Making a silnylon tarp

Posted by: sabre11004

Making a silnylon tarp - 03/03/08 05:48 PM

I am in the process of making my own silnylon tarp and I am thinking of not putting holes in it for any grommets so as to not compromise the things strength. I have located these small very light de-tachable plastic grommets. They hold tight and they don't seem to put much stress on the fabric where it would normally be "stitched". I was just wondering what every body in here thought of the idea and does any one think that it would not be feasible at all??? The tarp weighs around 28 oz. and the plastic grommets only add 4.8 oz. to that. Hope some one can help...Happy Trekking...sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there !!!!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Tango61

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/03/08 06:44 PM

Do you have any pic's or can you describe how these grommets attach to the fabric?

I read the part 'detachable' so I'm wondering how they stay on when you want them to.
Posted by: billk

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/03/08 09:48 PM

Are you talking about these things?

Grip Clips

I have some of the smallest ones. They work, but to use them on silnylon you have to make a "washer" out of a balloon or they'll slip. For attachment at the edges of the tarp, light webbing sewn into a wide (maybe 3/4") hem and reinforced might be better.
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/04/08 03:40 AM

I'll agree with billk on this one. Sewn in loops will work better.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/04/08 04:38 AM

Silnylon is so slickery that a grommet won't likely hold unless you stitch in a patch of heavier cloth to give the grommet something to clinch to.
I chose grosgrain tie loops sewn to the hem, which was three layers thick after folded. No failures after 4 years.
Posted by: Kate

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 12:25 AM

I'll admit here to much preferring stitched eyelets to grommets. I've had to replace both metal and plastic grommets in the past, but never stitched ones. I use machine stitched ones like these for garments: [img]'s_Klobber/eyelets5.JPG[/img]

You'd probably be better off hand stitching eyelets over a metal reinforcing ring for a tarp as they would need to be larger than corset lacing holes! Some UV protected nylon tape, or tapes sewn from off-cuts of the tarp fabric, sewn into loops and stitched to reinforcing patches might be your best bet here, both for durability and weight.
Posted by: pennys

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 12:16 PM

sorry kate, but for me handstiching eyelets falls into the" you've got to be kidding me" category. If they work so great, how come no one uses them in commercially manufactured outdoors gear? Especially the high end stuff where there's tons of attention to detail, to stress points and so on. Hand done eyelets might be great for corsets and costumes, but I sure wouldn't trust it to the stresses of what ma nature can dish out, or even a well tied knot.

Based on what I see the key to successful grommet life is the right selection of materials for reinforcement and for predicted stresses. Early Winters certainly did it right, and many other tent makers too.

Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 04:19 PM

Those clips are very similar to what I have, however, the ones that I have are a little smaller. I have used them on smaller tarps and they seem to work fine. They have withstood serious rain and wind without a failure yet. I know about the balloon idea too and without the balloons the clips just will not work on silnylon. It is way too slippery and the things just will not hold. I have tested that out too and they just won't hold with out the small washers I have made out of balloons. That's a great idea and I know for a fact that it works. sabre11004 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 04:22 PM

It is a little hard to describe but I will try. The ones that I have are bendable plastic and they two pieces. One piece fits into the other while pushing a small portion of the tarp into the clip. Once you have the material in the clip you just pull it closed and it holds. It holds very well too because like I said, I have tested them i the winds and the rain and have not experienced a failure yet...sabre11004 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Spock

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 04:32 PM

Forget grommets. They always weaken the fabric. Sooner or later they fail. Use loops. Silnylon itself makes a good loop - or use cheap polyester grossgrain ribbon from the nearest fabric strore. Anything but grommets. Really.
Posted by: chaz

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 07:22 PM

Instead of grommets I used a faucet washer , put in on the tarp and wraped tie out lines around it. No holes etc. you could use a small stone etc.
Posted by: speyguy

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/05/08 08:28 PM

Another vote for grosgrain ribbon. Have you seen the Henry Shires tarp instructions ? They show the technique and are a big help. Mine came out like this . I would stay away from the grommets for the reasons already mentioned.
Posted by: pennys

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/06/08 07:07 AM

There are different types and weights of the grosgrain. Be sure and get the beefier nylon type and not the dressmaker type that is sold on the notions wall.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/06/08 07:46 AM

When I made my tarps an poncho shelter, I told the nice lady at OWF what I was doing and she made sure I got the right stuff. Grosgrain is cheap and handy stuff. Buy a bulk'll use it.
Posted by: speyguy

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/06/08 07:59 AM

Yes, I forgot to mention the different types of grosgrain. I believe the stuff sold at most fabric stores is polyester? I ordered the nylon stuff online.
Posted by: EricKingston

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/06/08 06:55 PM

I can attest to trying grommets in silnylon, and it's just not a good idea. The stuff is so slippery, that whatever little bit of fabric gets cinched within the two grommet pieces just slides right out. So the grommet basically falls out with the slightest tug, and you're left with a hole in your silnylon. Not good! Just use crossgrain - it's pretty easy.

Posted by: Kate

Re: Making a silnylon tarp - 03/07/08 05:36 AM

They do work perfectly in some fabrics. I've replaced metal grommets with hand stitched eyelets in cotton tents and not had them fail thereafter. The reason they don't use them commercially is time: you need to pay about 25 per hour for handwork like this, and you can really only do about 4 an hour... Compared with banging in grommets by machine... Well, you can see the difference! Some sailmakers making canvas sails for things like period accurate tall ships and Thames barges DO make the eyelets by hand. So do some of the re-enactment tent makers. After all, if they worked well for hundreds of years, they will still work well today. But it is a level of insanity that not all aspire to! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Handworking eyelts in modern artificial fibres is a complete pain in the posterior, and that is one area where I'd go for the plastic ones set in 2-3 layers of the fabric, probably glued together with seam sealant for added strength. Either that or the stitched in tape loops... Depends on the abrasion characteristics, really...