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By BigRig
#212
I have been asked a lot by a local balloon club if I have a double needle machine. They need a guy to repair their balloons, today I settled on accepting patchwork for their covers and tarps. The fabric is Mo Nex and I was told is a flame retardant fabric. Anybody know about balloons?
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By John
#218
:joy: Haha. Its crazy the things people ask you to repair or make when they realize you know how to sew. I don't know anything about balloons but there really isn't anything a double needle can do that a single needle cant. You just have to sew it twice. The only thing you might need is a zig zag stitch machine. I know that Sails for boats have zig zag stitches in places because the stitch can stretch a little. I guess it helps protect agents the harsh whips from the wind. Might be on balloons too.

Also the fabric your referring to is called Nomex its use is all kinds of fire retardant products.

Haha I'm not sure how comfortable id be repairing a balloon that floats 2000 feet in the are....
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By BigRig
#220
Well that 1 million percent solidifies that I wont touch the balloons that for sure! I am going to look up Nomex fabric thanks John. I do know the people who are able to sew the balloons have to have some sort of Aviation training and certification, not a lot of them around.

Thanks John!
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By Bondo497
#225
BigRig if the patching doesn't work out you can always get into parachute making!!!
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By BigRig
#230
Oh no, there is noooo way I want to be responsible for a missed stitch, truck seats look to me my thing too!
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By MalcolmM
#11769
Hot air balloon envelope and rigging and parachutes require a FAA certification to build or repair "for hire." If you are working on your own, and not taking passengers, it may be considered "experimental."
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By airplane guy
#11838
Ken send me an email with your questions. I do parachute repairs and I have a friend who builds balloons. I can probably answer most of your questions.
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By MalcolmM
#11967
Interesting information from the Sairite website:

Qualities of the Zigzag Stitch:

creates stretchy seam that will elongate
distributes stress well across seams — essential in sailmaking
the broad stitch width holds down wide seam areas well
more decorative than straight stitches
easy to remove with a seam ripper

One of the most common uses for the zigzag stitch is to sew stretchy materials. When sewing a material that stretches, such as knitted fabrics and neoprene, it’s essential to use a stitch that can stretch with the fabric. If you use a straight stitch when sewing stretchy material, the stitches will create puckering and possibly break when the material is stressed.

Although sailcloth has evolved over the years, and what was once a somewhat stretchy material is now dimensionally stable, sewing sails with the zigzag stitch is still the traditional, preferred method. Zigzag stitches distribute the strain over multiple runs of warp threads, which creates a seam with stretch that allows for movement of sail shape without seam puckering. Additionally, spinnaker sails are sewn with nylon, which is a stretchy material. The use of the zigzag stitch in spinnaker sail construction is imperative.
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