All Contents of this website Copyright Jared Fleury

Papilio Tent- Glue Seam Construction

Some details of construction.

These are my two rolls of fabric. I bought about 30 yards all together, because I wanted enough to make a ground cloth.
The heavy duty walking foot machine I use to sew this stuff. The sewing machine is very important. Youreally can't sew tent weight canvas of any sort with a standard home machine. At least a basic industrial machine is needed. Here is a link to a shot of the machine Lee Holeva used for his tent- it is nearly identical
My cutting tools, and a bunch of cut pieces. I find the large cutting mat, roller cutter, and transparent ruler indispensible. These items are available from most fabric stores. The ruler is manufactured by OLFA, and makes it very easy to draw your seam and sewing lines without having to measure every time.
Mark the line where the two pieces of fabric will be lined up, and the stitching line.
Mostly I don't pin the fabric, I just hold it and feed it in very slowly. I sew as slowly as I can make the machine go.
Here is a seam half finshed.
I burnish over the seam allowance in the correct direction
To make a proper flat fell seam, the piece I am folding up would be folded around under the lower piece, enclosing all the raw edges, then sewn along the fold line, creating a very strong tent seam. However, that would leave a line of stitching on the outside of the tent, something which I am trying to avoid.
After burnishing over the allowance flat, I drew a line along the edge so I would know where to sand and glue.
I found that to get any adhesion, I needed to remove the surface of the paint, so I gently sanded all the glue areas. It is very easy to go to hard and sand right through.
I applied glue to the appropriate areas, let it dry than hammered down the seam.
Set up for stitching.
Here is the freshly glued seam.
I found I could easily roll off any excess glue with my finger. The was really my first sign that the glue may not be such a great idea.
I used elements that were the right size for stencils to cut out the leather circles.
Tack glue them together.
All the guyline patches, ready to be attached to the tent.