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  1. #1
    Senior Member Northern Mike's Avatar
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    Types of Fabric and terminology

    I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to fabrics and the terminology used to describe them.
    I'm currently looking to pull the trigger on a good length (30+ yrds) of rip-stop nylon for a few projects, but without being able to physically see and touch the fabric, I'm at a loss as to what I need or want when ordering online.

    Could some of the more experienced Hammock DIY guys give a quick break down of what fabrics would be used for what purpose?

    I'm thinking something like;
    Hammock: xx to xx denier rip-stop(xx denier preferred for lighter weight)
    Fly/Tarp: xx to xx denier rip-stop (xx denier preferred)
    stuff sac:
    backpack:
    etc

    This should help those with lack of experience figure out what we're looking at and or pricing.

  2. #2
    New Member Rothman's Avatar
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    Also, what the heck does callendered mean?
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rothman View Post
    Also, what the heck does callendered mean?
    Calendared is a process of heating the nylon between two pressurized rollers. It helps stabilize and seal the weave helping to make the fabric down proof. It is generally used only on the lighter weight fabrics unless specs call for it from the manufacturer.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  4. #4
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rothman View Post
    Also, what the heck does callendered mean?
    EDIT: Ramblinrev beat me to the answer and said it better anyway.

    Many hammocks are built with calendared fabric and there is nothing wrong with using this. Most often, I try to look for "pure finish" fabrics for hammocks because they are not calendared and are a little more breathable. I find that some heavily calendared fabrics tend to give me a wet, clammy, slippery feeling in the summertime. This doesn't seem to bother some users, though. Probably has more to do with the amount you perspire?
    Last edited by PapaSmurf; 04-10-2013 at 11:12.

  5. #5
    awilder's Avatar
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    RamblinRev:

    You keep saying Polyester Taffeta, but when I went to Joann's I found Crushed Taffeta and Crushed Satin, both of which are 100% polyester. I didn't find anything that was called Polyester Taffeta.

    Are these similar, same, different,...?

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awilder View Post
    RamblinRev:

    You keep saying Polyester Taffeta, but when I went to Joann's I found Crushed Taffeta and Crushed Satin, both of which are 100% polyester. I didn't find anything that was called Polyester Taffeta.

    Are these similar, same, different,...?
    Taffeta is a specific weave and can be woven out of a myriad of fibers. A weave is defined by the pattern of over and unders the threads makes. Satin is again, a specific weave with certain characteristics and can be woven out of a lot of fabrics. Because of it's shiny appearance it is usually not women with "fuzzy" threads like wool or cotton. Silk is the extreme high end for satin and is to absolutely drool over.

    Crushed taffeta is a taffeta that has been treated to be wrinkled on the bolt. It seems to be all the rage in fashion and accessories right now but like all fads will pass away. Taffeta, however, is almost as old as dirt and appears to be staying around for a while.
    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

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  7. #7
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    The problem is there are no hard and fast guidelines that we would all agree on. For example, I like polyester taffeta rather than rip stop for hammocks. Others prefer ripstop. Cuben fiber has it's advocates. In reality, you can use just about any fabric you want for just about anything you want. If you are ordering from one of the cottage vendors here on the forums they would be a good guide. Let them know what you want to do and they can guide you with their own opinions. Just remember, an opinion is like a belly button. Everybody has one.
    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

  8. #8
    Senior Member Northern Mike's Avatar
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    OK, so that was a bit of a fail I guess.
    Going back to the OP thought process, can someone clarify the weights for me?
    I'm wondering what is too light and what would be too heavy.
    Looking at my ENO DD material vs. the coated ripstop I saw at the local frabric shop, they are not even close to the same density.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Mike View Post
    I'm wondering what is too light and what would be too heavy...
    (Edit: Pag beat me to the punch.)

    Very generally speaking, 1.1 oz = 30D and is the lightest ripstop nylon widely used for hammocks and tarps. 1.9 oz = 70D and is the heaviest rs nylon widely used by the cottage manufacturers and DIY'ers for hammocks and tarps. These weights are for non-coated fabric...coating adds weight but is not normally included in the "advertised" weight.

    You want an uncoated material for hammocks and a coated/waterproof material for tarps unless you want to deal with DIY silnylon (I don't).

    RS nylon from Joann's, Hancock's, etc. is generally 1.9 oz.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    RS nylon from Joann's, Hancock's, etc. is generally 1.9 oz.
    I see that Joann's sells RS Nylon & Sport Nylon. RS is 64 GSM and Sport is 93 GSM according to their online site. How does that compare to the ratings mentioned of denier?

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