How to make a Medieval (Shade) Pavilion

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 to 5 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 or bruise on your favorite fighter.
  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 shape.
  5. 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:

Order of Construction

  1. PRE-SHRINKING 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 handles.
  5. FINISHING 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:

By H.L. Marke von Mainz, Moon Shadow Pavilions Mooneschadowe, Ansteorra (David Mann)

Webbed by Gregory Blount of Isenfir