Parts and materials

Cover

The cover refers to the outer canvas of a teepee. Formerly it was made with skins sewn together and later, from different types of commercial tarpaulins introduced by Europeans. From this moment and with the appearance of the horse as a means of transport, the teepees began to be manufactured increasingly larger given the lightness of the canvas against the weight of the skins.

The fabrics with which we work:

  • Canvas - 100% cotton (340 gr.) This canvas comes with a waterproof and anti-mold treatment and is mainly supplied in white although alternative colours are available. Though it is a tough canvas we do not recommend that a teepee made with this canvas be left permanently mounted outside, especially in humid areas. It is very suitable for light teepees of small and medium sizes, designed to be used intermittently.
  • Canvas - 50% cotton/50% polyester (420gr.) This canvas also comes with a waterproof and anti-mold treatment and is mainly supplied in beige although alternative colours are available. Given it is a very tough, thick fabric, its life is considerably extended which makes it ideal for teepees that will remain for a long time in the same place.

Poles

Poles form the base-structure of a teepee. The quality of the poles used was so important in the past that one pole could be exchanged for one horse. The number of poles varies according to the size of the cover. For example, a 3m teepee requires 9 poles for the structure plus an additional two for the smoke flaps, while an 8m teepee requires 18 poles for the structure plus an additional two for the smoke flaps.

The more poles your teepee carries, the more it is resistant to the wind and the more rounded its shape.

The poles we use are light and straight, and are selected without knots to avoid leaks produced during the rains. When it rains continuously, small drips begin to run down the poles and if they meet obstacles, such as knots, bark remains, imperfections, etc., leaks are formed at these points.

The poles we use are made of douglas fir and given it is a very resinous wood they are most resistant to insect and fungal attack. With exposure to the sun they may darken but do not lose their resistant properties. According to our experience a set of poles can last more than 10 years assembled as a structure without the need of any further treatment. However, to keep the poles in good condition and to prolong their life, we recommend they be varnished periodically.

Teepee liner

Formerly in times of war, people positioned big animal skins or blankets against the poles on the inside, to prevent their shadows from being visible at night reflected by the fire. Over time this practice evolved so that the linings are now composed of one or more materials that cover the entire walls of the inner diameter of the teepee, from a certain height to the ground, like a curtain.

The lining fulfills several functions: it cuts the air currents that pass under the cover, stabilizes the smoke output, protects from leaks as well as making the inside of the teepee more comfortable and cozy.

The canvas we use for linings is 100% cotton with waterproofing and anti-mould treatment. We have improved our linings by adding a plastic reinforcement to the bottom. This reinforcement is the only part of the material in direct contact with the ground which avoids any possibility of mould growth on the lining itself.

Ozan

The ozan is a relatively recent invention. It is an interior ceiling that is positioned at the height of lining in the back half of the teepee completely covering this area. This affords a comfortable place to sleep as well as allowing personal belongings to be stored, protecting them from leaks during any rainfall.

This piece is not suitable for teepees smaller than 4.5m.

The canvas we use for the ozan is the same as that of the lining, 100% waterproof cotton with anti-mould treatment.

Rain triangle

The rain triangle is a piece of canvas that is tied under the knots of the poles inside the teepee, to deflect leaks during heavy rainfall. Like the Ozan, it is not practical in small teepees.