Lifting the Cover
11. PREPARE THE TIPI COVER to be attached to the lift pole by stretching it out flat on a clean surface, with the finish side (exterior side) up. The finish side is shingled (fabric panels overlapped) from the top down. The first (highest) panel is sewn on top of the second panel; the second panel is sewn on top of the third panel, and so on. This works like a shingled roof and causes rain water to flow off without catching in the seams. On Reese Tipis, because we use a professional, double needle, chain stitch machine, you will see two rows of woven stitching on the underside (interior side) of the cover. On top of the cover you will see two rows of single thread stitching. The single thread stitching is on the finish (exterior) side of the cover. This unique, professional method of seaming utilizes a special, large diameter thread with a cotton outer cover and a polyester inner center thread for strength. The cotton cover, especially with the woven (chain) stitch on the underside, expands when it gets wet and absolutely prevents leaking through the needle holes. No other combination of thread design, seam configuration, stitching style is nearly as effective as this combination. Nor is there any other method of seaming as strong or as suitable for tipi covers.
Also, please note that all reinforcing patches are sewn on the underside (interior side) on all covers made by Reese Tipis.
Before folding the tipi cover, tie a smoke flap rope to the loop on the bottom corner of each smoke flap. Then fold the smoke flaps and the lacing pin strips back on top of the cover so that the front seam is now the top edge of the cover.
The tipi cover will now appear as a large half circle. The web ties issue from the tie triangle, which is located in the center of the flat edge of the half circle between the top edges of the smoke flaps.
tie the web ties to a stake or have a helper hold the tie triangle in place while you fold the tipi cover. This will allow you to keep tension on the cover while you fold it and will help to keep the fabric tight and smooth.
Take each corner tip of the half circle (just below the door opening), one at a time, and carry it to the bottom center of the half circle (with a slight overlap). The result will be a wide triangle with a circular bottom. Again, take each bottom tip of this triangle and fold them to center as before. Repeat this until you have a long narrow triangle about 30 inches wide at the bottom. The tipi cover is now ready to be tied into position on the lift pole or to be rolled up for transport or storage. The slight overlapping while folding helps keep the folds together when the cover is lifted up on the lift pole. NOTE: All Reese Tipis come pre-folded, with the smoke flap ropes attached, and they are ready to be unrolled and attached to the lift pole.
If you do not have a Reese Tipi, it is important to unroll the cover and open it to find the bottom corners of the smoke flaps before tying the cover to the lift pole. When you find the bottom corners of the smoke flaps, tie a smoke flap rope to each corner. Now you are ready to straighten the tipi triangle and go to step 12.
12. PREPARE THE LIFT POLE by placing the butt of the pole at point 'L' and by laying the pole on the ground with the tip extending away from the pole structure in a direction which will permit the pole to be lifted up without bumping into any overhead obstructions such as trees, wires, building overhangs, etc. It is much easier to keep the tipi cover clean, if you lay a strip of plastic or fabric material on the ground and lay the lift pole on top of the material. Then when you tie your tipi cover to the lift pole, the tipi cover will be kept away from the dirty ground. Most building supply houses have inexpensive plastic in narrow rolls that may be used for this purpose.
13. TIE THE COVER TO THE LIFT POLE. To do this, place the cover on top of the lift pole and align the reinforcing web at the base of the tie triangle on top of the mark you have previously made on the lift pole. Wrap the web ties around the pole, from opposite directions, and in a crossing pattern (like roman sandal ties). Wrap them toward the tip end of the pole. Then secure the ends of the web ties with a square knot. The crossing pattern should be stretched up the tapered pole and tied snugly to the pole to keep the cover from slipping down the pole when it is lifted into the air.
Some people tie an extra rope around the cover and the lift pole about five feet up from the butt to keep the cover from slipping off of the pole as it is lifted up. Before raising the lift pole, reach into the top of the cover and pull out the smoke pole pockets that are sewn to the top corners of the smoke flaps and open them to make it easier to insert the tips of smoke flap poles. If you haven't yet tied the smoke flap ropes to the bottom corners of the smoke flaps, this is a good time to do it.
14. RAISE THE LIFT POLE with the butt of the lift pole blocked at point 'L' to prevent slipping. If you do not have a helper to block the butt of the pole while you walk up under it from tip to butt, you can block it with stakes. As you walk up under the lift pole, be certain that the cover is on top of the pole and watch the top of the pole to avoid bumping other poles in the structure of the tipi. When the lift pole is straight up and balanced, pivot the pole so that the cover is to the outside and lower the tip of the pole into its place in the pole structure.
© 2001 - Frank Reese - All Rights Reserved.