Chute making

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Well-Known Member
May 2, 2004
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Ok, so I have some Rip stop nylon and think, well need to make a replacement chute, trouble is dont know where to start.

My dimentions are 18inch Hex. I found an old solder iron, it now has a nice sharp tip.

My first question is, since I don't have a template how do I mark it out.
Next do I stitch the shoud lines or loop them through reinforced holes.
then draw the 6 lines using the radius of the circle as the dimension.

it's easy with a compass, just set it for 9", draw the circle on cardboard, then stick the pin of the compass in the perimeter of the circle and make a line that crosses the circle, stick the point in at the intersection of the circle and the new line and make a new mark, etc. once you have a cardboard template, you're all set.

good luck!~
Or you could just use an 18" circle and attach the shroud lines at the six intersections. They have bias tape at fabric stores you can put on the outside for a nice hem :)

(/shameless plug)
I also sell an 18" semi-ellipsoidal parachute if your interested, PM me off chat.
(/shameless plug)

Does this "bias" tape still allow the "hem" to flex with the rest of the ripstop material? I've been making my own chutes for awhile now. I don't sew a hem and have very little "fraying" for as much use as they get. I'm more concerned that the "hem" will cuase the chute to bunch up and not fold compactly.
Yes, it does. They have some that is made for women's "intimates". Very thin and flexible. Ask for it and they should be able to show you a huge selectiion with tons of colors. It's pre folded, so you apply it over the edge and then sew it on :) Simple as pie :)

Also, a serger machine (I think the Brother ones run about $200) is a nice way to finish the edges. Folds and sews so you don't get any frays. The higher end ones will actually fold, sew and cut the excess off for you :) Very nice.

I like the hems on chutes, kind of acts like a re-enforced edge dissapating stress from the shrould lines to the whole of the parachute.

I guess when I saw "hem tape", I was hoping for just peel and stick it to the chute edge. Which is why I was wondering if the edge stayed flexable. I tried (once) to sew my chutes but, let's put it this way, it's just not one of my talents, as of yet ;)
They do make iron on hem tape. You just put it in the fold then iron right over. Works okay, but is not flexible. You'll get the sewing skills soon enough - I have sewn for 10 years. Also, a machine and the right tools helps immensely :) I hang out occasionaly with the sewing class at my local Jo Ann's to catch up on skillz :)

We don't use bias tape, simply pin and sew the edges and seams on hemi's. may not be as pretty but I've never had one come apart either:)

make heavy cardstock pattern in what every geometry you like then you can lay them one the nylon and "carefully" cut the material with a rotoblade cutter. I have some patterns 6" to 36" on 14ply shocard board, and 36" to 48" in 1/4" tempered hardboard. the Hardboard is wonderful for cutting those Huge parts.:D
Hemming is my preferred method of doing chutes. The serger really runs a nice hem :) Of course folding and folding again can be done, but takes a bit more touch to get it nice and straight. I sometimes use a piece of tape as my guide when I'm double folding.

Micro - do you use a zig zag or straight stitch on the main seams? I'm pretty sure zig zag isn't as strong as a straight stitch.

I also have some pressboard patterns, they are really really nice :)

here's an triangle that if you cut 8 of them and join them.. you'll get an 18" hexagon

thats the pattern I use for my 18" nylon chutes

I can break any other size down for you as well if you need..

let me know what other size you want and i'll post the triangle here OR if you want an octogon let me know

hope this helps

I am yet another vendor who makes 18" hex chutes with nylon....:D

Cut out a pattern from paper (a protractor works well for this), and cut out your fabric. Then sew the sides under (prevents freying, and looks nicer), and then sew the lines on. I just use a normal sewing machine with normal thread. Works well for pretty much anything under man-rated! ;) ;)

Good luck!