Creep, breaking load, taffeta? You didn't understand a word? In our small cloth lexicon you will find some explanations of some of the most important technical terms and designations around sails and sailcloth.
Bias: Fibers laminated diagonally (45°) to the base scrim.
Breaking load: The breaking load of a yarn or fabric at a well-defined cross-section.
Creep: Describes the property of fibers to stretch under constant load.
Crimp: The serpentine deformation of the individual yarns in the fabric resulting from weaving.
Dacron: DuPont's brand name for polyester fibers.
Denier: Identification of fabric yarns and fibers, with lower numbers indicating finer fabrics and higher numbers indicating stronger fabrics.
Elongation value: The difference between unloaded length and the length of a yarn under load.
Fiber: A monofilament, several of which are twisted/spun into a yarn or laid into laminates, for example.
g/sqm: Weight in grams per square meter of cloth.
Grip: Properties of a cloth felt by hand.
Kevlar: Brand name of DuPont for a family of special fibers made from aramid.
Laminate: Layers of various scrims and fabrics bonded (glued) together by a film.
Modulus: English term for elongation properties of fabrics and laminates. High modulus = low elongation.
Orientation: In relation to sailcloth and laminates, the indication of whether the highest strength is in the warp or weft direction.
Pentex: Modified polyester with 250% less elongation.
Polyester: A strong, robust and inexpensive fiber for woven sailcloth and laminates for cruising sails.
Sailmaker's ounces (smoz): weight of a cloth or laminate cutout 36'' x 28.5''. US oz = 46g - GB oz 34 g.
Scrim: Non-woven scrim that is joined (glued) with a film.
Spectra: A highly modified polyethylene fiber manufactured by Allied Corp.
Taffeta: A very lightweight fabric applied to the outer skin of many laminates to protect the inner layers, making the laminate more robust.
Tear strength: The properties of a fiber, yarn or fabric not to tear even under high load.
Warp: The yarns "standing" during weaving, through which the "weft" is woven. Weft: Yarn that is "shot" (woven) across the warp on a loom.
Yarn direction: Direction of the individual fibers or yarns in the fabric.
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