on solution when the tent goes up for the season – various products are available, but mostly only contain waterproofing and rotproofing agents. Recently the FWR proofing solution used by the manufacturers themselves has become available. (We can supply this at manufacturers cost). We have heard stories of tent covers being sent to professional cleaners, who have little experience of canvas and come back unproofed and sometimes perished although there are now companies who can clean and reproof for you.

Another consideration in canvas care is if the tents are left standing through the winter, they should be heated at least every few days, usually with a wood-burning stove (or open fire in a tipi) and, if the tents are not being used, they should be taken down when the canvas is bone dry and packed somewhere dry and rodent free. The summer before last we had a mice invasion on our site in Italy and we were surprised to discover that the mice chose to eat through the proofed canvas of the yurts rather than the wool blankets and mattresses inside. No accounting for taste. (Troubleshooting rodents and creepy-crawlies is for another chapter).

More yurt covers

There is a common perception that cottons are more ‘natural’ than synthetic fabrics, but people forget that they are proofed with chemicals. Our customers are choosing to go for acrylic fabrics as an alternative to poly/cotton as, although much more expensive, it is a better investment longterm, it greatly outlasts the poly/cotton as it doesn’t rot and it’s also stronger. The acrylic proofing isn’t in a coating but in the thread itself, thus doesn’t need reproofing the same way. It is a woven fabric so looks almost identical to the poly/cotton, yet feels nicer to touch and stays clean and new looking for much longer.

Acrylic canvas wedding pavillion

We are Spirits Intent, expert makers of nomadic tents and specialists in the canvas side of things, call on us if you need any advice on canvas or need new covers for your structures.

The Lesser Known Tools of Yurt Makers (or any woodworker for that matter).

Yurt Makers and their tools…

Everyone knows of the saw and the drill, but, unless you are a wood-worker, you may not have you heard of a Billhook, an Adze or a Draw Knife?

(null)
The Billhook is used by yurt makers to chop the small side branches off coppiced trees, and is also often used to chop back shrubby undergrowth.

(null)
I prefer a billhook to an axe for chopping small logs and kindling, maybe because the longer blade gives you more chance of striking the wood.

(null)
When making a coppiced yurt, yurt makers need to peel all those poles and a Draw Knife is the best tool for the job: much easier than a simple knife. It’s a flat blade which is held between two handles and pulled towards you, also great for peeling tipi poles.

(null)
Our favourite draw knife is a really small, light one which we found many years ago in a tool stall in a market in Mostar, Bosnia.

For my first yurt frame, we cut a big ash tree then shaped the wood for the door and the wheel with an adze.
An adze is an ancient tool, similar to an axe but with the blade perpendicular to the shaft, like a garden hoe. A foot adze is usually held with both hands and swung between the legs, as you stand astride the wood.

(null)
http://admiralavtomaty.com/novomatic-besplatno/aztec-treasure/

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

Stormy Yurt Making and the Winds of Change

IMG_0590

White horse returns

If you remember we went into the myth-ontological of the white horse  a while ago. A few days ago I went with the South Wind (traditionally regarded as the door) to get the some chestnut to make the door for the yurt making.

On the way back we stopped for fuel behind this van and I was smiling to see this gorgeous white horse smiling back at me. The white horse speaks to me directly as a symbol, it was funnier as the van ended up belonging to Tipi Jean .

The South Wind and I have been bringing the door home, as you can see in the pictures below.

IMG_0597

Making the long wall grooves in the door

IMG_0593

IMG_0596

Yurt trellis gets into the groove

Today is meant to be the stormiest weather since the UK 1987 storm, so I lit the fire and used the west wind to blow the flames, not unlike a forge, to heat up the pick axe to burn through the Yurt wheel holes, the act is called – stormy yurt making, the forging of weather into your craft!

IMG_0615

Pick head warming, aided by  the West Wind

IMG_0609

Burning the wheel holes

IMG_0614

I hope this yurt will not end up being too windy, but I like harvesting the power of the elements and our innermost feelings in conduction with the people we work with to create magic. It’s not every day that we get a storm like this.

I listened to sacred music like mark eliyahu for the delicate cuts like the door tenons, and the long door grooves, as it helps me with accuracy. Some wood work should be done in that frame of mind like working in a temple (at least that is my opinion).
http://www.jpfchat.com/cosmik-casino/

yurt making | Spirits Intent

Tag Archives: yurt making

Canvas Troubleshooting

 

If you have canvas tents or are thinking of getting some, you need to know something about canvas care as well as looking after tents in general. Some site owners avoid tents because of the maintenance – one should remember that they are tents after all and you can’t just put them up and not think about them when the Weather Gods are playing or let them sit unheated through the winter. If you want something with lower maintenance, best go for something more solid like a hut but personally, I think the romance, beauty and simplicity of nomadic tents, such as tipis and yurts, is well worth the effort.

tipi drip strip

Looking up in a tipi

So canvas…first I would advise you NOT go for cheap canvas however tempting it seems. A lot of the imported Mongolian yurts are made from a heavy canvas which is made for the dry climate of Mongolia but doesn’t adapt well to damp European climates and the canvas will quickly leak. Our main work is making yurt covers, and have re-covered many a Mongolian yurt barely in its infancy.

spirits intent

Sewing yurt covers

The usual canvas used in the UK is 12oz FWR (flame, water and rot-proofed) poly/cotton, Before 2007 it was cotton that was more popular, but the rot-proofing agent used in the proofing was banned, so a new one was used which was actually water-soluble! It meant that there was a batch of bad canvas around that time and we heard horror stories of canvas rotting after a year. Although a new rot-proofing agent was developed, the industry had moved into poly/cotton as it is more rot-resistant and stronger, with 50% polyester content it’s really a game changer.

It’s hard to say how long canvas lasts as it depends on many factors, so we don’t offer any guarantee on its life, but if looked after, one can expect 5-7 years for a tent left up all year. One consideration in pitching your tents is the choice of location. If pitched under trees, the canvas gets dirty from falling leaves and the run-off from tree sap and this can contribute to it perishing. Trees to be extra careful of are pine and willow. Also, obviously, if pitched in the shade the canvas doesn’t dry out so quickly and generally in the UK, the damp is more damaging than UV (although this summer has challenged that trend!) In hotter climates, such as Southern Europe the UV exposure continent, damages the cotton element of the canvas so it is worth thinking about alternatives to poly/cotton (see below about acrylic canvas).

Our Yurt and tipi garden in Israel

Next …general maintenance… we recommend reproofing the canvas once a year which can greatly increase its longevity. Before reproofing one should clean the canvas with a soft brush and warm water, no soap, no scrubbing, no pressure washing, but as long as you reproof the canvas well it should be OK. Remember that any cleaning will remove some of the proofing. (Obviously, white canvas shows the dirt and mould more than other colours, so many of our customers, when replacing yurt covers are choosing to replace white covers with darker colours, such as sand).

Reproofing is usually done with a paint-on solution when the tent goes up for the season – various products are available, but mostly only contain waterproofing and rotproofing agents. Recently the FWR proofing solution used by the manufacturers themselves has become available. (We can supply this at manufacturers cost). We have heard stories of tent covers being sent to professional cleaners, who have little experience of canvas and come back unproofed and sometimes perished although there are now companies who can clean and reproof for you.

Another consideration in canvas care is if the tents are left standing through the winter, they should be heated at least every few days, usually with a wood-burning stove (or open fire in a tipi) and, if the tents are not being used, they should be taken down when the canvas is bone dry and packed somewhere dry and rodent free. The summer before last we had a mice invasion on our site in Italy and we were surprised to discover that the mice chose to eat through the proofed canvas of the yurts rather than the wool blankets and mattresses inside. No accounting for taste. (Troubleshooting rodents and creepy-crawlies is for another chapter).

More yurt covers

There is a common perception that cottons are more ‘natural’ than synthetic fabrics, but people forget that they are proofed with chemicals. Our customers are choosing to go for acrylic fabrics as an alternative to poly/cotton as, although much more expensive, it is a better investment longterm, it greatly outlasts the poly/cotton as it doesn’t rot and it’s also stronger. The acrylic proofing isn’t in a coating but in the thread itself, thus doesn’t need reproofing the same way. It is a woven fabric so looks almost identical to the poly/cotton, yet feels nicer to touch and stays clean and new looking for much longer.

Acrylic canvas wedding pavillion

We are Spirits Intent, expert makers of nomadic tents and specialists in the canvas side of things, call on us if you need any advice on canvas or need new covers for your structures.

The Lesser Known Tools of Yurt Makers (or any woodworker for that matter).

Yurt Makers and their tools…

Everyone knows of the saw and the drill, but, unless you are a wood-worker, you may not have you heard of a Billhook, an Adze or a Draw Knife?

(null)
The Billhook is used by yurt makers to chop the small side branches off coppiced trees, and is also often used to chop back shrubby undergrowth.

(null)
I prefer a billhook to an axe for chopping small logs and kindling, maybe because the longer blade gives you more chance of striking the wood.

(null)
When making a coppiced yurt, yurt makers need to peel all those poles and a Draw Knife is the best tool for the job: much easier than a simple knife. It’s a flat blade which is held between two handles and pulled towards you, also great for peeling tipi poles.

(null)
Our favourite draw knife is a really small, light one which we found many years ago in a tool stall in a market in Mostar, Bosnia.

For my first yurt frame, we cut a big ash tree then shaped the wood for the door and the wheel with an adze.
An adze is an ancient tool, similar to an axe but with the blade perpendicular to the shaft, like a garden hoe. A foot adze is usually held with both hands and swung between the legs, as you stand astride the wood.

(null)
http://admiralavtomaty.com/novomatic-besplatno/aztec-treasure/

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

Stormy Yurt Making and the Winds of Change

IMG_0590

White horse returns

If you remember we went into the myth-ontological of the white horse  a while ago. A few days ago I went with the South Wind (traditionally regarded as the door) to get the some chestnut to make the door for the yurt making.

On the way back we stopped for fuel behind this van and I was smiling to see this gorgeous white horse smiling back at me. The white horse speaks to me directly as a symbol, it was funnier as the van ended up belonging to Tipi Jean .

The South Wind and I have been bringing the door home, as you can see in the pictures below.

IMG_0597

Making the long wall grooves in the door

IMG_0593

IMG_0596

Yurt trellis gets into the groove

Today is meant to be the stormiest weather since the UK 1987 storm, so I lit the fire and used the west wind to blow the flames, not unlike a forge, to heat up the pick axe to burn through the Yurt wheel holes, the act is called – stormy yurt making, the forging of weather into your craft!

IMG_0615

Pick head warming, aided by  the West Wind

IMG_0609

Burning the wheel holes

IMG_0614

I hope this yurt will not end up being too windy, but I like harvesting the power of the elements and our innermost feelings in conduction with the people we work with to create magic. It’s not every day that we get a storm like this.

I listened to sacred music like mark eliyahu for the delicate cuts like the door tenons, and the long door grooves, as it helps me with accuracy. Some wood work should be done in that frame of mind like working in a temple (at least that is my opinion).
http://www.jpfchat.com/cosmik-casino/