How to make a Medieval (Shade) Pavilion
Steps - Planning
- 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 to 5 feet. The style of pavilion will also dictate where the
- 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 or bruise on your favorite fighter.
- 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.
- 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 shape.
- Optional items. Painting on dags and/or Top. Backdrop. Floor. Barrier.
Break-down or single piece poles. And waterproofing. Backdrop, Barrier, and
- Yardstick, Tape Measure, and a long straight edge. Chalk and Pencil.
- Pavilion drawings and Templates.
- Dag Template.
- Scissors, sharp.
- Sewing 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
- 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
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.
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.
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 handles.
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.
By H.L. Marke von Mainz, Moon Shadow Pavilions Mooneschadowe, Ansteorra
- Roof - Canvas, 10oz. Duck, Trigger, Sportsweight, and Silk.
- Backdrop/Barrier -Canvas, Duck, Sportsweight, Broadcloth, Sheeting, and
- Dags - Broadcloth, Sheeting, and Silk (for flapping in the breeze.)
uccxdem@Okway.okstate.edu (David Mann)
Gregory Blount of Isenfir