The History of Tarps


Tarps have been around for hundreds of years. The original use for a tarp was on the high seas. Sailors used to cover sheets of canvas in tar to protect goods from salt spray and water damage during transit. Over the years, the tarp has had several various uses, but usually remained as a way to keep dirt, water, and other contaminates off something, whether it was furniture, people, dirt, or any other number of things.
Over the years, different materials have been used to make the tarp. Tarps have been made from nylon, canvas, cotton, plastic, polyester, and even metal. Throughout history, the tarp has had its ups and downs. Here are some highlights from the tarp’s history from its earliest days until now.
The tarp was used mainly at sea as a way to protect sailors and the items they transported across the seas. The original name for the tarp was the “tarpaulin.” This name came from combining the two words “tar” and “pall.” The pall was the fabric used by the sailors as a cover.
The tarp moved inland. Many people used tarps for protecting items during travel, such as for covering wagons during moves. During the 1700s, the tarp became used for land travel as a tent covering. The waterproof surface of the tarp helped keep travelers and soldiers warm.
During the industrial revolution, the tarp received major changes. The tarp was made from a variety of materials, such as plastics, polyester, rubber, and a variety of other materials. People now used the tarp for nearly anything, from covering the floor to prevent paint splatters to keeping leaks off a roof until the rain stopped. Today, people use the tarp for a variety of uses, including camping, construction, transportation, and protection.