Tuesday, February 28, 2023

 Tents and Awnings

After digging out my favorite books on sail and boat canvas design I decided I should pull some up on awnings and tents. I have modified and repaired both but never made either from scratch, save for 'boom tents' for boats.

I went hunting online. There are a number of books dealing with tents, tent design, tent history. Tents for camping. Tents for reenacting  and 'live action role play' (LARP). There are books on historic tents, modern tents, exotic tents. And much more in the form of web articles and youtube videos. Some have real detail, others just sketch out ideas.

When I searched for books on awnings, the cupboard was pretty bare. There were some things from early in the 20th century, but awning materials have evolved since then. I found two options: on Amazon there is a Kindle book called 'Canvas Awnings: The Complete Guide to Make Your Own,' by Chad Kordes. And it turns out that Jim Grant of Sailrite, his son Eric, and his wife Connie, have collaborated on a free ebook:  https://www.sailrite.com/awnings-how-to-book. It looks rather good.

My observations from this searching:  awnings are much less popular than they were 50 years ago. Many of those used today are for commercial buildings and made of vinyl coated materials, not canvas. As for tents: most people buy tents today unless they want a particular type or style, or some quickie inexpensive thing for a special event.

Working on tents and awnings is rather like working on sails: large panels to be joined together. The materials typically used are different from sailcloth and the machinery needed may be a bit different as well, but the setups required can be very similar to those for sailmaking. Curtains can also require similar setups. I will tag them along with the descriptions of sailmaking that I am developing.


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