Jun 5, 2010 at 5:38 am #1259804
I have read about using "grosgrain for tie outs". Going to the local Jo-Ann Fabrics, I found grosgrain ribbon in the decorative ribbon section in various widths. It looks and feels pretty wimpy. I did some tests with the 3/8th inch ribbon. It's actually pretty strong. I am posting my tests here as an FYI.
I sewed some loops in the grosgrain ribbon with regular strength Gutermann poly thread also purchased from Jo-Ann fabrics. I tried an Xbox on one end and some simple rows if straight stitches to secure the other loop.
I tied some cord onto my grosgrain test loops and tested the strength with my body weight by bouncing on it slung over a tree limb outside.
On the first test the single layer of grosgrain failed just outside of the Xbox. It held my bodyweight of 165 lbs but failed when I bounced on it.
Next I tried two layers of grosgrain.
This easily held my weight and was difficult to break while bouncing on it. I did manage to make the rows of straight stitches fail.
From my testing, I think Joann fabrics 3/8 grosgrain ribbon is strong enough for tarp tie outs used on the ridgeline and corners when it is doubled and a single layer would be fine along the sides.
Comments or thoughts?Jun 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm #1617111
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Can you imagine putting your entire weight on a tarp tie-out? The fabric would shred!
The ribbon itself is actually much stronger than your tests show. What was failing (in some cases) was the stitching and the weaving.
Bar tacking this sort of tape is NOT a good idea. The weave can't support the concentrated load. The Box with an X in it, as shown in the last photo, is a much stronger way of sewing any tape – as your results suggest.
Yes, I use grosgrain webbing on tents and packs too, extensively. It's never failed for me.
CheersJun 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm #1617146
this makes me want to go get some of that stuff, grab my Mom's sewing machine and make some tree-huggers :)Jun 6, 2010 at 1:26 pm #1617319
In addition to the tests with with 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon from Jo-Ann fabrics I decided to test homemade loops made from silnylon.
These proved stronger in my testing. The following are some photos of loop configurations I tried and the results.
I got the idea for making silnylon loops from Brawny's You Tube video on making silnylon stuff sacks. I started with a design similar to hers.
I took a strip of silnylon approximately 2 inches wide and folded the two sides in and then folded it again making a strip 4 layers thick that is 1/2 inch wide.
I sewed lines of stitches down the sides to hold the folded material together and sewed it into a loop with an Xbox and took it outside to test it's strength.
This loop easily held my body weight of 165lbs and I could not break it even bouncing around on it under load, but the straight stitches ripped out.
A design using a zigzag stitch easily fixed this and provided a strong loop that I could not break or damage with my testing methods.
These are harder to make than simply cutting a piece of grosgrain but seem much stronger to me. I don't know about long term durability.
Next I am going to test some loops sewn to tarp hems.Jun 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm #1617333
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
Nice work. My brawny tarp has silnylon tie-outs like you described. One thought, did you melt the ends of the grosgrain ribbon before you tested it? From your first test it looks like it frayed off the end. Ribbon or webbing doesn't have much holding the ends together, pull on a crosswise strand and it will unravel…Jun 7, 2010 at 5:12 am #1617495
Yes the ribbon ends were melted to stop the frayJun 7, 2010 at 5:59 am #1617506
I tested both the Jo-Ann fabric grosgrain ribbon and my homemade silnylon loops sewn to a 1/2 inch rolled silnylon tarp hem in various configurations. Here is what I tested and the results.
I started with this silnylon loop sewn on with two Xbox stitches. This loop failed when the regular strength Polyester Gutermann thread broke on one of the Xboxes. It did not come close to holding my bodyweight. Two other things I noticed about this configuration were: it put a lot of stress on the hem seam, and it pulled on one side because the loop ends were sewn on one side.
Next I tried this loop configuration with the loop ends sewn on each side to give an even pull, the loop ends sewn over both the hem edge and the regular tarp fabric with a reinforcement patch sewn on.
This worked better than my first configuration. It was stronger, but did not hold my body weight. Again the Gutermann regular strength thread was what failed first, along with the tarp fabric ripping out. It was a balanced pull but very concentrated.
Keeping the loops sewn to either side, and the loops sewn over the tarp hem, I abandoned the reinforcement and tried the following configurations, this time with grosgrain.
Spreading out the loop ends was better than keeping them together. Putting one loop end on either side made for a nice even pull. Sewing the ends over the tarp hem kept pressure off the seam but still seemed to utilized the extra strength of the tarp hem. The weak link was the single layer thin grosgrain ribbon and the stitching. The stitching being the weakest.
The next test I upgraded the stitching. I used extra strength Gutermann polyester thread bought from Jo-Ann fabrics. It is the black thread in the picture. The grey is regular strength Gutermann. The extra strength Gutermann was much stronger. I could not make the stitching rip out under my body weight either in the regular XBox or Boxed Xbox configuration. The tarp fabric and the grosgrain were now the weak links. One of those grosgrain loops held my body weight before the tarp fabric ripped out – not along the hem seam.
Lastly, I tried a homemade silnylon loop sewn with one end on each side of the tarp with the ends spread apart and secured with one large Xbox made from extra strength Gutermann.
With this configuration the silnylon loop and thread is plenty strong, configuration of the attachment makes for a nice balanced even pull on the fabric and takes advantage of the hem strength but does not put extra stress on the hem seam.
I like this loop setup the best from my testing.Aug 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm #1636921
This testing and your results are very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I am going to use your suggestions on a tarp project.Aug 12, 2010 at 7:21 am #1636975
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
I am very much into MYOG for tarps and packs. Your research and testing of the different styles of tieouts and their designs was very informative and helpful.
I appreciate the the time effort and thought that went into it. I also liked the "hands on" testing methods that you employed. ;-)
NewtonAug 12, 2010 at 7:44 am #1636980
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
Thumbs up for JoAnn's grossgrain. I've used it for years for tarp tie outs. If anything, it is too strong and therefore too heavy, so for SUL tarps I use folded fabric instead of grossgrain.Aug 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm #1637995
I have used 3/8" grosgrain for tie-outs on a shelter that has been through many winter storms with no problems. I sewed mine to the shelter by making a triangle of fabric with the grosgrain sewn to two edges of the triangle (and extending past the point). Then the triangle is sewn into the seam of the shelter. Makes a very strong attachment. I agree with Roger Caffin that the ribbon is plenty strong, you just have to be careful to use a method of stitching that distributes the load well.Aug 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm #1639313
I am happy to see that this information has been helpful. Here is an UPDATE:
When it came time to sew the tie outs on the tarp I was making for this summer's trip I went with the Jo Ann 3/8 grosgrain for the corners and ridgeline tie outs and silnylon for the tie outs on the sides and lifter patches. I chose the grosgrain because it seems like it will be more durable than just silnylon.
Here are some pictures.
This is the ridge line tie out loop. Underneath is a half circle reinforcement patch and a piece of grosgrain ribbon going along the seam. It's regular grosgrain ribbon from Jo Ann Fabrics that I have tested in my other posts. I used two layers. I sewed it on with Extra Strength Gutermann Poly thread.
This is one of the corners. Again it is two layer grosgrain with Extra Strength Gutermann.
This is one of the two tie outs located along one of the long sides. The X Box is done with Extra Strength, the rest is regular Gutermann.
I bonded the lifter patches on using GE II Silicone. The X box stitching is Extra Strength Gutermann.
This is the tarp in use with a net tent underneath on it's first real trip. On this trip we had no rain, but I did set it up in some wind. All the loops worked great.Aug 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm #1639361
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
Nice work, BrendanAug 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm #1639384
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
Thread drift alert!
Those colors in that last picture are positively surreal!
+1 for great work on this thread and your tarp. :-)
NewtonJul 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm #2121945
@kayak4waterLocale: Pacific NW
Brendan et al,
Glad to see this thread from 4 yr ago. My brain, locked into "it has to be sold by a gear shop, etc" took me on a side trip to find 3/8" grosgrain to tack mitten hooks to my bug net. My lightbulb moment came when I understood that the grosgrain needn't have greater strength than the bug net. Certainly the 1/2" grosgrain that diygearsupply sold me could wait for a more demanding application.
I've gone to look for the right size stuff.
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