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  1. #1
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    Edge binding a tarp

    If you plan on putting edge binding on a sil nylon tarp do you need to also hem the edge or can you just put the raw edge in the binding and be done with it?
    Thanks
    RED

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    In theory you can edge bind it and be done with it. However, if the fabric you are using tends to fray you may want to treat the edge somehow before you bind it. That could include heat sealing or overcast stitching the edge with a zig-zag or over cast stitch. It would also depend on how wide the edging would be. The wider the edging the less likely it would be to fray out. Coated fabrics should not fray as the coating seals the edge. Silnyl may or may not. I've had differing experiences with it. Lots of folks who do a lot of gear making will use a hot iron to cut the fabric making the whole question moot.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  3. #3
    sil nylon shouldn't fray much like an uncoated would

  4. #4
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    When you say 'edge binding' do you mean traditional binding that hides the edge completely (normally done with bias tape which is unsuitable for tarps or with grossgrain which produces a bulky edge) or do you mean tape binding in which the raw edge is rolled under the tape so the raw edge is covered and the tape lies on one side of the tarp edge? I hope you mean the latter. It works a whole lot better. Some folks roll the tape up in the edge so it is completely covered. I don't because it holds water and makes the tarp slow to dry, and because it makes a sloppy edge if the edge has a catenary curve.

  5. #5
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    Under normal use I say sil doesn't fray. Under a lot of use it does.

    On my BB Sack made of sil I didn't do a hemmed edge on the seam down the side. Over the corse of a hundred or so stuffing and unstuffing and everything else, it started to fray. And progressively got worse. I needed heat sealing it which helped. Still going strong after that.

    So up to you, but I hem all the edges regardless. Doesn't take that much longer and is worth the extra effort.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Under normal use I say sil doesn't fray. Under a lot of use it does.
    That has been my experience. I usually roll twill tape into the rolled hems of my DIY tarps but that was not the question. I have have good luck with bias tape and I don't like grosgrain as edging. Again to some extent it is a whatever floats your boat thing. Different people will have different experiences. I'm not sure there is a one answer fits all conclusion.
    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

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  7. #7
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    I guess I was thinking a grossgrain edge, for no particular reason, I'm rather new to the sewing scene, and I'm not sure I'm following the suggestion to roll the edge under the tape? Or what you're using for tape? Have any photos of this maneuver? Have you seen the tarps made by Cookes Custom sewing with webbing all the way around the edge? At the end of the day how beneficial is edge binding vs. a rolled hem?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Check "We Don't Sew... We Make Gear!! Tarp Tips. That may help answer some of the questions.
    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

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  9. #9
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips, and the video link.

  10. #10
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    Redoleary,
    the only good reason to tape an edge is if it is curved - which makes it hard to do a rolled hem. I prefer to stitch tape to one side instead of rolling the tape inside the fabric because it does not catch much water and dries faster. I use polyester grossgrain ribbon because it does not stretch, so the curved hem can act as a catenary, pulling sag out of the tarp. To conceal the raw edge under the tape, first stitch 5/8" grossgrain to the raw edge with the raw edge covering all but 1/4" of the ribbon. Stitch another row along the inside edge of the ribbon. Then turn the ribbon over to the other side of the tarp and stitch it down. Simple.

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