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>> event planning articles > canvas vs pvc bell tents:

Canvas VS PVC Bell Tents

What's the difference between a Cotton Canvas and a PVC bell tent?

Let's start with the materials:

Cotton canvas also known as cotton duck is a heavy, tightly woven cotton fabric that is completely natural. It's not only used in the tent manufacturing industry but also for clothing such as shoes, aprons and even hand bags.

Pro's of cotton canvas bell tents:

4m canvas bell tent

4m Canvas Bell Tent

  • It insulates extremely well. You won't get as hot in the sunshine or as cold in the winter in a cotton canvas tent.
  • Cotton canvas is breathable and can absorb water meaning you won't have issues with condensation.
  • It is a quieter than man-made materials in rain and wind.
  • Can last a long time if kept well and is resistant to UV rays.

Cons of cotton canvas bell tents:

  • Cotton canvas is a heavy material. Transporting a cotton canvas bell tent can be difficult if you don't have a wheel or sack-barrow.
  • Canvas bell tents need 'weathering'. This means leaving the tent out in the rain or under a garden hose so the material expands and fills the holes in the stitching.
  • Cotton canvas bell tents require more maintenance. The material will need re-proofing every 12 months or so.
  • It takes longer to dry than a PVC bell tent.
  • It can snag or tear easier than PVC.

PVC or Polyvinyl chloride is the worlds third most widely-produced plastic polymer. It comes is two basic forms: rigid and flexible.

4m PVC bell tent

4m PVC Bell Tent

Pro's of PVC bell tents:

  • PVC is flame-retardant. The PVC we use in our bell tents is flame-retardant to BS5438 & BS7837 for safety.
  • Our PVC bell tents are high-frequency welded to make them 100% waterproof.
  • The material has a rip-stop core to prevent tearing and gives added strength.
  • The material is UV-stabilized. This means the material will absorb certain wavelengths of of UV with little or no degradation.

Cons of PVC bell tents:

  • Not as much of a natural or vintage look as a canvas bell tent.
  • More prone to condensation forming.
  • PVC is a heavy material. Transporting a PVC bell tent can be difficult if you don't have a wheel or sack-barrow.
  • Can be difficult to clean. We recommend Traffic Film Remover.

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*Selection of fixed size bell tents in the UK. Excluding modular and folding tents.

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