Experience sewing sil-nylon ripstop
I now have a little more sewing experience under my belt having
completed a 6x9' tarp (for the GI shell) and a 8x10' for a replacement
tarp for the Hennessey Hammock. I had some success doing the
1. if your machine has a table that surrounds the sewing arm, use
it! The extra surface area around the needle helps you to stablize
the seam as it enters, and with sil-nylon you need all the stability
you can muster. It is very slippery.
2. I used a needle sized 100 and had better luck than with a size 60.
(Question to sewers: are there different needle naming conventions?
In walmart there were needles sized 10, 11, 14 or some-such, which
seemed about the size I was using)
3. When joining 2 pieces of material pin the 2 pieces together before
sewing. Nylon is too slippery to sew a seam "on the fly".
4. I used 100%polyester thread by Gutterman which was recommend. It
worked ok. (But so did a cotton -coated poly thread I had been using.
-- I suppose the recommended thread will wear better)
5. I used the longest stitch length my machine could make; however,
my actual stitch length was somewhat irregular due to slippage. Best
results were obtained by pulling the material (very slightly) through
6. I used triangle-shaped support pieces at the corners and at other
attachment points where I sewed in a loop. (where a rope will connect
when pitching the tarp.) I used one of Oware's tarps (I have one of
his 10x10' silnylon tarps) as a model (www.owareusa.com).
The 6x9' tarp for the GI shell is a little too long for the Hennessey
Hammock Expedition 2.5 model. 6x8'4" would be better. To compensate,
I ended up slinging the shell more toward the head end to leave
adequate space at the foot end for entry & exit. The finished weight
of this tarp was 9 oz, which when combined with a large plastic bag,
rubber band and a "space blanket" totals 12oz for the Garlington
Insulator. This tarp did NOT include the length-wise draw
strings which I have come to believe are not necessary. Also, I used
flyfisher's idea about a drawstring at the footend. That works well.
The 8x10' tarp to replace the HH fly weighed 13oz. The original fly
weighed 9oz, so it 'costs' 4oz for the increased coverage. Seems like
a bargain. (Warning: 13oz is the fly weight only. All your rigging
(lines, stakes, etc) will add to the weight.