Wednesday, 3 January 2007

I want a 12th C tent

But I don't need one right now, and I definately don't need annother sewing project. Yet.

So I'll just list some links here to clear it out of my brain. NO. No tent before this festival. Bad brain.

The history of tents has a section on 12th C tents - it describes images (in words, not the pictures), and gives textual references. This german site gives images, and sparse german text (don't worry, you're not missing much of the image captions if you only read english).

There seem to be two main types of tents - rectangular geteld tents in use mainly in England, and circular single bell tents in use mainly in Germany.

And just to look like I did some research myself - if you look in the background of the 6th image of this previous post of mine here's a bell tent from those Austrian manuscripts I've been looking at. (Don't forget to click on folio 4v link to get the whole image without the top of the tent chopped off).

Mummy, can I have one of each please? I've been good this year! I'm terribly tempted by the getelds - they look very simple to make (plus the knowledge available in the shire), especially one big enough for just me.

I'd like to try out something else too - the pictures of them in manuscripts look much shorter than I see most people making. By comparison with standing fighters, the tents look like they just clear their heads, or clear their heads by about a headwidth. In length the ridge pole appears just short of, or about the same as a man's height in length, while the base length is about the same as a man's height. If I made a tent that comfortably fitted my camp stretcher plus a margin of error , and fitted my height above my head (I'm a thrifty 1.62m tall), a 2mx2m tent would probably work. I'm guessing the floor would be at least 1.5m wide - enough to comfortably fit my stetcher and a couple of chests as well as walking space and probably even space for a stool and wash basin. Especially if I make a stretcher that I can fit baskets/chests underneath. I've been sharing a approx 3m square tent, so half this space to myself shouldn't be a problem, since the strecher keeps my bed from sprawling as badly as the lilo does (the lilo was also much longer than i needed). But having a tent I can stand up in is a necessity for putting on tunics. Well, not a necessity, but a luxury and level of digity I'm not willing to forgo again. (Pennsic, a one man dome tent, and a high level of flexibility, frustration and wandering around the campsite in my chemise).

Hmmm. This talking myself out of a tent just isn't working.


Anonymous said...

Then I am not certain if I will be helping or hindering...

So, you would be interested in this sort of site but at a later date. We used their tensioning style for our Viking A-frame and it has worked well. Same basic pattern can be used with taller poles instead of the crossed Oseberg style frame and the sodcloth hanging down as walls then sodcloth for later period campaign tents. Made 1 tent in 2005 and 2 tents in 2006 for Festival. Taking a break for this Festival.

Also if you are interested, my partner and I are sitting on a cubic shiteload of cheap canvas - ~560m worth of professional grade cotton canvases, and oilskin, much of which we will be selling off in the next few years - possibly around $5-10 per m, but haven't sorted out a firm price yet.


Teffania said...

That's a very intereseting site. I hadn't thought of a sodcloth, but i now see I'll definately be using one. And It's nice to see someone else overlapping the doors like that - I'd thought of doing that, but all the other plans I'd seen didn't. Did you make this style of tent, or bell tents? Does the door overlap work or just get you in tangles? Any tips on what not to do in tent construction? (I'll be asking everyone)

Thankyou, I'd be very interested in canvas. You're not going to the surveying expedition are you?

feel free to email me privately -

Stellar_muddle said...

MAde viking A-frame and geteld with sodcloth - photo here.
WRT door overlap, have done 2 overlapping panels, but not the conic section type. Whne doing the Viking Aframe we buggered up the angles such that part of the first event it was up at, I spent sewing a patch onto the back door so it actually shut. We learnt to make the tent doors much bigger and put the thing up then put on ties and trim it down and hem...

Unfortunately not going to the surveying expedition - we head over to Canterbury Faire on the Tues after and figured things would be hectic enough as is. Will be at Festival though.

Jac said...

Making a tent is loads of fun. I still have not finished my rough attempt, and I hope to use it at the Surveying Expedition tomorrow!

The Geteld looks to be a very practical and beautiful tent style. I'm intrigued that in some
paintings, the opening seems to be on the long side rather than the ends, which seems a common feature in plans I've seen.

Also fascinating are the tents from 1196 in the 'history of tents' that you linked. The roof sections seem to be convex. Are they Eastern? Is there something causing the seams to arch out, or is that dome-tent shape due to 'artistic licence'? I think I have seen other examples...

Here we go:
Bulgar army tents. One to the side/rear of the feature tent seems to be domed.
Is the tower in the back of this painting an oddly roofed tent, or a solid structure?
and a domed red roof in the foreground. What am I seeing?

Here is a glimpse of the inside structure of a
free-standing Chinese shade tent (1760)
with a 'bulging' apperance. Could a similar 'dome tent' system be supporting the bulge-roofed tents to be found depicted here and there, I wonder?

Aaaanyway, I had intended to make a Viking tent next, but on seeing how simple the timberwork of a Geteld is, I'm keen to make one of those for use as a small/gear/loaner tent.