Red and White Stripe

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Red and White Stripe

Postby Richard Coombs » 04 Jun 2007, 11:56

Just an update folks ..as I know there is a "Where to buy Fabric" in the FAQ section.
But thought I would post this as I have just bought some canvas today.


There are two options for booth covers if red and white is your choice : (and there is nothing set in stone to say it has to be ..again there are a few discussion strands to this effect on the board)

*Option 1 * non waterproof fabric for indoor booths:
The range of available red and white printed fabrics ( usally thick Calico type fabric ) seems to have increased over the last few years.
Living in the Midlands I can confirm that Sharmans in The Market of the Victoria Centre Nottingham were still selling a good one about a Year ago ... I hope they are are still there. Their details are in the FAQ section. But recently I found that "Barrys Fabrics" just behind the wholesale Markets in Birmingham have several diferent thicknes of stripe ...wide or narrow and some alternating (one thick and two thin) - which is quite fetching .All at just under £5 a meter.
I dont know if they post fabric? But when you think you can cover even a very large indoor booth for less than £50 it is worth a journey if you are within a reasonable radius of Brum . They even have a few parking spaces outside if you are driving . ( I will edit this line and add thier phone number and Postcode for your Sat -Nav'ers when I unearth a receipt form them in a few days time when I settle down to do some accounts ...yuk )

*Option 2 * Waterproof Canvas for Outdoor Booths.

This is actually the main reason for my posting ...excuse the long intro.
All supliers shown in the FAQ section are still selling the 'Acrylic 3 inch block-stripe canvas" which is available in a few other colours as well as the red and white.

But 'COSSALT LTD' - 01502 516731 are far and away the cheapest.

I put this to save anyone else trawling round for quotes if you are planing a new cover in the near future.

Cossalts dont hold it in stock , but order it through from the manufactures. The stuff I ordered today - Monday- should be with me on Wednesday apparently.

I have ordered 15 meters @ £8-50 mtr plus the very reasonable £12 carriage , making a grand total of £139-50. This is a June 2007 pricing.

If anyone else gets their canvans directly from manufacturers at a better price ...then please post details.

As a comparison , I checked the Russel & Chappel website and saw the same canvas at
£12-50 plus Vat ...A booth is a big outlay , and it is worth shopping around

********************************************************
Some extra Info :
My new booth is about 7 1/2 feet high. and 39 inches across the front and 48 inches deep ...
That's the size of my old booth plus the 'conservatory extension' I added for the wet Mayfayre... ( I so liked having the extra room at the back that I have just made a lazy tongs aluminium frame to those dimensions )

So for most booths 15 meters should do a cover with a roof.

I may not have enough fabric to do a roof ..in which case it will be made from red and white vynil ( market stall covering) which I have some of here in stock.


I wont know for certain as the canvas does shrink A LOT when washed.

Never make up a cover form unwashed fabric
...or you will end up with an item you can never clean.

When making my current cover I washed the canvas in sections in my washing machine on its hottest and longest programme before sewing them together .

Unless you have a gargantuan industrial washing Machine , you probably wont be able to get a large Booth Cover into a washing machine in one go ..and certainly not into a domestic tumble drier ( crammed in maybe ..but with room to actualy 'tumble' I doubt )

To shrink the fabric as much as possible The hottest wash and then a tumble dry is reccomended ...line drying wont shrink it as much as the hot drum.
Consequently for a big booth , you will need to wash and dry each panel of fabric seperately before making up the cover.

It needs a bit of steam ironing after it has tumble-dried to get it good and flat before you try and sew it ...but all this is worth it , as like Carl Durbin, I can wash my cover in tepid water in the bath once a year , or when needed, and put it on the frame in the garden to dry ...and there is no further shrinkage.
Like Carl , I found that it is necessary to give the canvas a bit of a pounding to get it to 'absorb' water enough to effectively clean it. Being inherantly waterpoof , it sort of 'floats'a bit in water.
So rather like wine makers treading grapes , it works well to get in and trample all over your cover in the bath ( as mentioned before the complete cover is too big for one washing-machine load )
And it comes up lovely.

And yes it is still waterproof after all that.

I was in a big rush to make my last cover so I didnt have time to do what I must this time...I just cut the material I had into three bits and shoved them into the machine hoping for the best.
It shrank a great deal more than I had anticipated, which is why I have the fringe around the base of my booth . It wasnt just for the 'swanky' look of it - I had to put extra fabric plus a fringe and braiding around the base as the washed canvas came up far too short !

This time I will over-generously cut the shortest piece first ( the Front Panel) , measure it accurately , then machine wash it and measure the resulting size.
That way I should be able to calculate the fabrics shrinkage , and cut the back and sides accordingly. By doing this , f I am lucky I will have a big enough peice left to make the roof.

***********************************
Making a Booth cover is a fiddly and time consuming job ( but then what isnt in our game ! ) For anyone who hasnt tried it yet ...there is a myth that you need an industrial sewing machine to work canvas ... Not true !
My trusty Bernina copes with several layers on folds with ease - I do use a heavy guage needle though ... (not a 'Leather' needle - as these have a tiny bladed edge designed to 'cut' a hole through which to sew ..perfect for leather , but when used on fabric it weakens the cloth ). What is best is a "Denim" needle which is as hefty as a leather needle , but without the bit that cuts.
Unless you look hard . pretty much all machine needles look the same , but the good handling a denim needle will give is worth having . Your local sewing machine shop , and many good haberdahers carry all grades for every machine type , as do places like John Lewis.

ZIPS ...Geoff felix put me onto these ..yes they are expensive ..but definately worth it as they are a good strong zip , that dont snag - they are of a looped nylon wire construction rather than interlocking 'teeth'.
Difficult to describe , ..have a look at mine or Geoffs sometime ( I think Carls too ? )
They are made to order , and to your exact length , and either 'Closed ended' - (stays joined when undone)- or "Open".- where the two sides of fabric actually come completley apart.

I prefer the 'Open' ones, as that lets you make a one-peice wrap around cover that meets and joins in the centre -back.

They will cost you around £17 ( 2007) for a tall booth , plus a little something for postage. Maurice at Canhoe Canvas Supplies on 01234 346435 is always most helpfull ...tell him you do Punch and Judy.

I always like a bargain ..but it really is not worth putting a cheaper quality zip into a new cover...try these out yourself and you will never go back to the regular sort.

**************************************

There ! another tombe of a posting.
Apologies if it re-covers what is available elsewhere ( pun intented )
Hope some of it is useful.


Best Wishes Richard
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Postby billywand » 04 Jun 2007, 15:53

Hi Richard,

Many thanks indeed for posting this info. Everything you post is so detailed, and I thank you for that. You are a true gentleman for sharing your knowledge. I come into Punch from the magic world, where everyone is so secrative, even among so called collegues, so it is great to come across someone with such a generous nature

Anyway........

About booths and fabric. I am about to start building an alluminium booth, so I hope my flatering comments to you still hold out when I am bombarding you with questions day and night !!!!!

This is what I have found out re. covering material. Proff Eek put me in touch with a company in Eastbourne, very handy for us soft southerners.
They are Prima Awnings, and as the name suggests, supply and manufacture shop awnings they are at www.prima-awnings.com phone no 01323 734606. The very helpfull lady is Janet.

They supply an acrylic material, in red/white candy stripe, as well as other colours, also the same material in multi stripe, and plain. The material is 1.2m (4'.00) wide, teflon coated to make it showerproof, and as it is made for outside made to measure blinds does NOT shrink. (I am assured)

They reccomend this for the sides of the booth, as water will not lay there,and the teflon makes it showerproof. Cleaning it is best done with a sponge and fairy liquid. A hot machine wash will destroy the teflon.

For the roof, where rain may lie the reccomend a "plastiflex" plastic material is available in stripe or plain, and this is 1.8m wide.

The prices, as quoted last Friday are £4.58 per metre for the acrylic canvas type, and £6.75 per metre for the wider plastiaflex. These prices do not include V.A.T. but delivery is free "if they have a van coming your way"!!!!

For those not able to control a sewing machine they will make the cover to fit your booth, if you take the booth frame to them. Ideal if you are able to leave the frame with them.

They are sending me some samples, so I can let you know what the stuff is like.

As Richard says, Maurace at Canhoe is the best guy for Zips, and get the open type to give you a wrap around cover. A tip passed on from Geoff Felix is to fit the zip so it fastens from the bottom up. When you are all zipped up the "toggle" is at the top, away from prying fingers.

Maurace also does custom made bags and covers for props. He made my carry bag for my booth, and a cover for my magic "roll-on" table, and they are excellently made and very hardwearing.

Hope this info is usefull.
Kind regards
Billy Wand

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Postby Professor Joe » 04 Jun 2007, 19:13

I used a zip from an old sleeping bag hasnt broken on me yet and i dont think it will because sleeping bag zips are made for lots of use. richard, when i got my cover it was un shrunk so i chucked it in to the washing machine and the whole cover fitted in there no problems and same into the tumble dryer. but it was a pain lol.
My playboard isn't saggy, it just has a steep rake...
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Postby Professor Joe » 04 Jun 2007, 19:16

sorry for yet another post i forgot to ask something. has anyone seen around anywhere red and yellow stripe canvas? i am interested in getting some for another cover!
My playboard isn't saggy, it just has a steep rake...
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Postby Professor Eek » 04 Jun 2007, 19:51

Gawd bless Prima Awnings - very nice folk they are.

They made my booth cover which I had at May Fayre if any of you saw it and very pleased with it I am too.

Was temped to do it myself (well ... get mrs Eek to do it) but heavily pregnant missus wasn't up for it and I had sympathy pains (and a larger belly than 'er)
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Postby johnstoate » 04 Jun 2007, 21:36

I've found some rather nice red/cream/fawn multi-stripe cotton twill in the 'Range' warehouse, It's fairly minimal on the shrink, and makes up well. I proof it with 'Thompsons water seal' Which is primarily sold for brickwork, but is excellent on canvas as well, only problem being that it needs a day or two outdoors to lose the silicone smell. :) Once that's gone, it gives very good waterproofing at a most reasonable cost. As for zips, I've given up on them in favour of 'velcro' but always found that the best source of supply was camping stockists, who have them for tents & caravan awnings.(As well as sleeping-bags!) As to roofs, I like to have a 'skylight' over the playboard, and so use the clear plastic sheet they sell for tent windows, It's not that expensive when you consider that at 36 or48 inches wide you only need a metre or so for a 'standard' booth, and since this is too small for most tents, they often have offcuts. It also takes paint well to occlude as much as you like, and is 100% waterproof, but still light and flexible. :D
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Postby Richard Coombs » 06 Jun 2007, 22:00

Good old Cosalts ..its Wednesday and the canvas arrived as promised.
I will cut the first bit tomorow and report on shrinkage.

Cheers for that idea about tent windw plastic John.
I too like a skylight over the puppets. Currently all my booths have solid wooden roofs , with a panel of conservatory roofing ( twin wall clear plastic 'channels' ) as a skylight.

I had been wondering how to do this in fabric. I have some clear polythene , just enough for a skylight and was planning to sew this to canvas for a 'half-and-half' roof. But I was aware that there was a good chance of leakage where I would have sewn the join ..and also the small bit of plastic that I have is nowhere near the quality of the stuff made for tents.

So thanks for that ..I have a caravan shop 7 miles away - they had none, but pointed me to a canvas repair shop a mile further up the road , that I never knew existed ..and yup 54 inch wide clear 'window ' plastic in two grades ... I opted for the heavier duty stuff as its for a roof not a window £15 a meter.

Cheers John.

Best Wishes Richard
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Postby johnstoate » 06 Jun 2007, 22:45

You're most welcome, Richard, glad to be of service, Co-incidentally, there is a clear repair tape available for repairing damage to the window material which should be ok for sealing stitching, Otherwise clear silicone smeared on both sides works very well. :D
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Postby Chris » 07 Jun 2007, 09:03

Note for Billy:
I strongly suggest that you follow Richard's example and go down the canvas route rather than using awning materials. These certainly are waterproof but, as many found to their cost, turn the booth into a sauna during warm weather. For those working multiple shows during the summer dehydration can be a problem and this is even more likely with certain kinds of tilt. This may seem unimportant until you experience the problem.
At least one of our number has collapsed in the booth due to heat exhaustion.

Of course, regardless of the fit-up covering, the sensible performer always carries a bottle of water to replace that lost through perspiration. And some carry an extra bottle, empty, for the reverse.



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Postby billywand » 07 Jun 2007, 11:56

Hi Chris,

Many thanks for your reply. Your advice is much appreciated. I know that the plastic awning material can turn a booth to a sauna, as that is what I, to my cost, covered my first booth in when I didn't know any better. Waterproof yes, but what a nightmare to work in.

I will check with Prof Eek how he finds his booth before I order the material, as he put me onto the company. The samples they sent seem O.K. though.

I know this may be imposing on you a bit, but if I send you a sample, perhaps you could give me your advice after seeing the material. Would this be O.K, as you know this is important to get right ?
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Postby johnstoate » 07 Jun 2007, 12:30

Just a quick point,- If you do get it wrong, and find you've created a sauna It's not the end of the world,- You can cut a couple of wideish slots in the sides at the top, and sew in a piece of net curtain material as a vent. Not ideal, I admit, but it does work, the other thing is to fit one of those little battery-operated fans over the backdrop, it's surprising what a difference that can make! :D
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Postby Chris » 07 Jun 2007, 12:46

I don't think I could tell just by looking at it Billy. I think you'll have to either use something that has a proven track record, or be patient and wait until Eek has used his booth long enough to experience working several shows in the sun.

Actually the booth I use most has only the roof waterproofed. This means I can use material that is lighter than canvas since even canvas gets pretty hot. I suppose anything that blocks water also blocks air. If I get caught in a downpour it does get wet - but in showers seems to dry off pretty quickly. If it is soaked then I manage to dry it overnight. And to be honest, despite our moaning about British weather, I often go a full season without having to do any overnight drying.




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Postby Mark Andrews » 07 Jun 2007, 13:28

Billy

The Acrylic stuff is fine, same as supplied by Cosalt, and you'll not sweat like crazy if you use this on an outdoor booth. My own Booth for outdoor use is covered in PVC and has a press stud roof, so if it's too hot i don't put the roof on - nice and simple!
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Postby billywand » 07 Jun 2007, 13:55

Thanks for all your advice, and thanks to John for your emergency solution.

As reccomended on the F.A.Q. section I went to a supplier of blinds. What I have is a 3" block stripe acrylic canvas, but am a bit worried if it will be O.k As you suggest Chris I will see how Proff Eek gets on.

It will be a while before I need the canvas, as I've yet to make the frame
I must be bonkers to start a project like this at this time of year.

The frame I am making is smaller than the one I'm using now. Yesterday I made a mock up to get used to performing in, I'm used to a 40" pros opening, and am downsizing to 36". Surprising how much difference that makes.

Incidentally are self tapping screws the best way of fixing hinges to 16 gauge ali box section (1" sq) or maybe pop-rivits ?
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Postby billywand » 07 Jun 2007, 14:03

Thanks Mark, you've set my mind at rest.

The phone rang while I was typing, and when I put my post on, Bang there was your answer.

I had thought of a removeable roof, but as I work hands in front I need the blackout.

P.S. Love your stylish jacket. Check out www.billywand.co.uk

Once again thanks for your re-assurance.
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