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Waterproof Polyester Taffeta
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Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Waterproof Polyester Taffeta on 07/20/2012 16:08:50 MDT Print View

Found this on the clearance rack at our local Joanne's...


Is this stuff good for anything? It's got a shiny side and a dull side and feels pretty similar to the Momentum 90 I used in a smd meteor bivy project I did a while back, but the shiny side doesn't look as shiny, but that could just be because of the color. And it's kind of a charcoal gray, rather than a real black. The rack was labled 50% off, and if that's off that $7 price tag, $3.50/yd really makes me wish it'll work for some myog project, whatever that may be...


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Waterproof Polyester Taffeta on 07/20/2012 16:23:38 MDT Print View

That may or may not be the same black stuff that I bought at Joanne's. I found it to be a little on the heavy side. I mean, if I am going to the trouble of sewing up something decent, I'm more likely to buy some decent stuff that is lighter in weight.


Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Waterproof Polyester Taffeta on 07/20/2012 19:20:29 MDT Print View

Regardless of weight and/or quality, the price is low enough for you to use it as prototype fodder.

Edited by lyrad1 on 07/21/2012 10:16:38 MDT.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: Waterproof Polyester Taffeta on 07/23/2012 14:17:28 MDT Print View

That's for the insight and advice. If it's still there next time I'm at Joanne's, I'll buy it up.

But one question did just hit me. What is with the outdoor gear community and it's affinity for all things nylon? With the exception of many myog guides recommending the use of 100% polyester thread, all the rest of the fabric is some sort of nylon, sometimes with a dab dyneema here and there, but pretty much exclusively nylon. Why the lack of polyester love?

Also, may be a dumb question- but what makes a fabric a "taffeta", and why do I want it for jacket linings and the insides of sleeping bags/quilts?


Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Waterproof Polyester Taffeta on 07/31/2012 15:22:56 MDT Print View

Last ? first: Taffeta is a slippery, flat, smooth, square-woven, lightweight fabric. Makes it easier to get your arm through a damp sleeve.

Next: Polyester is more resistant to UV, petrochemicals, acids, etc. than nylon. It stretches less. Nylon's stretch protects it from shock loads and helps account for its 2X strength compared to polyester...when new, not after lots of sun, DEET, and spilled lemon drink powder. Even coated Nylon should be treated with DWR to reduce water absorption, sag, stretch, etc.

Polyester is vastly superior to nylon for tent flies and tarps because it does not absorb as much water and does not stretch and sag when wet. Some makers use it. I have a poly tent from 1979. Still good.

Nylon is what the mills make because it is what the public has come to expect. Or maybe it's the other way around. Lack of gumption, imagination, vision, whatever, may also play a part.

A mill with its head at the right end would produce Spectra/Dyneema reinforced polyester fabrics suitable to replace many or most of the current nylon offerings. Spectra cannot be successfully dyed, but polyester can. The polyester component will also accept polyurethane and silicone coatings.

Imagine a down-proof, uncoated fabric equal in strength to 1.1 oz nylon but weighing 0.3 to 0.5 oz. Or the same fabric with 0.2 or 0.3 oz coating (typical) that would work for lightweight tarps. flies, pack covers, UL raingear and UL packs. Or an intimate blend of Spectra (not a grid-stop) spun into polyester Cordura yarns to produce strong, abrasion resistant pack cloths ranging from 1.3 to 3 ounces.

You noted the use of polyester thread on nylon items. It's a compromise. Remember, nylon stretches and polyester does not. Ideally you would use a stretchy thread on stretchy fabric or on low-stretch fabric. A good jerk on nylon tarp hem, stitched with polyester, will break the thread wherever it is too tight. On the other hand, some home machines don't handle nylon thread too well (because of its stretch) and in most cases, polyester thread will give neater results. For many applications, nylon thread is overkill. I use polyester thread on day packs, tarps, hammocks, UL packs and all stitching on silnylon. On long seams and tarp hems, I use a shallow zigzag. That keeps the nylon from snapping the thread.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Waterproof Polyester Taffeta on 08/06/2012 11:45:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for all that info... It all makes logical sense...