RipStop fabrics are a class of woven fabrics made either from Nylon or Polyester designed with a reinforcing technique to create a fabric very resistant to tearing or ripping. During the weaving process, an extra reinforcing, strong and thick yarn is added at specified intervals into the weave. This creates the noticeable and distinctive look of a RipStop material as the extra thick yarn is visible. Due to this target placement of high strength yarns, RipStop fabrics have high strength to weight ratios and if a cut or tear begins in the fabric, that tear does not propagate through the larger yarns.
RipStop fabrics are commonly used where lightweight fabrics are required to be very strong, and to not allow a tear to form. Common applications include boat sails, hot air balloons, parachutes, and camping equipment. RipStop fabric was originally developed during World War II to replace the silk fabric used for military parachutes. As a marine-grade product, using RipStop polyester provides for a more durable boat cover that is stronger than comparable weight regular polyester. This cover is more durable for trailering applications and can be secured tightly to the boat with straps. The fabric is less likely to tear for any reason, and if it does, that tear will not spread.
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