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  1. #21
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    BDPalace: First off, I want to thank you. I'm out of town on business--PHX, which ain't my first choice on any list of three, and second, I've had a couple business drinks , and third, there's a touch of Wodehouse in your lingo, which I'm re-reading to get over second item. You hit the spot.

    At the risk of offending the distaff crew or any others who possess that greater knowledge of the fabrician arts, which knowledge I glumly suppose is similar to clothes shopping, baby paraphernalia purchasing and expeditions to Michael's Arts and Crafts, I feel your pain going to a JoAnns. The fact that my first wife's name was JoAnn has nothing to do with it. Its just that thought of walking into a fabric store.

    I did it one time...years ago, when I was younger, less worldly, foolish some would say, and certainly not up to the task at hand, which was simply to buy a little thread to sew a hole in a ... well, the point being, women from all side, high and low, looking around bolts and buttons, hanging upside down, peering around stuffings and pillows and who knows what, these women all looked at me as if I were, well frankly, a woodsman in a china shop. Like they'd never seen such a curiosity. I might be wrong, but I sensed more red lipstick near at hand than I'm used too. And too many questions about threads and needles and bobbins and thimbles and baskets and "where's your wife now" and how proud they were of me and times are changing.

    Only the internet for me these days, or Jermyn St., where Mr. Hoskinson doesn't ask too many questions and is always discreet.
    Bartender, I'll have what Sailor here is having

    Grizz

  2. #22
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    My wife is a sweetie when it comes to this. She will go in with me and when she is addressed by the clerk as the default actual person in the store she will look directly at me and shrug her shoulders. As if to say "Why are you asking me... It's HIS project." The poor clerk usually has no clue what to do next. I have gotten to the point where I have enough knowledge of what I want to usually dismiss the clerk and find it myself. But on occasion I do have to ask. When that happens I make it a point to be as precise and specific as possible so the clerk is either intimidated and leaves me alone except to direct me to what I am inquiring about. Or surprise surprise realizes that I do know my butt from a hole in the ground and will proceed to treat me as a valued customer. The latter rarely if ever happens at the big box fabric stores. Wal Mart is used to me by now and they actually enjoy having me come in.

    The other alternative I will use is a local upholstery fabric shop but they don't carry the thin nylons. The lightest I can get there is 200D and it is too heavy for most of what I need. I actually enjoy a fabric shop that will deal with people no matter what they assume the person knows. My problem is all the "local" options are 25 miles or more away. I don't know if the local Amish shops would carry the ripstop and such or not. I should probably find out one of these days. But again it is a ways away.
    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. #23
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Funniest. Thread. Ever.

    In the whole and entire history of threads.

    Thank you all.
    Dave

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  4. #24
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    They know me at the local JoAnnes.

    One night I was in there, as was a manager, a male. He was conversing with staff about the "Minnesota accent". Being Minnesotan by breeding I introduced myself as such, found out he and I attended the same college, whereupon the pair of us broke out into a fabricated dialog about ice fishing, deer hunting and shoveling driveways, the pair of using The Accent like we were straight out of a scene of the movie "Fargo".

    We got looks. Oh yeah, they know me at the local JoAnnes.

    Grizz

  5. #25
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Expecting quality outdoor fabric at Jo Anns is like expecting to find GG, ULA, JRB at WW....Jo Ann's serves the masses, not the 100 or so Outdoor DIYers...

    Support those that support your hobby/passion Ed Speer, OWF, Quest and be happy about it...

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  6. #26
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    Support those that support your hobby/passion Ed Speer, OWF, Quest and be happy about it...

    Pan
    But then what would we have to whine and complain about ... geesh

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


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  7. #27
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    Expecting quality outdoor fabric at Jo Anns is like expecting to find GG, ULA, JRB at WW....Jo Ann's serves the masses, not the 100 or so Outdoor DIYers...

    Support those that support your hobby/passion Ed Speer, OWF, Quest and be happy about it...

    Pan
    I don't think this is quite a fair analogy. I agree with the sentiment. But I don't go to Joanns for "quality outdoor fabric" any more than I go to Wal Mart for highly technical outdoor clothing. The designation of fabric by weight is not a sign of "quality outdoor fabric" as much as it is knowledge of the customer base. I've worked professionally with fabric distributors and they don't have that information either. I agree it is not reasonable to "expect" that kind of knowledge at Joanns. But they do have local supplies and fabrics that I can pick up quickly, when I want them without having to get involved in mail orders and such.

    That's worth something. Plus for the beginning DIY person I think it is a good thing to have cheap fabric that will do the job so that when the bugs are worked out we can get the really high quality stuff from the trusted and knowledgeable vendors. When all you need is some "60" wide polyester taffeta" I don't think there is any problem in looking to mass market sources for that.

    The major gripe I have is the level of customer service and assumptions that are made based on gender. That's what I find deplorable.
    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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  8. #28
    Member Gumbi's Avatar
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    Forgive me for my ignorance, Ramblinrev, but how sturdy is polyester taffeta for hammocks? What is it comparable to? Does it stretch a bit like nylon? Is it fairly inexpensive? Will it hold a #250 person? Does it wear out quickly?

    Sorry for bombarding you with all these questions (and hijacking the thread), I am wondering because I too, cannot find a suitable place to buy 1.9 ripstop at a price I can afford right now.
    Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.

  9. #29
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Wondering of it is worth my life to admit I worked (during college) at a fabric store...

    Male customers were of three classes-
    "I'm just waiting for her" -vast majority
    "My wife sent me for (X)" -infrequent.
    and (vanishingly few) "I need some (xyz) to make (noun)"
    do not be surprised if the young things working there do not know how to respond to this; ask for a senior associate or co-worker who has been there a while.

    also I have found that even the sewing specialty stores cater primarially to quilters and moms sewing clothing. Just a fact of (fabric) life.

    best advice so far - state what you need and ask it they have any.
    NB.-fabric is not generally graded by weight at the consumer retail level; other than sheer, light weight , top/bottom weight and heavy.
    if you need light weight ripstop or nylon ask for 'kite' or 'flag' fabric.
    if they have Guttermans or Metrosene thread there will be a rack over with the other thread. if they do not have them, you are probably out of luck on the nylon fabric also.
    Hope this helps! KM

  10. #30
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Gumbi... no problem and good questions. Check around the commercial makers and you will find a lot of hammocks made with polyester taffeta. They are rated often to <>400#. I am 250 ish and I have my home sleeper made from a single layer of plyester taffeta. Many people find polyester taffeta stretches less than nylon. Taffeta is a weave pattern. It approximates ripstop nylon but without the ripstop threads woven in. It is, in general somewhat heavier than the lightest weight ripstop but I don't have a weight for it.

    Nylon taffeta would also be fine, but I would doubt Joanns would carry that intentionally as it is likely to be a more specialized fabric. As has been noted Joanns serves the mass market. Ployester taffeta is a mass market friendly fabric that Joanns would recognize. Think Prom Gowns. The problem with asking for material for prom gowns and the like is you may get directed to satin and sateen which you do NOT want under any circumstances. The weave is no where near as dense with many more surface threads which gives the fabric its glossy shine. The problem is the more surface threads the less structurally sound it is. Not a problem for prom gowns but I had a DIY jobber fail catastrophically when the surface threads became abraded from minor use and the whole thing ripped.

    Polyester taffeta is a very viable fabric in a lnaguage that Joann's clerks would understand.

    Mass market fabric language... in order of heavyness..

    Sheers (style) - very light often almost see through. Often used for privacy curtains as they restrict vision without cutting down on light.

    Taffeta (weave) - a reasonably lightweight but solid (opaque) fabric often used for light blouses, formals, summer dresses. Wonderful fabric to work with. Very popular. Many colors and prints available.

    Oxford (weave) - heavier than taffeta often used for fine men's shirts, tailored (shaped) blouses and light weight summer slacks/shorts for women. Heavy for hammocks unless you are looking to supprt a very significant weight (well in excess of 400# possible use for a two person sleeper.)

    Twill (weave) - bottom weight fabric for pants (chinos) very heavy for use. Very durable

    Tweed (weave) - Suit jackets and outer garments. Very heavy.

    Various "pack cloth" weights correspond here but if you are in the mass market stores chances are you will be directed to the canvas weight packcloths. Really heavy duty and very limited stock.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 09-30-2009 at 10:54.
    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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