Recommended linen for tents?

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The Methley Archer
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Recommended linen for tents?

Post by The Methley Archer »

Various posts on different subjects has made me think about hand sewing a linen tent as an off season/next season project (as well as a Brig).

The question, what would be suitable linen and those of you with linen tents (or is it only Clarence Boy) what thickness/type linen is yours.

Thanks in advance.

P.S those that know m, don't tell the wife because you know it will get me into trouble neglecting house maitenance stuff again :D
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Clarenceboy
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Post by Clarenceboy »

I don't have any real experience of sewing tents however I do know a guy that made his own linen bell tent and another guy in our group that is thinking of making one so if you want to have a chat with them I can put you in touch

I'm sure you have already thought of it but my first thought would be to the desighn, number of pannels, overlap, re-enforced peg loops and pole sockets etc. There are some surviving tents in a museum in Holland I think if you wanted to get uber-correct

As for type of linen I would go for a very heavy weight one, possibly get some samples from Whaleys in Bradford as they do a good selection and look at a waterproof too.

If you want to pop over any time and have a look at what mine is made from or have a nose at the construction feel free.

Alternativly If it all gets too much work buy one like I did from here www.matuls.pl or try these guys for the full hand stitched effect! www.mercatura.pl

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John Waller
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Post by John Waller »

Try also Wolfin's. They will send you samples.

http://www.wolfintextiles.co.uk/index.p ... 0&Itemid=1
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The Methley Archer
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Post by The Methley Archer »

Thanks Jack.

I want to avoid buying because its expensive. I was thinking of a simple ridge tent similar to my 'shelter' because it would only be for me (I keep hoping).

I tried getting samples from Whalleys but they charge now because i was looking at this, natural duck heavy shrunk?

http://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/prod ... ductID=172
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davetmoneyer
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Post by davetmoneyer »

bernie the bolt has sone cheap linin that is suitable for tents, for total waterproofing of same pm me
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Laffin Jon Terris
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Post by Laffin Jon Terris »

I have used linen canvas from Ali at Herts Fabrics to make a couple of awnings (a third one is under construction now) and I've used Dave the Moneyers waterproofing mix on both (and will again).

Clarenceboy, can you tell me more about those tents in Holland? I've only ever seen the fantastic example in Basel and would like to see more if they exist!

JonT
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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

John, Mathijs from Archeon made his own linen bell tent from unbleached linen. He used to post here.
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Brother Ranulf
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Post by Brother Ranulf »

Friends of mine in the German 12th century group I G Wolf made several tents of heavy linen a few years ago and they use them every season. The linen is thick and brown/grey-coloured, sourced in Germany.

These tents are fine in dry weather but the linen absorbes wet like a sponge (not sure if or how they have been treated, but I suspect not at all). Apparently the water doesn't go through but stays in the material, which obviously gets very much heavier - the sagging, dark grey tents are the linen ones . . . . .

:(
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behanner
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Post by behanner »

I wonder if hemp might be a better choice.

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davetmoneyer
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Post by davetmoneyer »

following a number of requests my proofing system is outlined below

I use a mix of boiled linseed oil and horse blanket wax ( lanolin) in roughyl the following proportions
1 gallon of oil and 2 kg of wax.
place both in caldron and warm gently ( take care very flammable at this stage) until the fat has dissolved take off heat, paint the gloop onto outside of canvas which will adsorb said gloop readily (I normally errect the structure to be proofed and paint it in situe and allow to dry (touch dry- the canvas never fully dries out) the canvas is now proofed store surplus gloop in sealed container - a sealed bucket is best, wait for rain any obvious leaks can be treated whilst raining by painting the gloop over the leak from the inside. Once dry the fabric is totally watertight, water will not enter the canvas even where it touches poles / ropes etc ( I have made 2 gallon buckets out of the surplus canvas and am thinking of a coracle next) water will just sit on the outside and owing to the darkening effect of the proofing it absorbs sunlight at a remarkable rate and the tent can be dry enough to store after 20 mins or so.
The proofing when dry is also - surprisingly - very fire resistant as the heat from flames is absorbed by the proofing which softens and dissipates the heat ( I once showed how fireproof to some H&S by using a blowtourch on some surplus canvas and only succeded in charing the fabric!
My Ouseberg viking tent was proofed 4 years ago and still no leaks
recent trials on very old (12 year +)cotten awnings preciously treated with fabsil and very porous re-sealed with gloop to give a perfect sealing so should also be suitable for none linen canvas
Down side _ the canvas is darkened and virtually doubles its weight also the cost of proofing is more expensive than commercial fabseal.

Authenticity note
the use of a mix of fat and oil is known from at least Viking times they used a mix of fish oil and pig fat to waterproof woolen cloth ( readily available in the Scandanavian countries at the time).

sources
linseed oil - Barrentine 5 litre tins from wood finishes direct ltd
Horesblanket wax Gold Label Waterproof wax from Westgate Newchurch Romney Marsh

regards
dave
Regards Dave
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The Methley Archer
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Post by The Methley Archer »

Top man Dave.
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