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  1. #1
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    Wal-Mart fabrics - help!

    Hello everyone,

    After reading about the gradual disappearance of the cheap fabrics available at Wal-Mart, I ran over to the one in Danville, VA. There's just one little bitty problem: I don't know what the hell I'm looking for.

    It's really only been since I've started lurking around the hammock forums that I've gotten interested in making my own stuff. My ignorance is right now as vast as my enthusiasm.

    I didn't find anything with a helpful label, but they did have a few bundles on the $1 shelves that looked promising. By "looked promising," I mean it was shiny, slippery, and had faint boxes in the pattern. The label did not list a fabric, nor did it have anything along the lines of, "Though it doesn't say ripstop nylon, this is that for which you DIY hammock people flock here at odd hours of the night."

    The woman there was kind enough to cut me samples from each of the three promising fabrics. Would anyone here care to enlighten me on how I know for sure if this is what I'm looking for?

    Since this is my first post, I may as well introduce myself... Just got my first hammock a few months ago, a HH hyperlight, and am loving it. As happy as I am in the evenings, I'm loving the ability to recline for an early afternoon nap after a morning of fast hiking. It's the life.

    I'm still using the stock tarp, but plan on upgrading to the MacCat Deluxe for my 2009 AT thru, assuming I can get one from Brian at some point (or who knows, I may just want to go ahead and try making myself a Black Cat one of these days). I did convert to the buckle setup described on Jeff's page.

    Cute little idiot story, while I'm being all chatty: I followed Jeff's instructions as accurately as I could. I even drove all around trying to find the ultimate small, strong cord to connect the rings to the hammock. Having done this, I tied it up, then stared at all of that cord already there, just begging to be used for this very purpose. D'oh!

    I continue to be amazed at the wealth of information found here. Y'all have really done an amazing job at creating an online community. I don't think I have ever seen a forum that is so well-organized and moderated. It is a joy to read through threads that stay on topic and provide new information with each post. Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge.

    So... any hints on how I can tell if I have me some ripstop nylon?

  2. #2
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    Faint boxes in the fabric... hopefully that is ripstop, or else I have approx. 30 yards of something else, too. Mine is slippery and shiny, and since I know what ripstop is, I know that is what I have. What I don't know is if it is coated, or what weight it is.

    I got approx. 24 yards of 48" wide green, somewhere between an olive and forest green, and 12 yards of 61" wide grey.

    Oh... and a $200 Brother sewing machine. Well... I was accumulating all this fabric, and I learned to sew at my Mom's knee. I went over to her place and she and I got the machine all threaded, the bobbin wound and even sewed a bit. Wow, have machines changed in the last *cough* years since I had one. So far I'm lovin' this machine. I have a lot of learning to do to figure out all 60 stitches and 8 or so presser footsies and all. It even came with a walking foot so I'll have to figure out why you guys thing they are sooo cool now.

    I have been assimilated.
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  3. #3
    slowhike's Avatar
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    welcome to HF nartoff.
    that's not the easiest question to answer. part of it comes from becoming familiar w/ some of the fabric types commonly used.
    here's one of the 1st pictures i came across in the gallery that shows the ripstop pattern
    http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...3/5/WBfan1.JPG
    but then you probably already knew what it looked like.

    there are no labels that say ripstop at wal-mart. i'm not sure that i've even seen a label that said nylon or polyester. but sometimes it will say cotton... & you'll want to pass on that one.

    guessing at the approx weight can be even a little more tricky. but the more you handle the stuff, the easier it gets.

    take a look at the info about your hh & see what weight material is used on it.
    that would be a good starting point. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #4
    slowhike's Avatar
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    note of caution... i have seen fabric in the $1.00 bin that had that pattern, but after looking closely, i finally decided that it was done for looks & not what we call rip stop... i think
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #5
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartoff View Post
    So... any hints on how I can tell if I have me some ripstop nylon?
    It certainly sounds like you've got some ripstop nylon from the description. You might want to read this thread for tips about determining the fabric weight.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  6. #6
    <snip>
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmoss View Post
    Faint boxes in the fabric... hopefully that is ripstop, or else I have approx. 30 yards of something else, too. Mine is slippery and shiny, and since I know what ripstop is, I know that is what I have. What I don't know is if it is coated, or what weight it is.
    I have some fabric like that as well. I took a corner of my fabric and put it over a glass, holding in in place with a rubber band. In the depression I poured about a 1/4 cup of water. Not coated was the verdict.

    TWS

  7. #7
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    note of caution... i have seen fabric in the $1.00 bin that had that pattern, but after looking closely, i finally decided that it was done for looks & not what we call rip stop... i think
    I agree with Tim on this one. As far as I know, ripstop has a box pattern because a larger thread is woven into the fabric at given intervals. You can usually feel the larger thread. Some of WalMart fabric I have seen looks like ripstop but when you look closer it looks like the pattern was made by weaving smaller threads at given intervals. You also can't feel a discernable difference in thread size. So I'm a little leary that it's all ripstop and may just be for appearance.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I'd be happy to send you one of the many small pieces of 1.9 ripstop that I have in a scrap pile. Then you can hold it next to what you have and know for sure. If you're interested, just shoot me a PM with your address.

    But, I agree with Angrysparrow it sure sounds like ripstop. If it makes you feel better, I asked basically the same question several weeks ago. It doesn't take long to get a feel for it once you know what it feels like.

  9. #9
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    I see more ripstop polyester at walmart than ripstop nylon.

    and in my opinon, the polyester is lighter, and feels better to the skin.

    it looks much as you have described.



    Quote Originally Posted by stoikurt View Post
    I agree with Tim on this one. As far as I know, ripstop has a box pattern because a larger thread is woven into the fabric at given intervals. You can usually feel the larger thread. Some of WalMart fabric I have seen looks like ripstop but when you look closer it looks like the pattern was made by weaving smaller threads at given intervals. You also can't feel a discernable difference in thread size. So I'm a little leary that it's all ripstop and may just be for appearance.

  10. #10
    New Member terceiro's Avatar
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    I don't mean to gloat, but I did find eighteen yards of silnylon at my local Walmart yesterday. I was a little dubious at first -- couldn't believe that I would actually be one of the lucky ones -- and so I brought it home and conducted a couple of tests. Most successful was to drape it over my head like a poncho with the hood sewn shut and have my wife squirt me with the hose. I think she worked out some aggression.

    Anyway, I stayed completely dry (my head and shoulders at least) and I thus conclude that my fabric is silnylon.

    I also bought -- also for a buck a yard -- some kelly green taffeta. I can't tell if it's nylon or polyester, but I sewed a couple of seams and it's a fine hammock today.

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