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  1. #1
    New Member bwtruitt's Avatar
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    Unlabeled Walmart bargain fabric

    So, I've been occasionally browsing the local walmart's fabric looking for ripstop nylon. The problem is, at best they will have what looks and feels like it's probably nylon... but it's only labeled as "Assorted Fabric" and "Unknown fiber content".

    Even that, they don't have too often. How can I tell if it's ripstop or if it's 30D, 70D....something else? I bought it anyway and it holds my weight.... That's about all I know about it. Maybe that's enough :-).;

  2. #2
    Yoda's Avatar
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    I found almost the same problem at Joannes Fabrics, they had Rip Stop Nylon or what looked to be it but the label said sport nylon, and something else, so I was hesitant to buy alot of it in fear of not knowing exactly what it truly was/is, and the people that work there didn't even know!? I figure if I am going to make something like a hammock or something that will be put under stress like one I am just going to order from someone on HF, or unless I can find out what that fabric is?

  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    If you handle enough fabric for a long enough time you can get pretty good at telling if the fiber is natural or synthetic. One possible rule of thumb, which is not a constant, is the synthetic fabrics come in 60" width. Particularly nylon and polyester. As I noted... don't bet the ranch on that but it seems to hold fairly true. Trying to differentiate between nylon and polyester fabric is somewhat harder. It is best done with a burn test. Those are listed somewhere on the forum. Of course it can real chutzpah to stand in Wally world and set fire to a bolt of fabric. The good news is for hammocks and such the difference between nylon and polyester is not that important.

    Natural fibers seem to come in mostly 42/44" width. Real cheap sleazy rule of thumb but again it seems to hold fairly true. You don't want natural fibers for outdoor gear as it is prone to rot and mildew. Natural fibers can also be identified by a burn test.

    Federal law requires the content of fabric to be listed and labeled. The exception to that is when the fabric is mill ends or salvage and the fiber can not be properly determined. Hence the "assorted fabric" labeling. I have seen "assorted odd lots of indeterminate fiber content." Hope that helps.
    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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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    The "Is it ripstop" is an easy one:

    Look for a visible square on the fabric. This square pattern is typically 1/4" or smaller, and is comprised of slightly larger threads than the rest of the fabric. For non-solid fabrics, it's a little harder to see, but is more visible if you look at the reflection of a bright light source in the fabric.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Thanks Ramblinrev, thats good to know stuff, I now have another question for ya Is there a way to tell if it 1.0, 1.1, 1.9 and on, and on, as I have looked at the bolt's at Joanne's and it doesn't say it, like I said it only say's sport?
    OP sorry to hijack your thread!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Most of the stuff I've found at Joanne's is 1.9, uncoated, but your mileage may vary...

  7. #7
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Sorry JohnSawyer I didn't see your post prior to mine, is that 1/4in or smaller square a way to tell the weight of the fabric? Or what does the 1/4in or smaller describe other than it's rip stop?

  8. #8
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Ok now you are posting alot faster than I am LOL!!! So most of the stuff there is 1.9? How can you tell? I have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO idea thats why I ask!

  9. #9
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    There is only one way that I know of for anyone to know the weight of the fabric. That is to weigh it. The manufacturers know how to make fabric of a certain weight because they know what things weigh. But if you don't know who made the stuff... and often you don't... the only way is to take a sample and put it on a scale. Further.. even with the manufacturers the weight is before treatment. So any treatment added to the fabric is not reflected in the "official" weights.
    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

  10. #10
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Thanks Rev!!!!!

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