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Author Topic: Fabric Sources  (Read 22617 times)

Offline Rob

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Fabric Sources
« on: November 17, 2008, 07:36:48 pm »
I bought the sewing machine a while ago and as of yet have not found a source for fabric. I have checked all the surrounding Home Depots, Cambodian Tires and Home Hardwares and have found no cotton drop clothes. They are all plastic.

Fabric section of Wal Mart does not carry anything that remotely looks like that cloth. Closest thing was denim for blue jeans.

So not a big deal I can order it from Winnipeg but I am not sure what to ask for. What is the exact type of cotton fabric I am looking for. Is there a measurement of cotton thickness like sheet metal? I don't want to end up with a big bolt of heavy heavy canvas nor do I want something thinner than bed sheets.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 08:07:54 pm »
on ccr somebody asked about li-tent fabric. A google search and I came across this website
http://www.dinsons.com/

Those are some serious tents. The family tents look like they would make a great community tent for a large gathering.
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Offline HOOP

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 09:56:51 pm »
Hi Rob,

You are asking some of the toughest question in winter trekking:  Cotton fabric questions!   :)  Its not easy, and I still have not figured it out.

Forget the drop cloths.  Go direct to fabric suppliers for the selection.  Thunder Bay has Fabricland, which is a franchise chain:  http://www.fabricland.ca/   You may want to call them up and find out what they have, and what they might be able to order.

Cotton fabric is described by weight and thread count, but I have found this is not the whole story.

Empire Canvas' and Snowtrekker's material is absolutely beautiful 6 oz, very tight weave.  Its good for both their tents and their anoraks. 

Thread count is very important for tightness and strength.  But this is where I get confused, because there is fine “Egyptian cotton" dress shirt material with very high thread count and 3-4 oz, but its not strong enough for a tent, and too thin and tear-able for an anorak.   Fine bed sheets are way too fragile for tents or clothing.   And they won’t have any water repellency, which a true tent and anorak canvas will have.

True Egyptian cotton "sail silk", so nick-named because it was strong and light enough for sails, was made from the best quality, longest fiber Egyptian cotton, and was woven super tight, and it repels water.  You can't blow through it, but it is so beautifully light.   You won't find that fabric anywhere now, except for Ventile in the UK, which is supremo good, but very expensive - go for it if you can afford it.

So I don't know how to describe the optimum finer by weight or thread count because it seems that this alone is not enough.

There are some light canvases at Fabricland that are too open weave for what you want.  The heavy 10 oz are way too heavy, and will hold too much water.  One test is to hold it up to the light.  If you can see the light shining through between the fibers, its too open.  Denim is out of the question - its a death fabric -it will never dry.

Empire Canvas and Snowtrekker will not spill the beans for where they source their fabric, last time I checked!     :D    I don't blame them - its marvelous.   Empire uses the non-treated version for their anoraks and wind pants.  Maybe they would sell you some fabric if you asked them?   Probably not, since its one of their trade secrets,  but it never hurts to ask.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 10:22:11 pm by HOOP »
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline tonycc

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 10:01:16 pm »
One source for cotton fabric which I have tried to track down is down proof cotton used for comforters and duvets.  This tends to be sold in very large quantities, I had a difficult time finding anyone to sell me smallish quantities.

The outdoors fabric companies don't touch cotton which is a shame.

Tony

Offline Ted

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 10:41:12 pm »
seatle fabrics  http://www.seattlefabrics.com/cotton.html
has in stock

untreated natural 10oz/yard in 4 widths
and
untreated #10duck at 14.75oz/yard. Can order in #2 #4 #6 duck.

They also carry 4oz 120"wide that you'd have to ask if down proof.

I buy a lot of their cordura and rip-stop nylon. Easy to deal with.
Minimum is 1/2yard at 1/8 yard increments.
fwiw,
happy sewing - I've got lots ahead of me before the snow flies.
ted
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Offline Pawistik

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 10:43:31 pm »
I have had success getting fabrics and supplies, not cotton, from Textile Outfitters and was going to suggest you check them out. http://www.justmakeit.com/ However, they seem to be shutting down their web site side of the business. Too bad. At the link above (which is for Textile Outfitters), they provide a list of alternatives, so perhaps one of them could have something that can be used (like the cotton twill at Mcphee?). Note that like Tony said, "the outdoors fabric companies don't touch cotton" and that seems to be true for Outdoor Outfitters as well, at least in the light, tight cotton that HOOP described (they have canvas).
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Offline Rob

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 08:37:31 am »
So....10oz cotton is almost canvas like and 6oz cotton is better if down proof. Tight weave is the key.

The more I think about this the more I think that the cotton drop clothes may be more expensive. Raw material has always gotta be cheaper no? And for the amount I am going end up using....4 Anoraks and a tent...I think I may be better buying a bolt.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 07:01:48 pm »
seatle fabrics  http://www.seattlefabrics.com/cotton.html

That is a great link Ted. Fantastic! Thank you.
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Offline Oldand Fat

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2008, 10:53:11 pm »
I've had great success with  http://www.questoutfitters.com/index.html
They mail to Canada that has saved me a lot of money and hassle.
Stay safe
OAF
“ We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.” Stephen Hawking. 1942 - 2018

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 06:46:09 pm »
So I got my sample from Seattle Fabrics as well as a catalogue. One of the sample packs I ordered were wrong and the cost to get them here was Waaaaaaaay too much. $30 I will never get back. It did reaffirm that finding a Canadian source is key.

So I called Fabric Land in Thunder Bay and apparently they do not carry cotton. I said really? She said yep! Okay moving on...I tried Marshall Fabrics in Winnipeg and they said they don't know what 10oz cotton canvas means and the best way is to feel the fabric. That is a 1000 km round trip to feel some fabric.

So if anybody goes into these fabric stores in say....Thunder Bay :wink:...and sees the exact fabric. Would they be so kind as to find the price and exact name of it and let me know so I can purchase same!
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Offline memaquay

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 07:57:19 pm »
What about canoe canvas used for wood/cedar canoes?  Readily available in a few different weights from places like North Bay Canoe.  Might be worthwhile seeing if their canvas is primarily cotton, or a blend.  Also, I have ordered large lots of canvas that i use for making theatrical flats.  William F. White was the last place I ordered it from..I seem to recall it was quite cheap. 

Offline HOOP

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 10:44:20 pm »
I will keep my eye out Rob!   

If only we could find the source of Empire Canvas's 6 oz anorak cotton fabric, we would have one of the best fabrics around for anoraks.

Ventile from Britain http://www.ventile.co.uk/
  is the absolute best, but horrendously expensive.  If I did not have a day job to tend to, I would look into becoming a Canadian importer and distributor of this amazing suite of pure cotton windproof, breathable and water resistant  tight weave fabrics.

Hi Memaquay,
Canoe canvas is, from what I think I know, heavy 10 oz open weave, designed to take a filler.   I have an old 10 oz cotton canvas anorak that is terribly heavy and gets wet and stays wet.  Because of its open weave, it seems to absorb snow too, which packs into the inter-fiber spaces and stays there, and just frosts up.    The key thing is weight and tightness of weave.  Anything more that 6-7 oz is getting too heavy.  One of the tests of tightness is to hold it up to a bright light and look at how much light gets through.  Also, hold it up to the mouth and blow - if you can blow through it, its a loose weave and not very good.  Mid weight Ventile, just like Craig MacDonald's 4 oz tent grade Egyptian cotton (the finest fiber, tightest weave miracle fabric, now possibly an extinct fabric) cannot be blown through, or only very sightly.

I have some swatches from Ventile that they sent me, and I think that its light to mid weights are perhaps the holy grail modern upgrade of classic tent grade Egyptian cotton. 
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline Scott

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 10:44:56 am »
Has anyone asked Craig McDonald lately what he has in stock for Egyptian cotton?  As far as I know, he is still selling custom wind suits (anorak and pants) and wall tents made from the real deal 4oz fabric.  I'm not sure if he would part with the raw material but if enough of us expressed interest he may be inclined to do a larger order...       

Offline White Wolf

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 11:18:07 am »
Ok I hear so much about Craig McDonald does he have a web site or does anyone know how to contact him for a catologe

Offline Rob

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Re: Fabric Sources
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 03:29:01 pm »
As I understand it, he has no website, no catalogue. Just a telephone number. You can try looking him up on Canada 411 in Dwight Ontario.
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