If you are sewing light fabrics like ripstop nylon for the first time you might be surprised at how frustrating it can be compared to heavier materials. If you’re set up for heavier weight fabrics, you’ll want to make sure you have the right needle and thread for ripstop. Also, a rotary cutter or sharp scissors, and possibly painters tape. If you are working with a coated ripstop like our 70D water repellent ripstop nylon it will be a little easier than something uncoated like a micro denier. Here are a few more tips that may help.
- Make sure you are using a new, sharp Universal 70/10 Needle.
- An all purpose polyester or nylon thread is great. Some people like to match the thread the the fabric. That is, when using lightweight nylon fabric, use a lightweight nylon thread. However, all purpose thread will work okay as well.
- Slipping? Working with coated ripstop nylon, you may not experience too much slipping. However if you do, painters tape is quick and easy way to hold your seams in place so you don’t have to pin through your ripstop. A long running basting stitch on the edge can be a good last resort to manage slipping too!
- Sew Straight. Use the grid lines on the ripstop to help sew straight. Sloppy sewing will be easy to notice if your seam looks crooked next to those straight woven lines in the fabric. Keep in mind ripstop typically stretches on the diagonal.
- Use a new rotary cutter or sharp fabric scissors for clean straight edges. Once you cut out your pieces, it’s ideal to sew them up immediately. Leaving cut nylon lying around will cause your clean cut edges to get messy or frayed making the sewing more challenging.
- Check your stitch length. If your stitch length is too small it will cause problems; it can weaken your seams by basically perforating a line down your fabric that will pull apart easily over time. It can also just make the fabric bunch up, so try for around 8-10 stitches per inch.
- Reinforce those seams. If your project is going to be weight bearing, reinforce your seams with a topstich (felded seam). It will make your seams stronger and, if done well, will make the final project look much more professional.
Ripstop Nylon Source…
Big Duck Canvas Warehouse is a great place to buy Ripstop Nylon fabric online, by the yard. Sign up for the email newsletter too as there’s often a discount coupon offer for new subscribers.