Sewing Poly Tarps?

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by campcrafter, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. campcrafter

    campcrafter Scout

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    Has anyone sewn poly tarps?
    I saw a site (don't remember where) while surfing that said something about making a tarp tent from a poly tarp where you cut and sewed the poly.

    Has anyone done this.
    How did you do it, what did you use to do it and how did it turn out?

    Seems if this worked you could make nice semi-permanent/seasonal shelter.

    Blue Skies!
    cc
     
  2. BigHat

    BigHat Guide Bushclass I

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    //lmgtfy.com/?q=sewing+poly+tarps
     
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  3. Malleus

    Malleus Scout

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  4. RedFoxxBushcraft

    RedFoxxBushcraft Scout

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  5. Rubarb

    Rubarb Contributor

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    Not really as useful reply to what is a good question Jriker, as suggested, perhaps you would like to go and have a read of the Survival Guide, fortunately BCUSA does not have googleshrafters making up the bulk of our membership as our members actually get outside and practice and hone their skills rather than relying on Google to make themselves look knowledable, although google can be useful when researching, it's never hurts to ask a question here as the knowledge base here is vast and chances are campcrafter will get an answer based on experience.
     
  6. BigHat

    BigHat Guide Bushclass I

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    sorry about the joke, i was in a feisty mood.


    on a serious note, this guy has made some awesome tarp tents, i would assume you can follow these plans but use poly tarp instead of silnylon. i've sewn silnylon a lot, but not poly.

    http://www.tarptent.com/projects/tarpdesign.html
     
  7. Eric_Methven

    Eric_Methven Scout

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    Polypropylene tarps, because of their woven properties can easily be sewn on a commercial machine - but the problems arise when the stitching comes under strain, as the woven strands often pull away from the stitches - like when a strong wind blows.

    So, that's the way I found out that stitching alone won't do. I needed a way to trap that line of stitching in place. So I experimented with a few things including gluing the edges together. But I have found that the best way to sew a polyprop (builders') tarp is to make the seam, then sew some nylon tape over it - both edges of the tape, so each stitch line has three rows of stitching. One joining the two pieces together, and the other two holding the tape over the seam.

    Mind you, that was for a tent. A square tarp should just need the edges taping and the corners and half way points re-enforcing. So, for a tarp, do the following:

    1) Cut the tarp to size if it is not already the right size (a 9' x9' is a good one man tarp size) or a 12' x 12' for family use).

    2) Make a double fold along any raw edges (that is, any edges that you have had to cut. Original edges should already be turned and sewn), and sew the edge down.

    3)Cut 8 pieces of 1" nylon tape, 8" long and seal the ends with a flame.
    Fold each piece in half and pin onto the corners (facing out) and half way points of your tarp.

    4) Now cut 8 triangles 5"x5"x5" out of the excess tarp you cut off. Turn the edges under a half inch and place over the pinned tape, so it covers the tape ends.

    5) Now sew across the edge of the triangle and tape along the edge of the tarp, trapping the tape in place. Remove the pins.
    Run the sewing machine back and forth across the tape, sewing it with great big zig zags so it is trapped within the tarp and the triangle. Finish off by sewing the other edges of the triangle down. Do the same for all eight pieces.

    The reason for the tape, is your anchor points. DO NOT trust the eyelets that comes with the tarp. They were never designed for holding a shelter down in high winds. They WILL rip loose just when you need them not to.

    6) Now that your anchor points are all sewn on strongly, sew nylon tape all the way round the edge of the tarp. One line of stitching right on the edge and the other line along the other edge of the tape one inch in. This will give extra added strength to the edges of the woven material.

    That's basically it. Now you'll be able to pitch it in any number of configurations. The tape will take the strain when you pull the guys tight. The tighter the tarp, the less noise it will make to keep you awake.

    Hope that helps,

    Eric
     
  8. wrbthe3rd

    wrbthe3rd Scout

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    i have made them out of poly tarps they came out pretty good,tyvex is another good thing to try out and sews well.
     
  9. campcrafter

    campcrafter Scout

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    Thanks Eric that is very helpful.

    Exactly Kepis - Yes I can google and find some info BUT the experience of folks on this board and the hints, tips etc that is shared is beyond what can be found on most web pages. Plus often a conversation is started that allows for new ideas to come forth giving many a chance to learn and possibly consider a project they hadn't.

    Best to all & Blue Skies!
    cc
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  10. rusty stove

    rusty stove Guide

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    sil nylon and ripstop is a PITA to work with.....a blunt (rounded needle) is supposed to be used to avoid ripping the material- most important thing is not too much thread tension, use nylon thread and stitches not too close together- kevlar thread will tear thru an entire seam due to it's strength- ask me how I learned that one- d'oh!
     

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