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Sewing foam?
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Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Sewing foam? on 02/15/2011 14:40:04 MST Print View

Hey Ya'll,

I'm fooling around before I start sewing up a pack. I'd like to use half inch foam for my shoulder straps, but I can't seem to sew through it. Any advice?

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Sewing foam? on 02/15/2011 15:16:20 MST Print View

Closed cell, like a sleeping pad? Sounds difficult, you may want to just make a cloth tube and stuff the strip of pad down it.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 02/15/2011 15:16:44 MST Print View

I sewed through some 1/4 inch foam for backstraps that worked pretty good

Try increasing or decreasing tension (I know, obvious suggestion)

Sometimes if I didn't touch it and let the machine feed the foam through it worked better. If I tried to force it through it got all tangled on the reverse side.

Nancy Twilley

Locale: STL
foam on 02/15/2011 15:24:03 MST Print View

My sewing machine's wimpy, so I sewed through my straps by hand. Don't look as pretty though.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Sewing foam? on 02/15/2011 16:30:27 MST Print View

Yep, sewing through closed cell foam. I think that I've figured out a solution. My sewing machine won't do the full half inch, so I'm going to bevel down bits of the foam where I want to sew bartacks through.

Jerry Wick
(JerryW) - F

Locale: Illinois
Strap Padding on 02/15/2011 17:28:41 MST Print View

Just a thought - you could bartack the webbing to the outside layer of the strap ahead of time, then sew the strap pieces together, then insert the pad into the strap. That way you wouldn't need to sew through the padding.

FWIW - a way that I had success sewing through padding was to use the largest needle that would fit my machine.


Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Insignia Cloth Shoulder Straps on 02/15/2011 17:43:42 MST Print View


Adhesive backed insignia cloth can be used as a way around sewing through foam for shoulder straps. If interested check out my post entitled Insignia Cloth Shoulder Straps. This link might take you there:


Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Strap Padding on 02/15/2011 18:28:04 MST Print View

Jerry, I've thought of that. I worry about the foam rolling in the pad tube if it's not bartacked anywhere. I've seen that happen a lot. ULA once had a run of their old style shoulder straps that weren't bartacked, and the foam just rolled around. Not good. And yet, I see plenty of MYOG packs sewn this way. The 5 Yards to SUL pack is one example. I really wonder if their foam starts rolling around...

Adhesive cloth seems like a neat idea. I'm pretty set on using Xpac for the straps though.

I just tried sewing a strap, but made it too narrow, so i'll try again later.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Tubular Polypro on 02/15/2011 19:26:27 MST Print View


I got a bunch of 2" wide tubular poypro from Seattle fabric a while back and made some shoulder straps out of it. I was in the "shoulder straps experimenting" stage of my life.

I was impressed how comfortable they were and, of course, silly easy to make.

Unfortunately the stuff was really bright yellow and called too much attention to me.


Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Sewing foam? on 02/15/2011 19:52:25 MST Print View


I've sewn through pack straps with 3/8" blue ccf padding. As I recall, I had to lift the presser foot beyond it's normal up position in order to get the strap under the foot. I was surprised that the feed dogs pulled the strap right along and that I didn't need to adjust the thread tension. I don't think I could have fit 1/2" under the foot.

Here's the straps:
pack back

Edited by Lancem on 02/15/2011 19:54:07 MST.