Welcome to the website of Wigwam Sam Tipi makers and hire.
Inspired by travel, nature, a love of the outdoors and nomadic lifestyles we specialise in making and hiring Tipis and when time permits other bespoke canvas creations.
23 years ago Sam made her first Tipi and from there our family business grew.
Whether making or hiring Tipis our approach is with attention to detail combined with high quality materials and craftsmanship.
Our Tipis are made at our workshop in Cornwall and our Tipi poles are sourced from sustainably managed woodlands in our local area.
A few people we have made & hired Tipis for include
Warner productions Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, Hollyoaks, The Eden Project, Saatchi, Orange, The Brit Awards, Hello Kitty and Strictly come dancing as well as for outdoor forest schools projects.
Over the years our Tipis have featured in I.D, You magazine, Selvedge, The Guardian Weekend, Red, Small Family Gardens by Caroline Tilston and the Observer magazine.
The history and design of the Tipi
Tipis have a beautiful majestic presence combined with their functional design.
Conceived by the plains Indians the Tipi is a conical shelter which was devised to be pitched and transported with relative ease. The poles and cover hitched to a horse also served as a travois (sleigh) to transport possessions when moving around.
At that time the size of Tipi most commonly used was around 12ft in diameter due to their ease of moving. The larger lodges were utilised more on the permanent reservations for obvious reasons.
The Tipi cover was made from buffalo hide which was readily available. These days we make them from canvas.
Traditionally the Tipi would be pitched facing the East towards the rising sun.
The poles and cover are assembled in a way that improves the ability of the Tipi to resist wind and enlarged the spatial arrangement inside. The Tipi is actually a tilted cone steeper at the back.
Smokeflaps adjusted by the two exterior poles make it possible to have a brazier or firepit inside. Adjusting these poles by walking them around the perimeter of the Tipi creates a chimney effect and shields the rise of the smoke from the prevailing wind allowing the smoke to exit the Tipi and along with the Tipi lining help draw up the smoke from the central fire.
Ventilation in the Tipi can be also be regulated by the smoke flaps depending on weather conditions.
The Tipi lining is designed not only to create a draft free cosy interior space but to catch any drips of rain as it begins to run down the poles. Tipi poles stick out of the top of the Tipi hence if it rains water runs down them with gravity taking it to the underside of the pole. As the water tries to run along the poles towards the ground it will drip until it gets a flow. Shaking the pole to get the water to run down it and then tracing a line with one's finger towards the top of the lining will speed up this process.
It didn't rain much on the plains of America, unlike here in climate change Britain, therefore various adaptations to minimise these drips have been made to take into account our more precipitous climes. Rain catchers and rain hats.See our Accessories for more on this.
As a retreat in your garden or equally a den for the kids to hang out in the Tipi offers a perfect communal space.