in the field!

Our History

This history of tipis... and Tipis4hire.

The tipi is popularly associated with Native American ‘Indians’ and is often mistakenly called a 'wigwam'. The plains Indians of North America would have lived in a tepee, teepee or tipi (all of the spellings are acceptable!).

At about the same time, the Sami people of Northern Scandanavia were using a structure called a kåta (or lavvu) which was remarkably similar in design and use. Both the words tipi and kåta translate into English as something akin to ‘the dwelling’.

The simple design of the tipi or kåta has been perfected over thousands of years, creating a durable living space which provides warmth and comfort in winter, and cool shade in the heat of summer.

At Tipis4hire we use kåta tents produced by a Swedish company based in the Sami area of Sweden, near to the Arctic Circle. Using modern techniques and materials, they have designed a modern kåta that is weatherproof and large enough for events.

Tipis4hire itself started out hiring American tipis and then progressed to add the impressive Swedish kåta. True to our name, we have been in the business of providing both styles of ‘tipis’ since the summer of 2004.

In 2006 we first saw the Giant Hat Katas, we were really keen to build on our tipi experience and offer these unique tents for bigger events.

Katas are fantastic event tents. To keep a high-quality hire stock, we renew our canvases every three years. So all of our original tents are now ‘retired’.

Word about what we were doing soon got around. People were liking what we could offer. So we worked on some bigger parties and events.

Birthdays, barmitzvahs, weddings, hand-fastings, civil partnerships, corporate jollies, training weeks, festivals, food-fairs, the story continues...

Tipis4hire started life in 2004 with one American style tipi. Here it is in Brighton on our first ever job, a ‘wedding suite’ tipi near Brighton.

We were (and are) on a constant learning curve. Every event and party provides ample opportunity to reflect on and refine our service.