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  1. #1
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    thread and seam question?

    hey guys-awhile back i bought 18yds of coated sil at Walmart for like 25bucks and i put it out of sight and just rediscovered it, so...i'm thinking of what to do with it and am thinking about some hammock chairs ,gear hammock and tarps.now for the questions---what type of thread are you guys sewing with for tarps etc and how do you do your seams to keep them leakproof,my wife thinks she needs to french seam everything but is there not some other ways with sealers? any info much appreciated-thx

  2. #2
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertramp View Post
    hey guys-awhile back i bought 18yds of coated sil at Walmart for like 25bucks and i put it out of sight and just rediscovered it, so...i'm thinking of what to do with it and am thinking about some hammock chairs ,gear hammock and tarps.now for the questions---what type of thread are you guys sewing with for tarps etc and how do you do your seams to keep them leakproof,my wife thinks she needs to french seam everything but is there not some other ways with sealers? any info much appreciated-thx
    for me, the french seam I used on my tarp was for strength since it gets yanked on in every direction. I still seam sealed it (2x actually)
    guttermans poly thread and a #9 needle.
    Get Busy!!
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  3. #3
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    Exactly what AC said. You'll be pulling that tarp really taught, and the French seam prevents the stitching from stretching holes in the tarp. You can seam seal it with some silicone caulk/paint thinner mixture brushed onto the finished seam.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

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    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    I use the french seam to keep the edges from unravelling- if I sew it down flat I thought it was a felled seam; Flat felled (as on jeans) or run and fell (for french seams).
    Second the Guttermans, or metrosene if you can find it- but 100% polyester either way- no blends, no cotton wrapped!
    HTH ,KM

  5. #5
    BOB1520's Avatar
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    A French seam???

    I use a Flat Felled Seam, which when completed the seam is completely flat. If you look at the tarps and tents that are manufactured they commonly use this seam. It also minimizes the waterproofness loss during the sewing process.

    I believe this seam is also stronger than the French since the material is sewn back on to itself during the folding part of the process.

    The French seam intentions is to conceal the cut edge of the material.

    I also use Guttermans 100% Polyester thread.

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    Yeah, actually, I use a flat seam on tarps too, not a French seam.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  7. #7
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    holy cow, I can't believe I'm gonna 'discuss' sewing techniques
    anyhow, I use the french seam as described here from Thru Hiker
    I think they are the same thing...but I wouldn't bet anything on it

    after a referee review, I now know the difference...see here for a difference of the two...
    and FWIW, I also did a flat-felled seam (and didn't even know it!)
    Last edited by animalcontrol; 11-11-2009 at 13:36.
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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  8. #8
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    The Flat Felled is slightly different. Thru-hiker describes the Flat Felled here

    You could actually turn a french into a flat variation by sewing the conceal seam back to the main part of the material.

    Thru hiker instruction for the Flat Felled instructs you to have longer seam allowance on one peice of the material. Doing this is more setup time and I just allow for a longer seam for both pieces and fold the seam allowance under and sew allong the fold. It gives you the same end result and it seem to take less time this way.

    Sorry I got sooo technical... that's what I do for a living.

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    wow! thx everyone for the responses-i think i'll start small and work my way up to a winter frenzy if my wife lets me play with her machine and surger

  10. #10
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    Oooh, serger. Lucky dog, you.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

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