Downproof and calendered fabrics are suitable for a variety of different DIY projects. You can use these types of materials to improve a range of camping and backpacking gear, like sleeping gear, packs, clothing and more.
When you become more experienced on your backpacking and camping trips, you’ll begin thinking of ways to make your gear even more useful. But, most equipment comes standard — and since every person is a little different, manufacturers can’t meet all of those needs. That’s where you can get a bit creative and handy. By picking up some standard materials, you can make your gear better fit your individual needs by working on some DIY projects.
When you start DIY projects, you will, at some point, start working with different fabrics. Calendered and downproof fabrics are common in DIY projects for personalizing your camping and backpacking gear.
Downproof fabric is used for many different things, including bedding, outer coats, pillows and for some camping gear. The material is created using a specialized textile to effectively hold the down inside down products.
Down can be a bit expensive for certain products and has been replicated with down-alternative fabrics. However, down alternative does not have the same qualities as authentic down. You can use downproof fabric for DIY projects on a few items, such as sleeping bags, hammocks and clothes.
Because down feathers are so small and fine, they would easily slip out of the seams and weaves of fabrics without the help of downproof materials. Downproof fabrics are constructed with qualities that keep the feathers inside without the chance of escape.
Downproof fabrics use a particular type of weave. When a fabric is made, there are several ways for the threads to wrap around each other. Different weaves will give fabrics unique properties. A plain weave is often used for downproof fabrics, and this fabric is also denser. It has less space between the individual threads, which helps keep the feathers in.
These fabrics are also calendered. While every downproof fabric is calendered, not all calendered fabrics are downproof.
Calendering is a type of finish for fabrics. This occurs at the end of the process of creating fabrics, giving it a unique finish compared to non-calendered fabrics. To make calendered fabric, the material goes through calender rollers under high temperatures. The combination of the temperature and the pressure from the rollers makes the fabric smoother, thinner and gives it a coating.
There are lots of benefits to calendering fabrics:
- Makes fabric softer, denser and thinner but heavier
- Gives fabric a more attractive, glossy look
- Wears better and creases less
- Adds helpful properties like waterproofing
- Covers any faults in the fabric
Using calendered fabrics for camping and backpacking gear will give your gear some really helpful attributes. For example, a calendered hammock will help keep you warm and dry at night.
Check out our calendered and downproof fabrics below to get started on your next DIY project. Or, contact us if you have any questions.