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Author Topic: What Lightweight Fabric is Available Now?  (Read 1441 times)
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Viennabelle
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« on: October 14, 2012, 12:34 PM »

I'm an experience sewer and I have made one simple kite using standard ripstop I picked up at a local fabric store. However, I'd like to pick up my game and make a dual line sport kite. But almost all the patterns call for Icarex fabric, which appears unavailable from domestic sources (though there do seem to be rather expensive European sources). So, I started looking for substitutes. Posts from a year ago indicate that folks were using Airx 600n as a good substitute--at the time, Kitebuilder was selling it (they even have an info page on the fabric) but they don't appear to have any yardage for sale anymore. I see I can buy it in large quantities (but I really only want a few yards).

So, I searched online for .5 oz ripstop. I have found two options, but I don't know if they are any good:

Nylon, not polyester:  http://search.sailrite.com/?freeText=.5oz%20ripstop
Mystery fabric, but FAQ indicates it is .5 ripstop: http://wildrc.com/htmlpages/orderairframemat.html

Also, I notice that sailcloth is measured for weight over a shorter yard than a sewing yard, which leaves me wondering if my stash of ultralight silicon embedded nylon ripstop (which I think is rated .9 oz/normal 36" yard) is ok. It is definitely softer and more drapy than the materials in the kites I've bought.

OK, I hope someone sends me a source (or validates what I've found). I wanna stop shopping and start sewing!
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 12:59 PM »

I do not recommend the .5 oz nylite for sport kites. While some give in the fibers is good, too much makes the kite feel sloppy. The silicon coated nylon is likely a very low quality fiber which will have more give than you want for a sport kite.

A heavier nylon is worth it. Most .6-.75 oz nylons are light enough for all but very light wind sport kites. Fabric properties are more important than weight and what fabric will work best depends on the design.

If a design really does work best with PC-31, you're mostly out of luck at the moment. Jon Trennepohl generally has some colors in stock, so it's worth a call.
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KiteChemist
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 02:11 PM »

Skytex 27g/sm  Smiley
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 03:40 PM »

Unfortunately last time I spoke with the manufacturer skytex was not available in the US  Angry
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