stronger fabric comparisons
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
stronger fabric comparisons on 09/13/2011 14:20:52 MDT Print View

I have several projects at various levels of design that I am thinking about making in the near or distant future. All of them require a fabric that can take a lot of abrasion. I am relatively new to MYOG so I have limited experience with different fabrics. Right now I am trying to do some basic research on the pros and cons of these different fabrics. I would also like to know if any of these fabrics take any special considerations when sewing them, for example a stronger needle and thread…


XPAC(VX-21) $10.99 4.9-5.5 oz/sq.yd. rockywood.com
200 psi waterproofness. water does not go through the fabric no matter what. For bushwacking and as the bottom of a pack it holds up well
Black, Dark Grey, Bright Orange (black criss-crosses), Kiwi (black criss-crosses), Rhumba Red (black criss-crosses), Dark Blue

Extreme XPAC (VX-51) 10.3 oz/sq.yd.
1000x500d cordura

Dyneema X $23.95 4.0 oz/sq.yd. thru-hiker.com
conventional waterproofness (it will wet through under the aforementioned conditions), and absorbs a modest amount of water weight under the same. It is surprisingly abrasion resistant, and very cut resistant.
Jet Black, Titanium Grey

140 D Cordura $11.50 4 oz/sq.yd.
(Super K-Kote Ripstop)140 Denier with 1.5 oz coating. This heavy weave of ripstop with an extra heavy urethane coating makes the fabric extremely waterproof and durable.
330 D Cordura $9.25 4 oz/sq.yd. Seattlefabrics.com (BLACK ONLY)
500 D Cordura $10.99 8.25 oz/sq.yd. Seattlefabrics.com, rockywood.com
1000 D Cordura $13.59 10.8 oz/sq.yd.
fantastically abrasion and cut resistant, and will hold up to the most egregious rock draggin, Seattle Fabrics has best coating
any color in the rainbow

420 Denier Packcloth 7 oz/sq.yd. Seattlefabrics.com
tough durable fabric has a polyurethane coating yet it remains flexible and easy to work with. The polyurethane coating makes this fabric waterproof yet lightweight. It is extremely abrasion resistant.
any color in the rainbow

DX40 (By dimension polyant) 1st $24 2nd $12 ($10 cut fee) 6.9oz per/sq.yd.
Dyneema/Polyester ripstop face fabric, Black polyester X-Ply yarn, ¼ mil PET film 50 denier polyester backing
The face fabric construction is:
Warp: 400d Dyneema
Fill: 125d polyester
Ripstop: 800d Dyneema on warp and fill
Dimension Polyant phone number is 1 (860) 928 8300 tell the CSR you would like to talk to the person in charged of selling Xpac to consumers.
White

Are there any other options?

Thanks

(EDITED: to keep the list together)

Edited by earn_my_turns on 09/14/2011 20:40:17 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
strong fabrics on 09/13/2011 14:59:03 MDT Print View

I've used VX-21 (what seems to usually be called Xpac), Gridstop, and 1000D ballistics in a number of projects. My thoughts:

VX-21's chief virtue is it's 200 psi waterproofness. I can't verify the number there, but do know that water does not go through the fabric no matter what. Tied to the front of my packraft getting blasted by waves, left outside and covered with wet snow, the fabric does not wet out, and gains very little weight at all. Obviously the seems still leak unless sealed. It's abrasion resistance is pretty good. I find that for bushwacking and as the bottom of a pack it holds up well. It's cut resistance is less good. I've had ski edges, sharp rocks, and carless packing of paddle shafts put small holes in it.

Gridstop has conventional waterproofness (it will wet through under the aforementioned conditions), and absorbs a modest amount of water weight under the same. It is surprisingly abrasion resistant, and very cut resistant.

Ballistics is fantastically abrasion and cut resistant, and will hold up to the most egregious rock draggin (canyoneering, hauling up offwidths) for an impressive length of time. The Seattle Fabrics stuff has a better poly coating than most packfabrics, and it's thus more waterproof than Gridstop, but not in the same league as XV-21. The face of the fabric does suck up a lot of water, especially once it's been fuzzy out a bit by use.

For me, VX-21 is a great default pack fabric. Gridstop is good for pack bottoms, backs, and side pockets which get a lot of wear. Ballistics is for non-LW gear that will have the tarnation beaten out of it on a regular basis.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: strong fabrics on 09/13/2011 15:27:37 MDT Print View

From the little I have used different fabrics, I would have one caveat. Dan McHale will sell you dyneema for a pack bottom. This is hands down better than any of the before mentioned. Tough as nails and doesn't wet out. The Gridstop while ok againt cutting, is still pathetic against wear especially on a pack bottom.

My bro and I own 2 packs with gridstop dyneema X fabric bottoms and both have had to be patched/sealed. My pack BD shadow 55L with a cordura 1000D balistics bottom on the other hand has seem FAR more trips of longer duration than my Gridstop packs and still looks like new. Its overkill IMO, but bomb proof. As far as I am concerned nearly the most important part of the pack is its bottom. The caveat here is if you have an internal waterproof liner you always use. In which case Dyneema Gridstop is an excellent LW choice.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
DX40? on 09/13/2011 16:31:14 MDT Print View

I haven't seen it in person, but DX40 by DimPoly might be a good compromise if you're OK with the heavier fabrics such as ballistics 500D/1000D.

6.9oz per sq yd. Mostly a Dyneema weave(there is some polyester in the weave though) with a PET film(H2O proofness) like other XPAC fabrics. You can get first's right now for $24/yd and 2nds for $12/yd. Comes in white.

Construction is:
Black polyester X-Ply yarn
.25 mil PET film
50 denier polyester backing

The face fabric construction is:
Warp: 400d Dyneema
Fill: 125d polyester
Ripstop: 800d Dyneema on warp and fill

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 09/13/2011 16:33:51 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
stronger fabric comparisons" on 09/13/2011 17:14:37 MDT Print View

Vx 51 Extreme Xpac has 1000x500d cordura weigh 10.3 oz. per sq.yd. is the closest to the durability of 1000d cordura ballistic.

You might want to take a tip from Dana Gleason who owned Dana designs backpacks and now owns Mystery Ranch backpacks. Mystery ranch use Xpac for stiffing and water proofing a pack. High wear area like the bottom they sew on top of that section of the pack 500d or 1000 d cordura.

Almost all my packs I double bottom the fabric for durability with Vx 21 Xpac first layer and then another fabric on top of that .
Terry

Edited by socal-nomad on 09/13/2011 17:15:57 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
double bottom on 09/13/2011 17:49:27 MDT Print View

I make all my packs with a double bottom. Gridstop outside and XV-21 inside is a solid combo.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: DX40? on 09/13/2011 18:05:35 MDT Print View

I've got some DX-40, it's bombproof. I wouldn't see any application we have where anything heavier could be needed unless it's simply for bulk.


Personally, I've been less than thrilled with Dyneema X. The coating wears off pretty easily IMHO, although that's been my experience with *all* PU coated fabrics, and while the dyneema threads are super abrasion resistant, the rest of the fabric wears out pretty easily. I've had a number of packs from various manufacturers made out of the material, along with some MYOG packs, and none have showed the durability I wished for.

Personally I'd choose VX-21 over Dyneema X, the waterproofness as mentioned is awesome, and the laminate nature means that waterproofness is going to last as long as the fabric doesn't get abraded through, tight weaves seem to indicate great snag resistance, and while I haven't been using DP's materials long, I'm expecting stellar abrasion resistance in the 3 layer versions.



For me, the DX-40 seems like a better option even over the 100% dyneema, due to that same reasons stated above, not to mention cost.

Only caveat I'll mention about DX-40: It gets dirty fast and hard. I love white fabric, but it doesn't stay white for long.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
other weights of Cordura on 09/13/2011 18:18:19 MDT Print View

You can also get 160d and 330d Cordura. Both weigh in the neighborhood of 5 oz/sq yd with coating and can handle a lot of abrasion. The 160d is a tighter weave and smoother texture. What are you making? Neither of these is really waterproof despite the coating - at least not for long. My guess is that the rough texture of the fabric means that the coating has lots of thin spots that wear through pretty quickly. But the fabric itself is very tough. I had a pair of shorts made out of 160d that I used for work (carpentry) for several years. Everything except the fabric - zippers, pocket linings, stitching, velcro - wore out completely, but the fabric itself was still in good shape. If I had resewn all the seams, replaced the zipper and the velcro and relined the pockets I could have kept using them another couple years.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: DX40? on 09/13/2011 19:01:19 MDT Print View

Glad to hear DX40 is so tough. I've been thinking about getting some for a while now, but it's much more durable than I really need(i.e.heavy). DimPoly said they would be happy to make me some in the 3 oz/yd range....at $80 per yard. Probably not ready for that just yet.

Ryan

Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
Which if any are very breathable on 09/13/2011 20:06:02 MDT Print View

Thanks guys this is great!

A few more questions:

First which if any are breathable, I am leaning towards xpac for just about everything but some of the projects are bushwacking clothing so breathability is extremely important? I really should have put that up front that I needed a waterproof breathable.

Are there any sources for DX40 and VX-51? I can't seem to find them with a quick google search, I haven't dug deep yet though.

What are the oxford fabrics at Seattlefabrics? They are more expensive than the Cordura and say they have a PU coating I think?

Edited by earn_my_turns on 09/13/2011 20:06:32 MDT.

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
Dimension Polyant on 09/13/2011 22:36:08 MDT Print View

The DX40 and other x-pac fabrics can be purchased directly from Dimension Polyant.

The DX40 is certainly bombproof, I am almost done making a pack out of it. I really like the waterproofness of the x-pac fabrics.

I also really like white packs, but I don't expect this fabric to stay white for very long. I do however expect this pack to handle abuse, and last a long time.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
xpac on 09/14/2011 00:46:31 MDT Print View

Dimension Polyant will sell you remants off of rolls the price are really cheap but you do pay a $10.00 cut fee.
You get more color choices than white in the more all xpac versions. They send you email with a PDF list of what is available. With price really low decide what color you want and xpac version to avoid paying the $10.00 cut fee. I would buy several yards of the fabric you decide on they are shipped to you rolled on 6 to 8 foot long roll.

Dimension Polyant phone number is 1 (860) 928 8300 tell the CSR you would like to talk to the person in charged of selling Xpac to consumers.
Terry

Benjamin Moryson
(hrXXL) - MLife

Locale: Germany
XPAC on 09/14/2011 05:01:00 MDT Print View

is it true than you can buy these XPAC fabrics only on roll???

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
DX 40 on 09/14/2011 05:37:53 MDT Print View

Chris,

you are making a pack with the DX40? Is it difficult to work with? I got the sample from Dimension Polyant and started having comical thoughts about making frisbees out of it. The stuff seems like it will last forever, but also seems pretty stiff to me.

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
DX 40 on 09/14/2011 09:22:14 MDT Print View

Chris
It is really stiff, it isn't bad to work with. laying out patterns is easy because the fabric lays flat and doesn't stretch, a sharp razor knife or a hot knife are the only ways to cut it. Because it is stiff it can be difficult manipulating multiple panels on the sewing machine due to the stiffness and bulk. But it sews like a dream with an industrial compound walking foot machine:)

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Xpac on 09/14/2011 09:39:36 MDT Print View

Dx40 is just 400d pack cloth laminated to the same film Vx21. Vx 21 is 200d oxford laminated to the same film.

Xpac is kind of strange to work with at first but if you keeps some general rules in mind use a 1/2 inch
margin from sewing line you have marked on fabric pieces. Hold together with pins on the very side edge of the fabric margin so you don't put puncher holes from the pins in the film of the area of the pack you will be sewing.

You get one chance to sew a line to keep the pack waterproof so sew Slow, Methodical,Accurate or your pack will not be water proof. The reason for this is Xpac gets puncher holes from the sewing machine needle. And you can't go back with seam ripper like you can with cordura because of the puncher holes
that happens to Xpac.

I think the puncher problem is the reason only a few mainstream pack manufactures work with Xpac because they employ the best seamsters in the world.

The best scissors for cutting Xpac and Grid X is some Craft scissors from Michael's stores that has fine serrated blade.

Terry

Edited by socal-nomad on 09/14/2011 09:46:35 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Xpac on 09/14/2011 09:52:07 MDT Print View

The face of DX40 is 400D cloth with an 800D Dyneema grid reinforcement. It's not plain 400D.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Xpac on 09/14/2011 11:45:17 MDT Print View

Yeah! What Chris said. :P


Chris and I have only worked with it a little bit so far, but my experience was that it's easy to sew and layout. Cutting it is just like heavy weight cuben, it will dull your high quality shears in one pass. Recommend using a utility knife with self healing mat to cut it, even that's a little tough, since the spectra strands are much thicker than in Dyneema X.

Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Xpac on 09/14/2011 11:52:27 MDT Print View

Does the film make it not breathable?

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Re: Xpac on 09/14/2011 12:07:19 MDT Print View

Yeah definitely, it's supposed to be waterproof. It's not a WPB material, it's a replacement for traditional coated fabrics.