Sail Cloth Material
Explore the materials, fibers and yarns that we use.
Aramid-Kevlar FiberKevlar is stronger than steel – and lighter. Different kinds with different characteristics. Type 29 better in flex than type 49. Type 49 50% better in stretch than 29. Twaron is very similar to type 49. Technora is between 29 and 49, is available in black and gold.
5 times better stretch than Polyester, double that of Pentex. Aramide yarns can be woven to a tight fabric and bonds well on Mylar.
Aramids have only moderate UV resistance, and poor with repeated flex. Technora is somewhat better in both these issues.
Carbon FiberCarbon consists of mainly carbon atoms. Each fibre consists of hundreds to thousands of filaments (tubes) with a diameter of few micrometers.
Different types with almost zero stretch to those with better flexibility.
Extremely low stretch and insensitive to UV. Can use less fibre for same strength – saves weight.
Dyneema FiberDyneema has extremely long molecular chains, therefore enormous breaking strength.
Very strong, and resistant to stretch. Good resistance against UV and material fatigue, very light.
Under permanent load the fibre tends to elongate, so the sail can change shape under high loads of long duration.
Nylon FiberYarns and fabrics called Nylon derive from the Brand name of Du Pont, but never copyrighted, therefore used generically for all thermoplastic polyamides.
Very light, elastic - good break load. Good against chafe and flex. Therefore ideal for downwind sails.
Stretch resistance not good enough for upwind sails.UV and moisture reduces its strength.
Polyester FiberWoven Polyester fabrics have been used for more than 60 years as sailcloth.
Polyester is very durable. Good against UV. Economical. For high performance sails stretch resistance is not good enough.
Technora Black FiberHigh performance fibre usually used in laminates and membranes.
High Tenacity. Low elon-gation. Good flex/fold characteristics. No creep. Moderate UV resistance (better than golden Aramid).
Vectran FiberVectran is based on polyester with aramid type molecular structure to combine the pros of both materials. Vectran is a quasi-polyester. Colour is gold.
Vectran has good stretch resistance and does not deteriorate in use. UV resistance is better than Aramid, suitable for use on performance cruiser with main emphasis on durabilty.
Flex resistance is better than Aramid. It is not as stretch resistant as Aramid.
Woven Polyester Fabric (Dacron)Woven polyester fabrics are developed to a very high standard. Polyester is the most used sailcloth, known as Dacron, Tetoron, Terylene, Trevira and Diolen too.
A very durable fabric, good against UV, flex and economical. Suitable for sails requiring durability.
Taffeta FabricTechnically, Taffetas are all types of fine, light woven fabric (for example silk). Taffeta for sail production are tight woven polyester as layer on laminates for better resistance against UV, tear, flex and chafe.
Taffeta can also be used inside two layers of film for a better flex.
Nylon FabricNylon can be woven very tight, fabric is light and strong.
Very light, good breaking load. Good against flex and chafe therefore ideal for downwind sails.