E:  Each type of fabric and garment design will have an effect on how much stretch binding is required to gather a waistband or cuff.  Practice on a scrap piece of fabric is recommended first. (As a very general rule we’ve discovered that the amount of binding needed for waistbands is your waist measurement and cuffs are your wrist diameter).

 1.  Cut binding to desired length.  Stitch 1/4” from the raw edge to form the binding into a circle.  (Disregard this step when binding off collars, fronts of zippers, and waistbands of zip-down jackets).

  2.   Pin the binding to the raw edge of the fabric.  For cuffs and pullover  jacket waistbands stretch binding evenly around fabric.  For a straight edge extend each short raw edge of binding 3/4” beyond the fabric.   Fold the 3/4” amount toward the backside and pin.

         Stitch 3/8” from the raw edge.

  3.  Fold the binding toward the backside of the fabric, folding the binding   along the sewn edge and up and over the raw edges, (the binding will show 3/8” from the front side).  Pin binding to fabric making certain to cover the previous stitching that will show on the backside.
  4.  On the front side of the fabric stitch along the previous seam (“stitch in the ditch”).

  5.   On the backside cut away the excess raw edge of the binding close to the stitching.

  Most of our waistband ribbing fabric is 28" wide.   This width is usually wide enough (and at times wider than needed) to stretch along the bottom raw edge of most jackets  [NOTE: on XL and larger jackets they usually need ribbing wider than 28" to stretch the extra width of the jacket.  These waistbands will need to be pieced so you will need to purchase 12-14" of waistband and stitch two 7" rectangles together].
Use your pattern pieces and follow the pattern instructions but the basic premise is as follows:
Cut the height of the waistband 6-7" high.
waistband tip 1.bmp (44778 bytes)
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise matching raw edges. Pin.  (the height of your waistband will now be about 3 1/2"
waistband tip 2.bmp (44778 bytes)
Pin the waistband to the right side of the jacket along the bottom edge, matching raw edges and stretching evenly to fit.  Pin. Stitch.
waistband tip 3.bmp (77078 bytes)
Fold down the waistband.  The finished height is now appox. 3"
waistband tip 4.bmp (69478 bytes)
(Cuffs work basically the same way needing only about 7" of waistband to make a finished cuff height of about 3").

1. Machine wash warm, gentle cycle - Partially machine dry on low

2. Machine wash warm - Line dry. For Polartecs use powder detergent.

3. Machine wash warm - Tumble dry low, remove promptly

4. Machine wash warm - Rinse twice with cold water.  Tumble dry low,
    remove promptly. Do not dry clean or bleach.

5. Machine wash cold, delicate cycle with mild detergent.  Use only    
    non-chlorine bleach when needed.  Tumble dry low heat.  Do not dry 
    clean sleeping bags.

6. Brush off any loose dirt.  Hose down and clean with a mild solution
     of natural soap in lukewarm water.  Rinse thoroughly.  Do not use

7. Machine wash cold - Line dry

8. Hose off with water, if necessary, scrub lightly with a brush.

9. Machine wash warm, gentle cycle - Tumble dry low, do not bleach.

10. Machine wash cold, gentle cycle - Tumble dry low, do not bleach or
      dry-clean.  Do not iron.
11. Hand wash with mild soap or machine wash gentle cycle.  Drip dry.  
      Don’t put in dryer or iron.  No bleach.

12. Machine wash cold, tumble dry low.
       Beside each fabric description in the fabric section are numbers
        for washing instructions.  Use the codes above to determine
        the appropriate fabric method for cleaning.  NOTE: You do not
        need to prewash most fabrics before you cut them out as they
        should not experience any shrinkage.  Prewashing is only recom-
        mended on fabrics with a high cotton content or vivid colors.
NOTE: Bleach is not recommended for any of our fabrics.
   45” FABRIC                    60” FABRIC
1/4  yd             =                 1/8 yd
1/2 yd              =                 3/8 yd
3/4 yd              =                 5/8 yd
   1 yd               =                 3/4 yd
1 1/8 yd            =                 7/8 yd
1 3/8 yd            =                    1 yd
1 5/8 yd            =              1 1/4 yd
1 3/4 yd            =              1 3/8 yd
2 yd                  =              1 1/2 yd
2 1/8 yd            =              1 5/8 yd
2 1/4 yd            =              1 3/4 yd
2 1/2 yd            =              1 7/8 yd
2 3/4 yd            =                    2 yd
2 7/8 yd            =              2 1/8 yd
3 yd                  =              2 1/4 yd
3 1/8 yd            =              2 3/8 yd
3 3/8 yd            =              2 5/8 yd
3 5/8 yd            =              2 3/4 yd
3 7/8 yd            =              2 7/8 yd
4 yd                  =                    3 yd
Example: Using the conversion
chart you will only need 1/8 yd
of fabric 60” wide if your pattern
requires 1/4 yd of 45” wide fabric.


On fabrics where it is not visually obvious which side has the coating follow the steps below to determine it:

Take a guess at what you think might be the uncoated side of the fabric. At one corner of the piece of fabric fold the fabric so that the "uncoated" sides are together. Rub the fabric between your fingers. Next, do the same for what you believe to be the "coated" side of the fabric. The side that rubs together more freely with less "stickiness" is usually the uncoated side of the fabric; the other side has the coating. NOTE: On silnylon (coated 1.1 oz silicone ripstop) there is no right or wrong side.  Because the silicone is impregnated it is present on both sides of the fabric.


                    DWR  AND ITS IMPORTANCE  

      Durable water repellent (DWR) treatments are essential to the performance of waterproof/breathable fabrics.  DWR treatments coat each fabric fiber with a microscopic finish that causes water to bead up and roll off allowing the fabric to breathe.

      When the DWR becomes worn, water does not bead up and roll off but stays on the fabric inhibiting its breathability.  With less breathability, condensation builds up on the inside of the fabric making you think the fabric is leaking.  DWR treatments can start to diminish after 2-3 washings.

  Tips to preserve and restore DWR:
    1.   Do not dry clean.

    2.   Do not use bleach or fabric softener.



Heat sealable fabrics give you one of the greatest degrees of waterproofness.

  The seams can be sewn with conventional sewing or by heat sealing using a household iron or both methods.  When the seams are heat sealed they will be waterproof and airtight.

METHOD 1: Using this method the seam allowance will show on the right side (outside) of your project.  Practice with scrap fabric first.  Place laminated (shiny) sides together.  Place a smooth pressing cloth or paper over the area to be seamed and the surrounding area.  Using the cotton setting (or hotter) on your iron hold the iron over the seam area for about 15 seconds then lift off.  NOTE: The iron will seal the fabric anywhere heat is applied so stay only in the seam area.  Let cool.  Try to pull the seam apart.  If you can pull any of it apart- re-seal again.

METHOD 2: Sew the seam as you would normally.  Cut a strip of heat sealable fabric the length of the seam you want to seal by 7/8” wide.  Trim the seam to 1/4” width.  Finger press the seam to one side (not open).  Place the strip over the seam, laminated sides together.  Using the pressing cloth, iron the strip in place using the same ironing technique used in Method 1.

METHOD 3: For sewn only seams, use Seam Grip seam sealer  over stitched areas that you do not heat seal or tape.  


- Use the following steps to apply seam tape to coated fabrics.  You may wish to experiment with scrap fabric before applying it to your project.
- Trim seams to 1/4" in width.
- Heat iron to the delicate setting-Do not use steam or spray.
- To determine the adhesive side of the tape, hold the tape so that one end of the tape hangs down freely.  The "curl" on the free end of the tape curls toward the non-adhesive side.             
- Place a piece of plain white paper over the tape and fabric to protect the coating of the fabric and to keep the coating of the fabric from getting on the iron.
- Pressing down with the iron, press along the seamline continually moving the iron slowly along the seam.
- When sufficiently sealed the tape will turn clear and shiny, white spots are areas where the glue has not sufficiently melted yet.  Replace the white paper and heat these areas again.
- Allow to set and cool before touching tape.

1. Cut a 26" x 4 1/2" rectangle from a tightly woven fabric. (Supplex is a very good choice).

wpe3E.jpg (3858 bytes)

2. If the fabric has a durable water repellant finish (DWR) soak the fabric in a sink of water with a capful of fabric softener (Downey etc.). This will strip away the DWR from the fabric and allow it to absorb water quicker.

3. Fold the fabric lengthwise placing right sides together and matching raw edges. Pin the edges opposite the fold and along one short edge together.

wpe3D.jpg (4923 bytes)

Stitch 1/4" from the pinned edge.

Turn the fabric tube right side out so that the seams are on the inside..

5. Through the open end, put 2 teaspoons of Crystal Cool powder inside the fabric tube.

6. To finish the edge at the opened end, fold the raw edges 1/2" toward the wrong side (inside) of the neckerchief. Pin.

wpe40.jpg (3059 bytes)

Stitch 1/8" from the pinned edge.

7. To activate the Crystal Cool soak in a sink of water. As it soaks, the powder will become a "jelly-like" consistency and expand to the size of the tube. How quick it absorbs the water depends on how tightly woven the fabric is and how much DWR is on the fabric. (NOTE: If it is taking longer than 30 minutes and you want to speed up the process, you can add another capful of fabric softener to the water and with your hands rub the fabric to strip more of the DWR from the fabric).

8. After several days or more the jelly will dry out and become crystallized again. To re-activate just resoak in a sink of water. To make it even colder place it in the refri- gerator for about 30 minutes before use.

The possible uses of this product are only limited by your imagination.



If the Polartec fleece you ordered arrives wrinkled because of folding or from being at the end of a roll just throw it in the dryer. Start with the lowest heat setting for five minute intervals being very careful that the dryer does not get too hot as this can melt the fabric fibers. Remove immediately- do not let it set in a warm dryer for even a moment.



1. Do the following to uncoated nylon fabric or webbing to prevent raveling: Place a candle in a sturdy candleholder and light the candle. Holding the fabric taunt between your hands, pass the raw edge of the fabric or webbing near the flame and melt just the outer-most edge. Continue to hold the fabric taunt, away from the flame for a couple of second until it cools to prevent the edge of the fabric from crinkling. Also, beware that if you pass too close to the flame the smoke created can stain the fabric. Practice on a scrap piece of fabric before doing a garment or gear piece. [Note: Do not breathe the fumes.]

2. To sew coated fabrics that are "too sticky" to feed past the feed dogs, sandwich the fabric between two pieces of waxed paper or tissue paper. Sew through the fabric and both layers of paper. Tear the paper along the seamline to remove.

3. When pinning through coated fabrics use as few pins as necessary, and if possible, only place pins in the seam allowance area. Each pin leaves a small hole that may leak.

4. Use a smaller needle (size 9-14) for light to medium weight fabrics: taffeta, rip-stop, nylon, Supplex, Ultrex, etc. Use a larger needle (size 14-18) for heavyweight fabrics: Cordura, packcloth, etc. A larger needle (sz. 14-18) may be necessary but it is best to use as small a needle as you can.

5. Always use a sharp needle for woven fabrics. If stitches begin skipping while sewing with coated fabric try cleaning the needle with rubbing alcohol or changing it.

6. You do not need to pre-wash nylon or Polartec fabric-they will not shrink. Do not pre-wash any insulation.

7. On fabric with a coating the coated side is the wrong side (the inside) of the fabric.



Acetal-(also referred to as Delrin) higher quality version of nylon- most commonly used in today’s fasteners and hardware.

Denier (den.year)-the diam. and wt. of the yarn used to manufacture fabric. The larger the denier the heavier the fabric.

Durable Water Repellant (DWR)-a fabric with a light coating to resist water yet still allows breathability. In a light rain water beads up on the fabric and rolls off but under heavier moisture conditions the water will eventually penetrate through the fabric.

Interfacing-a special fabric placed between the lining and outer fabric to provide extra body to a particular area in a garment ie. collar, rain flaps, cuffs.  It can be purchased at any local fabric store.

Nap-fabrics with shading, one way designs, or pile that require you to layout all of the pattern pieces in one direction.

Seam Sealing-the process of treating the stitch holes in waterproof fabric to prevent them from leaking. This is necessary to achieve maximum waterproofness.

Polypropylene vs. Nylon web-Nylon web is most commonly used because of its durability and abrasion resistance but polypropylene is more
suitable for long-term sun exposure and marine use. Polypropylene tends to be less expensive.

Waterproof-a fabric that prevents water from penetrating. This fabric usually has some type of coating (usually polyurethane) to seal the pores of the fabric.

Waterproof/Breathable Fabric-a fabric with numerous micropores that are too small for wind and rain to penetrate yet large enough for vapor (perspiration) to escape.

Water Repellant fabric- a fabric with a protective coating or spray that will keep water out in a light drizzle but not enough coating to keep water from passing through in a downpour. 



When you are using a waterproof fabric, such as Ultrex, Gore-Tex, vinyl coated taffeta, etc. it is highly recommended that you seal all seams and needle holes that can be exposed to moisture.  NOTE: Every pin & needle hole has the potential to leak.

LIQUID SEAM SEAL has an applicator, like roll-on deodorant, that you run along a seam.  It works easily on straight and curved edges but it takes 24 hours to dry.  According to the manufacturer with average washings and use it should last up to 3 years before touch up may be needed.

SEALING TAPE is applied with a household iron.  It works excellent on straight edges but can be a little tricky along curved areas  (you may need to make small clips in the tape to allow it to bend around the curve). At times it may be easier on some tight curves to use the liquid seam sealer.  There is no drying time needed.  With average washings and use it should last for many years-probably the projects lifetime.


                              FABRIC SECONDS

Our 2nd quality fabrics  tend to be in very good condition.  Some 2nd quality fabrics may be off-color, dirty, have a light or splashy coating, have some minor flaws in the fabric or be on small rolls.

    Although, we cannot guarantee there will be no imperfections we do make sure the greatest majority of your cut is in good condition.  Second quality fabrics are a very popular choice of our customers.



    OZ/ SQ. YD     TOP

-1C/30F 6 oz total 6 oz total 3oz+3oz OVER 3oz+3oz
-7C/20F 7 oz total 7 oz total 3+4 OVER 3+4
-12C/10F 8 oz total 8 oz total 4+4 OVER 4+4
-18C/0F 9 oz total 9 oz total 3+3+3 OVER 3+3+3
-23C/-10F 10 oz total 10 oz total 3+3+4 OVER 3+3+4
-29C/-20F 11 oz total 11oz total 3+4+4 OVER 3+4+4
-34C/-30F 12 oz total 12 oz total 4+4+4 OVER 4+4+4
The above information is ONLY A GUIDELINE.  Many factors need to be considered when selecting the amount of layers, for example some people tolerated cold temperatures better than others, or whether or not it is used in some type of shelter or not.   Feedback from customers suggests that this is a very warm insulation.



Ten Backpacker staffers tested outdoor garments made from Dryskin and Dryskin Extreme.  All agreed they'd never worn anything that could handle so many differing weather conditions and activities.
A family of highly breathable, fast-drying fabrics, Dryskin is lightweight, water-resistant, virtually windproof almost immune to abrasion, and wicks perspiration as fast as your glands can produce it. This adds up to incredible all-around backwoods performance; our testers stayed cool during hard climbs, warm on windswept ridges, dry in deep snow, and not the least bit confined when stretching or striding.
"Dryskin seems to be self-cleaning, too" Senior Editor Jim Gorman notes.   "Mud, dust, even stove soot disappeared almost overnight.  Savvy parents should outfit their kids in it and never do laundry again." 
While Dryskin isn't new, several major outdoors companies have just started using it, which means it showing up in stores.  The garments aren't cheap (Dryskin pants typically cost $100 or more), but think of it this way: You may be buying for life. "I've trashed other trail pants in less time than it took to see the first snag in my Dryskins," Equipment Editor Kristin Hostetter says.  "After more than 30 days of intense testing, they still looked brand new."
For the record, we tested pants from Cloudveil, Helly Hansen, L.L. Bean, Mammut, Moonshine, Moonstone, Jagged Edge and Pantagonia: jackets and vests from Cloudveil (see Outfitting December 1998); shorts by Moonstone; and shirts by Pantagonia (pictured).
The Consensus:  Like good stocks, Dryskin requires a hefty intial investment that will be justified by years of steady performance.

This excerpt originally appeared in the Editor's Choice '99 article on page 94 of the April 1999 issue of BACKPACKER MAGAZINE.  Reprinted with permission of BACKPACKER MAGAZINE.

Use Nikwax TX.Direct® Wash-In in a washing machine ...
For best results remove all non-washable parts and always clean item(s) first with Nikwax Tech Wash® in a separate wash cycle. No need to dry item(s) before waterproofing.

Top Loading Machine Wash:
1. Place maximum of 3 clean garments in washing machine.
2. After the machine has filled add 10floz/300ml of TX.Direct®.
3. Set cycle to Heavy and Warm, Low water level.

Front Loading Machine Wash:
1. Remove all detergent build-up from the detergent dispenser.
2. Place maximum of 2 clean garments in washing machine.
3. Use 3floz/100ml per garment.
4. Run 30oC Synthetic cycle and slow spin.

Do not machine-wash garments if taped seams have become dislodged.*
To maintain waterproofing always wash with Nikwax Tech Wash®. Do not use detergents.

*Faulty taped seams sometimes become detached on old or worn garments. They can be re
-stuck using a proprietary clear glue after waterproofing and drying.

Nikwax TX.Direct® Wash-In can be applied by hand …
Use gloves (to avoid waterproofing your hands!).

1. Immerse 1 clean garment in 6L of hand-hot water in a bowl or sink.
2. Add 2floz/50ml of TX.Direct®.
3. Agitate to mix, leave to soak for 5-10 minutes, then agitate thoroughly.
4.    Rinse with cold water until water runs clear.

Air dry or tumble dry on a low setting if care label allows.