[balloon-makers] Seams and stitches

Greg_Winker at Dell.com Greg_Winker at Dell.com
Wed Jan 30 10:52:20 CST 2002

Andrew -

Thanks for the information and the links.  That's a really nice looking kite
you have!

After digging around on the web yesterday, I ran across Hang-Em High and
looked through the online catalog.  I may go ahead and order a few yards to
play with.  Incidentally, while "normal" balloon fabrics are near 2 oz/yd2,
quite a few balloons have been made out of fabric in the 1.1 to 1.3 oz./yd2
range.  These lighter weight fabrics may not last as long as some of the
heavier ones, but it sure makes hauling them around easier.

Greg Winker

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Beattie [mailto:andrew at tug.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 2:22 AM
To: balloon-makers at mail.deering.org
Subject: Re: [balloon-makers] Seams and stitches

Greg_Winker at Dell.com wrote:
> Andrew -
> Tell me more about this Icarex P31 fabric you use.  I'm always interested
> hearing more about very lightweight fabrics.  What is it made of?  Is the
> weight 31 gm/m2?  And does that translate to 0.92 oz per yd2?  Is it
> with something to give it zero porosity?  Or does it have some porosity?
> What makes it good for kites?  Etc., Etc.

When the fabric was first launched, they did a pretty fact-heavy
advertising leaflet.  The text of the leaflet is recorded in this
usenet posting:


It is a ripstop polyester.

The weight per square meter is:

ICAREX cloth (31g) + Coating = 35g

The fabric is very light weight and very stiff for it's weight.
It has basically no stretch.  It has nice low porosity.
I don't know how it handles heat.  It is much more resistant
to UV than Nylon.

It feels a lot like Mylar(*) toffee wrapper.  It has the same
crinklyness and a similar weight.  When my big Icarex kite was
new and flying on a quiet day, you could hear her crinkling
from 300 yards away!  http://www.veronica.tug.com/

(*)I believe that Mylar and Polyester are chemically similar, one is
film, the other woven.

It is, IMHO, the best stuff in the world for making soft kites - it
is very light, very strong and the stiffness means that it will
hold it's shape rather than collapse in a lull.

Unfortunately, the trade don't like it.  It creases very easily so
the very act of manufacturing with it causes the finished article
to look "used" in the showroom.  So they "improved" it by bringing
out "PolyCarbonate Icarex".  The PC icarex is softer (yuk!), heavier
and more expensive.

Look on Google for "Icarex Fabric" to find a supplier, but it may
well be worth trying http://www.vliegerop.nl/ in Holland, I heard
a while ago that they were having a the original fabric specially
made, I don't know if they still have any.

Andrew Beattie

The LAZIEST way to find kite pages ---------> http://www.kitez.com/
My own stuff (Shona, Chevron, Veronica) ----> http://www.tug.com/
Resources for rec.kites --------------------> http://www.reckites.com/
Friendly, flexible host for your net stuff -> http://www.ourshack.com/

kite, n: A piece of negotiable paper representing a fictitious
financial transaction and used temporarily to sustain credit or
raise money.
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