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Forum > Beginner's Forum > tips on sewing ripstop nylon ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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tips on sewing ripstop nylon
I need some tips - thanks!
a255605
a255605
Member since 12/10/11
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Date: 5/10/13 6:14 PM

I'm thinking of getting some ripstop nylon to try to make a customized liner for my shopping cart. However I've never used this type of fabric before. Has anyone else here ever used it? Would I need a special type of needle to sew on it? Also what kind of thread should I use? I usually buy Coats & Clark thread at WalMart or JoAnn's, which I think is polyester thread.

I'm not always sure about thread selection. I usually just try to match the color to whatever color fabric I'm using but have never considered what type of thread to use. Do people usually try to get the same type thread as the fabric (ie: cotton thread for cotton fabric, nylon thread for nylon fabric, etc.)?

Al Johnson
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Al Johnson
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Minnesota USA
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In reply to a255605 <<
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Date: 5/10/13 8:42 PM

Take these words for what they are worth. I am working in the parachute industry, where we use a LOT of ripstop Nylon, but I'm really not expert in this, because I'm in quality control, not engineering or production. With those caveats in mind, here's what I think:

We use very very light Nylon, about 1.4 oz. You may be using something heavier, so take that into consideration.

The rule in parachutes is to use the same kind of thread as the fabric. So nylon fabric, nylon thread; Kevlar fabric, Kevlar thread. The reason is to match the give, or stretch, of the two so one does not pull excessively on the other.

We use size 69 thread (like upholstery thread) even in the lightest nylon, as we do NOT want the seam to be weaker than the fabric. If something is going to give way, it should be the fabric itself. We also use fully felled seams almost exclusively, also for maximum strength. In places of extra stress, a zig-zag stitch is used so that when stretch happens, the stitching has some give to it.

As far as I know, nothing is special about the needles. Be sure to select your needle size based on the thread size, and use sharp needles instead of, say, ballpoints.

Don't put too many stitches per inch into the fabric. Our standard is 7 to 11 stitches per inch for straight stitched seams. They say that too fine stitching acts like perforation, and weakens the seam.

Here's a link to a review I wrote on a liner I made for my Mom's walker basket. It is cotton canvas, not ripstop, but it worked out great. Might be a bit bulky and heavy if made for a large shopping cart, though. Walker Basket Liner

Have fun, and let us know how it turns out!

------
A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.

plazaglass

plazaglass
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Florida USA
Member since 12/22/07
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In reply to a255605 <<
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Date: 5/10/13 9:13 PM

Here's some info:

ripstop

sewme47
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sewme47
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Illinois USA
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In reply to a255605 <<


Date: 5/10/13 10:06 PM

Hi! I've worked with ripstop nylon for making ski jackets. I usually cut with a rotary cutter and sew with a sharp sm needle (sz 11 or 14- test with your fabric) and Gutterman polyester thread. Some people like to use a roller foot or maybe a Teflon foot, but I've not found it necessary. But make a few test seams to seen what works for your project.

I usually use coated ripstop, but that might be overkill for your needs. If using uncoated ripstop, the seams will need finishing because it unravels easily.
hth

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to a255605 <<
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Date: 5/10/13 11:51 PM

For what you want to do, use the polyester machine thread.

Size 12 sharp or microtex needle.

I have made bags from ripstop without any special thread or needles.

I have even machine embroidered it.


-- Edited on 5/10/13 11:53 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
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Indiana USA
Member since 3/10/11
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Date: 5/11/13 7:03 AM

Reply to a255605 :
I assume you are planning to line a grocery cart for cleanliness. I have often thought how nice it would be to have something like that. I hadn't thought about it until one day at the grocery, following a trip to the restroom, my husband commented about observing a child come out of the room that had a soiled floor. The child's mother not knowing that he had walked in the urine soaked floor, put him in her grocery cart where she then proceeded to put her food. I am not trying to gross you out, but it got me to thinking. I cringe now when I think how many kids have been to a public bathroom and then Mom puts them in the basket with their shoes having been contaminated from the bathroom floor. This is the same basket we put our food into and then bring it home to our refrigerator. (Ugh).
Do you...or anyone else... know if they make a pattern for a project for something like this or do you plan to just self-draft?

Amanda.Claire
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Amanda.Claire
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In reply to a255605 <<


Date: 5/11/13 7:30 AM

Since flat felled seams would be overkill, you can just burn the frayed edges with a candle or lighter. It is actually fun.

Claire

Pamela R
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Pamela R  Friend of PR
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Ontario CANADA
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In reply to Amanda.Claire <<


Date: 5/11/13 3:28 PM

A soldering gun works well for finishing nylon.

I have worked with a sonic welder, for sealing nylon instead of sewing the seams.

biochemistress

biochemistress  Friend of PR
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In reply to Pamela R <<


Date: 5/11/13 4:57 PM

Is that something you just had laying around??

Pamela R
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Pamela R  Friend of PR
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In reply to biochemistress <<


Date: 5/12/13 12:01 PM

No, I worked for a cold air balloon company and they used it to produce their product....I would love to have my own though....What a way to finish anything synthetic.
I would be afraid to guess at it's price though...They bought it at a bankrupt sale, and let me use it ..my rent on it, was extra hours of work for them.
Pam

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