Diagonal reenforcement of fabric with heavy thread
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Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Diagonal reenforcement of fabric with heavy thread on 03/17/2012 11:55:01 MDT Print View

I'm making a pack, and I plan to use a 1.8 oz/yard Dacron pack body fabric. I want to attach loops to the fabric for cinching cord, but given my pack design, some of these will be pulling the fabric on the diagonal, in a direction in which it is a little bit mechanically stretchy (not dimensionally stable). Can I just sew in some kevlar thread (or something similar) at 45/135 degrees from the weave of the fabric to reenforce it? In other words, can I achieve some of the benefits of the diagonal fibers in DP Xpac/Xply fabrics by just sewing strong threads into a woven fabric on the diagonal? Has anyone tried this?

I would probably draw lines where I want it to go, then do a simple over-under stitch by hand along the lines, anchoring the thread securely at both ends.

Edited by ckrusor on 03/17/2012 11:57:43 MDT.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Diagonal reenforcement of fabric with heavy thread on 03/17/2012 15:39:21 MDT Print View

Have no idea if this would work, but how about two layers of fabric, each half the weight of the fabric you planned? Lay them at angles to each other so that stretch on the bias is cancelled out, then "quilt" with (machine) stitching to hold in place. Essentially, you'd be making fabric plywood.

Might be less work that hand-sewing all those kevlar threads.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Layers on 03/17/2012 16:46:25 MDT Print View

David, thanks for the idea. Using two lighter layers would be a good idea for some applications, I think. For this, I see two shortcomings.

First, two layers of 0.9 oz/yard fabric would be far less resistant to abrasion than one 1.8 oz layer, I think. The Dacron fabric I chose has a low thread count and coarse 200D yarns. I think it is probably much more abrasion resistant than two layers of a 0.9 oz fabric.

Also, the Dacron fabric has a tensile strength in the thread directions (warp or weft) of about 95 lbs per linear inch. Using two lighter layers cuts the strength in half in those directions. If I add some very strong thread in the diagonal directions (I have 75lb test Vectran/Dyneema thread), just a few threads could give a surplus of strength on the diagonal with minimal increase in weight and no reduction in weave-direction strength.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has attempted it.

Edited by ckrusor on 03/17/2012 16:47:38 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Diagonal reenforcement of fabric with heavy thread on 03/17/2012 17:00:41 MDT Print View

"then do a simple over-under stitch by hand along the lines, anchoring the thread securely at both ends."

In hand sewn leather work they stitch over under then stitch back using the same holes but on opposite sides of the fabric, which reduces perforations and makes it more of a locking stitch.

Glue which would bond the stretchy fibers together at the stress point might be useful.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Stitching on 03/17/2012 19:03:14 MDT Print View

Thanks, David. Those are good ideas. I hadn't thought about stitching back the other direction through the same holes.

David Scheidt
(dscheidt) - F
Re: Diagonal reenforcement of fabric with heavy thread on 03/18/2012 12:39:02 MDT Print View

Stay stitching like this doesn't work very well. It provides some reinforcement, but only directly on the line of stitching. if you're worried about it, put some sort of reinforcement there. You could bond a patch of the material on, with the force on the warp grain, or you could use a tape of some sort.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Stitching on 03/18/2012 14:19:23 MDT Print View

"Stay stitching like this doesn't work very well. It provides some reinforcement, but only directly on the line of stitching."

David, thanks for the feedback. Reinforcement between two points on the fabric (in a line) is what I need. I understand that this kind of reinforcement would not be very good at protecting against the chaotic stresses around a grommet, but I don't see why it wouldn't be perfect for alleviating tensile strain on the fabric between two points. Why do you suggest tape instead?

Edited by ckrusor on 03/18/2012 14:26:11 MDT.

David Scheidt
(dscheidt) - F
Re: Stitching on 03/18/2012 22:23:40 MDT Print View

No, you're putting force on a two dimensional area -- it's more than one thread wide. The stay stitching provides reinforcement for two threads, one on either side of the thread. What you're dealing with is mechanical stretch -- the bias is stretchy because the fabric is mechanically distorted. One, or even a few, lines of thread aren't going to stop that. (I tried this, even though I didn't think it would work, on a shopping bag that was meant to fold up super small. The bottom sagged alarmingly, so I thought some stay stiches would be easy. didn't work, but a piece of cotton twill tape inserted into the corner seams, run across the bottom to the diagonally opposite corner, help a lot. Until the handle ripped out, at least.)

I suggested tape because it's a standard solution for stays like this, you're likely to already have something suitable, and there's probably a way to also make it a functional attachment. I think I'd actually prefer a reinforcement of the fabric by layering two plies of the bag's fabric. Or maybe figuring out how to change the design so there isn't a load like this, or changing how the panel is cut so that forces are put along the grain or crossgrain. That might not be possible, because it creates other problems.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Stitching on 03/18/2012 22:47:18 MDT Print View

"Why do you suggest tape instead?"

If I look at a line of stitching from the side it runs zigzag style from one side of the fabric to the other. So it would stretch somewhat if pulled.

A piece of non stretching tape is a straight line from point A to point B, running on only one side of the fabric. No zigzag shape to stretch.

I'm just guessing here but on first glance it seems to make sense.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Stitching on 03/18/2012 23:08:06 MDT Print View

Thanks Daryl and Davids (all three of you) for your responses. I'll give this a little bit of thought and maybe do some experimenting. I appreciate the feedback. I'll post updates if I come up with anything interesting.

Alpo Kuusisto
(akuusist) - F - M
reinforcement of fabric with heavy thread on 04/03/2012 08:21:59 MDT Print View

This is a fascinating idea! It would make reinforcements pretty easy, and light.
I wanted to test it on sewing machine and tarp tie-outs.
Used normal polyester sewing thread to feed through the needle and window blinds cord for the bobbin (What are the correct names for sewing machine up and bottom side threads?)
It was quite ok to sew, and can take some pull force too. Photo of a very crude first trial:


Perhaps a bit thinner cord for the bobbin would be better, and sufficient.
Idea was to make a star or flower pattern as described in the thread 57578. Unfortunately I now need to pack for a skiing week in Lapland, so testing has to wait.