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  1. #1
    Senior Member HCH's Avatar
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    Fabric question?

    Guys/Girls, maybe I am missing this, and maybe some of you are already using this, but why are we all so consumed with only using ripstops, when the military uses a satin, tight woven polyester, which looks EXACTLY like the fabric I am seeing at walmarts and other fabric stores in abundance, for it's parachutes? It weighs the same, or very similar, and must be strong enough to float a man to safety after he jumps out of a plane. The reason I ask, is I just bought a huge military parachute a few weeks back, and am in the process of turning it into a 14 man tipi. A friend on another forum taught me how to do this, and he made his waterproof easily. I removed 6 panels from it tonight, and this leftover fabric would make an awesome hammock. What gives, why not respect from this fabric, and so much love for ripstop? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Many of us are already using it. It has been recommended by several folks including myself.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member HCH's Avatar
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    Cool!! I see it all of the time for $1.50 a yd. I pull on it, testing it's strength, and it is tough. What is the official name of this stuff? Poly satin?

  4. #4
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    from what i understand, silnylon is the 'golden material' for most that i've read... the difference being that the nylon in silnylon has the silicon impregnated as opposed to coated. This means that the waterproofing will be consistent across the material and won't let water through unless there is an actual hole in the fabric. Ripstop (or other fabrics) coated with a sealer/waterproofing will allow moisture through over time, and may have an inconsistent coating making for a less reliable dry shelter (something I personally want to be able to rely on).


    I'm not saying you will have a wet tipi (sounds like a darn cool project!).... i'm just trying to answer your question, namely it isn't the ::ripstop:: part of the fabric... it is the silicon impregnation.

    ... or maybe i've missed your point altogether.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Silnyl is fine for a tarp. (However other fabrics like spin are beginning to encroach on that) But I would not use it for a hammock. I want my hammock to be very breathable. I much prefer an untreated fabric. Many commercial hammocks are made from polyester taffeta. I would not use a "satin" for a hammock. The satin weave pattern has a lot of top thread exposure. That's what makes it shiny. But all that top thread is easier to damage. I prefer the taffeta weave which is balanced weft and warp exposure. It is a good solid fabric in the 1.9 oz (70 D) weight.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  6. #6
    Senior Member HCH's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys

  7. #7
    New Member spursfiend's Avatar
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    A couple of my many DIY hammocks were made with nylon taffeta and they work great. I think the love for the "rip-stop" comes from the added durability and level of safety that results from the addition of the heavier reinforcing thread woven in. Your parachute material should be fine as long as you are extra careful about removing from your pockets anything that might puncture the fabric. Once it starts to rip, you will be on the ground.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Many people think the safety of the ripstop thread is over rated. I can and have ripped nylon ripstop by hand. It bunches up a lot but it rips reasonably easily once it is notched. Don't put too much faith in the ripstop grids.

    I like the feel of the polyester over the nylon any day of the week. HOYH
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

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