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  1. #1
    New Member Chopper's Avatar
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    Rip Stop vs. Sports Nylon

    I was at Joanns Fabrics to get some ripstop nylon. They did not have enough for what I needed, although they had plenty of Sports Nylon. What is the difference between the two . I asked the lady there and she had no idea so I thought let me ask the experts. I am planning to make a tarp out of it can I still make my own sil and use it on sports nylon?

  2. #2
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Nylon is simply the type of material woven together. There're various kinds of nylon, most of whose names refer to the weave type. Ripstop is one of those (note that there're other kinds of ripstop: cotton blends and polyester are both very common in addition to nylon).

    To know whether something is ripstop or not, look for a grid of slightly larger threads running through the base fabric: they're there to stop tears that might propagate through the thinner threads.

    All that being said, the "sport" nylon that I've seen at JoAnne's was ripstop, in the 1.9 oz/sq yd range. That doesn't mean that it's the only kind they carry, just that it's the only one I've seen there.

    Hope it helps!

    Edit: An hammock need not be made out of ripstop; ripstop is just often sold in very light weights per square yard compared to other weaves. Which is why it's favored for hammocks, since the majority of folks hike in with 'em on their backs.
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  3. #3
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    http://www.joann.com/sport-nylon-many-colors/prd13084/...the pertinent info is 93 GSM (grams per square meter) which converts to ~2.8 oz/sq yd which is a heavier fabric than what is commonly used for tarps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    Nylon is simply the type of material woven together. There're various kinds of nylon, most of whose names refer to the weave type. Ripstop is one of those (note that there're other kinds of ripstop: cotton blends and polyester are both very common in addition to nylon).

    To know whether something is ripstop or not, look for a grid of slightly larger threads running through the base fabric: they're there to stop tears that might propagate through the thinner threads.

    All that being said, the "sport" nylon that I've seen at JoAnne's was ripstop, in the 1.9 oz/sq yd range. That doesn't mean that it's the only kind they carry, just that it's the only one I've seen there.

    Hope it helps!

    Edit: An hammock need not be made out of ripstop; ripstop is just often sold in very light weights per square yard compared to other weaves. Which is why it's favored for hammocks, since the majority of folks hike in with 'em on their backs.
    It worries me a bit my Hennessy is NOT ripstop. I hear that hammocks are pretty tough but they tend to fail dramatically. Falling through the bottom at 3am into 20 degree weather sounds about as dramatic as it could be.

    I like the Jo-Ann ripstop. I made a hammock chair out of it and it is some tough stuff. If I can ever get the bleeping rigging right so I can actually sit in the bloody thing I'll put up a picture, but the fact that a few ounces of fabric and some grosgrain ribbon will hold my heavy butt off the ground was surprising.
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  5. #5
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theosus View Post
    It worries me a bit my Hennessy is NOT ripstop. I hear that hammocks are pretty tough but they tend to fail dramatically. Falling through the bottom at 3am into 20 degree weather sounds about as dramatic as it could be.

    I like the Jo-Ann ripstop. I made a hammock chair out of it and it is some tough stuff. If I can ever get the bleeping rigging right so I can actually sit in the bloody thing I'll put up a picture, but the fact that a few ounces of fabric and some grosgrain ribbon will hold my heavy butt off the ground was surprising.
    Ripstop will work just fine in its intended application: keeping unstressed rips from widening under normal use. What it won't do is prevent your body weight from widening a tear into a catastrophic failure of an hammock. At least, not in any fabric weight I'm familiar with. What's more important is fabric type (to avoid rotting/moulding due to moisture and other factors) and fabric weight (as that is the most important factor in pull strength for fabric).

    That being said, nylon is very tough stuff in any weave, and the way that your body weight is distributed is fairly even with an hammock. You'd be surprised at how light of a material is needed to hold you off of the ground--provided you take care to avoid holes in it. (i.e.: "Don't smoke in bed. Don't set up your hammock so that sharp things underneath can cause a tear. Don't keep your keys (or other pointy objects) in your pockets when you go to bed." Etc.)

    I hope that your DIY attempt goes well! I've found that I can have exactly what I want with DIY, and that's really the attraction of it...
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  6. #6
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    I made my daughter get into my Hennessy the first time I got it. I don't know why... I out weighed her considerably. The Hennessy is a very rugged hammock. The lack of ripstop thread pattern is, IMO, a complete straw man. I can tear ripstop with my hands if the selvage has bee cut. The rip stop was intended for garments and items with minimal abrasion risk. It was never intended for weight bearing applications. Don't get me wrong, it serves the hammock application admirably and at somewhat a lighter weight. But as far as being "safer" I think that is all in your mind.
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