SWAG & TARP CANVAS CARE
How to look after your new purchase
An Outhaus swag is a modern take on a traditional piece of equipment, not to be confused with a polyester tent and, as such, there are particular things that you need to do in order to look after it. The same is true, to a lesser extent, with canvas tarps.
Seasoning your Outhaus swag
Before you use your swag in anger, you need to season it. This process will cause the canvas and the thread to swell, thereby sealing up the needle holes created in production.
Pitch the swag somewhere that it can be left for a few days. Set it up perfectly so that everything is nice and tight and all the pegs put in the ground. Now take a hosepipe and thoroughly drench the swag, particularly around the seams, taking your time to wet it completely so that it changes to a darker shade. After soaking the swag, leave it to dry out completely. Continue to repeat the process so that it has been thoroughly soaked and dried at least three times.
The swag should now be watertight and no further seasoning required before your first trip. Any stubborn holes can be treated with readily available seam sealer or a solid wax.
Seasoning your Outhaus tarp
Tarps generally have the same care requirement as swags but, as there is a lot less stitching, often there is no need to pre-season a tarp. However, as with swags, if there are any stubborn needle holes, a dab of seam sealer or wax will do the trick.
Caring for the canvas
Our swag and tarp canvas is a blend of polyester and cotton. This gives a good combination of strength (from the polyester) and improved breathability (from the cotton). The canvas feels quite rigid to the touch on first use or if it is cold. This softens over time. The cotton content gives a feel of canvas from days gone by and the polyester provides a slight reduction in weight and drying times while increasing abrasion resistance. All in all this combination makes for a very tough product.
The canvas is pre-treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating and mixed into that is an anti-mould agent. However, even though there is an anti-mould agent, this is not a free ticket to just chuck your soaking wet swag or tarp in the shed and forget about it. You must make sure that it is dry before you put it away for any amount of time. Coming away from your trip with a wet product in the back of the truck is no problem, but please make sure to dry it out at the earliest opportunity.
There should be no need to re-treat the canvas with any water repellent product for a long time (years, depending on how much use it gets) but if you do begin to see the water not running off as well as it used to, any of the available products on the market for polycotton canvas should work fine. Just make sure with the manufacturer that it will not affect the breathability of the canvas. Most products for canvas and polycotton are developed especially not to do so.