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Tentipi® impregnated cotton/polyester fabric

impregnated cotton/polyester fabric with water drops

Because we are very proud of our impregnated fabrics which consist of a mix of cotton and polyester, we would like to point out a few things. We want to explain why a fabric that breathes has a longer lifespan and is often perceived as being much nicer than a coated fabric. Our ventilating fabrics are almost like “live” material, such as leather, which can be cared for so as to last longer. We want to emphasise the importance of wetting your newly purchased Nordic tipi from Tentipi before the first occurrence of bad weather tries to spoil your outing. Patches in the impregnation on impregnated tents do not normally imply any lasting problems, although the patches can appear as light, dark and even wet patches. Patches in the impregnation on impregnated tents do not normally imply any lasting problems, although the patches can appear as light, dark and even wet patches. They arise because of external factors, such as birds, stormcords and rubber cords, and are easy to rectify. A Nordic tipi that has been used intensively and for a long time may need new impregnation but this is something that most people will never need to do. However, the task of renovating a tent canvas by re-impregnating it is something most people can easily do.


Fabric manufacturers use two different methods to make a fabric waterproof

Tent sales people often talk about hydrostatic head values, that is, how many millimetres of water a fabric tolerates – usually 20,000 mm – which means it can be exposed to 20 metres of water without leaking. However, that sort of fabric may nevertheless leak a lot after just a short period of use. It is not possible to fix a worn and damaged coating. Coated fabrics do not breathe like impregnated ones, not even if they are said to ventilate, like e.g. GoreTex because the ventilation effect is only a fraction of that of impregnated fabrics. Some of our customers prefer lightweight tents made of, for example, polyamide, for the sake of low weight. For their sake, we always choose a high quality coating and check that the leakage resistance does not drop unreasonably after it has been subjected to the equivalent of heavy use. We also recommend, just as other good quality manufacturers of lightweight tents do, that the tent should not be left out in the sun but instead be taken down during the day – which is the case when people are out hiking.

Read about Tentipi’s design philosophy and quality management and why we don’t talk about hydrostatic head values

Our cotton/polyester fabrics are impregnated

Our light, very strong and efficiently ventilating cotton/polyester fabrics create an indoor climate that is far superior to that of a normal tent because our fabrics breathe. No inner tent is needed to avoid unpleasant condensation. The tightly woven fabric in combination with high-class impregnation gives high water repellency. The beige-brown colour creates a warm, pleasant atmosphere in the Nordic tipi. We use two fabrics: Cotpolmex Comfort and Cotpolmex Pro. Both Onyx and Zirkon are made with the Comfort fabric. It withstands the sun at least ten times better than lightweight fabrics (of any make) but may still fade a little by sunlight, but without being damaged to the same degree. Rot protected. Of all the fabrics we have tested, this is surpassed only by Cotpolmex Pro. Cotpolmex Pro, which is what Safir is made of, is denser and even more resistant to sunlight as regards strength and colour fastness and it has even better form stability and water repellency. With its high-class properties, attractive appearance and nice feeling, this is, as far as we know, the world’s best cotton/polyester outer tent fabric.


The perfect tent fabric would be weightless, let all condensation pass through,
be completely waterproof and super-strong.

Of course, such a fabric will never be made.
Different tent manufacturers use many different tent fabrics.
Often the fabrics look alike when they are new, but the differences are quite substantial.
A poor quality tent will let you down just when you need it the most.


Maximising the rain-proofness of the fabric

In order for a cotton/polyester fabric to achieve maximum rain-proofness, it needs to be thoroughly wetted once. This is so that the threads in the fabric are given the chance to ”ruffle up” a bit more and thereby create a larger number of small gaps in the fabric. We do a rain test on every fifth tent as part of our quality management but that’s only one in five tents. Therefore, we recommend that you wet the canvas thoroughly at home at the same time as you pitch the tent for the first time and familiarise yourself with all the functions of your Nordic tipi before going off on an adventure. Continue to wet the fabric until the water stops forming pearls on the fabric. Once the Nordic tipi has dried out completely after that, the fabric will have maximum rain-proofness.


Do our cotton/polyester fabrics really only have ”positive advantages”?

There are no perfect tent fabrics that only have advantages. In certain situations, the impregnation may be affected so it does not function as it should. In order to facilitate the production of cords and straps, manufacturers add substances which, if not washed away properly, may cause what appears to be a leakage or may even cause the fabric to leak. Such substances do not ruin the impregnation but it will not work properly until the substance is washed away. This is normally done before it is delivered to us. However, sometimes there may still be a small amounts of substances which may appear as a light or dark “damp” patches on the canvas. Such patches usually disappear by themselves after some rainfalls and very rarely do they actually cause water to leak through.


What do I do if the impregnation has been affected so it does not function as it should?

If damp patches appear, the source of the problem is usually easy to find – a strap or stormcord or perhaps a rubber cord. In that case, instead of waiting for more rainfalls, you can remove and rinse the part in question, using clean water without any cleaning agent. If the substance that has affected the impregnation is water-soluble and has not dissolved the impregnation, the problem will disappear once the substance has been removed.

  • Rinse in clean water.
  • The water will froth for as long as the substances are still there.
  • Keep changing the water and rinsing the part until the water is no longer frothy.

If there are patches on the canvas where it seems the impregnation has disappeared:

  • Direct a strong jet of clean water (but not high-pressure wash!) so that the water sprays right through the fabric. Move the jet of water very slowly over the fabric to give the substance time to be washed out through the fabric and out the other side.
  • If you do not have a hose or anywhere to erect your Nordic tipi, this can be done in the shower or a tub or bath. However, first of all, make sure there is no soap, shampoo, bleaching agent or other substances on the surfaces which the tent comes in contact with. Wash the patch with a strong jet of water so that the water really flows through the fabric.
  • Once the Nordic tipi has dried, it will once more be waterproof.
  • If a patch leaks even after being rinsed in this way, the entire tent does not need to be re-impregnated, only the damaged part. Apply the impregnating agent in accordance with our instructions.


In the most extreme situations, with constant strong winds and heavy rain, our lightweight fabrics give better protection against the rain because a lightweight fabric does not become as saturated as a cotton/polyester fabric can be where in the end drops of water may penetrate the fabric (until the rain subsides and the cotton fabric dries out, which occurs rapidly through wind and ventilation. After that, the cp fabric will once again withstand normal rain). If there is a leakage on a lightweight tent, it will most probably come from the seams. This can be easily fixed by applying impregnating agent to all seams as a preventive measure after a long period of use or if a leak has been detected.

You can buy cleaning and impregnating agent from us

Read our instructions regarding cleaning and impregnation

stormcords cotton polyester cp tentipi

Rain-proofness guarantee

Tentipi guarantees that our Nordic tipis made of cotton/polyester fabric are rain-proof in the way described in the guarantee. However, the guarantee does not apply if the fabric has been exposed to any substance that ruins or reduces water repellency. It is therefore essential to handle the tent with care and keep it away from, for example, cleaning agents, insect repellent, certain skincare products and any chemicals that can wash away or ruin the impregnation. Bird droppings can also have a negative effect on the impregnation so rinse off immediately if possible. If the impregnation has been affected in some way so that a wet patch appears on the tent or it begins to leak, the problem can often be rectified by directing a concentrated jet of water at the patch or by washing it thoroughly in a washtub with clean water. Do not use a high-pressure wash since it can rupture the tent!

You will find the full text of our guarantee here


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