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Sewing advice needed!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here is the situation. I bought three tarps at an auction about a week ago.
One is a mesh fabric 12 ft x 19 ft. It need repair as the binding that would be sewn over the edge of the mesh fabric is ripped out in spots.
I think I should be able to do this on my sewing machine vs taking in somewhere to get it fixed.

I was thinking of buying the heaviest needle I can find-a leather needle.
But what about thread? The heaviest in the stores is blue jean thread.
I actually would like to use this as a shade cloth on my hosta nursery.
So its going to have to be weather proof?? I think you can still buy nylon thread? I could run two spools together into the needle (I think??)

I haven't searched the internet yet to search for thread or should I just contact a awning/sailmaker and see if they could repair????

Any thoughts????
post #2 of 11
How good are you with a sewing machine?
I'm not an expert, but I think you could find an appropriate thread on ebay maybe. Tarp thread, sailmakers thread, it probably comes in a gigantic spool.
post #3 of 11
There's also upholstery thread available. That should be stronger than jeans thread. It's intended for redoing furniture... it should be strong enough for your tarps.

Amanda
post #4 of 11
I know coat thread and button thread are fairly hardy, but I'm thinking there's probably some sort of thread specifically designed for tarps/tents, upholstery (sp?), and other heavy duty items like parachutes and so forth.. that probably isn't sold in a general sewing store, you'd probably have to order it from online.

There's got to be heavy thread to use. If you can't find that, I'd double or triple seam it to reinforce, and probably use a wide binding, and then fold it over a few times to catch and hold the mesh. Hopefully that made some sense. It's what I used to do with clothing/costumes that were made from fabric that would shred or come out of the binding easily.
post #5 of 11
You can actually buy a nylon thread that is like thin fishing line.
post #6 of 11
I'd probably be more concerned about the torque that you will put on your sewing machine trying to sew through tarp, regardless of the type of needle or thread you use. If your maching isn't heavy duty enough, you will most likely have problems there. It might be in your best interest to take it to a repair place and at least have them price it out for you. I've done clothing alterations in stores, made my own clothing at home, done quilting and made costumes for the theater. The industrial sewing machines that I've used for alterations (think layers of bluejean material) are really heavy duty and can sew through just about anything. Home sewing machines just aren't built to take that kind of punishment.

Hope this helps...
post #7 of 11
Two thoughts, both based on my years in the sign industry:

1. If you're in a fairly large metro area, you could call a couple of sign shops and ask where they get their custom banners sewn. I'm thinking that if you can find a simple business that just hems heavy vinyl banners, they might be less expensive than the more skilled awning makers. (I'd be afraid to sew a thing like that on a home machine... I don't think the motor is strong enough.)

2. Depending on the degree of tension the material will endure in use, you might be able to avoid sewing altogether. Sign shops can sell you "banner tape," which is essentially the same thing as carpet tape. It's two-sided and extremely tough... but in very hot weather, it might loosen on you.

And hey, it also occurs to me... shoe repair places have heavy-duty sewing machines. Maybe one of them could do it for you!

Good luck!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas!!

I going to have to lay the tarp out to check out all the ripped out spots. The binding that would hold the mesh is in good shape though.

I'll check out the phone book to see what I can come up with for possible repair places!!

The local tech schools have open sewing classes I wonder if they have heavy duty machines???
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
Home sewing machines just aren't built to take that kind of punishment.

Hope this helps...

Mine can!

I have a Singer 411 that my Mom bought back in 1962. Here is a picture of what it looks like:

http://www.toolfool.org/sewing/411G.htm

That thing can sew through 4 layers of heavy denim with the right needle and has a whole bunch of attachments from doing embroidery to making ruffles. In that entire time it has cost only $67.00 for one cleaning and a new bobbin plate.

I enquired with Singer about trading it in for a newer one. They guy was really eager to make the trade in and sale. I got suspicious and he told me that I would be foolish to trade mine in for a newer one because the one I have is better and more durable than any of the newer sewing machines made today, and can do a whole lot more than many, unless you sink more money into optional attachments, which mine already has.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I enquired with Singer about trading it in for a newer one. They guy was really eager to make the trade in and sale. I got suspicious and he told me that I would be foolish to trade mine in for a newer one because the one I have is better and more durable than any of the newer sewing machines made today, and can do a whole lot more than many, unless you sink more money into optional attachments, which mine already has.
Yup... any Singer more than 20 years old is worth it's weight in gold for heavy duty work... the new machines (esp. the new Singers) are crud and not worth the money they're asking.

If you ever decided to ADD to your repertoire of machines, there are other MUCH better machines out there... and they do LOTS of really cool stuff... I want one pretty badly... since i design my own sci-fi costumes... I want to do some fancy stitch-work and my 20 year old Singer is bare-bones... and it was right on the edge of good-to-crud Singer machines. if you're anywhere near Washington state (I'm terrible with the Provinces), I suggest attending the Sewing Expo near Seattle next winter... I went last year for my first time... holy frijoles... every machine manufacturer is there and you can play with the machines... I have a wishlist of things i want... and no money to get them!!

You have an older Singer... your machine can most definitely handle what you want to do... denim or upholstery (I'm guessing on the type of needle here... I don't do notions at work) machine needles should be fine... and I'd veer toward upholstery thread. Doing it yourself will be MUCh cheaper than sending it out... and it'll take less time.

A.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Mine is a huskvarna close to twenty years old. The sewing is actually not as thick as sewing on demin or I've made wool felt pillows about the same thickness.

I had my mom's old singer until the early 90's when I gave it (yikes) to a former co-worker. I wonder if she still has it????
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