Raw shade cloth

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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legionvr6
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Raw shade cloth

Post by legionvr6 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:47 pm

I've been researching as best I can but haven't had much luck. My camp is hoping to purchase rolls of raw shade cloth and make 10x10 sections for our flat roof canopy structure to help lower the overall cost of the project. We've found sources but are working out how to prep the edges and grommets. Has anyone done this? Any input is welcome. We're trying to figure out what will survive the winds best. Currently the edging idea is either folding over a few times and sewing or edging with crap vinyl. For grommets we are still debating over metal press fit or the plastic easy fit grommets.

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motskyroonmatick
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:30 pm

My biggest shade cloth pieces are 20x40' and are unfinished on the edges. I used the round grippers that have a hole in the middle of them. It's a huge pain in the ass. Some of them fail every year. It's not optimal. I have other pieces of shade that are double reinforced taped edges(really means sewn on ribbon) with grommets every 2 feet and 2 grommets 4" from every corner. They are fantastic, easy to secure to the frame and suffer almost no damage being set up on the playa for 12 days straight. I highly recommend professionally installed edges and grommets. If you have a skilled person with the right industrial sewing machine, the ribbon that is used to reinforce the edge and a grommet setter you could do it in house. Might even be able to do it with a heavy duty consumer grade sewing machine and heavy thread.

One way to save cost is to source the raw shade cloth at a good price and then take the material to a place that custom makes shade cloth or tarps. The sewing of seams and edges as well as grommets are by item or foot. I have 3 places within 6 miles of me that make custom shade cloth pieces. It's a pretty common business in the US. If you are near an agricultural area where nursery stock is grown there is probably a shade cloth maker near you.

The reinforcing of the edges shrinks the size of the shade by a few inches. This is a good thing. It makes it so it has a bit of a stretch to fit the frame you put it on. Stretching it a little makes it perform better in the wind as billowing can catch a lot of air and impart some pretty sizable forces on to your structure. Best of luck!

amazon has raw 85% Aluminet shade cloth at what seems to me a very reasonable price.
Black Rock City Welding & Repair. The Night Time Warming Station. iGNiTE! Bar.

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When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-

legionvr6
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:24 am

Thanks for the input. We have access to a grommet press so we can go with metal grommets for the added security. One of our camp members is incredibly handy with crafting so I'm sure he'll figure out the sewing portion.

DoctorIknow
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:02 pm

In my opinion, and experience for many burns working with bulk aluminet and bulk shade cloth, there is no need to tape the edges, or have grommets.

Yes, the "tape" may theoretically spread the tension along the entire edge, but I've seen corner fail on taped edges, so does it really help? Yes, it is more convenient when installing, and looks better, but what an ordeal, be it finding people who can sew on an edge (even the biggest sail making sewing machines do not do well with different fabrics being sewn together...the tensioning of the thread is very difficult in some cases....) or doing it yourself with grommets.

And as for those kits for grommet making you see in hardware stores where you use a hammer? Absolutely forget it unless you only have about 10 grommets to make. The only way to get consistent pressure (too much pressure from hammering can make the grommet cut thru the fabric around the edges making failure certain) is to get a manual machine, which are not cheap.

One poster above used "round grippers" that failed. For that poster I advise:
There are several varieties of grippers out there.
Below is the one I use.
Bunch up two or three layers of the shade cloth, get a piece of wood under the bunched up shade cloth with the "grippers" teeth already engaged, and use a rubber mallet to it's "locked" position.

The Shark Clips brand grippers are great, but there is a cheaper version I've used on aluminet for years. Besides doing the four edges, I also connect two pieces with the clips which gives another place for a rope. That extra rope will mitigate sag if the piece of shade is over ten feet long.

These are the ones I use and they 1/3 the price of Shark Clips. I use very close spacing probably because they are so cheap.
"Clip-Its Plastic Grommets" 25 for $5.75 vs. Shark Cips 10 for $5

http://www.shadeclothstore.com/products ... 0&dept=172
clips.JPG
This style of grommet tool is great, and I've helped many out on the playa having this (these come with lot of grommets, but make sure you can order more...amazon has many):
grommet tool.JPG
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legionvr6
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:09 pm

We have one of those grommet presses so that wont be a problem. So realistically we can get away with folding over for 3 layers and adding metal grommets every 2' with one roughly 4" from any corner on both edges of the corner? Hoping that makes sense. If that's the case the job just got a LOT easier

DoctorIknow
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:32 pm

Depending on the quality of the grommets (super sharp interior edges that can cut thru stuff) it should be no problem going thru three layers. I have sometimes used small squares of a vinyl type cloth on both sides of the shade cloth as it seems to me (I never did a stress test) the addition of solid fabric with the mesh may help the strength of the grommet.

I've never done this technique below, as I never use cheap tarps for anything but a ground barrier for the tent, but it looks reasonable if one has doubts about the quality of their tarps: (Attention birgins: tarps for a shade roof are not the Burning Man supplies to try to save money by going cheap.)


legionvr6
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:39 pm

We'll have to make one and do some stress testing but hopefully it works out. We want to be able to break this thing down at the end , put it in storage after a cleaning and be able to re-use it of LIB or other events with minimal maintenance other than checking that it survived. A failed panel every so often wouldn't be the end of the world

DoctorIknow
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:10 pm

The best cleaning of most everything but bikes is a leaf blower if the next usage of the shade will be the playa.
I powerwash mine as I'm storing them at a friends house and don't want them to smell playa all year, but that's the only reason to take all that time to wash and dry.

legionvr6
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:30 pm

We'd want to take it to lighting in a bottle and possibly other events so a good wash will be needed

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motskyroonmatick
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Re: Raw shade cloth

Post by motskyroonmatick » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:29 pm

DoctorIknow wrote: One poster above used "round grippers" that failed. For that poster I advise:
There are several varieties of grippers out there.
Below is the one I use.
Bunch up two or three layers of the shade cloth, get a piece of wood under the bunched up shade cloth with the "grippers" teeth already engaged, and use a rubber mallet to it's "locked" position.
This is pretty much the same method I used for setting those exact grippers.

Those of you choosing to use these follow the above advise and I'll add my trick. With the gripper open and a gloved hand I worked the shade cloth on to the spikes, made sure the spikes were true to the receiving holes, aligned and pre set by hand and then set the gripper with a broad faced hammer. I also secure the shade to the framework through the hole in the middle of the gripper and not the folded over edge piece. I think it helps them stay put.
Black Rock City Welding & Repair. The Night Time Warming Station. iGNiTE! Bar.

Card Carrying Member BRCCP.

When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-

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