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Insect netting? Tulle? Silk fabrics?
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Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Insect netting? Tulle? Silk fabrics? on 05/10/2011 14:21:43 MDT Print View

How well does nylon tulle work for insect netting?
or available in some widths/colors at Joann fabrics.

Advantages: Cheap (108" wide, $2.69/yard).
Light: about 0.3 oz/square yard (about 10 grams/m^2).

I'll be using it in New England, so the nasty insects will be mosquitos and black flies. Is the mesh too big? The mesh holes seem to be about 1mm on my samples. I'm willing to treat it with permethrin.
A partial answer to my own question: 1 mm mesh size translates to about 645 holes per square inch. Noseeum has 625 holes per square inch.
Tulle's strength is not great, but I'm prepared to repair if needed.

Has anyone tried silk fabrics for mosquito netting? gauze or chiffon look like they might work. Also light and cheap.

I'm thinking of using tulle for insect netting for a MYOG half pyramid tent. I'll probably sew a narrow strip of fabric onto the pyramid body and sew the netting onto that, so if I need to replace the netting I won't be putting lots of holes in the body of the tent. I might try a netting floor, ala zpacks hexamid. I'm a bit skeptical that the tulle will survive as a floor but I might try it out. has 108" wide noseeum which might make MYOG bug shelters easy to make.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Tulle and No See Um on 05/10/2011 14:27:35 MDT Print View

I don't have any experience with Nano See Um, but as far as Tulle and No See Um, I think you can get away with using Tulle, but it won't last as long. The main problem that I see is that Tulle is much more likely to snag. I have been quite impressed with the No See Um, from Quest Outfitters. If you just need a few pieces, I can send you some.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Insect netting? Tulle? Silk fabrics? on 05/10/2011 14:27:44 MDT Print View

Funny--I was just looking at an older thread about this:

Peter Vacco, whom I gather designed the BPL headnet, says tulle is what is used. Also says sewing it is a pain.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Sewing Tulle. on 05/10/2011 14:43:58 MDT Print View

Thanks for the offer, Katherina, but I already have a variety of noseeums in my gear. When I started adding up the weight of my bug net design I decided I wanted something lighter.
David, thanks for the link. To quote Peter Vacco,
"ya'll gonn'a be sewing it ?
yeah ?
really ?
can i watch ?"

I'll have to make a video of that for your amusement. If I had kittens, I'm sure I could get a youtube hit.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Tulle for headnets vs tent screens on 05/10/2011 14:52:30 MDT Print View

I used nylon tulle from JoAnn Fabrics to make headnets. It works well for this use since the threads are very thin with more "space" than thread; easier to see out of and not as hot. No issues sewing -- just used a medium-width zig-zag stitch. Keeps mosquitoes out, no problem.

But the same qualities that make it good for headnets would probably be a disadvantage as tent screen/walls because of durability, snagging, etc.

Randy Smith
(PapaSmurf) - F

Locale: Dream Hammock
sewing Tulle on 05/11/2011 19:08:46 MDT Print View

The 108" Illusion is best Tulle I have found.
When seaming, I find it helpful to use a hot knife and cut/fuse the 2 layers together inside out. I also add a few pins, but the holes are not really small enough to get a firm grip on the pins.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
the joys of sewing .. on 05/11/2011 22:28:30 MDT Print View

yes, annoying as it is, tulle can certainly be sewed, and exactly like Sumi said, it's wise to use a bit of the 'ol zig and zag.
when one is trying to lay down two pieces of any length, you are going to run into the substantial stretchyness of this stuff, and as with silnlon, one part (if you could even see the eff'n thing) may not want so much to carry exactly thru your machine in harmony with the other. thusly you get to the end with an unacceptable misalignment. cheap as tulle is, you can trim this off, but that's hardly a proper way to live.

however.... if you lay down some cardboard on the counter. (you better want this whatever you're making real bad from here on .. ), cover the cardboard with silnylon (total lack of ability to have anything stick to it), iron and tack down the #1 tulle shape, lay/tack ironed #2 tulle shape atop it, you can, if you before you got to this point properly adjusted your iron to not melt the tulle ( roughly 240°f ), glue, (using steam-a-seam-2 in 1/4", and another layer of sil on top it all, or just the steam-a-seam tape if you are anally careful about it) the two tulle's together.

once glue bonded (the glue will shoot thru both layers quite spiffily), you can sew the tulle seam right down the glue (if let cool a beer or two, it won't gunk up your machine) and the your seams will be stronger than snot and they will sew eff'n Gloriously.

bpl good word filters prevent me from describing how wonderful this is to actually perform this trick over and over and over to complete a project.
tulle as tent window. peter has deployed tulle as a window in his akto and previously in a Hillberg unna. it works great. as a net. it is not astoundingly durable and needs renewal every two years at a minimum. tent window installation is easily the subject of a 2 part u-tube video. it gets roached when you pack the tent, as zippers and whatever eat away at things and poke lots of holes. but gives hella a good view though.

hot cutting. yes. works well.
roller cutting works well too, as tulle can not unravel, but you will need the very slick roller-blade cutters and their special mat. bigger mats can run into money, where as hot cutting (use a pattern) lets you cut texas w/o difficulty.
scissors will suck immediately and you will go nowhere.
razor blades will look ok, but you'll hang up soon enough, and that will pull your pattern into suckland.
enjoy your project ...
off to the arctic in two very short weeks.

Ryan Nakahara
(kife42) - F

Locale: Hawaii
tulle on 05/12/2011 03:34:37 MDT Print View

walmart sells tulle at $1 per yard. my bugnet tube cost $3 to make, and doubles as a 3.5 ounce pillow. it fluffs up quite well. and as a hammock tube, it doesn't snag much.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Tulle insect netting. on 05/12/2011 07:49:59 MDT Print View

Randy, your website was my inspiration for trying tulle.
Peter, you make it sound like fun! Thanks for the advice and humor. Enjoy your Arctic trip.
Clef qyv, thanks for the info.

Randy Smith
(PapaSmurf) - F

Locale: Dream Hammock
Re: the joys of sewing .. on 05/12/2011 08:29:06 MDT Print View

In my opinion gluing, ironing, zig-zag & bad word filters are not required.

My main machine has no zig-zag stitch. I can lay down a 10ft french seam and the layers come out even. Just hot cut the fabric, add a few pins for stability and go slow.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: the joys of sewing .. on 05/12/2011 13:14:10 MDT Print View

+1 with Randy. I use mini binder clips instead of pins also.