Dimensions: How to set out this labyrinth design
This labyrinth design is based on an 18-inch [460mm] square, which is the size of the black and white squares in the floor of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. At first we thought we might have to tape it out directly onto that floor, so a circular pattern wouldn't work - we had to come up with a design that used the existing floor pattern. In the end we covered the floor with a cloth, but kept the distinctive pattern.
There are two ways to set it out.
Mark out a grid of 18 inch [460mm] squares as below.
A lot of the points of the labyrinth lie on straight lines - so you can set out a grid of string across the floor/cloth as below, and use two people to stretch the tape from one crossing-point on the string grid to another. This method is quicker - I think!
Using imperial measurements:
Using metric measurements:
We use 2 inch [50mm] wide duct tape for the pattern. Whichever method you use it's still three or four hours hard work for at least two people.
The original cathedral cloth was hessian, because we only expected to use it once. Even so it had to be made in two pieces to be handleable. Hessian is bulky and heavy, but the weight helps it to lie flat and it is pleasant for bare feet to walk on.
However, most labyrinth cloths since then have been tarpaulins. Tarpaulins can be bought quite cheaply in a range of sizes and colours. They are lightweight, dimensionally stable, water and sand proof, and take tape well. Do not use the lightest weights - they will not lie flat and may tear. A medium weight tarpaulin the size of the original labyrinth will weigh 10-12kg and with care will fold up small enough to be carried by one person. The best colour to use is white, with black tape.
Fold tarpaulins carefully to control creasing and potential damage to tape. Always have a spare roll of tape for repairs. Tarpaulins need some encouragement to lie flat after they've been folded - it's worth taking time to get it as flat as possible before use, to reduce trip hazards and to look better.