Firstly, if you own a polyester tent - then your in the wrong place - all polyester tents are waterproofed out of the box - and you do not need to weather them before first use. However, from time to time, they may need re-proofing.
Why do you need to weather a Polycotton tent?
Polycotton tents only treated with a minimal amount of waterproofing agent, therefore they are not fully water tight out of the box. Cotton is a naturally waterproof fabric, which is very malleable to the weather conditions, whether they be hot or cold. To make the tent water tight, it must first be weathered, which is essentially wetting the tent fabric, and then allowing it to dry out.
How to Weather a Polycotton Tent?
Weathering your tent should be a fairly straight forward process - our suggestion is to pitch the tent on a clear, sunny day in the back garden if you have the time and space. Then simply soak the tent with a hosepipe - and leave the tent to dry fully. Repeating the process a couple of times should ensure the tent is weathered.
Furthermore, if a tent is left in storage for a considerable amount of time, it is not uncommon for it to have a slight ingress of water - so weathering it again before use is always a good idea.
What if you can’t weather the tent before use?
The good news is that most polycotton tents are pretty good out of the box these days, and they do have some level of waterproofing. You could allow the tent to be weathered naturally whilst camping - by allowing the rain to do the task for you - but it is best to try and weather it yourself if possible.
Needle Holes in the Tent Seams?
Often, the sewing process, when manufacturing a tent can leave needle ‘holes’ along a tent’s seams, which are visible to the eye.
This is a natural occurrence - and do not worry about it - because they will fix themselves over time as the thread and fibres swell. However, if the holes leak water the first couple of times of use - it may be a wise idea to use a seam sealer to seal them.