A few months ago we made a fun video tutorial for a Play Tipi. The kind of Tipi you would set up for kids or use as party decor. I used our Sunforger®Army Duck, so it can even battle the elements outside!
Anyway, for those of you who just want some dimensions to get started I listed them out above. It’s important to remember that these are just basic shapes and you can adjust the dimensions based on the space you have or the materials available to you. These dimensions were the result of having 12 yards of 60″ wide canvas and 8ft poles available to me. Of course I wanted to make the biggest Tipi I could.
I have talked to several people about pole options lately and I wanted to share them here. Round wooden poles at the hardware store will look really nice, but they are not your ONLY option. You could also use 2x2s! They are inexpensive and will be just as stable. Another good option is bamboo if you have it growing in your area.
Its a play Tipi, so have FUN!
You just got your brand new canvas and it is so smooth and nicely packaged. The last thing you want to do is throw it in the washing machine! In my slip cover video I used preshrunk 10 oz canvas, so I was happy to skip the washing and dive right in to cutting & sewing. When working with the standard 10 oz canvas in natural I expect it to shrink 12-15% after it’s washed and dried. The dyed canvas shrinks a little less, usually about 8%. It is crucial always factor that in when calculating yardage.
So, here you have somewhere in the ballpark of 10 yards or so, give or take depending on your project that needs to go in the washing machine. I usually coil the yardage around evenly in the washer and run TWO wash cycles with warm water, so that the washing fully penetrates the cotton fibers. If you are using our Army Duck, first of all congratulations it makes amazing slipcovers, secondly it will take two cycles just to get the fabric wet! I prefer to dry my canvas on a high heat. I think some people disagree and prefer air dry, but allowing the canvas to dry on high heat should shrink the fabric as much as it will ever shrink. That is a good feeling to have before investing hours of time into a sewing project.
Removing the canvas from the dryer you will notice a tighter weave and softer texture than before. If you choose another drying method your fabric will be more wrinkled and you will require the use of a high pressure steamer iron. It is always great to have a nice iron handy during sewing projects anyway! If you have figured out a great way to handle pre-washing we would love to hear about it.
If you haven’t already noticed there are tipi’s popping up everywhere! They are being used for kids rooms, wedding decor and for there actual original purpose of shelter and warmth! This is a trend not just in the US, but all over the world!
If you ever wondered what the really good TiPi fabric is that has that sturdy authentic look, its called Sunforger® Army Duck ! It has several things going for it that make it really the most popular choice for Tipis. A few weeks ago I got some great photos from Annette of Opua Canvas Auto & Marine Trimmers in New Zealand. She made the TiPi you see below. I am really impressed,especially after making my own tipi video tutorial. I appreciate her allowing me to share her photos. Do you see that her TiPi has a campfire inside? Thankfully, Sunforger is fire retardant!