November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Buying Fabrics + where to buy them
Display Avatars Sort By:
Scott Moberly
(yogaman) - F
Buying Fabrics + where to buy them on 08/22/2007 16:50:49 MDT Print View

Newbie here...

I've sewn a backpack and tarp (both RayWay from kits) and they turned out decent so I have a little more confidence in my sewing abilities now. However, I'm very confused about fabrics. I can't seem to find one place that describes their differences: pros & cons. Can anybody direct me to a place that will discuss this?

Also, it would really help me if I could actually see the fabrics to know what they look like and how to recognize them. I live in So. Cal. Does anyone know of a place where I can buy them w/o going online? I like to look at what I'm getting.

I'm really motivated to tailor-make my own gear since I'm getting over my 2nd back surgery. Going light is not an option now.

Any help appreciated,


Joe Federici
(need2boat) - F

Locale: North East
Questions? on 08/22/2007 17:42:05 MDT Print View


I can give you a number of good places to buy outdoor fabric from and many of them are members of this site. If you call them all would be happy to help you. Thru-hiker, AYCE has B. board like this sit. He also sell some nice kits or you can buy just the fabric. He does not have the section of fabrices say Quest or Outdoor wilderness fabrics but is more geared towards newbies. He also sell many ultra light fabrics.

Joe F.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
"Buying Fabrics + where to buy them" on 08/22/2007 20:11:25 MDT Print View

I dont' know where you can buy locally but, Seattle Fabrics has "sample packs" you can order. Let's say you want nylon material, then you order their nylon sample pack. It has strips of each nylon material that they sell. Then you can order your prefered material for your project. Here is the web-page for their samples.

Best of luck and have fun with your projects!

I have had excellent experiences ordering online at and
although I don't think they have sample packs.

Michael Moccia
(MadMoe) - MLife

Locale: The Lone Star State
Fabric Sources on 08/23/2007 07:01:39 MDT Print View

I buy from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics for my business and have never been disappointed. They have great sample packs and are a good resource if you have little to lots of gear building experience.

I’ve also purchased kits and yardage from AYCE at with the same success. If you are new at making gear AYCE is a sure bet!! Lots of after the sale help.

There a many options out there depending on how much you want/need to buy


Mike M

Edited by MadMoe on 08/24/2007 06:22:22 MDT.

Joe Federici
(need2boat) - F

Locale: North East
samples on 08/23/2007 07:11:17 MDT Print View

All of the places Miichael listed will GIVE you samples for free most of the time but you need to ask.

Seatle fabrics (I think) charges a bit much for there service and tacks on an extra 5.00 to ship out the fabrics same day and if you don't pay it will take 5 working days. They offer noting in between. Most other places ship out in 1-2 day anyway. I live on the east coast and it takes them a week to pack the fabric and anther week to get. This bugs me a bit. They also charge way more then other places for fabric and samples. I would look at the rain sheld if your on the west coast unless your right in Seatle.

OK I'm off the soap box.

here's a good list I use for online venders put together by another sewer Penny.

Joe F.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Seattle Fabrics on 08/23/2007 08:04:24 MDT Print View

Well, if your ever in Seattle, their shop is one of the best, and a place to visit. ;-)

Scott Moberly
(yogaman) - F
Re: Buying Fabrics + where to buy them on 08/23/2007 08:24:12 MDT Print View

Thanks to all. I'll take all your suggestions and look up these places. I saw some ripstop silnylon at JoAnn Fabrics but they want nearly $7.00 per yard for it. Also, and if I've got this right, its not coated ripstop so its not waterproof. Do I have this right?

I also went to WalMart - they had nothing!

Thanks again.

peter kvamme
(karacolor) - F

Locale: midwest
JoAnn's on 09/03/2007 21:38:35 MDT Print View

You are right, JoAnn's typically has only uncoated nylon ripstop which does mean it is not waterproof (or water resistant). Fabric of this sort is just called "nylon ripstop" not silnylon. Silnylon is slang for "silicon impregnated ripstop nylon", essentially a specific type of waterproof coated ripstop nylon.
Walmart never has silnylon in stock except for occasionally in their "bargian bin" section which is miscellaneous fabric of "unknown origin". I dont think they carry any sort of ripstop at all in their regular stock (although if you are lucky you can also find this in the bargain bin).

Edited by karacolor on 09/03/2007 22:14:35 MDT.