The rise in the popularity of the Sailcloth tent

Today we’re talking about our beautiful Sailcloth tent and what makes our particular version of this iconic structure the best!  

There has been a surge in popularity of the Sailcloth tent in recent years within the wedding industry. Based on the design of the iconic U.S Sperry Tent, there are now a huge array of Sailcloth tents available. This means that these wonderful, nautical inspired marquees are now available in the UK.  

So, what is a Sailcloth tent and why is ours superior? 


The term Sailcloth tent is actually a misnomer, unless you’re talking about the original Sperry tent! Sailcloth fabric is not ideal for use in our British climate. It is not waterproof and needs regular chemical waterproofing treatment. It is also rather noisy in windy conditions.

There are many imitations of the Sperry Tent on the market. You will find that most of these imitations are manufactured in the USA from white PVC vinyl. This is where our Sailcloth tent differs. We undertook extensive research and went to great lengths to ensure we selected a product specifically designed to withstand the UK weather and climate. We wanted a product fully crafted from weatherproofed, white canvas. Our Sailcloth comes from a manufacturer that has been making marquees in the UK since 1884. This was very important to us. With such heritage and provenance comes a mastery of craftmanship and quality that is paramount to our offering. 

There is a huge difference in quality when comparing a PVC tent to one made from canvas. A canvas Sailcloth tent, as well as being a naturally breathable fabric, also has a wonderful translucent quality to it. You might pay more for a quality product, however we think you and your guests will be very pleased you did! 

Attention to detail

Our Sailcloth tent boasts a host of intricate details which set it apart as a luxury product. We’re talking: 

  • soaring, curved rooflines 
  • white cotton flags that gently sway atop tall, wooden central poles 
  • fine, star shaped detailing in the ceiling space at the top of each central pole 
  • crescent shaped detailing atop each wall pole 
  • full, panoramic clear sides 
  • beautiful hand turned, wooden finials that can be supplied in different shapes. These have been made in the UK by R L Trim marquees, a  small family run business  based in Cerne Abbas, Dorset, for over 50 years! 

Other UK manufactured Sailcloth tents available for hire lack these design features. These elements really help to create the wow factor and make our Sailcloth tent stand out from the rest. If you are in the position of gathering Sailcloth tent quotes, be sure you ask what the marquees are made of and what detailing the company offer!

How we put it up

First and foremost, it is of the utmost importance that the installation of all our marquees are governed by strict health and safety guidelines. The design of the marquee also dictates the manner in which the marquee must be installed. With our manufacturer’s generations of experience, they have created a design with structural integrity and beauty at its heart and a particular technique must be employed for the installation. This makes our marquees structurally stronger and more weatherproof. Other Sailcloth tents on the market do not have this design and installation method which leaves gap a at the top of each central pole. This allows water to get through.  

Some marquee hire companies out there will advertise their old, traditional wooden pole marquees as Sailcloth tents. These are often marquees that were manufactured many years ago and have seen one too many weddings which leaves them looking tired and in need of a good clean! On paper, this lack of quality and condition can easily be missed. It is worth doing thorough research to ensure you are getting a quality product. The aesthetics that define a Sailcloth tent is so distinctive and instantly recognisable that a traditional marquee just does not compare!   

Ella and Patrick

Be sure to check out Ella and Patrick’s wedding below to see our Sailcloth tent in all its glory. We think you’ll agree that it is an incredible venue. Read all about Ella and Patrick’s wedding on Rock My Wedding (link at the bottom of this post) : 

Ella and Patrick’s wedding day was nothing short of perfect. Situated at her Aunt’s family home in the quintessentially British Cotswolds, the wedding had a wonderfully relaxed garden-party vibe. The day unfolded effortlessly under the radiant English sunshine.

 The lovely couple hired our 12mx30m Sailcloth Tent which gave their outdoor wedding a luxurious and elegant backdrop. It was very important to Ella and Patrick that they had creative control over the suppliers and décor. This is why the blank canvas of a marquee was a perfect match for them.

They had the freedom to work with local Cotswold suppliers of their choosing and scattered their own small but impactful personal touches throughout the marquee. These included : 

  • home-made napkins
  • signage courtesy of Patrick’s mum and her beautiful calligraphy 
  • floral arrangements courtesy of Ella’s mum. 

Their wedding was timeless, chic and elegant. Everything seemed to come together and fall into place effortlessly. Ella and Patrick have just celebrated their first wedding anniversary and we wish them a lifetime of happiness! 

Read the full story here: 


Photography /  Clara Cooper Photography 

Brides Two Piece /  Halfpenny London 

Bridal Boutique  / White Closet Studios 

Bridesmaid Dress /  Ghost 

Grooms Suit /  Gieves and Hawkes  

Shoes /  Topshop 

Food  / The Wild Oven 

Drink /  North Cotswolds Brewery Cotswold Gin 

Flowers /  Lou’s Blooms 

Hair Stylist /  Martin Crean at Mode 

Makeup Artist /  Bryony Dalton 

Entertainment  / Jonny Ross Music 

Grooms Tie  / Drakes 

Grooms Shoes /  Loake 

We also offer fantastic petal pole marquees, more details can be found in our wedding marquee brochure.

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