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Discussion Starter #1
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?

Thanks :D
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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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+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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Discussion Starter #10
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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The pfifertex I got from seattle fabrics wasn't even close to the same material used by boating gear sewers. I even pursued some of the truck tarp fabric, couldn't get it to pan out, don't remember why exactly.
 

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I found a used trampoline mat on craigslist for free.

I only made drop bags so no grommets but it was free, fairly easy and has held up for 5 years so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Ihowemt. I was just about to order some Phifertex. At $14/yard I want the real deal. I'll keep searching.
 

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I think some pros use the phifertex and a similar product but use a double layer. That might be why it seems the Seattle Fabrics product is not the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have heard many of them talk about a 'multi mesh'. It is basically a variation of Phifertex. There are different types of underlying threads and differing amounts of coatings. I am ordering some different samples to see the differences.
 

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L Knapp
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It is phifertex. The rainbow colored version is actually a recycled fiber remnants from producing all of the different Phifertex colors. It's not hard stuff to work with, given the right tools (i.e a 1/2 hp industrial walking foot machine). You'll want heavy polyester thread too, either tex 60 or 90, with uv coating. You might want to get a small sample of the fabric and try running a two layers of phifertex and two layers of webbing together through your machine with thick thread before committing to larger purchases of fabric. Also, make sure you use a big enough needle... When I do it, I'm using size 21 or 22 needles. On a home machine you might only be able to use 16 or 18, I forget how high the numbers go. If you're breaking needles constantly, you need a bigger one. Good luck!
 

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L Knapp
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I guess I should say it's the same as some Phifertex products. Fabric Depot in Portland calls it "pet screen" and it's the right product. Rose city textiles has "multimesh". It's vinyl coated polyester fibers, different weaves and thicknesses, or course.
 

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L Knapp
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Sorry... Fat fingers... Pet mesh is the right stuff for dish drainers and rope bags, it's a little different weave, but I think Cascade Designs uses it for some of their products. Most fabric stores, will send you swatches of things for the cost of shipping them. That might help you figure out whether it's what you had in mind.
 
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