Today, here at Event Shed, we’re delighted to announce the launch of Fire Retardant PapaFlex FR, the world’s first and only woven Fire Retardant event matting. With Health & Safety regulatory pressure increasing, Event Shed have recognised the requirement to demonstrate and certify the safe performance of our products for use at public and private events.

A world’s first for marquee matting, PapaFlex FR surpasses BS4790: the standard for reusable floor coverings as specified in the ISE’s Temporary Demountable Structures Guide, and MUTA’s Best Practice Guide. Simultaneously it passed ASTM D2859 standard, for international markets


Operating a marquee business, provides invaluable insight into the needs of rental business customers, which in turn informs the development and testing of all our products.

Tightening regulations require that the safety of products used at events must be demonstrable and independently verified, and so when customers challenged us to solve the missing piece of the puzzle – a truly Fire Retardant event matting product, not only ‘tested to’ relevant standards, but that passed with flying colours – we threw ourselves at the task.

We’re really pleased with the fruit of our labour: PapaFlex FR returned a staggering 625% improvement over existing polypropylene woven matting products.

This launch demonstrates the Event Shop team’s commitment to Product Innovation, developing solutions with a positive impact for our customers.

First deliveries of PapaFlex FR are scheduled in the last quarter of 2022.


PapaFlex FR will be an addition to the Event Shed matting range, with standard PapaFlex remaining available. Read on for more information about our PapaFlex matting…

A product category overlooked in terms of development, the team at Event Shed identified an opportunity for a new style of matting delivering functionality, great looks, and available with quick lead times to assist this fast-paced industry – PapaFlex was born.

Working with European developers, we created a product lighter in weight, yet more robust due to high-density twisted polypropylene strands. Providing a marquee matting that meets both the needs of the end-user (in terms of a range of colour options and styles), whilst taking the provider’s needs into account, with emphasis on product functionality and durability.

On purchase of PapaFlex, Event Shed provides a ‘full-service experience’. Our knowledge of temporary structures means we can advise on appropriate order quantities, widths and styles for their clients’ and their own needs. Once purchased, clients receive a full instruction manual to ensure they can hit the ground running.


We’ve worked tirelessly with developers to ensure that the PapaFlex matting range is an improvement on the current products on offer, offering a matting that’s durable, competitively priced and with faster lead times, but don’t take it from us, here’s what one of our happy customers has to say about us…

‘We have been using PapaFlex event matting under our stretch tents all season and would just like to say how impressed we all are with the quality, tight weave and matting quality in general. The matting perfectly complements the natural colour of our canvas and brings a light feel and crispness to our tents.’ Barry Hunt, Flexitent LTD.

For more information, please contact:


In this post we’ll be looking at a challenge many Event Shed customers face – how to change event matting supplier.

We spoke to Kate, Frame & Tailor’s Events Director, to find out how they planned and managed the transition.


“The biggest thing for us was to commit long term to changing our stock and phase out our old polypropylene flooring in stages. We knew long term that PapaFlex Event Matting was a better product and one our clients would prefer.”


“You have to replenish a bit of your matting each year anyway. So instead, we made a staged plan to replace our stock with PapaFlex. “

“Step 1, you might aim for 1 event a week to have PapaFlex, or your biggest/premium event to have it. Step 2, you would buy enough for 2 events a week.“

“We decided all Sperry jobs would have PapaFlex matting the first year.  We’ll put it in all Sailcoth Tents, then Tipi events the year after. You just need to know your stock!”


“When changing your event matting supplier, there’s always chances to use any old polypropylene matting you have. We use it for festivals as it can take weeks to clean the mud off festival flooring! We use it for long term hire’s too. It also comes in handy for outdoor walkways, or there’s always the option to sell it second hand. As long as it’s in a decent condition it holds its value pretty well.”

Coir or coconut matting used for outdoor events and rentals has a shorter lifespan than polypropylene matting because it is damaged by UV and rain. A staged phase out naturally works well with those products when changing event matting supplier.


Alongside managing the matting itself, Frame & Tailor also had to manage their client’s expectations during their matting transition.

“When we knew we were investing in PapaFlex, we started off with two types of matting at our open day and made a point of telling clients which one they would be having. We soon found that we were more worried about it than they were! I’ve never had a client complain that the matting was not what they expected.”

“PapaFlex is a more desirable, serene flooring than our previous matting, that perfectly matches the feel of our tents. It’s lighter in colour and now features in many of our recent gallery images, so clients are even starting to request it! Up close too, PapaFlex doesn’t contain the bright coloured strands of some competitive products, meaning clients were really happy with samples or photos that we sent them.”

PapaFlex close up
Papaflex close up, showing both weave patterns and colour options

For other frequently asked questions about PapaFlex, please see our FAQ’s page!


There are so many event furnishings for the rental market. It’s hard to distinguish between them! So today I look at what inspired us here at PapaShop to offer our own event products.


Our sister company is PapaKata, the UK’s largest provider of Tentipi Tipis and sole provider of Sperry Tents.

PapaKata’s proactive approach to sourcing event furnishings has contributed to their reputation as a leading temporary events company. It was no cakewalk at times! But ultimately the tussles with designs and supply chains led to trend-setting solutions that PapaKata wanted to share.

And so PapaShop was founded, with each event furnishing telling its own story…


Problems faced:

– Coir/Coconut Matting is a natural colour. However it is very heavy when wet, absorbs stains and odours, and gets sun-spots.

– Traditional Polypropylene Matting is washable, durable and non absorbant.  However, it comes in unnatural & undesirable colour palettes, with unreliable supply chains.

PapaShop’s Solution? PapaFlex Event Matting; practical, durable and robust polypropylene mats. Available in natural-looking, desirable colour palettes. With short lead times!


Problems faced: chair quality, features and pricing can be inconsistent. It’s also expensive to buy both rattan and seat pad chairs.

PapaShop’s Solution? Our Oak Crossback Chairs; available with an interchangeable rattan and cushion seat pad! Developed with a regular supplier. Also Stackable.


Problem faced: supply chains are inconsistent.

PapaShop’s Solution? Refurbished Oak Barrels; authentic barrels from a regular supplier!


Problems faced: having either power hungry traditional filaments or low quality LED bulbs. Both with fragile strand connections too.

PapaShop’s Solution? Our LED Festoon Lights; dimmable, shatterproof LED ‘filament’ bulbs, along with robust strands from a regular supplier! (Currently lighting up Thors tipi bars across the UK)


Problem faced: no fires allowed inside marquees/stretch tents/sperry tents/traditional pole tents.

PapaShop’s Solution? Our Outdoor Firepit!


Problem faced: shepherd crooks are too small to make a big entrance and too accessible to hang lighting on

PapaShop’s Solution? Our Giant Shepherd Crooks!

On top of all our event furnishing solutions, we offer the added benefit of our experience in the rental market. Namely sizing/quantity guidance, installation advice, return on investment calculations and storage and transportation tips. And a deposit requirement of just 10%!


In summary, we aren’t just churning out the latest must-have product at PapaShop. Our aim is to identify missing/frustrating product designs/supply chains in the events industry. Then deliver simple, great, affordable solutions. In short, we try to make the events industry a better place with event furnishings that delight our customers, and in turn, amaze theirs.


Back in 2016, festoon light bulb options were limited. With the bare filament look becoming so popular in the last 2 years there are many more options now… yet we still believe our dimmable, shatter-proof LED Festoon Bulb is one of the best you can buy!

Here, we look back at why and how we tested festoon light bulbs to bring you our timeless essential.


We started with two bulb options.

Plastic festoon light bulbs that looked cheap, so didn’t match our clientele. Or beautiful, traditional glass filament bulbs… that were too fragile for regular transport and installation.

Neither would do for the expectations and rigours of the Event and Rental Industry! So in true Event Shed style, we sought a better solution through innovation.


Out initial wish list was small.

  • An LED rather than incandescent bulb.
    • With power in such demand at temporary and outdoor events, we wanted to reduce our power draw.
  • The ability to dim the bulb.
    • Event atmosphere relies heavily on lighting so a dimmable bulb was essential for memorable and versatile celebrations.
  • A shatter-proof bulb.
    • For improved safety and to reduce costs in bulb replacements and build time.
  • Must look like a traditional filament bulb.
    • Otherwise clients wouldn’t want it!

Evaluating 35 festoon light bulbs to source the best, we soon learned that those wishes had knock-on effects…


Traditionally LEDs give off a very cold light. Finding one that gave a warm glow was really important to us for creating atmosphere at temporary events. Colour temperature is measured in Kelvin, the lower the number, the warmer the light. A warm light is considered 2700K, where our LED Festoon Bulb is 2200K… very warm!

The Ability to Dim

Dimmer functionality is not all equal! Some end very abruptly or jump in increments. We chose a festoon light bulb that dims very smoothly and discretely.

Shatter-Proof Plastic

We had fun throwing the bulbs off our mezzanine floor to check they were shatter-proof and still worked afterwards – they did! The shatterproof plastic also had to have great clarity.

We compared sizes, shapes and how close each LED bulb came to mimicking a filament bulb.

  • Energy efficiency – LED 2 Watt, equivalent to 20W filament bulb (energy rating A+)
  • G45 (globe shape, 45mm diameter)
  • E27 base (screw fitting, 27mm diameter)
  • Very warm light (2200 Kelvin)
  • Dimmable
  • Shatter-proof, with a long life
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Lightweight, putting minimal strain on electrical connections
  • 27% ROI excluding transport and storage
  • CE marked
  • A year’s warranty on manufacturers defects
Festoon Lighting Strands at an Outdoor Celebration
Festoon Lighting Strands at an Outdoor Celebration
Festoon Lighting Strands within Sperry Tent
Festoon Lighting Strands within a Sperry Tent

Our LED Festoon Bulbs are available to buy online and we now sell Festoon Strands and Festoon Starter Cables too. They have been through the same rigorous Event Shed analysis as our bulbs, the perfect combination!



Marquee matting was traditionally coconut matting (also called coir matting).

Coconut mats are made from the woven raw fibres of coconut husks. They retain their naurtural colouring, which used to suit outdoor events perfectly. They simply blended in seamlessly with the greens and browns outside.

However, this traditional marquee matting has some serious drawbacks.

  • It absorbs water, so is extremely heavy when wet.
  • The natural fibres break/wear out, especially when wet.
  • Coir matting is not UV resistant, so it gets sunspots over time.
  • It absorbs stains and odours, which are not easy to remove.
  • The natural fibres are very course to handle.

Marquee flooring now comes in many options to suit every outdoor celebration and style. Many rental companies offer carpet in assorted colours, for weddings, or to match corporate colours. There are hard floors for rustic occasions and dancefloors in every shape and colour…

The direct replacement for coconut matting though is polypropylene matting. This marquee matting achieves a perfect balance of formal and informal. Woven from plastic polypropylene strands, it complements almost any outdoor event. It is now standard stock for event companies.

Polypropylene advantages over coconut/coir matting are:

  • The man-made fibres are stronger than natural coconut fibres. So polypropylene mats last longer and remain in better condition than coir mats.
  • Plastic doesn’t absorb water, so polypropylene mats don’t become as heavy as wet coconut matting. This makes them far easier to handle on wet builds or breakdowns.
  • Polypropylene is UV resistant so doesn’t fade in sunlight. Again, this gives it a longer lifecycle than coconut matting.

PapaFlex is a unique polypropylene matting by Event Shed. Uniquely, it purposefully mimics the look of natural fibres, with a subtle fleck running though it.

Sand is the original PapaFlex colour. It is a warm, lighter and brighter colour than traditional coir marquee matting. Sand PapaFlex suits the warm canvases of cream marquees and stretch tents, tipis, sperry and sailcloth Tents.

“I love the PapaFlex, I tell everyone we chose the best out there, it definitely makes the Tipis nice and light.” Sonja, Big Day Event Tipis.

Pebble is the newest colour you can buy, slightly cooler than Sand. PapaFlex Pebble tends to suit white marquees and silver stretch tents.

PapaFlex isn’t just about colour though.

  • The twisted polypropylene strands make it more durable than other leading polypropylene brands.
  • It is available in 2 weave patterns, linen and herringbone.
  • And it comes in bespoke sizes.

Finally, we’ll leave you with some fabulous photos from past customers who are using PapaFlex matting for their marquee and stretch tent events…

PapaFlex in Summer stretch tent by Flexitent
PapaFlex in a summer stretch tent, by Flexitent

PapaFlex Linen Sand in large stretch tent by Flexitent
PapaFlex Linen Sand in a large stretch tent, by Flexitent

Herringbone PapaFlex Sand in marquee by Up Marquees
Herringbone PapaFlex Sand in a marquee, by Up Marquees

PapaFlex in evening stretch tent by Flexitent
PapaFlex in an evening stretch tent, by Flexitent




Your requests to buy Oak Barrels went through the roof at the Showman’s Show last year!

Returning to HQ, our marquee supplier friends confirmed how hard it is to source wine or whisky barrels. Thinking our customers would face the same problem, Event Shed set to solve this immediately.

Our aim was to find a steady supply of beautiful, affordable, consistently-sized Oak Barrels. Today, we unveil the results!


A new barrel was not an option for us. We wanted to offer an authentic product with its own story behind it. At the same time, we sought an environmentally helpful approach to supply and demand, through recycling.

Research led us to a reclaimed, bourbon, Oak Barrel made in the UK. At 90cm tall it is an ideal height to rest a drink on when mingling! Using industrial sanding techniques, we then stripped each Oak Barrel back to bare wood and metal. Refurbishment complete!


Oak Barrels have so many uses in temporary events. Some of the most popular purposes we’ve seen are:

Poseur table – great for any event in a marquee/tipi/sailcloth/stretch tent/permanent venue.

Barrel bar or drinks counter – an elegant focal point with rustic charm.

Cake podium – a wedding showstopper!

Seating plan stand – a necessity for most weddings and corporate functions.

Display table – ideal for flowers, card collections, corporate networking material or menus.


At £98+VAT they are competitively priced… you can hire them out just 2-3 times to make your money back and start profiting!

We deliver by pallet or you can collect if you’d prefer.

We expect our initial stock to fly out the door, so enquire early to avoid disappointment!



Outside event terraces have become very popular here in the UK in recent years. And what’s not to love?

Firstly, there’s the additional celebration space they create.

Secondly, they offer a unique creative outlet at events.

They hint at outdoor activities and encourage guests to move around.

Not forgetting it gives the hope or certainty (depending on location!) of relaxing with friends in the sun!


Outdoor living is understandably popular in reliably sunny places like California and the Algarve.

Yet despite our well-known weather in the UK, the concept has become very popular here in recent years.  Exterior design is the key, bringing the character of the inside space into a defined area outside. It’s no longer enough to just go out on an expansive lawn!

Bars, restaurants and hotels – permanent venues – often start with the advantage of a structure. Relaxed seating on decking, quirky roof beer gardens and intimate balconies for dining all flourish.

But the events industry has to be a bit more creative in defining an area and designing it’s character…


Event Shed’s outside events terrace is beautiful in all its simplicity, or dressed up to the nines. It complements marquess, teepees, stretch tents and sailcloth tents perfectly. It is also a practical temporary addition to venues with grass areas.

Basic outside events terrace
Simple Outside Events Terrace (Lucy Davenport Photography)

Here’s what we used to build the basic outside events terrace shown:

  • 3 polypropylene PapaFlex mats, 10.5x2m (colourfast, waterproof and durable!)
  • A roll of PapaShop Plastic Underlay (damp proof membrane)
  • 10 of PapaShop’s Giant Shepherd Crooks

We sell all these items online.


If you want to personalise your outside events terrace, the sky’s the limit! As a starter…

Festoon lights are really effective strung between the Giant Shepherd Crooks to border the space. Lanterns, paper globes, bunting, etc, all enclose the space brilliantly too.

Chill out Furniture with throws, rugs, cushions and coffee tables offer unlimited scope to bring in some colour… as do foliage and flowers!

More formal furniture can be added for dining, such as tables and benches or our Oak Crossback Chairs.

And finally, our Outdoor Firepits can be positioned close by, a guaranteed way to draw people towards the outside events terrace!


Pinterest is a great place for further daecorating ideas, but we we’ll leave you with a photo of one of our all-time favourite outside event terraces…

Outside Events Terrace
Beautifully enhanced outisde events terrace (Alister Freeman Photography)


At Event Shed this year, we have focussed on developing our high quality Crossback Chairs for you.

We know how hard it is to source high quality event furnishings. Your purchases have so many measures to live up to!

  • Bride’s wedding dreams…
  • Mother of the Bride’s wedding dreams!
  • Professional dining elegance
  • Corporate event flair
  • Transports securely
  • Stores in minimal space
  • Complements the tipi/sperry tent/marquee/stretch tent/venue
  • Cleans easily
  • Provides Return on Investment
  • Withstands the abuse of the hire industry

With the popularity of Crossback Chairs increasing, the number of variations and sellers are increasing too. So how do you find your diamond in the rough?

We’ve put together ‘6 Features of Quality Crossback Chairs’ to help you, drawing on our product development process for our exclusive new Crossback Chairs with interchangeable seat pads.


First and foremost, a chair has to support the weight of your client and their guests!

Make sure the seat frame ledge that supports the pad is at least 10mm wide. The cushion/rattan pad should be a tight fit and, in quality Crossback Chairs, will be held in place with velcro fastenings as well. The seat pad itself should have a substantial flat wooden base to it.

Prototype Event Shed Crossback Chair with 10mm ledge and 3 velcro points (velcro still to be added!)

Fixings should not be out of sight, out of mind! Check fixings are substantial to withstand the abuse of the event and rental industry.

Wood joints with a lot of contact surface area are best glued.  Those with minimal surface contact are best screwed after pre-drilling, so as not to split the wood. If in doubt, joints glued and screwed are best!

PapaShop Quality Crossback Chairs Fixings
Fixings on a Event Shed Crossback Chair

Consistent colour, material and finish is vital for client-appeal!


Stacking saves space when storing and transporting the chairs.

For Crossbacks to stack well, the ‘cross’ must not ‘wrap around’ past the seat back and there needs to be a notch in the seat frame to allow the legs to stack.

The end of the semi circular seat frame supports need to be level because they will sit on the next seat frame when stacked!

Level seat supports on quality Crossback Chairs
PapaShop Quality Crossback Chairs Stack Supports
Level supports resting on a stacked Chair

A supplier of quality Crossback Chairs will be able to provide spare fixings and parts… because their chairs are worth fixing! At Event Shed, we offer spare fixings, seat pads, and ‘crosses’.


Event furniture hire is extremely competitive so you want your Crossback Chair to give you value.

Our exclusive, high quality Crossback Chairs with interchangeable seat pads offers you the opportunity to buy and store just one frame and offer two different chairs… saving you money and doubling the offering to your clients! Seat pads are also easier to clean when removed.

PapaShop Quality Crossback Chair Rattan
Event Shed Rattan Crossback Chair
PapaShop Quality Crossback Chair Cushion
Event Shed Cushion Crossback Chair

Obviously we are very proud of the high quality Crossback Chair we have developed at Event Shed, but we’re a bit biased! So here’s what one of our returning customers has to say…

“We were searching for these trendy cross back chairs for months when we stumbled across these beauties from Event Shed. Not only are they effortlessly stylish but they are also comfortable, super practical and our clients absolutely love them! They blend seamlessly with the tipis and we love their versatility…suiting all themes whether it’s a rustic woodland wedding or a glamorous party!

After doing our research and pricing up different options, we were also surprised by the value of these chairs without compromising on the quality of the product.

Top product and top people to deal with!”

Thank you Jamie at Serentipi!


Event Shed launched PapaFlex Event Matting worldwide in 2018, an alternative polypropylene tent flooring for the events industry.


PapaFlex sales in the UK are increasing, in Tipi, Sperry, stretch tent and marquee hire companies, as well as venues.

“We have been using PapaFlex flooring under our stretch tents all season. We would just like to say how impressed we all are with the quality, tight weave and matting quality in general. The matting perfectly complements the natural colour of our canvas and brings a light feel and crispness to our tents” (Flexitent Ltd, UK)

Switching our focus across the water this year, we secured sales of our tent flooring worldwide. PapsShop have already exported to the USA (New Mexico, Massachusetts) Canada (British Columbia, Quebec) and Australia (New South Wales). We are delighted to have so many worldwide sales enquiries in the pipeline for 2019 too!  These include New Jersey, New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado, California, Sweden and New Zealand.


New worldwide markets have provided interesting development opportunities within PapaShop as well.

In the US for example, standard tent flooring is hard floor. PapaFlex Event Matting introduces a cheaper but beautiful alternative to clients. It mimics natural carpet but has the practical advantage of synthetic fibres. The matts are extremely strong, washable, colourfast and UV resistant. They are also more practical at tight access sites and take less storage and transportation space than a hard floor.

Overseas markets created a need for a new e-commerce website too. So at Event Shed we were really excited to develop and launch our new website this year. They have access to all options through the website, 2 colours, 2 design patterns, custom sizes, and payment and delivery options.