View Full Version : Materials & Where To Find Them

Mom Lamb
11-06-2002, 01:37
Could someone please recommend what type of fabrics (lightweight) are best to use for what gear type and where to find them? Can I find them in regular fabric stores?

The book I'm reading was written in 1995, so I'm wondering if there are other cheaper or better fabrics since developed. I know not to use cotton or jeans materials and I've read a lot about the importance of moisture-wicking materials. The ones mentioned in the book are Polypropilene, Capilene and silk. Nylon was mentioned for water-proof gear. I'm assuming that the syl nyl y'all talk about here is a silk-nylon blend?

I will be checking Wal-mart type stores for fabrics and on-sale clothing as well as yard sales and thrift stores, so will be checking lables for fabric content. Any suggestions?

Also need to know what type of durable/light-weight/water-resistant fabrics to use to make the following:

1) A down sleeping bag (what fabric should I use?)

2)Backpack w/o a frame.

3) Two person tent.

4) Rain ponch & rain pants.

5)water-proof pack cover.

And what good lightweight/moisture-wicking fabrics for making:

6) Shorts.

7) sleeveless mesh-type shirts.


The Weasel
11-06-2002, 06:10
The "sil nyl" is silicone-impregnated nylon, which is an extremely light, strong fabric that is totally waterproof, and as such is very good for shelters and stuff bags. It's not as good for clothing, tents or sleeping bags since it's waterproof character results in heavy condensation, so where breathability is important, it's not good.

I know it is available but I'm not sure where.

The Weasel

11-06-2002, 07:16
Here is the website of one place to get just about any type of outdoor fabric. I have done business with them and they are very good to work with you. Also some of the cheapest prices. I have bought the "2nd's" silnylon and never had a problem. Depends a lot on what you are using if for whether I would buy the 1st or 2nd fabric. Hope this helps.... I have other places I could send you but I would have to look them up.... if interested let me know and I will send them to you....


Happy trails...... and good luck....

11-06-2002, 08:12
I've been a fan of Quest Outfitters in Florida. Give them a call for a free catalog of their fabric, notions and patterns.

Quest Outfitters


11-06-2002, 09:24
Something that might help in the way of plans and designs is to check out


Brawny and Rainmaker have a lot of homemade gear for sale on their site, but they also have alot of plans and ideas for things. Including a silnylon backpack, etc. You'll probably find some good information there. They also have Tyvek for sale.
Another site to look at is:


They have plans and kits for things like Henry Shire's Tarp tent and Jeremy Padgett's down quilt. There are also some articles about constructing stoves and what not. You can, I believe, buy 800 fill down from them as well.

11-06-2002, 10:49
I haven't heard of any place to buy wicking next-to-skin fabrics for shirts and shorts. But you can frequently score some good deals on these items at places like


If you check frequently over the course of several weeks, you can usually find duofold shirts for $6-10 each and wicking long underwear at good prices. Another good source is Goodwill stores. Simple nylon athletic shorts and pants work well on the trail and should be available at Goodwill. You may also find some great deals on fleece and wool sweaters or shirts (at least you can here in New England, maybe Florida is different).

11-09-2002, 16:38
Hey all,
Another good source is Seattle Fabrics. Their website has some good choices, although their service is nowhere near as fast as Kay at Quest Outfitters. I've been making my own stuff for a couple years, and can't say enough about the service at Quest!