Traditional Tipis




With its graceful crown and central fire, it's no wonder so many people fall in love with Tipis. Touching the ground and reaching for the sky, harnessing the elemental forces of nature. To live in a Tipi is to return to a simpler, more easy way of being on the earth.


Its conical shape is extremely stable in strong winds and it benefits from steep sides in a heavy rain. In hot weather the sides can be rolled up and with the smoke hole it is very well ventilated. The central fire is the heart of the Tipi, keeping it cosy and providing a source for cooking. With an inner liner that provides extra warmth and ventilation, and a raincatcher for the British climate, the Tipi is a most desirable dwelling.


Hearthworks Tipi covers are made from the best quality 12oz/yd2 cotton or polycotton canvas treated against water, rot and fire. The canvas is generally natural cotton colour although we also offer a variety of coloured canvas trim. We reinforce our canvas with nylon webbing and use high quality polycotton thread. Tipi Inner Liners also have a PVC bottom section to protect against ground damp.

Tipi poles are selected from local sustainable pine forests and at present we use mainly Spruce poles. For a Tipi of 18 ft diameter the poles are cut to an average length of 25 feet and can be finished with linseed oil. Each Tipi comes complete with lacing pins, handcleft Ash pegs and hemptex rope.


Hearthworks Tipi Raincatcher

We were the first Tipi manufacturers to start using rain catchers in the UK. This teardrop shaped piece of canvas hangs from the poles, catching all the raindrops and chanelling them outside the Tipi. We also offer many extras such as Coir Matting flooring, Fire Dishes, Yakskin Rugs and Sheepskins. Luxurious furnishings including cushions, rugs, lanterns and tables are available on our Tipis for hire.

Hearthworks Tipis:

Our Tipis combine traditional tribal designs with practicality. With a tilted conical frame and a snug inner liner the egg-shaped interior feels authentic and magical.
We make Tipis for sale from 9 to 30 ft in diameter. For a permanent site we can install decking floors and sacred hearths, all from local and sustainable materials. We are always open to questions and advice. Don't hesitate to contact us.


Sioux Tipis


The Sioux word 'Tipi' comes from'Ti' meaning 'to dwell', and 'Pi' meaning 'used to live in'. The Native Americans of the Plains were nomadic hunters of buffalo. This required an ability to change their locations quickly and have a shelter that was portable, durable and water resistant. The Tipi offered these characteristics. Constructed of tanned buffalo skin, the tipi was easily disassembled.

The buffalo hides that made up the Tipi cover were sewn together with sinew, and were often painted in bright colours to show the personalities of the people living there. The structure lasted an average of 10 years. When the tipi was replaced, the old one was made into clothing or patching material for other tipis.

The outstanding characteristic of the Tipi was its portability. It took women only minutes to disassemble the tipi and transport it by horse. Tipi hides, poles, and household articles were placed on a device known as a travois and dragged behind a horse.

The Plains Indians lifestyle changed with the white man’s slaughter of buffalo for economic gain and the government-imposed reservation system. The government issued canvas tipi covers to replace the buffalo skin, an animal Indians could no longer hunt. The Tipi remains the perfect architectural solution for a semi-nomadic life.