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  1. #1
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Finishing A Tarp Edge. Ribbon or Roll Hem??

    I am planning on using some of the WM silnylon that I have to make a 10x12 tarp. I have still not decided to go with a rectangular tarp or a canterary cut, but I will figure that out later.

    Right now I am trying to decide how to finish the edges of the tarp: nylon ribbon or roll hem.

    I like the ribbon on the edge like what is seen on the MacCat tarps which are said to be "Triple stitched edges lined with webbing prevent all fraying of fabric while keeping a first-rate appearance". My stock HH tarp has edges that are finished in ribbon (single stitched) and one small section and has come loose from the ribbon and there is a slight tear in the tarp fabric that was cause by it pulling loose from the ribbon. I have to repair it in the future.

    The slight failure on the HH tarp is giving me second thoughts on using ribbon on the edges, but I really like the look of ribbon. Does ribbon on the edge of a tarp have any benefits over roll hemming the edges (beside comsmetic)? How does ribbon effect getting tension on the tarp when setting up?

    I guess I could roll hem the edges and then finish them with ribbon, but that's just extra weight and to time consuming.

    Thoughts and opinions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I had the same failure on the ribbon around my HH tarp. Nothing even close on the MacCat tarp. IMO, it's a construction quality issue rather than a problem with the ribbon itself.

    I'm not sure the ribbon is needed, though. IMO, it does help spread the force on a catenary tarp, which probably helps with the MacCat's tighter-n-all-get-out pitch. And it sure makes it look nice and adds some durability. But you could probably sacrifice some of that durability to save an ounce or two if you wanted to...the JRB holds up fine without it.

    I don't think I would use it on a rectangular tarp, but I'd definitely consider it for a catenary tarp. JMHO.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Rolled Hem

    I just finished making a cat cut tarp. Details are in a thread started by Slowhike yesterday about Hammocking on New Year's Eve. As soon as I can I will move it to a new thread with picture. But here's my corner and edge stitching detail. If the rolled hem is done carefully I don't believe you will gain much other than the added weight of the ribbon.

    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

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