Where possible, the wood used in our structures is sourced locally, that is within the Ariege(09) department. We like to know our trees, and here we find a wealth of naturally regenerated, mountain-grown timber for our purposes. Whether choosing standard Chestnut coppice, or mature hardwoods for the frames of our yurts we like to work where possible by hand, and within the local community.
These days we prefer to buy logs, or parts of logs directly from the lumberer, and have it sawn locally. This ensures that from the very beginning the wood has passed a certain level of assessment as the steam-bending process requires the timber to be of exceptional quality. (knots don't bend!)
From this point, the wood is cut to its various sections before the making process begins. There is quite a difference in technique between preparing a sawn yurt and one made of coppice, however the time involved remains around the same.
Selecting the right wood is an essential part of the process for making yurts. Whenever possible, we choose our wood directly from the lumber merchants. This allows us to oversee the logs, and make judgement calls on the quality and straightness of the wood before it even begins to be sawn.
From here we have the logs cut to different thicknesses form creating the various parts of the yurt frame. Some of the elements may be directly cut to size, while other parts require further selection once the wood is planked.
Currently we offer 3 options for closing the door. The simplest is a canvas curtain, which simply stays in place with a door stick as with tipis.
Secondly, we can make to measure 'barn' style doors, in solid wood, which offer a rustic feel to our yurts.
Lastly, we have been working recently with artisans who make double-glazed bespoke doors in local chestnut.
The canvas we use is a 12oz/m² polycoton, FRW. We can order 100%cotton, though we have found the polycoton to be more durable.
We use canvas of 12oz. per square yard, (407g/m²). It is possible to order a lightweight (8 oz, 270g/m²), or a heavy weight (15oz., 509g/m²) on request.
The canvas is chemically treated to E.U Standards to be Flame retardant, Rot resistant and Waterproof. Flame retardant is a legal requirement on any tents intended for public use. We have also found it prolongs the life of the canvas.
A variety of colours are available though often only in Rot and Waterproof. Please ask for more information.
Canvas will eventually deteriorate. It is impossible to predict the lifespan of our tents because it depends on the regularity and purpose of usage, conditions in which they are pitched and how well they are looked after. For these reasons we cannot offer a guarantee on the canvas, though we keep a record of the batch No. should any genuine problems arise. Defective treatment of the canvas is usually obvious within a few weeks of being outside. Otherwise we estimate that the canvas should last between 3 and 10 years. We guarantee our workmanship for a year.
The PVC we use as window plastic is a high quality UV stable marine plastic. The plastic skirts on the tipi lining and the yurt cover are from a reinforced PVC and are available in a variety of colours to match any trim or coloured canvas on your tent.
For insulation we offer a choice ( depending on availability ) between hemp felt, and traditional woolen felt. The insulation comes with a cream-white coloured cotton interior lining which not only preserves the luminosity of the space, but allows for a layer which can be washed as and when necessary.
We offer made to measure openable (zipped) windows made from Crystel™, a clear PVC developed for marine uses, which allows for the opening to follow the curve of the yurt walls. Windows can be sized and positioned according to specification, and afford not only extra light for the interior, but also a view to the world. Sometimes they make for a breathe-taking addition.
Here are some tips for canvas maintenance
* Avoid pitching your tipi or yurt in a place that is continually shady, damp, or under trees. Good air circulation and sunshine are healthy factors.
* Do not leave you tipi or yurt unattended for lomg periods of damp weather. Light the fire or burner regularly even if you are not living in there.
* Always store the canvas bone dry, in a rodent proof place.
* Reproof the canvas every couple of years or so. A variety of proofers are commercially available, so choose something with an anti fungal action as well as a waterproofer.