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What's Pukka?

Pukka, Pucka, Pukkah: an Anglo-Indian word meaning genuine, authentic, superior, first class, properly or perfectly done/constructed.

Tent: portable shelter or dwelling of canvas cloth, supported by poles and stretched by cords secured to pegs driven into ground.

A Pukka tent: a superior quality canvas tent that is easy to erect, durable - and great fun!

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Why canvas?

Canvas is a tightly woven fabric traditionally used for making tents, awnings and sails. It is usually made from cotton, nylon or polyester or a mix. We prefer to use cotton canvas for our tents because this fabric has many advantages over synthetic materials.

Cotton canvas is very hard-wearing, breathable and generally naturally water and UV resistant. The cotton threads absorb water and swell so sealing the tiny gaps in the weave. Pukka canvas is also treated to increase water, UV and mould resistance.

Nylon and polyester canvas are chemically treated or coated with PU (polyurethane) to make them water resistant. A PU coating will stop water penetration but prevents the flow of air through the fibres making the fabric non-breathable, stuffy and prone to condensation. Some canvas tents are also treated with PU coating. Synthetic materials are lighter in weight but tend to deteriorate faster than cotton as they break down more quickly in ultra-violet light.

Canvas comes in various densities or weights depending on the quality required. We prefer a weight of approximately 320-360 gsm because it provides better all round performance:

Better durability for regular pitching and striking

Extra insulation – cooler in warm weather and warmer in cold conditions

More suited for year-round use

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What is a Bell Tent?

Crimean Officers of the 57th Regiment in front of their bell tentBell tents are beautiful conical single-pole tents with low sidewalls. In some versions the sidewalls can be rolled up to allow cooling breezes to pass right through.

The hugely stable design is based on the North American tipi and similar Scandinavian and Siberian shelters that were developed over the centuries to best withstand violent arctic winds. Bell tents are said to withstand strong winds better than modern tunnel tents. Bell tents were favoured by many countries during the extensive military campaigns of the 19th century.

More recently bell tents have been re-discovered for leisure use, largely due to their spacious interiors, their ease of erection, and their generous headroom and all-round comfort.

Pukka Bell Tents marry the best of traditional design with modern innovations,not to mention our quality detailing. Pukka bell tents are ideal for a number of uses from luxury festival accommodation and wonderful family camping holidays to peaceful sanctuary, overflow guest room or children’s play area in the garden. They can be dressed up to suit any individual style. They can even have stoves fitted to make them really cosy in colder months.

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Do I need to look after my zips?

Pukka Quality YKK ZipsThe quality YKK zips used in all Pukka canvas tents will probably serve well – but they still need to be given a little bit of TLC.

Never place too much stress on zips, and always use both hands when opening or closing to avoid unnecessary strain.

Always ensure that your zips are kept clean. Wipe mud, grit or other types of dirt off as soon as possible. Avoid standing on zips. If your lay-flat threshold is laid flat it is a good idea to cover the zipped edge with a protective covering, such as a mat.

Finally, maintain zips by lubricating the teeth occasionally. Use a zip lubricant, or, for example, beeswax, or even candle wax. Never use a detergent, as this will damage canvas treatments.

see our range of tents