Mistakes happen and when they happen at Seek Outside it can save you some cash! A Factory Blemished shelter or backpack from SO is a product that comes through one of our inspection points and we find a cosmetic flaw or tiny mistake and instead of selling it anyway, we mark it a "seconds", or a Factory Blem. We hang on to all of this blemished gear and have a Factory Blem sale. In this post, I'm going to go over some examples of what a Factory Blemish looks like and what it's caused by.
1.) Stitch holes are caused by a few things. Depending on the location of the holes, they're often caused by the sewer needing to pick the stitches out of the fabric and re-sew a seam. Sometimes they get sewn back into the seam, other times they end up in the panel of the tent. This doesn't effect the structure of of the shelter in any way, although the holes may leak in wet weather. They're easily closed up with a bit of Sil-Net silicone seam sealant, which will be included in all Factory Blemished shelters.
2.) Sometimes our fabric suppliers send us a roll or two of fabric that isn't like the others. The tiny fabric flaw pictured below isn't anything to worry about. We've put it through testing and tried our best to destroy it or get it to rip or fray and it almost can't be done. To prevent possible leaks we recommend a little Sil-Net over the outside of the flaw. We are confident that this flaw is cosmetic only and won't affect the integrity of your shelter.
3.) Our Sewers and Inspectors use tiny scissors called nippers that are used to trim loose or excess threads. Sometimes we slip and accidentally snip the fabric in a tent panel (we jokingly call this a nip-slip- haha!) We patch the small hole throw it in the Blem Bin.
4.) When we are training a new Flat Felled sewer it can take time to get the feel for the machine. During the training process sometimes a seam that should be straight ends up being a little wavy. Wavy seams don't affect the integrity of a shelter at all, but may cause a panel to look less taut than the others. Sometimes the wavy stitch is really hard to see, but our inspectors are really great at finding it! (I can't even see it in this picture, but they assure me it's there)
5.) We don't get many returns, but if we do they don't always come back in sellable condition. Sometimes they get taken out and get a little dirty or dusty and we can't sell them for full price. Other times they've been set up once, the owner decided that they wanted something bigger or smaller and they've already been seam sealed, so they also go into the Blem Bin! (YES that means we have blemished tents ALREADY seam sealed!)
All Factory Blemished shelters are covered by our FULL Seek Outside Lifetime Warranty. We would never sell you anything we wouldn't use ourselves. To review our warranty click here.