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The Most Important Things to Think of when Buying a Tarp

18th Feb 2022

The endlessly useful tarp is one of the most versatile and simple tools you can get your hands on. The humble tarp started life in the Royal Navy in the 1600’s where they were used to cover all kinds of important Navy kit. Such kit was known as ‘Pall,’ hence – tar-palling, which down the centuries has changed to the spelling we know today of ‘tarpaulin.’

Their use spread from the Navy to the rest of the seafaring world, and in fact for a time the most commonly used pirate flag was not the skull and crossbones, but was in fact a blank piece of tarpaulin bearing no insignia at all.

But enough of the history, how about getting a tarp today? What are the things we should look for? Here are the 3 things that we think are the most important to consider when buying a tarp:

Tarpaulins | Bradshaws Direct

  1. Of course the most obvious first consideration is what size tarp you need. This may not actually be as simple a matter as you might assume. If you’re using a tarp as a ground covering or awning strung up flat between supports (as a makeshift roof for example) then a simple length by width calculation will give you the size you need. No messing. However if you are trying to cover a 3 dimensional object then you need to consider the depth too. This is further complicated by the fact that tarps are always made to a ‘cut size.’ The cut size is the measurement that is made before the tarpaulin is hemmed and eyeleted. It’s important to allow for this discrepancy. See our handy  Tarp Size and Type Guide to ensure you get it right and are not left falling short on whatever it is you need to cover.
  2. Your second consideration is how robust and resistant to the elements your tarp will be (especially if it’s to be used outside at some point as most tarps usually are). All our main tarpaulins are waterproof, rot proof, weather resistant and UV protected – with eyelets every metre and are made with double edged rope reinforced hems, meaning they are robust, sturdy and long-lasting.
  3. Your final consideration would be thickness. Whether you just want a simple basic tarpaulin, something for tougher jobs or something really heavy duty, you can judge the thickness based on the tarp’s grams per square metre – or gsm. From our Budget tarps at 80gsm, to our Profi Tarps at a massively hefty 570gsm we have the tarp for every job!  See our Full Range Here, and if you need any advice just call our friendly team on 01904 698813.