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  1. #1

    Needle/thread size for stressed Sil/nylon seams

    Howdy makers and tinkerers.

    I need a bit of advice for a tent project. I'd like to make a high tension hoop tent for ice fishing, but I can't quite get the thread/needle combo to work. This is a 3 pole hoop with conical ends. The floor is 10' x 14'. Peak height is 5'.

    I've worked with tents and tent fabrics for 20 years now, but Sil-nylon has me a bit baffled. The whole thing works great in coated ripstop, but I want more. I've been using our needle feed machines with teflon feet, and monitoring the fabric feed carefully. My issue is the stitching itself. I can piece the panels well enough to let the fabric expand w/o stress along the test panels where the poles would lie in the structure. When I use B69 nylon, the thread breaks after repeated use. When I drop to B46, it saws through the fabric after some time. I've tried size 18 and 20 ball point needles thus far. Should I add something to relieve stress at the seams? Any suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Boston's Avatar
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    Use sharp needles, and size them to your thread.

    I use a size 80/11 needle with Gutermann Tera 80 Tex 35 thread.

  3. #3
    That did it! I tested two sleeve/seams last night. Sharp needles, all these years I've marched to the drum beat of 'ball point for nylon'.

    Many thanks.

    Kevin

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    Ball point needles are for stretchy knit fabrics.

  5. #5
    Senior Member turnerminator's Avatar
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    There is a nice easy test for ensuring the needle is sharp enough. If the point will dig into your fingernail easily without slipping at all, it's sharp enough.

  6. #6
    Thanks all.

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