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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: lowpuller on February 27, 2013, 07:51 PM



Title: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: lowpuller on February 27, 2013, 07:51 PM
I'm very familiar with ripstop nylon and Dacron, but I have not heard of ripstop polyester what is the difference? As in advantages and disadvantages?

I believe my kiteboard kites are ripstop nylon with Dacron leading edges, but maybe I have misidentified the ripstop material.  Is there an easy way to tell the nylon and polyester apart?


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: thief on February 28, 2013, 05:12 AM
lighter....stronger...less stretch.....stronger brighter colors...does not fray....price is different too....

pretty certain that most of the kiteboarding skins out there are nylons with great waterproof coatings (like Chikara which is also used in tents)..and dacron LE for durability....

if you grab a close up picture or two and post them someone might be able to call it out definitively...

What does the manufacturer say about it?


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: tcope on February 28, 2013, 06:12 AM
With modern coatings used today there is little difference. I say little difference... as there is still a slight difference. In some cases, like higher end stunt kites, this can make a difference.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: mikenchico on February 28, 2013, 08:18 AM

Polyester has less stretch then Nylon but when stretched it fails since it will not return to it's original state, just a little more pressure and the fibers break (tear). Nylon has an ability to stretch and return to it's original state to a point, it does have a failing point where it won't return or tears but those points are much higher then Polyester. Nylon also has higher abrasion resistance then Polyester.

Polyester is hydrophobic, that is Polyester fibers do not absorb water, Nylon fibers absorb water and expand when exposed, that can change the sail shape. The shape returns once dry though. Nylon sail cloth manufacturers have developed very good coatings over the last 20 years though and water absorption  isn't as big a deal any longer. As long as you're getting quality Nylon made for sail cloth.

Clothing and parachute ripstop Nylons do not have reliable water resistant coatings, stay away from them for kites. Balloon Nylons have better coatings but balloon fabric is designed to have some flex across the grain since that is a positive feature for balloons. Although that flex has been used to advantage in some kites that were experimenting with shaped sails it usually is not a desireable feature in kiting.

Nylon makes for a smoother flying kite in bumpy winds as it absorbs some of the shock, but by the same measure it isn't as responsive as Polyester to a sharp input.

I hear most sail manufacturers have returned to using Nylon for all but the highest performance sails because of it's higher catastrophic failing point and abrasion resistance.



 


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: Gamelord on February 28, 2013, 11:23 AM
Personally, I think the manufacturers use nylon over poly for most kites because of cost.  If they were priced the same, I feel most kites would be made from Poly.

I don't have the info to back that up, it is just my personal opinion. :)



Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: dayhiker on February 28, 2013, 06:25 PM
I believe Dacron is a trade name for a polyester fabric.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: mikenchico on February 28, 2013, 10:26 PM
I believe Dacron is a trade name for a polyester fabric.

Yep Duponts trade name for its Polyester fibers. These fibers may be used as is or spun into threads and woven into a wide variety of fabrics.



Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: thief on March 01, 2013, 04:11 AM
I believe Dacron is a trade name for a polyester fabric.
yep..but it is a heavier weight non-ripstop fabric.....


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: red sweater on March 01, 2013, 08:12 AM
Clothing and parachute ripstop Nylons do not have reliable water resistant coatings, stay away from them for kites.

If I see ripstop nylon at my local Joann's Fabric, is this what it is? I've been thinking of starting some kite making (simple deltas/delta conynes to start), but I have so many questions, and this just added another that I thought I had answered. (That is, I was planning on getting nylon from Joann's.) Is there a good source of coated ripstop nylon online? Where do the builders here buy their fabric (ideally in reasonably sized amounts)?


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: thief on March 01, 2013, 08:21 AM
Clothing and parachute ripstop Nylons do not have reliable water resistant coatings, stay away from them for kites.

If I see ripstop nylon at my local Joann's Fabric, is this what it is? I've been thinking of starting some kite making (simple deltas/delta conynes to start), but I have so many questions, and this just added another that I thought I had answered. (That is, I was planning on getting nylon from Joann's.) Is there a good source of coated ripstop nylon online? Where do the builders here buy their fabric (ideally in reasonably sized amounts)?

Red Sweater:
The material that Jo-Annes has for ripstop is designed for clothing lining....it is not a good kite making material....
there is a kite building web shop that you could probably google really quickly...they offer up smapl packs of colors and materials that are very cost effective.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: Texanpilot on March 01, 2013, 08:26 AM
+1

When I first dabbled in kite making (very basic ones), I used the JoAnn's fabric.
Then some time later I purchased actual sail cloth.

Difference of night and day.  The sail cloth is 10x easier to work with - no fraying (because of coating), and no real stretching during the building process.

Save yourself the hassle and get real sailcloth.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: tcope on March 01, 2013, 08:30 AM
As mentioned, Joanne's is not a good source for kite fabric. It's okay for tails and the like but not for actual kite building. The coating on that fabric is not the same. Fabric from Joanne's will allow air to pass right through it. If you have a kite try blowing through the fabric. Try it with Joanne's fabric and you will notice the difference. This is _huge_ when it comes to kites. Kite fabric is not much more expensive and honestly... if you are going to invest 15, 20, 40 hours in a kite you might as well use materials that will allow it to fly well.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: mikenchico on March 01, 2013, 08:31 AM
Clothing and parachute ripstop Nylons do not have reliable water resistant coatings, stay away from them for kites.

If I see ripstop nylon at my local Joann's Fabric, is this what it is? I've been thinking of starting some kite making (simple deltas/delta conynes to start), but I have so many questions, and this just added another that I thought I had answered. (That is, I was planning on getting nylon from Joann's.) Is there a good source of coated ripstop nylon online? Where do the builders here buy their fabric (ideally in reasonably sized amounts)?

The fabrics sold at Joann's and other dressmaking suppliers is seldom good for kites, you may find some OK for use in simple single line static kites or making tails. It's possible they or places like WalMart could purchase some overstock or seconds of sailmaking fabric but Steve over at Kite Builder usually grabs all that.

For a supplier Kite Builder (google it) is a good source, the other Steve over there is good people and runs another forum dedicated to kitebuilding where you can get all the help you'll ever need. Another source is Goodwinds Kites for Nylon sail fabric. Hang'em High is still closed, they were the US's only distributer of PC31. I've heard Jon T over at Skyburner Kites (link on right) will cut PC31 from his stock while he can. Seattle Fabrics and Sailrite are a couple other suppliers who mostly deal with the sailboat crowd but will sell small amounts to us kitemakers too.

Mostly you're going to find Nylon fabrics, you're looking for a rating of 1/2 - 3/4 oz per sailmakers yard (.5 - .75) for sport kites, larger single line kites can use up to the 2 oz fabrics. The banner fabrics you'll see at Kitebuilder are best left for banners, they are a bit stiff for kite use IMO.



Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: mikenchico on March 01, 2013, 08:40 AM
....  Is there an easy way to tell the nylon and polyester apart?

Guess this didn't get answered, the easiest way is to hold some to a flame, Nylon melts, Polyester burns. Not such a good idea though on a kite you're still using   :D

Other then sacrificing some of the fabric you'll need to research the actual weave to identify the manufacturer of the fabric or contact the the kites manufacturer.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: tcope on March 01, 2013, 08:46 AM
Guess this didn't get answered, the easiest way is to hold some to a flame, Nylon melts, Polyester burns. Not such a good idea though on a kite you're still using   :D

Other then sacrificing some of the fabric you'll need to research the actual weave or contact the the kites manufacturer.

This always make me laugh a little. Mostly because it's true.

"That kite _was_ made using nylon..."

It's very difficult these days to tell the difference between poly and nylon. This is one reason so many kite makers are sing nylon these days. "Kite" material is supplied by sail manufactures. Since modern nylon is better for this application most manufactures are geared to make much more nylon RS then poly. This is why poly is/can be more expensive... less of it is made. This also applies to fabric weight that is not mainly used for sails, such as the lighter material.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: red sweater on March 01, 2013, 09:06 AM
As mentioned, Joanne's is not a good source for kite fabric. It's okay for tails and the like but not for actual kite building. The coating on that fabric is not the same. Fabric from Joanne's will allow air to pass right through it. If you have a kite try blowing through the fabric. Try it with Joanne's fabric and you will notice the difference. This is _huge_ when it comes to kites. Kite fabric is not much more expensive and honestly... if you are going to invest 15, 20, 40 hours in a kite you might as well use materials that will allow it to fly well.

You guys don't have to (work really hard to) convince me not to use it. I just was ignorant of the differences. Thanks for setting me straight before I wasted time and money on that stuff.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: thief on March 01, 2013, 09:14 AM
honestly being down in the Baltimore area you could wander around the sail maker shops and ask if they might have any scraps you could get from them....I know that there was an old kite maker in Fall River Massachusetts who was a monthly visitor to Thurston Sails in local Bristol RI....Rene would pick up all of their scraps for very cheap....and since they are making sails for large boats the scraps would be funky shapes but sometimes also very large bits (large to a kite maker) that would be too small for them to consider using.....
material for sailboats is pretty darn good for kites....just look at Will Sturdy and his kites....


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: johnfarl on March 01, 2013, 09:46 AM
This is one of the top ten threads.  I got a lot out of it.  It would be great to continue this discussion to include other materials.  There is so much good knowledge on this forum or else a good collection of bsers.  I think the former.

I am curious about orcon and some of the other fighter kite materials.

John


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: thief on March 01, 2013, 10:26 AM
Orcon compared to what?
Orcon is very cool....a nice material if you can find it....
frays/shreds like mad with use....but it is super light and quite durable.....

the next sort of material that might be in the same genre could be the lightest weight cuben (if you can find that affordable!)


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: DD on March 01, 2013, 05:05 PM
I've heard Jon T over at Skyburner Kites (link on right)
Unless my computer isn't loading the Skyburner advertisement up, Jon no longer has a link.
It is there skyshark/skyburner


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: Wayner on March 01, 2013, 06:31 PM
It is there skyshark/skyburner
I've watched the ad four times and don't see it.......weird.
I see Skyburner, which is advertised at  A Wind of Change.

It is the last advertisement on the running banner so it does not stay in view for long, and flips between skyshark and skyburner


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: MtnFlyer on March 01, 2013, 06:33 PM
Right after Prism and before Kitekids.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: mikenchico on March 01, 2013, 08:03 PM
Orcon is no longer made, I think Kitebuilder still has some and Bruce Lambert on fighter kite central used to offer some of his stock to members. If you check Doug Stouts threads in the kite design threads he's found a supplier for Cuben fabrics and is currently making one of his Hawks out of it. I'm anxious for his review on how it is to work with, he did not like working with Orcon.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: lowpuller on March 02, 2013, 06:20 PM
Most modern parachutes are made of ZP Ripstop nylon, or zero porosity.  I believe it would make excellent kite material, however it is very slippery and can be difficult to sew until you learn a few tricks.

I'm also a sailor, skydiver and parachute rigger.


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: mikenchico on March 02, 2013, 06:43 PM
Guess I haven't really seen a newer parachute, the old ones didn't use a fabric we would want in our kites. The surplus ones we can still buy here are very porous, uncoated stuff. I would imagine the foil types to very close to our power foils though.



Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: thief on March 03, 2013, 05:19 AM
Lowpuller is the ZP nylon silicone coated to give weather resistance?   That might be why it is so slick.....


Title: Re: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester
Post by: lowpuller on March 04, 2013, 06:18 PM
Not for weather resistance but for porosity.  The attempt at zero porosity give the ram air parachute a more rigid feel, it acts as a stiffer wing.