Canvas Care Instructions

While these canvas care instructions are written for our Kulkyne Swags, you can apply them to any canvas type swag or tent. By seasoning your canvas when your swag is new and looking after it according to these instructions, you will ensure your swag lasts a longtime.

Seasoning your new Swag

What you are trying to achieve by seasoning a new swag is to seal up where the canvas has been perforated by the needle when stitching. Wetting the swag will cause the canvas and thread to swell up and seal off the stitch hole. Our swag canvas has already been treated with a water proofing treatment, so you are not actually trying to season the canvas, just where the canvas has been stitched.

Seasoning a new swag is pretty easy, it’s just a matter of setting up your swag in the backyard, closing up all of your canvas flaps and windows and then drenching the swag with water. You can do this with a hand held hose or you can put the sprinkler on it for a period of time, just make sure all sides of the swag get a good drenching.

Once this is done you need to let the swag dry out in the sun and then you need to give the swag a good drench a second time. After this, let your swag completely dry out and then you are done seasoning your canvas.

You also need to decide on whether to apply a seam sealer to the stitching on your PVC floor too. Most swags generally don’t need this, but if you are going to be camping on wet ground, particularity wet grass, the treads where the PVC base is stitched can wick water into the swag. If you are at all worried about this, you can apply a bees wax stick to the threads, or apply a spray on silicon spray, the brand we use is in the picture below:

Looking after your swag canvas

If you want your swag to last, the main thing you need to do is to keep it dry. While our swags are treated with an anti mildew treatment, this will not stop your swag from getting mouldy if you pack it up and store it wet.

If you have to move camp while your swag is still wet that is ok, just pack it up wet and set it up again as soon as possible (the same day). Also remember to take your bedding out of the swag before rolling it up wet, to keep your bedding from getting wet too. You can use the swag carry bag we provide with our swags to store your bedding in a dry place and then just use the swag straps to keep your swag rolled up.

Also, try not to get tree sap on your canvas as this can damage the waterproofing as can bird droppings if not cleaned off the canvas.

Cleaning your swag

If your swag does get a small amount of mould on it, spray/wash the affected area with distilled white vinegar to kill it and then clean the area with a mixture of hot water, lemon and salt. Once the area has been cleaned, spray it with a canvas water proofing treatment such as the one we recommended earlier for waterproofing your stitching.

If your swag is just generally dirty you can use the same hot water, lemon and salt mix to clean your entire swag if necessary and then use a canvas silicon sealer to retreat the canvas.

If you swag has some more serious problems with staining and mildew you can also consider washing it in an “OxiAction” type laundry chemical. We only recommend doing this if you are prepared to retreat your canvas with a canvas sealer, as washing your swag in this way may damage or remove the treatments we have applied to our canvas during the manufacturing process to protect the canvas.

If you do decide to do this you will need a tub of some type, large enough to immerse your swag in the solution mixed with water, and access to a garden hose to hose off the chemical. Follow the manufactures recommendations for performing this type of cleaning and if necessary repeat the process.

We have tested this cleaning process on our swags and have not noticed any detectable change to the canvas colour or any damage to the flysreens or PVC of the swag.

Retreating your canvas

After a lot of use, or if you needed to clean your swag canvas, it pays to retreat it with a water proofing treatment designed especially for canvas applications.

Different products have different application methods, so once you have purchased a canvas water proofing treatment please follow the manufacturers directions. It pays when water proofing your canvas to also treat your seams on both your canvas and PVC floors to ensure maximum water proofing.

Once you have applied the water proofing treatment and allowed the recommended time to dry, it pays to set your swag up in the backyard and give it a good drench to ensure your water proofing treatment has been successful and that your stitching is still well sealed.

Repairing torn canvas

If you manage to cut or tear your canvas the best way to get it fixed is to remove your mattress and other sleeping gear and to take your swag into a canvas maker or upholster and get a patch professionally sewn over the hole, which will both cover the hole and strengthen the area. We do stock spare canvas patches if you need some for your Kulkyne Swag.

Repairing torn flyscreens

Sewing over a torn flyscreen is very difficult, as when you stitch you are also adding extra perforations into the affected flyscreen. We recommend you do not sew in a patch, but rather use a flexible fabric glue to glue on a patch over the torn flyscreen. If you use a black patch the repair is generally not too noticeable if it is only a small area.

I like to use iron on patches which have a smooth backside and a matt front side. If you use one of these patches, cut the patch to shape to ensure the patch overlaps the tear by about 10mm each way and then apply the fabric glue to the smooth side of the patch and glue onto the outside of the flyscreen and let dry.

The good thing about fabric glue is that it is flexible and dries clear and should stretch and move with your flyscreen, ensuring the repair doesn’t tear away later on. Also, just because we recommend using an iron on patch for this kind of repair does not mean we recommend using an iron. Obviously a hot iron will damage the flyscreen and render it useless.

Repairing damaged PVC

If you want a quick fix for a cut in your PVC base you might be able to use gaffer tape to get you out of trouble.

For a longer term repair you will need a PVC patch to either sew or glue over the damaged area. If you do not have a spare piece of PVC for this repair you are welcome to contact us as we keep repair kits for our swags in stock.

We have tested using a PVC primer and glue (yes the same stuff you use to glue PVC pipes) with good results on our swag PVC. The primer helps to remove the smooth finish of the PVC allowing the glue to make a much more effective bond.

The only downside to using this kind of glue is that it is quite smelly for a couple of weeks, but after a little time the PVC glue smell does go away

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