Questions about our portable fabric labyrinths

How can I get candle wax off of my labyrinth?

We have removed wax by using the old technique of placing a brown paper bag
over the spot and ironing it with a hot iron. The wax melts and is absorbed
by the paper. In the case of strongly colored candles, there may be a spot remaining. You might try some of the cleaning techniques mentioned in the next answer.

How do we clean our canvas labyrinths?

The best solution is to keep the labyrinth froom getting dirty. Cleaning is a bit problematic. We use a standard vacuum cleaner on our rental units, which makes some difference. It is an upright model, that has a revolving brush to "beat" the surface. It doesn't seem to hurt the paint. The people who do our sewing say that they give the labyrinth a blast of compressed air, which blows most of the dirt away.

For specific spots, we use a soft white eraser. Someone told us a story of a convent borrowing a canvas labyrinth. In appreciation, they erased the entire surface, returning the labyrinth far cleaner than they received it. It must have taken quite a few erasers.

We have always wondered whether a cleaners specializing in carpets could dry clean the labyrinth. It would probably be expensive. We joke that they would return a blank piece of canvas and say, "We got all of that paint off for you!" We have never used spot removers because we think they will leave a mark of their own. For really bad, dark spots, you can get some canvas-colered paint and cover them up. It's not perfect, but it may be an improvement.

How big are the paths on your Chartres labyrinth?

The paths on our 36-foot labyrinths are 11 1/8 inches wide, and the lines are 2.5 inches wide. So, think in terms of a path/line unit (13 5/8 inches) as being the walking space (after all, if you made the line half an inch wide, the other two inches would be added to the path -- the space is still there, it's just in the line). You might want to remember that the two labyrinths at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco have seen more than a million walkers, and they are 35 feet (indoor) and 36 feet (outdoor) patterns. In Chartres, the full-size labyrinth has paths of 13 5/8 inches and lines of 3 inches for a line/path unit of 16 5/8 inches.

I want to make my own canvas labyrinth. Where can I get canvas, and what kind of paint do I use?

Not only do you have to find canvas, but also get it sewn. Some people buy tarps or drop cloths, but I think they are too flimsy. Go to an awning company or a tarp company which is set up for doing large-scale sewing. The people who do our sewing have two tables, one 14' x 20' and the other 14' x 15'. They have a removable bridge for the six feet between the tables. When it is in place, the table is 14' x 41'. They also have special heavy-duty commercial double-needle sewing machines. You could ask your local awning company to buy the canvas and sew it for you. Alternatively, you can buy canvas from us, already sewn and hemmed and ready for drawing. The cost ranges from $500 to $2,000 depending on size and material. See our products page or call us for pricing. With regards to the paint, we use normal indoor flat latex house paint, that we buy at The Home Depot. Flat is better than gloss, because gloss is more brittle. You may want to thin the paint with a little Flowtrol to make it easier to handle. Flowtrol is located by the spray painting equipment, since they often thin the paint. Our largest 36-foot labyrinths take less than two gallons. A 24-foot labyrinth takes less than one gallon.

Can you give me some tips on how to paint a canvas labyrinth?

Wehave posted an article with painting instructions. See Painting.