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pgf

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Reply with quote  #1 

I'm a rank amateur when it comes to sewing.  I like to say that my collection of sewing machines far exceeds my collection of sewing skills.

So...  A while ago I made mosquito netting for the large slider door on the side of our camper van.

I won't get into the gory details, but basically: the edges of the netting are hemmed, and inside each hem there's a length of 1/4" fiberglass dowel rod. The dowels gets slipped/jammed into some natural crevices around the inside of the van door, and the netting is held taut across the opening.  You can see pictures of it here, but you probably don't need them to understand what I need:
  https://projects.foxharp.net/the_van/#mosquito-netting-6172016

The trouble is, after a year or two of use, the ends of the dowels have begun wearing through the hem in the netting. So I need to reinforce the existing hems. (I guess I was naive not to do so initially.)

So I need some binding, or edging, or ribbon, which I can use to reinforce those hems. (The hems are about 1" wide.) It needs to be thin, abrasion resistant, and it shouldn't stretch lengthwise. Nylon tends to sag/stretch with high humidity, for instance. I'd rather not use that. So polyester, I guess?

What should I be looking for? My problem when I walk into a place like JoAnn's is that I don't know enough of the terminology on the packaging, and what it implies about the properties of the product. Something like blanket binding, perhaps? Can I get it in a 2" (unfolded) width?

Any or all suggestions welcomed!

paul


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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #2 
Let's see if I can get my thoughts down coherently. My initial thought was nylon webbing, but that is thicker than what you want. Next, I would nix blanket binding right off the bat, but it is wide. Although if you put a square of it over the tip of the rod to 'thread' it through the hem (which in this case could be called a casing) it would help glide it smoothly.

Carpet tape is fairly wide and sturdy. Twill tape is fairly sturdy and generally made of polyester, now. It seems like I have seen some edgings that appear to me to be a thicker twill tape.

Grosgrain (pronounce GROW-grain) ribbon probably could be used. I checked a couple https://www.rockywoods.com/1-Grosgrain-Ribbon-Mil-Spec-Style-5038-Textured and https://www.rockywoods.com/1-inch-Grosgrain-Ribbon-MultiCam one is nylon but the other doesn't list what it is made from.

I wasn't aware of the stretchy nature of nylon. Dorothy had mentioned that polyester webbing is what she used for the carriers. She said that it does better as far as holding its color as compared to nylon. I'm not sure if she said that it held up longer or not.

I think anything that is used outdoors is subject to wear and tear. Polyester would be a good choice. Nylon is used for a lot of outdoor gear.

Something else I thought of was would it put a silicone tip on the rods? Can you round and smooth the ends? Maybe just some canvas or twill tape over the ends would help the sharp edges from wearing so quickly.

Janey


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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have similar problems with "Wings of Isis" for Belly Dance, which have plastic rods encased in fabric. Leather seems to be about the only thing that holds up over time - YMMV.
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #4 
I also found https://www.farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com/Twill-Tape-s/1862.htm that says it could be used for Civil War reenactment steel hoop skirts. It seems like the modern twill tape is thinner than the stuff I have from years and years ago. I hadn't heard/read of Prussian Tape, but the widest I see right off the bat is 3/4 inch. I wonder if it would be thicker/sturdier?

Janey

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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #5 
"It needs to be thin, abrasion resistant, and it shouldn't stretch lengthwise."

 Perhaps fiberglass screen material would work? It seems flexible yet strong. It may degrade over time by exposure to UV rays, but so do other materials, and perhaps it'd be tucked in? Aluminum screening might work too, but the wire ends are pokey.

 Stacy
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Friar_Tuck

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Reply with quote  #6 
Maybe try some kedar strips and rails.
https://www.sailrite.com/Keder-Awning-Rope-Tape
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #7 
There is a "quilt binding" that is slightly wider than regular bias tape -- still, it is cotton, so it won't hold up very long.  Blanket binding is usually made of a "satin" type of fabric and that wouldn't hold up for any length of time at all.  Rounding the edges so they're not sharp is the best thing I can suggest.  You may just be stuck with replacing the casing you have done.  Sorry -- I don't get out very much any more, so I'm really not up on what would be the best.
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks for all the excellent suggestions!  I'll definitely take a look at grosgrain.   I neglected to mention originally that I tried making some reinforcements from nylon webbing (basically a patch of seat-belt material), but the result was too bulky.

And certainly doing a better job of rounding (and maybe padding) the rods would be helpful.

And...  I googled the Wings of Isis belly dance, and quickly found youtube.  Just that alone was worth posting my question!  :-)

paul

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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #9 
I would love to see pictures of your camper van and how you did the screens.
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam
I would love to see pictures of your camper van and how you did the screens.


Well, there are pictures here:  

  https://projects.foxharp.net/the_van/#mosquito-netting-6172016

but they may not tell the whole story.  What makes our solution work is that our van started as a bare cargo van, so it doesn't have all the usual automotive trim that you'd usuall expect.  So there's rubber weather stripping around the door that has a lip on the inside which would normally mate with the plastic door interior trim.  But that trim doesn't exist in our van.  So what we have is a rubber lip that goes around the sides and top of the van door.  The fiberglass rods that are in the hems (err, I mean "casings"?) sort of slip behind those rubber lips, and get locked in place by various means.

Hope that made sense.

Living in a steel shell in the van has its advantages.  We never need to put a hole in the wall to hang something up -- we just get another magnetic hook from Home Depot, and stick it wherever we want.  We have a lot of magnetic lights, too.  And our curtains (which roll up, and are self storing at the top of the window openings) are all held in place with magnets as well.

paul

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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #11 
Paul, I rigged something in my last travel/camper van that sort of worked - in mine the magnets allowed gaps. Not good. I’m thinking if we could some how combine your idea and mine it might work. I like the rods. The magnets I used left gaps. Mine just fit over the glass. Yours is made for the sliders. Your weak point IS the casings/hems. The “fabric frame” with screen material from the hardware store in the center gapped at the magnets in mine and let in bugs. I like the idea of the rods. Put them in the pockets instead of magnets. I just bought another van so I am going to have to figure out how to so some kind of bug thing. Menards sells a screen door that goes in a door way - it uses magnets in the middle to get in and out. I wonder if it could be modified to fit a van. I’m thinking those hold on with Velcro which is worthless in a van. I’m thinking the magnet door in the middle might take the stress off the sides where you have rods. It appears that material is heavier than what you used. Maybe it can be hemmed or cased to hold the rods? Encased in some heavier fabric? The drapyness of your net allows a lot of flexibility. My upholstery fabric was pretty rigid. I think I could have solved some of my problems with the gaps by making them oversized instead of a nice fit in the windows.

I just realized I didn’t try to describe my “frames”. I sewed a sandwich out of upholstery fabric (to match my walls) with screening in the center. Then I cut away the upholstery fabric leaving screens in the middle -turned them- some were made cutting the holes, zig zagging around both edges of the cut then sewing the three layers, turning it and sewing the zig zag part down while inserting magnets. Either way works. My fabric was not really heavy but it didn’t drape nice. When I zig zagged around the opening part way I stuck in magnets, safety pinned them into place and sewed around them. It was a nasty job to do. Magnets love sticking to to the machine so I used a 403 but the magnets still found places to stick... each other if nothing else. It is a 4 handed job. I’m wondering if ripstop fabric would work? Oversized big screen for the slider? The window covers I made had flaps to snap shut or snap open. They could be turned so that the flaps were down but gapped open and air could come in yet giving privacy.

If I’m lucky I might catch a pic of one I did. My son now has that old van.

I’m in the middle of a huge project but in a couple weeks I’ll be doing my own van curtains so I’ll let you know how the next one goes. Keeps us posted how yours is going.

I just reviewed your window treatment. I like the idea of sewing the magnets on in little cases. It might stop the gapping problem I had.

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Miriam -- yes, I looked at some commercial offerings that had magnets down the middle.  I can't picture using that opening with just one hand, though -- and as you know, one is _always_ carrying things in and out of the door of a van when camping.  My setup works pretty well for us, other than the wear.  It also installs and pops out quickly, so it's not there most of the time. So if I can figure out how to reinforce things, and perhaps do it so it's easy to redo, perhaps by using basting stitches on the reinforcement, I think we'll be good.

I did do some all-magnet screens for the front door windows.  They were a lot of work (as you say, magnets and sewing machines and scissors and pins don't mix!), and in the end the only real advantage they have over simply tossing a piece of netting over the door before closing it is that we can drive with them in place if we need to, and the netting doesn't disrupt the rubber seal around the door.  I think there are pictures of those at the same link I shared earlier, just beyond the description of the slider netting.

I also did netting for the rear doors. It's all magnetic too.  The pieces are huge, and we rarely use it, but on a really warm day it's awfully nice to have.

      https://projects.foxharp.net/the_van/#rear-mosquito-netting-7192017

paul

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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #13 
Another possibility would be to hang an extra wide piece, that extends beyond the side openings (magnets on the sides), and weighted at the bottom with a piece of wood trim. Still not ideal for passing through it, although in a house setting this did very well...no side magnets or trim. I used a piece of wide patio door screen. This was in a house used as an office setting, back door. It wasn't used often during prime mosquito time of day.

I have seen a similar setup, however a center slit with left and right portions overlapping at the center. I don't recall how much overlap, but I would guess at least 12". I do not know how this performed.

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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #14 
The 12 inch over lap will work even if you carry stuff and should slow down the bugs.
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #15 
I found a pic.
I would do it different next time. Some times I turned them around and just let the air flow in with the flap on the window side for privacy but open for air.

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png 148D9839-1BC3-4E99-A84B-5CEC8ED51D79.png (2.10 MB, 12 views)


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Behold!

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hello! I read everything posted, but have never posted! I am a vintage VWVanagon owner, and a VSM collector, and ...a handmade Bungee Hammock Maker! When I seal off my bungee ends and tree ropes, I use heat shrink tubing, from Harbor Freight or any hardware store, available in all sizes. This makes a very clean and smooth end, is abrasion proof, and very simple to use!. I buy mosquito netting from RipStopByTheRoll! Hammocks are great van sleepers! Thanks to all for the wisdom shared through the years!
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks for the tip(s), Behold!.  Tell us more about your VSM collection...  and your hammocks!   (In appropriate threads, of course.  :-)

paul

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