Ripstop – The Foundation for our Buggy Engines


  • Ripstop originated during World War II, in an attempt to replace silk with a  less expensive material in parachutes

What is Ripstop?

  • I have seen and heard it called ripstock and also ribstock, but the correct name is ripstop.
  • Ripstop is a woven fabric that has another type of single or double thread woven into it.
  • This is done in various patterns from simple box to diamonds and other shapes.When a run of nylon, cotton or polypropylene fabric is run off a loom without this thread pattern it will rip. But when the extra thread is added to the weave it stops the tear or rip from travelling across or down the fabric, hence Ripstop.




  • Ripstop nylon is non-porous, which means it is weather-resistant. The fabric  cannot be penetrated by air or water. This is one of the reasons it is preferred  for camping equipment and jackets.


  • Fabrics are woven fabrics often made out of nylon, using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving (thick) reinforcement threads are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern. The intervals are typically 5 to 8 millimeters (0.2 to 0.3 in). Thin and lightweight ripstop fabrics have a 3-dimensional structure due to the thicker threads being interwoven in thinner cloth. Older lightweight ripstop-fabrics display the thicker interlocking thread patterns in the material quite prominently, but more modern weaving techniques make the ripstop threads less obvious. A similar effect can be achieved by weaving two or three fine yarns together at intervals.
  • Advantages of ripstop are the favourable strength-to-weight ratio and that small tears can not easily spread. Fabrics used to make ripstop include cotton, silk, polyester, and polypropylene, with nylon content limited to the crosshatched threads that make it tear-resistant.
  • Ripstop fabrics are used in yacht sails and spinnakers, hot air balloons, kites, parachutes, remote control hovercrafts, camping equipment such as lightweight tents and sleeping bags, swags, flags, banners, and other applications requiring a strong lightweight fabric. Ripstop reinforcement are incorporated into heavier fabrics requiring extreme durability, such as those used in Battle Dress Uniforms, Nomex protective clothing for firefighters and other workwear, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uniforms, outdoor and sports clothing, backpacks, and luggage bags. Self-adhesive ripstop cloth repairs rips and tears in other fabrics.
  • Ejector seat parachutes made with ripstop are woven with an elastic-like fabric so that they stretch to allow more air to pass through at high speed. Then as the ejector seat slows, the weave closes and acts like a conventional parachute. This allows the pilot seat to slow gently: otherwise compression could result in spine injury.

Ripstop nylon

  • Is a light-weight nylon fabric with interwoven ripstop reinforcement threads in a crosshatch pattern. The material comes in many different colors and sizes, including thickness. It is woven with coarse, strong warp and filling yarns at intervals so that tears will not spread.
  • Ripstop nylon may be waterproof, water resistant, fire resistant, or have zero porosity (will not allow air or water through), and comes in light, medium and heavy weights. Textures range from a soft and silk-like material to a crisp or stiff fabric that sounds like a paper bag when moved.
  • It was developed as an inexpensive synthetic replacement for silk in the production of parachutes during World War II.

Ripstop Polyester

  • Similar to ripstop nylon but differs in the chemical composition of the fibres used to weave it.

Cleaning Ripstop

  1. Launder your ripstop nylon item in the washing machine, using cold water and the  cycle recommended on the tag. If you have an item that will not fit into the  washer, such as a kite or a suitcase, put the item into a bathtub with cold  water or use the garden hose. Use the soft brush and some laundry detergent to  lather and gently scrub your nylon item.
  2. Rinse your item thoroughly with cold water
  3. Dry your item. You may use an electric dryer for this step, but keep the dryer  on its lowest setting. Alternatively, you can hang the item to drip dry or lay  it out flat to dry.
  4. Removing Oil Stains, Apply grease removing dishwashing soap (not for the dishwasher) directly to the  stain. Rub it in with your finger and allow it to set for about an hour. Rinse  with the hottest water your fabric can stand.  Unlike a protein stain (blood or milk), oil responds to hot water because it  loosens and “melts” in it. Rub 1 tsp. (or as much as you need, depending on the size of the stain) of  baking soda or baby powder onto the oily stain and leave for an hour or two.  These substances will absorb much of the oil. Rinse the fabric with very hot  water. You may need to apply dishwashing detergent to the remainder of the stain  afterward and then rinse with hot water again.



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