QUICK GUIDE TO BUYING A TIPI FOR PURPOSE
Regular fixtures at festivals and outdoor events across the globe, tipis are becoming a fashionable alternative to traditional marquees.
I was recently won round. I went to a wedding with a 8.5m by 5.5m tipi with a band inside. It was a really nice touch and would keep the band dry in the event of rain. I have since begun exploring the market for my events company and have found them to be perfect for a chill out bar, tent at weddings and events.
Using a tipi was something a little different to the traditional marquees and offered a chilled out and relaxing atmosphere. People all over the wedding were commenting on the innovative design and responded really well to it.
More and more people are turning to tipis to meet their needs but, before forking out a load of cash on a new tipi, there are some things you should know.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED IT FOR
The first thing you need to decide is what you will be using the tent for. There are several sizes on the market, from little 5.5m gazebos, to 10.3m x7m banquet halls. Will you want to house large DJ equipment or instruments? Will your guests all be standing at the bar? Or do you want them seated in the larger tipi at tables?
If you are thinking of taking your tipi into the bush and need something a little more durable, then the most important thing to consider will be the fabric.
The most important thing to consider when buying a tipi for more extreme conditions, is how the fabric was treated to give it water-repellent properties. The best way is to treat finely integrated material with a waterproof coating. This gives the material a completely waterproof finish. Using this method, the fabric can be lighter weight but maintain its waterproof capabilities.
The other method involves impregnating the fabric with water repellent agent. This approach offers more breathability, but the material tends to be heavier and thicker. This method offers a more comfortable material but the tipi will only be water resistant, not completely waterproof.
FABRIC DIFFERENCES FOR LOCATION
The 4 fabrics most commonly used to make tipis are Cotpolmex, Cotpolmex P, Cotpolmex C and Traillix, although there are more, the different properties of these serve as a good start to why fabric makes a big difference.
Triallix offers the most durability for the lightest weight. The silicone coating makes them completely waterproof and durable, however because they are not breathable, you may have an issue with condensation.
Cotmolpex, on the other hand, is a canvas fabric which is very breathable and solves the problem of condensation, however, the material is not naturally waterproof. Cotmolpex B is a heavier weave, which offers more protection from the rain and the wind. If you are setting it up in an exposed location with a lot of wind, Cotmolpex B might be the best option as it is stiffer than the other canvas materials. Cotmolpex C should only be used in warmer climates, dry climates. The lower density fabric makes it easy for water to get in and makes it unsuitable for anything other than providing some shade on a hot day.
Part of the fun in choosing a tipi over a tent is the range of accessories that really suit them. Comfortable floors and rugs are also a luxurious addition, along with internal stoves and wood burners for luxury events.
What do you think? Have you got any tips of your own? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.