Tents are long sheets of fabric that are used for outdoor activities or for some occasions. There are two types of tents freestanding tents which are small tents for backing or camping and long tents that are used for function and are tied with ropes. But most tents are made for the backing but not all the tents available in the market are the same, because of the different fabric used to make them. So, if don’t know the difference between tents or the fabric used to make them, then don’t worry today I will provide you with information on tents and what are tents made of?
What are tents made of?
Tents are made of both synthetic and natural fibers. The natural fibers include cotton or canvas, and the tents made of synthetic material are polyester tents. To increase the quality and durability of the tent the polyester-cotton blend is used which is known as polycotton. But the question arises why only these materials are used to make tents? let’s find out below.
Polyester or nylon fabric
Why polyester is used to make tents?
The most used fabric in tents polyester is a durable and cheap material for tents. The 0polyester used in tents is because of its likable physical and chemical properties. Polyester is a plastic-like fabric that makes the tent very lightweight and easy to carry, not only that polyester tents are easy to fold and take less space in your backpack. Besides, that polyester tents dry out quickly because it doesn’t absorb moisture or water in the fabric because of tightly woven fibers. This blocks the air and moisture to enter inside or go outside the material. polyester has the lowest moisture regain value(0.4) among all fabrics. In case it gets wet in winters it is very quick in drying.
What are the downfalls of polyester fabric in a tent?
Although polyester is the most used fabric in tents, still it has its downside. The first downside you may find in polyester tents is condensation. Condensation is because of tight weave fibers in polyester which doesn’t allow the moisture inside to come out along the fabric. That is why polyester is known as a less breathable fabric and used more in winters because of its toughness against cold, but still, if the whole tent is made of polyester it will cause condensation. The second downside of tents made of only polyester is no waterproofing. Yes, polyester tents are not usually have waterproofing, but extra waterproofing layers are added to give protection in rain.
How much care does it demand?
Polyester demands very little care. because the fabric is made from polymer it is easy to clean and take care of. Tents made of polyester are shink-resistant and do not shrink when coming in contact with water. cold water is always a good option for polyester because as a synthetic fiber when you wash it in hot water the fibers of polyester damage, but still, there is no big harm.
The tents made of polyester attract more dirt or grease than any fabric because it has a less moisture regain of 0.4 that makes the fabric not swell the dirt and thus becomes hard to clean. But because it gets dry quickly, sometimes all you need is a wipe of soft cloth to clean the surface of the polyester tent.
For more care guide click here
Cotton or canvas fabric
cotton is the earliest natural fabric that is used to make tents. cotton is another most used fabric in mass production in the world. As it is a natural fabric the cost is high if we compare it with polyester. The cotton tents are mostly used in the early days to make tents but because of some reasons, which we will discuss below it is now being replaced by other fabrics.
Why nylon fabric is used to make tents?
Cotton tents have some qualities that fill the break holes of polyester. Cotton fabric is the fabric that is loosely woven, which means it is more breathable and performs both tasks, keeps you warm in winters and cool in summers. If we inspect it from the tent’s view then this means less condensation because the loosely woven fibers of cotton allow the moisture to walk out through the fabric.
The other reason why cotton is used in tents is to increase the life of your tent. If you need a tent which lasts you long then cotton is the best option. Cotton is also hypoallergenic which means it is smooth and not allergic like other fabrics in the market.
The reason why camping or backpacking tents are being replaced by other fabrics is that cotton is a heavy fabric when becomes wet and it becomes difficult and heavy to carry cotton tents in your backpacks.
What are the downfalls of cotton or canvas fabric in a tent?
cotton maybe a natural and quality fabric but there are some strong reasons why cotton is used less in tents. The first downfall of cotton fabric is its moisture regain 8.5, which means it absorbs more water and gets wet easily. Not only that it takes too much time to dry because the vapors are locked inside loosely woven fibers of cotton.
The second downfall of canvas or cotton tents is shrinkage. Cotton tends to shrink 10 to 15% more because of high water absorption properties. Always make sure your tent is dry before packing it in your backpack to reduce the shrinkage.
How much care does this fabric demand?
The cotton tent demands less care as it attracts less dust and dirt. To wash any dirt or dust from the cotton tent first, let the tent dry, and then if possible just wipe a brush on the spot to remove the dirt. You can also wash the cotton tent in detergent but make sure to rinse it a few times before setting it up to dry.
you need to do a weathering test on a cotton tent before you use it on your trip. the test includes watering on your tent roof by yourself or by rain. This will make the cotton fibers to swell and thus protects you from the rain on your trip.
If you don’t know how to waterproof a canvas tent than click here
Polycotton tent is a mixture of natural and manmade fabric and holds the benefits of both cotton and polyester.
Why polycotton fabric is used to make tents?
Polyester-cotton tents are made for strength and durability. The tent made of polycotton has fewer chances to get ripes because of polyester. Polyester in the tent helps in keeping the tent dry by trapping the water in its fibers, and cotton on the other hand helps in breathability and prevents condensation inside the tent by letting the moisture flow out.
Because of the use of polyester fabric the weight of the tent decrease and it becomes easy to carry and also saves a lot of space but less than a polyester tent. The other merit of this blend is that the use of polyester in the tent reduces the shrinking percentage to near nothing.
What are the downfalls of polyester cotton fabric in a tent?
Polyester cotton tents are the number one option for tents in the market because it increases the durability of the tent6 and lasts you longer than any other tent made of other fabric. Although it is the best tent fabric, the price of the tent made of polyester-cotton is also high but is replaced by its strong properties.