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MaMSP-art - 9/23/98


"Making a Medieval Shade Pavilion" by H.L. Marke von Mainz.


NOTE: See also the files: shade-pavilns-msg, tent-making-msg, p-tent-const-art, tent-fabrics-msg, tent-sources-msg, pavilions-msg, tent-transprt-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called StefanŐs Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:



Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first

or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



How to make a Medieval Pavilion

by H.L. Marke von Mainz


     Steps - Planning


     1) Determine size and shape. The width of the fabric should be

     taken into account when determining the size. Plan for one or two

     center poles, the slope of the top, and how many other poles with

     placement. Poles are commonly placed a maximum of 6 feet apart at the

     perimeter. If you plan to add walls later on, you'll want to think

     about placing the poles no farther apart than 4 feet. The style of

     pavilion will also dictate where the poles are.


     2) What color(s) do you want? Not all fabrics come in the colors

     you might want, and canvas is fairly restricted in colors. Remember to

     visualize the colors together or you might end up with something that

     looks like a giant fruit.


     3) What dag shape did you want? square, rectangular, keyhole,

     triangular, heater. Make a template of the dag style you want. Dags on

     average are commonly 12 to 16 inches long and 12 inches wide.


     4) Make a drawing of size and shape, two views at least. Then make

     a setup drawing of pavilion, showing how it would look on the field.


     5) Make a cutting plan. This helps if you have a non-rectangular



     6) Optional items. Painting on dags and/or Top. Backdrop. Floor.

     Barrier. Break-down or single piece poles. And waterproofing.

     Backdrop, Barrier, and Floor Covering.


     Items needed:


     Yardstick, Tape Measure, and a long straight edge. Chalk and Pencil.

     Pavilion drawings and Templates.

     Dag Template.

     Scissors, sharp.

     Sew Machine. An old steel one works best with Duck and Canvas. Fabric

     (with 2 yds extra).

     Lots of thread, about 900 yds worth for a 10'x15' Oval. Use a

     cotton covered polyester thread for strength.

     Poles and steel rod, Grommets and leather, Parachute Line, Stakes,

     and Line Tighteners.

     Optional items: paint, waterproofing, designs to paint.


     Order of Construction




     The fabric needs to be pre-shrunk, otherwise it will shrink funny

     after the first time it gets wet. For the larger pavilions you will

     need to run a test piece through the washer and dryer, measuring

     before and after to figure out the percent shrinkage. Allow for the

     shrinkage if you cut out the pieces before washing. Sometimes you will

     need to iron the fabric after drying.


     2) CUTTING


     Cut the pieces out of fabric, remember to allow 1 inch seam

     allowance for each fabric piece. Using cutting layout if you have it.

     When cutting out dags, fold fabric in quarters so you can get more

     dags with less cutting. If dags are symmetrical, then you can waste

     less material. Dags only need 1/2 inch seam  allowance. Here you would

     also cut out the pennants for poles. IMPORTANT: Be sure to track which

     piece goes where before you start sewing. Any painting of dags and

     pennants are done now.


     2) SEWING


     Pin the pavilion pieces together for sewing. Start with the seam in the

     center of the pavilion and work outward. Make sure all the

     seams are getting  sewn on the same side out. Use a French or Jean

     seam. The dags and pennants are sewn with the painted surface inside

     to be turned right-side out. After the pavilion top is sewn all

     together, start sewing the dags on. The dags should sewn on so the

     side it face out is against the top side of the pavilion. Use the  

     same French or Jean seam on connecting dags to pavilion top, then sew

     again around the seam.


     3) POLES


     Either machine or hand sew leather squares on the pavilion where

     the grommets are going. The leather pieces need to go on the bottom

     side of the pavilion. Then  put the grommets in.  Now the Top is done.

     Make your poles to the height you wanted. Remember to make the center

     pole(s) to the height you planned for. Drill the holes in the poles

     for the pennant rods. Cut the rods long enough for the hole depth plus

     pennant height and 3 inches. Paint the poles if you wanted. If you

     paint, use an oil based paint for durability and make sure you also

     paint the ends. Make the line tighteners out of dowel rod or old broom





     Now your pavilion can be setup and used, or you can waterproof it

     now. A note on waterproofing: Only immersion and brushing methods

     truly get the waterproofing into the fabric.


     Suggested Fabrics:

     Roof - Canvas, 10oz. Duck, Trigger, Sportsweight, and Silk.

     Backdrop/Barrier -Canvas, Duck, Sportsweight, Broadcloth, Sheeting,

     and Silk

     Dags - Broadcloth, Sheeting, and Silk (for flapping in the breeze.)



     By H.L. Marke von Mainz, Moon Shadow Pavilions

     Mooneschadowe, Ansteorra



Copyright 1998 H.L. Marke von Mainz, Moon Shadow Pavilions. Permission is

granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in

the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also

appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being

reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org