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Author: Subject: Ripstop vs Taffeta

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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 01:06 PM
Ripstop vs Taffeta

Hi guys! New member here and had a question!

Could anyone explain to me the difference between a kite made of rip-stop nylon, and one made of taffeta? I'm deciding between two kites, but they are made of different fabrics. Can someone help me figure out which one is better suited for kite-flying? Advantages or disadvantages? And why do you prefer it?

Any help would be great!

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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 01:12 PM

What kites are they? We can probably provide more useful input based on the brand and model, then on just the material.

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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 01:19 PM

One is suitable for weddings/ bridesmaids...

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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 05:16 PM

Taffetta tends to be very, very soft. For kite related uses, the material is very billowy.

Some places you will see taffetta used:

The tails on the HQ Flow Foils:

The tail the Prism Stowaway Foil:

Premier's 34 foot Red Dragon

Powerkites tend to be made of coated ripstop nylon. Generally there are proprietary combinations of nylons and coatings used. Flexifoil uses Sora nylon, Ozone uses what they call High Tenacity 40D Nylon, other manufacturers have their own fabrics and coating combinations.

I have never seen taffetta that was coated. Generally most of the fabrics used used in powerkite sails are coated to increase their ability to hold air within the cells of the canopy.

As Maven said, kite details would help.


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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 05:21 PM

Yeah, buying a kite because of the material ,is like buying a car cause you like the color. FUNCTION OVER FORM

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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 06:13 PM

Yeah I hate the color of my new car. But I like the car. And I like my kites. There all forms of nylon. No Fluff, No Frills just good pull!

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[*] posted on 11-17-2010 at 06:45 PM

Taffetta tends to have more stretch than Ripstop, which is the reason that most power kites are made from Ripstop instead. Ripstop is also much more expensive than Taffetta and the only reason that I have heard that someone would make a power kite from it would be to save the expense. For tails and streamers, the stretch is not very important but for a power kite where the stresses of the sail could be excessive, it could stretch enough to seriously effect the way the kite flies and performs.

The above is comparing apples to apples. The problem is that there are so many different variations of each, the main variation would be the weight of the material. Heavier weights are thicker which are stronger. If you are comparing a 1.5 oz Taffeta to a .6 oz Ripstop the results would be very different. The .6 oz ripstop will not be nearly as strong as the 1.5oz Taffeta - but it would fly much nicer in lighter winds. The 1.5oz Taffeta would be heavier - requiring more wind to get it airborne but it would be stronger and be able to handle much more serious abuse (land crashes etc....). Change everything around and use a .6oz Taffetta compared to a 1.5oz Nylon....total opposite scenario.

It really comes down to the way the kites are produced and made more than the material that they are made out of. Again, knowing the model and make of the two kites you are asking about would be much more valuable than just knowing the material they are made of.

Hope that helps.

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