how to look after and repair a polycotton tent

How to look after and repair a polycotton tent ?

Your polycotton tent is like your second home!
In this article, we give you all our tips on how to best maintain it and prolong its life as long as possible.

The 5 steps to looking after a polycotton tent

  1. 1 Using it correctly
  2. 2 Wash
  3. 3 Store
  4. 4 Repair
  5. 5 Re-waterproof
How to look after and repair a polycotton tent

What are the differences between polycotton and polyester ?

Most camping tents available on the market are usually made of polyester. Since 2021, our design teams have been innovating to develop polycotton tents. But why? We’ll tell you everything !

So what is polycotton? Also called technical cotton, polycotton is a blend of polyester and cotton.. Compared to polyester, this material provides:
- better resistance to the sun's rays and better protection against UV rays
- better breathability
- longer life
- better insulation from the outside environment, particularly with regard to noise

And at the same time, polycotton is a much lighter fabric than pure cotton. It also dries faster and tends to wrinkle less.

This specific fabric, which brings many advantages, nevertheless requires special attention to be pampered. We explain everything below step by step: care, cleaning and storage!

How to use your polycotton tent ?

The first step to ensuring a long life for your tent is to use it properly.

As with all tents, the fabric of the polycotton tent is sensitive to UV rays which can damage it and accelerate its wear. To prolong the lifespan of your tent for as long as possible, we advise that you do not overexpose it to the sun. Granted, there is no such thing as a total screen for tents, but there are plenty of solutions such as awnings and tarps. Placed above your tent, they can protect it from the sun's rays. A location in the shade is also a very good solution. Be careful not to place your tent right under a tree that will drop its fruit!

Protected from the sun, your tent will repay you a hundredfold by withstanding the passage of years and camping trips.

Some sites recommend watering your tent before using it for the first time as this will tighten the weave and enhance its water resistance capabilities. While this advice applies to 100% cotton tents, mixing it with polyester eliminates the need for this step.

A polycotton tent is designed to withstand three consecutive weeks of annual exposure to the sun (our teams design them to last 30 to 40 weeks of use). You can of course use your tent for more than three weeks a year! But we recommend that you do not continuously subject it to UV rays, otherwise its wear will be greatly accelerated.

How to look after and repair a polycotton tent

How to clean your polycotton tent canvas ? how to wash your camping tent ?

A polycotton tent requires even more attention than a conventional tent. Its natural fibres are a little more fragile than polyester and it is important to take care of them.

Our first tip is to clean your tent regularly. Many factors can affect the condition of your tent fabric: ambient humidity, weather, sun exposure, airborne particles, dust, vegetation around the tent, etc. To avoid all dangers, do not hesitate to clean it well after each use.

Especially since no special products are required for cleaning! On the contrary, using cleaning products may damage the fabric. The simpler the better. Simply use a damp sponge or cloth, warm water and clean the tent fabric where stains may have appeared. If you really need to, you can use soapy water or mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water and rinse well to avoid soap or cleaning solution remaining on your canvas. Be careful about the dosage of vinegar which, in too high a dose, can also damage the fabric!

The main risk with a polycotton fabric is that mildew will appear and spread. With its natural fibres, canvas is more sensitive to moisture than polyester. All the more reason to remove a stain as soon as you see it appear. No procrastination with the polycotton tent!
Here are two very effective products tested and validated by our teams: Matt Chem's Stop-Mould product and Nautic Clean's mould remover.

For dust, use a soft brush or broom with soft bristles. And if twigs or small stones have crept into your tent, a broom will do the trick.

Did you go camping in Southwest France and did the pine trees leave some marks on your canvas? For pine resin stains, here is the solution :
- First of all, wait until the sap is completely dry,
then place an ice cube on the other side of the canvas where the sap stain is.
 -The sap becomes brittle and comes off more easily if you scrape it gently.

And if your tent has been attacked by bird droppings, we advise you to clean it as soon as possible with soapy water as droppings can be very aggressive to the polycotton component.

As you can see, the polycotton tent requires attention and softness on a daily basis, in all simplicity!

Important! Using solvents greatly reduces the waterproof qualities of tent fabrics. Using them to clean your tent should therefore be avoided! Polycotton fabric, with its natural fibres, requires the most natural maintenance possible.

How to store your polycotton tent ?how to prevent odours in your tent ?

As part of the tent is made of cotton, the canvas must be completely dry before storing it to prevent moud. This is extremely important because polycotton fabric is very sensitive to moisture. Especially since even small specks of mould are very good at growing. It will then be too difficult to remove them and bad odours may develop.

The golden tip is as follows: dry your tent well before storing it. Either at the end of your camping trip if the sun and wind are there, or once you are back home in your second house!

If you have space, the easiest thing to do is to pitch your tent in the open air, open all the doors and air it out well, just like spring cleaning. The sun and wind will be your best friends. If you are in a hurry, you can use a squeegee (like those used for swimming pools) to remove the water from your groundsheet.

Yes, that's if you have a big garden. We also have solutions if you don't have space outside to pitch your tent and dry it. Take your tent apart: double roof on one side, bedroom on the other. Then dry each item separately on a clothesline, a clothesline, a bathtub curtain rod, a balcony, etc. The guy ropes will be your allies to avoid a fall or a flight of canvas from the top of a balcony!

And last but not least, don't forget to dry the bottom of your tent and the cover too ;)
Once your tent is dry, and only then, you can fold it and store it in its cover. A word of advice: close the front door and all openings in the tent before packing it away. It will be even easier to unfold.

Store your tent in a dry place at room temperature. If you can place it high up, it's even better (in case small rodents are curious to see what is hidden in the cover).

By following all of these tips, you will ensure that you avoid any damp odours that may enter your tent.

How to look after and repair a polycotton tent

The decathlon camp app

Don't know how to fold your tent? Don’t panic! You can download the Decathlon Camp application on which you will find videos of the assembly and disassembly of your tent. Camping in the wilderness away from 4G? We're here to support you ! Via the application, you can bookmark the videos you want and access them even offline.

How to repair your polycotton tent ?

You should know that the environmental impact of a discarded tent is equal to more than 3,000 km by car. To limit this impact, all Quechua and Forclaz tents are repairable ! In addition, we know how attached we can be to our tent when it has allowed us to experience unforgettable campfire evenings. All the more reason to choose the repair solution!

Do you need to change a pole? Do you need to replace a bedroom? There are two solutions, depending on your wishes, the space you have at home and the tools you have available:

- you can contact the workshop of your DECATHLON store to have your tent repaired. Several services are available such as roll bar repairs, roof liner changes etc.

- Are you a handyman or a handywoman? visit the after-sales service site where you can find advice, videos and tutorials to help you repair your tent step by step. You can buy all the spare parts you need, such as an inflatable roll bar or a double canopy, via the SAV site.

Polycotton tent

How to waterproof your polycotton tent ?

When your tent is new, a certain level of waterproofing is included that must also be maintained. Ultraviolet rays, friction in its storage bag and natural wear and tear linked to contact with external elements require more or less frequent re-waterproofing, depending on its use.

We therefore advise you to regularly (for example every year) apply a waterproofing spray on the outer fabric and the ground sheet of your tent, making sure not to forget the parts located at the seams. About once a year, before your first camping trip :)

We do not recommend the use of water-repellent re-activating products. These products could be used on 100% cotton tents but the presence of polyester in polycotton fabrics means that these products are not needed.

Now you are ready to enjoy beautiful stays in your second home! Do you have any tips or ideas for looking after your inflatable mattress? Don't hesitate to share them in the comments!

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