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Old 08-12-2013   #1
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
what kind of fabric to make my own king sling?

I am looking to spend the winter sewing up some things for next years rafting and wanted to know what kind of fabric do-it-yourself people are using for drag bags, king slings, and drop bags. They seem pretty simple to make. I want to use basically the same stuff that the pro's are using. Any thoughts?


May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
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Old 08-12-2013   #2
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
I found it very difficult to locate quality fabric that would hold up to boating. Even when it would be called what should work, it didn't. I ended up getting 4-5 yards of fabric from jan at stitches and stuff.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 08-12-2013   #3
kikii875's Avatar
Orem, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 207
I have found that the people who do this for a living, will sell you the fabric, but they wont reveal their source. I heard the same thing from one of the river rangers down the Grand. They wanted to sew their own stuff, but had to buy the material retail. And who can blame the people that do it for a living.
I have seen that material a couple of times covering dump truck loads. The next time I see it I think I am going to follow that truck and find out who makes their covers and maybe get the source.
I found something similar at a place that makes awnings but they wanted way too much per yard so I passed.
You had me at 'Hey, Row'
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Old 08-12-2013   #4
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Check upholstery shops. It's often used for outdoor chair covers and as structure under foam in chairs and couches. Best news is you can sometimes buy remnants.
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Old 08-13-2013   #5
JonasJ's Avatar
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 48
I use Seattle Fabrics
Suntex Exterior Roll-Up Shades and Phifertex Fabric
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Old 08-13-2013   #6
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Looking for a place like this? Heavy Duty Fabric and Canvas Or this?
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 08-13-2013   #7
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 129
I would try petersen canvas in fort collins. Not only would they likely have the fabric, but I bet they would give you some tips on the best way to work with it.
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Old 08-13-2013   #8
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
sunbrella is one of the other brands.
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Old 08-14-2013   #9
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 62
+1 for Seattle fabrics for any exotic fabric.

Phifertex is the primary material for vinyl covered mesh, IMO....and an old school, all steel singer.
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Old 08-14-2013   #10
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
Thank you all for your suggestions. It appears that many of you are correct that Phifertex mesh is what everyone recommends. It sells for around $13/yard plus shipping. Not cheap, but not crazy either. I will try making stuff this winter and see how it goes next season. Thanks as always buzzards.

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May the sun shine warm upon your face.
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