Thin, strong fabric


This isn’t my usual area of expertise but I have a product idea and I’m looking for some guidance on how to source something…

I’m looking for the thin kind of fabric/plastic that won’t rip and can be glued.

Any input is greatly appreciated… thanks!

If cost isn’t an issue, ripstop nylon. If you want cheaper, a spunbond polyester would do the trick.

Hi - sounds like a fun project - if you can share some details I might have more thoughts for you (will it be combined with hard plastics, metals, etc; will be need to take a form; does it need to be structural or purely cosmetic, etc) but the options below might be a good start.

Most fabrics can be glued but some materials might be better than others depending on your application. And if the glued areas will see forces applied, glue itself might not be the best approach.

If you’re looking for high end, a 300-600 denier nylon will work well, colors are somewhat limited and it is not paper-thin but it will not rip (punctures won’t spread) and can be heat-melted or glued (note that stitch join solutions might be preferred).

If you’re looking for a non-woven solution (water tight, non absorbancy, etc) then sheet PP or TPU might be a great choice. They are both strong, can be spec’d paper thin (or thicker for durability), have a subtle texture, many colors are available and can be heat-melted or glued.

Feel free to contact me for more information or to obtain samples of materials, or samples of your product. We’re currently working on a few soft-sewn projects so I’m already pestering our partner factories almost daily. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all these guys… Gave me something to get started in so a great help.

Scott, not to give away too much detail it is a small soft goods product about the size of your hand. One question I have about the materials you mention… How would the edges have to be finished ?
I’m guessing with certain fabrics it would need to be folded at the edge to stop the fibers fraying and either glued or stitched.
Ideally I’m looking for something that would need this kin of edging, something that would not fall apart with a raw edge .

Price probably isn’t an issue as its going to be pretty high end and the amount of fabric involved is minimal.

I should mention Im a pop designing so this is all a bit left field
For me and I’m work for myself so I’m working in a bit of a vacuum which is why I’m lookin to lean on core members right now :slight_smile:

Woven fabrics tend to fray and either need a fold or a surge stitch (kind of looks like a zig zag) to keep the edges neat. IMO, a surge stitch looks like crap and should only be used in non-visible areas.

Nonwoven fabrics tend not to fray. There is no need for a fold but it tends to look better than unfolded. It is also very easy to heat seal, you just have to make sure you are sealing similar materials (polyester to polyester, polester to polypropylene won’t stick). You can even heat seal a nonwoven to a woven as long as the materials are the same.

Also, as a trick, if you heat seal a polyester-based polyurethane that has pigment, the seal will become clear.

I agree with the reply above from iab - one thing to consider is the ability to heat form the materials (woven or non-woven) so if you need the small product to have a semi-permanent shape you’ll also have the added benefit of less stress on the seams. I’ve seen heat-bond-edging with no foldover and then flame curing of the exposed material edges outside the heat bond, it’ll shrink them back and harden them.

Great stuff guys… thanks for the guidance.

Mylar sailcloth could be an option. It is two sheets of mylar that sandwich a reinforcing matrix. Usually Kevlar, carbon fiber, or Pentex. It holds its shape really well and can be glued. The edges don’t fray when it is cut. Plus, it looks really cool.

Here is a link to a company that makes some cool products using it:

The best bet to get a sample is to find a sail loft in your area and swing by. They will be happy to hook you up.