1. Why canvas?
Canvas is normally associated with art, but for this article the canvas we will be focusing on is much larger. This popular sturdy material has found its way into many large commercial and industrial projects throughout the world. The material consists of a tough weave of cloth, often undercoated with urethane or plastics, such as polyethylene, in order to give it a waterproof property. This can then be can be stitched to allow for rope to be looped through, as in the case of transportation, or pegs to be fastened as in the case of tents.
2. Canvas Advertising and Scaffolds
Canvas has many uses, including making billboards and scaffolding. In advertising, large format machines are widely used to print graphics, logos and messages on large sheets of the material. These large sheets are then attached to huge steel structures along motorways to advertise products and services. When used for advertising it is always advisable to make perforations that assist in preventing the risk of bringing the structure to the ground. During construction projects in large cities the same material is hung from steel frames to protect the surrounding area from falling materials, dust or stones on the site.
3. Canvas for Transport
In transportation, the use of canvas is so pervasive that the New South Wales Railroad services of Australia have found it necessary to establish an independent factory to meet its needs. Along the railroads, when ferrying timber and other similar goods, in addition to ropes, large canvas sheets help secure and protect products in transit. On trucks, canvas covers will ensure cargo remains unaffected and intact from any adverse weather and can be used for advertising purposes en route.
4. The Outdoor Canvas
Arguably, the material is most widely used within the armed forces and during outdoor activity. Due to the nature of the material, the armed forces use it to cover machinery and trucks, as well as for tents, baggage and even camouflage. One of the many uses of this material in the outdoors is the poncho. During wet or windy weather conditions, a poncho is priceless, often made from light canvas or polyester. In the outdoors, the poncho can be used to provide shelter from the rain while trekking, shelter from winds while cooking and keeping items in one’s backpack dry during wet weather.
5. Canvas Covered Buildings
More recently, individuals have taken to designing various shelters that were originally built with brick and mortar using metallic frames and well designed cloth canopies. Traditionally, shelters for cars or boats were constructed with brick and mortar or wood with a tiled or wooden roof. Not only were they more costly to build, but they were also very inconvenient. Today, many companies have taken to welding together intricate metallic frames upon which tarpaulin covers, example here), can be fastened to serve the same purposes. The main advantage of these structures being the ease with which they can be dismantled to make room for other activities.
Lee Foot is a blogger, freelance technical advisor and full time dad based in Torrevieja, Spain.