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Sil-nylon sewing results

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  • Ray Garlington
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3 5:59 AM
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      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
      following:

      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
      the machine.

      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).

      Results:
      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.
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