Vintage Tents

A Tentmakers’ Market: where traditional fabric is still made and sold

Monday, January 19th, 2015
Suppliers, Vintage.

In Cairo a Tent Makers market dating back to Medieval times is fighting to deal with the cheap machine made imports from Asia.

Cairo's TentMakers Market

Cairo’s TentMakers Market

In a post-industrial revolution world in which machines have mostly over traditionally handmade items, it is becoming difficult for certain craft traditions, including Egypt’s deep-seated tent-making, to survive, not to mention stay competitive.

Built in 1600s, the Tent Makers Market, the so-called El Khayameya, is Cairo’s sole remaining medieval covered market which takes its name from the bright colored fabrics, including appliqué works, cushion, covers, Egyptian cotton bed covers, wall hangings, car covers and traditional Egyptian galabeyas (floor length dress clothes.)

The full article can be read on Cairo Times website.

Early 20th Century Canvas Tent Pics

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Images, Old_Photographs, Vintage.

John Ball, who kindly provided the pictures in my last post about the canvas tents at Heathrow Airport, has taken up my challenge to him of finding more pictures of all sorts of vintage canvas tent pics. John is an avid metal detector in Somerset & Dorset, cataloging his finds in local fields and presenting his finds to interested locals. His digging around has produced these great images we can show on here.

victorian canvas tent

1889 print. Looks like a circus or show event with a tent in the background

1915 circus

1915 circus


1920s Canvas Circus Tent

1920s circus tent


1920s circus tent

1920s circus tent




Pic dated 1945. Shows the US army WWII ‘pyramid’ style tent. Still made by Armbrusters in the US.


More Vintage Army Marquee Images at Heathrow Airport

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Images, Tents, Vintage.

We have just been kindly sent some more pics of vintage canvas army marquee images taken at Heathrow airport.  The pics date from just after the second world war when the former airbase began to be used as an aiport.  My thanks go to John Ball for the supply of these pics.

Classic green army marquees alongside vintage period cars

Classic green army marquees alongside vintage period cars

heathrow tents

design classics alongside each other canvas marquee and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's red telephone box.

design classics alongside each other canvas marquee and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s red telephone box.

Vintage Tent Pics Pinterest

Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Tents, Vintage.

Spring is in the air and our vintage tents see their first bit of 2013 air in May.  We have set up a vintage tents picture moodboard on Pinterest. You can see some of the pics below, but there are more on Pinterest.

- Please recheck your ID.

What is a Shabby Chic Tent?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Fashion, Tents.

If you are involved in the Vintage scene you will come acoss the expression Shabby Chic fairly regularly. We often hear it from clients when we are designing an event.  As its banded about so much we thought we’d add a bit about it on our blog.  See the Wikipedia article for more info.

The words shabby and chic when combined together is a phrase that was used in the 1980’s by Rachel Ashwell for a type of home décor described as traditional, simple but ornate, casual and elegant; rumpled but tidy. Believe it not the two words used together are a registered trademark and should not be used to describe any goods other than those of the official Shabby Chic® range. Rachel has a blog

Shabby chic is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.

Shabby Chic style canvas and bunting at the Secret Garden Party

The style started in Great Britain and evokes the type of decoration found in large country houses where there are worn and faded old chintz sofas and curtains, old paintwork and unassuming ‘good’ taste.  Recycling old furniture and fabrics is an important aspect of the look

Does my tent look shabby with these?Does my tent look shabby with these?

1950’s Marquees Revealed

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Images, Suppliers, Tents, Vintage.

What a beauty!

Discovered some fab pics on this website today.

Barkers Marquees started life in the early 1900s at Epsom Races. Charles Fredrick Barker erected beer and tea tents to house his catering company’s light refreshments. Soon the Marquees Hire business took over from catering. By 1950s, C F Barkers and Sons were one of London’s leading Marquee Hire Businesses.

Barkers are still going to this day and flying the flag for manufacture still in good ole Blighty!

Recreated Vintage Circus Tent for Water For Elephants film

Friday, June 10th, 2011
film, Tents.

There is a great piece of reporting on a recent movie that wanted a scene with a traditional big top circus.  The film is Water For Elephants and the tent is a plays a big part in evoking the era of the travelling circus. In typical Hollywood fashion a tent was made and erected to the old style, even using an elephant to erect the tent.

Read the article on here. There are more pics too.