One of the good thing about this great country is that every dot on the map is somewhere to explore, something to see. Not many holidays could such a large variety in conditions, whether it’s the wet Victorian winter, the frosty Tasmanian mornings, the windy South Australian coast, the blistering heat of the red centre or the humid steamy nights of the tropical north. Australia has it all, so you need your home on the road to be able to keep you comfortable in all conditions.
Good quality canvas is made from a polyester/cotton blend, utilizing both of their qualities and reducing their deficiencies. Cotton is what canvas is all about. Cotton has been the primary fabric for canvas for many years, cotton provides the benefits of high breathability and its ability to seal and become water tight. However, pure cotton canvas is fairly weak in comparison to other fabric in the same weight-grade, this is why tent or the past were made so heavy.
Another fabrics used in tents are variations of Polyester, which has the advantage of high strength, which in turn translates to a tent can be lighter yet still have the same strength, resulting in a tent that is easier to set up and will also pack up smaller. One of its disadvantages is its breathability, it doesn’t allow air to pass through. This creates problem with condensation and high internal temperature, this is why many imported tent come with heavily vent tent and secondary flys. The other disadvantage is its stability, polyester will not shrink around the stitching joins, and this fact with the use of polyester thread will turn your tent into a sieve.
Using a lightweight cotton canvas also has a few advantages, consider a light t-shirt versus heavy windcheater in comparison to these facts. A wet light weight fabric will take less time to dry than a heavier one. In the sun, a light weight fabric will provide a more comfortable cooler space than a heavier fabric. Also, a lighter weight fabric will have a tight weave, making it less water absorbent.
The treating process of a quality canvas will involve the canvas being immersed in an selection of treatments to make it a reliable tent fabric and also to prolong its life. Canvas should be treated for water proofing, mould-inhibitors and UV protection. Cheaper imported canvas, generally 100% polyester, will used a brushed on treatment that will simply flake off when folded.
Today, quality Australian tent makers use a poly/cotton blend of canvas allowing then to use a lighter fabric than the past. Overall, the combination of these three concepts will produce a canvas tent that:
- will be more water proof
- will have high strength
- will have high breathability
- will be easy to erect
- will not be smaller to pack
- will be quicker to dry
- will allow more heat transfer
- will absorb less heat
- will still be in great condition after 20 years if its looked after