Looking After Your Canvas Bells

We believe that you are the key to the longevity of your canvas bell tent. How well you nurture and look after your tent, will directly affect how long the tent will last you.

Our cotton canvas tents are 100% cotton. The cotton canvas is perfect for all occasions, and they are the more traditional. Unsurprisingly, it still is the most popular option out of our large range of fabrics. You canvas bell tent will soon become one of the most important things for you and your family.

The 100% cotton bell tents are soft, the fabric is breathable.  That will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This means that in the summer months, your bell tent will not have sweaty walls and condensation will be a thing of the past. However, other fabrics have been available for a while and their popularity is soaring.

Fabrics like polycotton, the Oxford fabric and polyester are commonly used for bell tents. They have become the new favourite fabrics for bell tents. The polyester fabric bell tents are a hit with festival-goers, as well as people who prefer a lighter fabric with less maintenance. The Oxford fabric bell tent (exclusive to Boutique Camping) has almost surpassed the traditional cotton tents with interest. Customers are extremely pleased with the Oxford bell tent, as they have enjoyed the durability of the fabric.

Caring For Your Canvas

Once you have chosen your favourite bell tent and you have taken home your tent. Your next move is to prepare the bell tent for the first use (that is if you have chosen a cotton bell tent). Weather your bell tent prior to your first use. This is done by erecting the bell tent in the garden a few nights before your first use. Please allow the tent to get wet by hosing it down with clean water, and allowing in to dry until it’s bone dry. This will ensure the canvas and the cotton to swell and nestle together filling any stitching holes, getting rid of any future leaks.

The cotton tents are made from a natural fibre, sun exposure can break fibres down and bleach the natural colour of the canvas. It can also be susceptible to rot, mould, and mildew. To minimise this issue, make sure that you look after the tent by following the next steps. Reproofing your cotton tent – Please reproof your tent once every three months when using the tent continuously.

When using your tent as a permanent structure please reproof your tent once a month. If you are using your tent on the odd camping trip, you won’t have to worry. Storing your bell tent long term, we suggest that you bring your tent out of storage every so often to check on the condition of the canvas.

The polyester and Oxford canvas tents do not require as much care, but you still have to keep the tent clean by whipping it down.

How To Clean and Maintain Your Bell Tent

Whether you’re using your bell tent occasionally or if you’re using the tent as a permanent structure you need to keep up with the re-proofing treatment.

Cleaning and maintaining your bell tent will prevent it from deteriorating quickly. The sooner you deal with a dirty spot the better. When the dirt stains are left for too long, the problem can spread and lead to other problems. It is advisable to first use a specialised cleaning agent on your tent, then a specialised waterproofing agent.

For the people who would like to have some professional help cleaning the tent. You can have a professional canvas cleaning specialist for your bell tent to be cleaned and re-treated. Products that we use and recommend can be found in our Tent Spares & Maintenance section of the shop.

2 Comments

  • denise

    I’ve loved my canvas bell tent and it has been i full use all summer, however, such a wet summer has left it little time to dry out and it really has suffered with mould and mildew. What do you recommend i clean it with? I ideally want to leave it up as a permanent structure

    • HI Denise,

      Thank you for getting in touch. Mould/Mildew can be tricky to get rid off in your canvas bell tent. It all depends on the extent of the damage caused on the natural fibre. There are two options you for you to try to get the mildew out. One option would be to use Nikwax products to clean & reproof the bell tent (it may take a few washes to attempt to completely eliminate the mildew). The the second option would be to get it professionally cleaned using a reputable canvas cleaning companies out there however, this can be expensive.

      I Hope this helps!