Silnyl fabric

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Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 9:52 am

Hi everyone, so I'm back to considering the ludicrous plan of remaking a tent fly from scratch.

Yes I will sew it myself. Yes I know it is a huge and possibly stupid use of my limited free time.

No, I do not want to get a professional to do it, I have already looked into this and they have all told me to get stuffed.

So, I am on the hunt for reasonably priced Siliconised Nylon, preferably from a local supplier here in Australia, but would also consider international sellers.

Has anyone here embarked on such a project? How did it turn out? Where did you purchase your supplies?

Thanks in advance,

Axel.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 10:04 am

Hi All, apologies for the above, I did do a search for this question before I posted but I used the wrong terminology. Still interested in hearing from anyone who has attempted such a project, be interested in hearing about the experiences with the process and the result.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 10:33 am

I cannot sew the damned stuff on either of my machines so I'd be happy to sell you the length I have here and I'll chuck in some tape etc. Purchased from Simon at TierGear a couple of years ago.
I think it's 3.5 metres, enough for a solo tarp
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 11:47 am

Thanks Moondog, but I need a bit more that that methinks, it's for a two person tent. Do you have an idea on why your machine won't sew it?
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 12:10 pm

I think the dogs are not sharp enough and too coarse. Ceciles machine sews it brilliantly but I am NOT allowed to use it. I'll measure it as I really cannot remember how much is there.
I think Silnylon can be glued using Cuben tape but not sure how secure that is long term.
Postage from RSBTR is very very slow at the moment. I still have 3 parcels to the USA and Canada sitting at Melbourne mail centre waiting for a plane to load up, 7 weeks waiting now.
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Franco » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 1:00 pm

Axel,
you may want to get hold of some scraps first (of the same material you intend to use..) to see if you and your sewing machine can do it.
Could get expensive if you have not budgeted for a new machine.
( something some DIY projects fail to mention...)
BTW, I also would suggest to first make a full size prototype using similar but less expensive material because not many get it right the first time.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 2:17 pm

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have found a supplier in NSW that are going to ship some samples to me, I'll keep you all updated on the progress of the project as it goes along.

Cheers!
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby andrewa » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 2:42 pm

Slippery stuff to sew, but that’s just a small extra challenge! My 35 yo Janome sews it fine. Cuban tape does not work on it, as far as I have found. I did have some appropriate double sided tape that I got from a sailmaker many years ago, but I wouldn’t bother - if you use double sided tape to hold the seams together, and then sew through it, the needle gets clogged with glue, and if you use double sided tape to stick a strip of fabric over the seam for proofing, it gets very time consuming.

Sounds a very doable project - make sure your stitches are just the right size! Too small, and it can tear.

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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby CasualNerd » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 2:49 pm

Would love to hear advice on this too, I bought some poles and silpoly material last year but I'm too nervous to start cutting and sewing !

What sort of machine is ideal, and what issues do you have if it's not ? I always assumed my stitching would be a bit rough and I'd lather it in seam sealer anyway.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Petew » Mon 22 Jun, 2020 7:06 pm

Should be able to sew it on a home machine, probably one hanging around in your extended family/friends.

It is tricky to sew, very slippery. I'd also proctice on some scraps first to find out what kind of stitch length works well. Too short and it can tear or pucker.

Forget seam tape for the reasons mentioned above. For silnylon you should seal with silicone sealant.

Keep in mind when making your prototype tat the silnylon will stretch quite a bit when it gets wet.

Do you have the original fly to use as a template? Also do you know what it was made from? Most use PU coated nylon or polyester which behave differently from silnylon.

Should be a fun project.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 8:50 am

My wife is an expert (amateur) sewer and did it on our home sewing machine.

She used a strip of webbing to join the seams.

No problems.

Plenty of info here: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/top ... -to-start/
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 9:46 am

Petew wrote:Should be able to sew it on a home machine, probably one hanging around in your extended family/friends.

It is tricky to sew, very slippery. I'd also proctice on some scraps first to find out what kind of stitch length works well. Too short and it can tear or pucker.

Forget seam tape for the reasons mentioned above. For silnylon you should seal with silicone sealant.

Keep in mind when making your prototype tat the silnylon will stretch quite a bit when it gets wet.

Do you have the original fly to use as a template? Also do you know what it was made from? Most use PU coated nylon or polyester which behave differently from silnylon.

Should be a fun project.


Yes I have the original fly (which was PU). I'm also a little concerned about how the new fly will behave when it gets wet. The original fly has the ability to be tightened which I am hoping should be enough to stop sagging. I do have the option of remaking in a PU fabric again. Or if money no object, how about cuben?
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Petew » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 10:38 am

Cuben is the opposite. Has to be cut exactly to shape(no stretch) and needs to be stitched and taped. I wouldn't go down that path.
Last edited by Petew on Tue 23 Jun, 2020 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 10:44 am

Has the original fly degraded strengthwise or is it the waterproofing alone that has failed?
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 12:52 pm

Moondog55 wrote:Has the original fly degraded strengthwise or is it the waterproofing alone that has failed?


See my ad for MSR Fury. Fly coating failed, I removed it and applied a product that is normally used for recoating hot air balloons. On testing however I found that it was not as waterproof as I wanted. The new coating is impossible to get off. I could go down the path of buying a new fly from MSR, but it might be nice to move from the heavier original fly to a lighter weight Siliconised Nylon.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 12:54 pm

Petew wrote:Cuben is the opposite. Has to be cut exactly to shape(no stretch) and needs to be stitched and taped. I wouldn't go down that path.

Yes, but I don't see that as being a downside as I have the pattern and would prefer to tape it anyway to hold the seams together when stitching. It might be a pretty expensive path though from all that I've read. Anyone got a local supplier of Cuben?
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Franco » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 1:02 pm

If the pattern you have was for a tent made with nylon, it may not work on Cuben because many (most) of those patterns use the stretch to make it work.
As an example, Tarptent now has 5 DCF shelters, the pattern in those is different from the equivalent sil version.
But that depends a lot on how fussy you are about heavy wrinkles and or loose panels.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby Petew » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 1:37 pm

axel wrote:
Petew wrote:Cuben is the opposite. Has to be cut exactly to shape(no stretch) and needs to be stitched and taped. I wouldn't go down that path.

Yes, but I don't see that as being a downside as I have the pattern and would prefer to tape it anyway to hold the seams together when stitching. It might be a pretty expensive path though from all that I've read. Anyone got a local supplier of Cuben?


There is no Australian supplier of DCF, you can buy it from the US or sometimes Europe.

As Franco said, it will not work very well with your tent.

With DCF I'd stitch first, then tape as the needle will gum up. Note that the adhesive does not cope well with very low temperatures.

DCF will also cost a small fortune, you're probably looking at around $350AU just for the fabric, maybe another $50 - $80 for seam tape and around $40 - $50USD for shipping. Yikes!

I'd suggest buying some tyvek to make a prototype. It is similar in some ways to DCF. It will give you an idea as to whether or not it's a feasible project.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 4:59 pm

Good points. Thanks.

So, in light of the increasesd stretch of SilNylon and the lack of stretch (and cost) of Cuben, do people think the best option is to remake out of PU? Or do you think the SilNylon is the better all round option?
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 6:59 pm

DCF/Cuben makes great tarps, however as mentioned the lack of stretch means you need to make sure you put some “give” into the system or you can put excess stress onto the eye-wateringly expensive fabric.

This can be as simple as using guy ropes that have a little stretch (i.e. don’t use Dyneema cord).

I looked at DIYing a DCF/Cuben tarp but decided it was too risky so took out a second mortgage and bought one pre-made from the US.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 7:02 pm

Follow up: just saw Crollsurf’s post in the For Sale section. Might solve all your problems.
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby axel » Tue 23 Jun, 2020 10:27 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:Follow up: just saw Crollsurf’s post in the For Sale section. Might solve all your problems.

Have just done a search, which of his posts are you referring to?
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Re: Silnyl fabric

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 24 Jun, 2020 2:02 pm

Don’t bother - already sold.
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