Like so many things in the SCA, we seem to have made something that works, that people like and that we can’t quite document as an item used in period.
These are the sunshades used by the Barony of Stormhold for our monthly tournaments. They’re easy to put up, dry, store and transport. They were pretty easy to make and have lasted for nearly nine years so far. We even made a pair for our neighboring barony, Krae Glas.
I think the original inspiration came from this article by Charles Oakley. Unfortunately, our first efforts didn’t include the front part, which seem to be pretty universal in the manuscript pictures showing tournaments. The collection of links for merchant stalls and fairs include some more promising documentation however.
Here’s our design
As the canvas we buy is typically 2m wide, it’s easy to make stripes approximately half a canvas width. Each piece is flat fell seamed together and then the whole piece is hemmed. The leather hole reinforcement is the same as we use on all of our tents.
To put up the sunshade you also need 4 poles, each 2.1m high, 12 tent pegs and 8 ropes. You won’t always need 2 ropes on each pole, but it’s helpful on blustery, windy days.
These sunshades/rectangles of canvas can also be used as an enclosed tent, or a larger, wall-less sunshade, or as a tent like one of these;