Tarp Material: The pros and cons of cuben Fiber, silnylon, and more

If you are like me and like to make your own tarps, you probably have pondered this topic before, however if you are getting into making your own, this may help you decide. Most commercial tarps are made out of around 1.1 ounce Silnylon, meaning that it weighs 1.1 ounces for every yard of material. This is one of the best materials if money is a concern, because it is relatively lightweight, fairly inexpensive, and usually has a great water resistance factor. Silnylon is available online, and can probably be found at some fabrics stores. Cuben fiber is the lightest commonly available tarp material, and weighs half as much as Silnylon does. Cuben fiber is incredibly durable, and is stronger than steel by weight. However, the kicker is that it is incredibly expensive. Spinnaker, a sail building material, is another material for making tarps. It weighs about the same as Silnylon, but is more durable. The last, and most interesting material is more of a temporary than the others, and is painter’s drop sheets. This is by far the cheapest material, and can last its money’s worth if you take care of it. Painter’s drop sheets are plastic sheets that are very large, and of course waterproof. There are resources online that illustrate how to cut them to size, and it really only takes ten minutes or so. Choosing the right material for your tarp is very important, and as you can see, there are very creative options. What are some that you have heard of/tried?

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