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Author Topic: Ripstop Nylon vs Ripstop Polyester  (Read 9471 times)
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lowpuller
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« 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?
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« Reply #1 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?
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tcope
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« Reply #2 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.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #3 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.



 
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« Reply #4 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. Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 06:25 PM »

I believe Dacron is a trade name for a polyester fabric.
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« Reply #6 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.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 07:55 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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« Reply #7 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.....
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« Reply #8 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)?
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« Reply #9 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.
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« Reply #10 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.
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« Reply #11 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.
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« Reply #12 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.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 09:01 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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« Reply #13 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   Cheesy

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.
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« Reply #14 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   Cheesy

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.
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