Shop Tom Bihn
Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Question about Ballistic Nylon

    From the ID product page:
    "The ID is made of 1050 denier Ballistic nylon (not the fake 1680 denier pseudo-Ballistic common on lesser products)..."

    I was wondering why you labeled 1680 denier ballistic nylon as "pseudo-Ballistic". Isn't denier just a unit of measurement of fineness for nylon, with 1680 being the amount? Could you elaborate?


  2. #2
    I work here at TOM BIHN
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Upper left hand corner of the U.S. map (lower 48 states)
    Indeed, denier is a measure of the weight of the yarn from which the fabric is woven. Oddly, 1050 denier is a finer (smaller) yarn than the 1680 fabric, but you will find that the 1050 has a heftier hand and more durablility than the larger 1680 denier fabric. Why? I'm not exactly sure, but I'll be at the Industrial Fabrics show in San Antonio next month, and I'll try to get someone to explain it to me.
    1050 Ballistic nylon was developed for use in flack jackets etc (hence the name "Ballistic"): 20 layers thick and it stops a bullet. Now Kevlar has replaced nylon for that use and the 1050 Ballistic nylon that's made is used strictly for bags and luggage. It's a very popular look and feel, and also very expensive fabric. No surprise that they've come up with a cheaper alternative, which in general is the 1680 fabric from Korea, and I believe also now Thailand and China.
    We were temped by the 1680 fabric as it is about 40% cheaper and easier to get as well, but it lacks the quality look, feel and durability of the domestically made 1050 Ballistic.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Milwaukee, WI
    In my experience, the 1680 fabric will suffer from pits and frays rather easily. Has happened on the few luggage pieces I have that are made with it.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts