Some avid campers would say that camping with a canvas tent is no less than an art form. From unbinding the tenting material to pitching the tent up requires diligence and precision.While it may be meticulous to pitch a canvas tent, the experience of camping in canvas is compared to none other. That is why knowing the ins and outs of patching a canvas tent in case of tears and rips is a key aspect of camping with a canvas tent.Canvas tents are not particularly suited for bad weather conditions and as such are prone to regular tears and rips due to harsh winds or rains. It is important to know how to patch up different kinds of tears in the tent because replacing the entire canvas is extremely costly. Knowing your way around the patching of canvas not only aids in saving precious money in the maintenance of the tent cloth but also helps in the upkeep of the tent on the go.Patching a canvas tent is not as difficult as it seems. In just a few simple steps, even an amateur can master patching up a tent like a professional camper.
Table of Contents
Locate the Tear
The first and foremost step needs to be to locate the tear in the tent. It is essential to notice the wind flow through the tent to locate the tear and its effect on the throughput of the outside weather conditions in the tent.
Sew the Tear
An on-the-go sewing kit, complete with a large gauge sewing needle and thick tapestry yarn thread is essential to sewing up the canvas tent both during stagnant days and during camping days. Thread the string through the needle and sew small, dense loops from one end of the tear to the other end of the tear. With every stitch, pull the string and needle taught so that the tear is closed completely before the next stitch.
Cover the Tear
It is essential to prevent any outside weather conditions to perpetrate through the tear. In order to do so, once the area has been sewn together, it must be covered with another piece of canvas. It is suitable to either find a similar material to the canvas of the tent or to find a waterproof canvas material to cover the tear. The piece of canvas that is going to be used must overfit atop the tear in the tent to ensure that the tent is properly mended. Place the piece of canvas on top of the already sewn tear so that the piece is at least 1.5 inches outside of the tear outline. Cut a similar piece from the patch material and cover the inside of the tent in a similar manner.
Sew the Covers to the Tent
The needle and thread that was used to sew the tear in the tent must be used to sew both the covers on the inside and outside of the tent. In order to ensure complete closure of the tear, first, sew the inside patch. To do so, thread the string through the needle and go inside the tent. Situate yourself beneath the tear and start sewing the patch. The stitch must be circular in nature with the tent canvas and the patch piece. Start sewing in a circular motion all around the patch until it is secure.Once the inside patch has been stitched, move outside the tent near the rip in the canvas. Thread another piece of the strong yarn through the needle and start sewing the patch with the tent, in short, circular stitched all around the patch. To ensure that the outside patch is strong and weather-resistant, it is key to ensure that the stitches are very compact and densely situated.
Seal the Patches to the Tent
Canvas tents are the most commonly used basic tents because they provide adequate protection against the weather, frost, and water outside the tent. To ensure that a patched-up canvas tent lives up to its standard of protection – similar to a brand new seamless canvas tent – it is important to purchase a high-quality canvas sealant. There are many canvas sealants available for purchase. Each sealant comes with its own set of instructions for adequate uses.After reading the instructions carefully, the sealant should be prepared and applied to the stitches of the canvas patch. Apply a thick layer of the sealant – sometimes also called cement – to the outside patch first, spreading thoroughly over the seam of the patch, over the stitches. This ensures that water and frost do not permeate through the cloth stitches. After the outside sealant has dried completely, apply a thin layer of the sealant on the inside patch in a similar manner. Ensure that during the drying process the tent is open and allowed to have air pass through to dry out the sealant equally.
Mike is an avid outdoors person with on a goal to camp in every National Park in the US. When he's not spending days (and sometimes, weeks) in his canvas tent, you might find him playing the guitar or soccer on the weekends.