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  1. #1
    Forum Member one2many's Avatar
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    Tom Bihn 1050 ballistic nylon question

    Have a question out of curiosity...

    My skillful wife equipped with her great Juki sewing machine decided to make me a present. I really wanted a tools bag made in custom dimensions for my car to host my Centerlock wheel mounting tools (heavy, long and powerful torque wrench, 24" extension bar, adapter, wheel mounting centerlock cylinder, etc.).

    She asked me what is material I want the bag to be made of and I as I wanted it to be very durable and last long time I said 1050 ballistic nylon. She said buy it. So this is what I bought
    https://www.amazon.com/Denier-Coated...-crafts&sr=1-1
    It came quickly and it sure is one heavy material.

    She did the bag for me and I loved how it turned out. - Special sized pockets for every tool, exact dimensions to fit it in my frunk, etc. However, she spent good 8 hours making it. And she told me that this material is a big hassle to deal with. We then decided to compare it to Tom Bihn's 1050 Ballistic nylon and as compared to my large Yeoman Duffel in 1050, to my surprise, Tom Bihn's 1050 it TWICE thinner and lighter. It is also very soft if you compare it to the one I purchased (which is even hard to bend). The difference between the two is more than the difference between TB 1050 vs TB 525. This is not to say that Tom Bihn's 1050 is inferior, it perhaps is as durable as the other one, but it is sure way easier to deal with cutting/sewing etc. for a bag production.

    We then checked the material description on TB page and we saw that Tom described his 1050 as "light" version. And indeed it is!

    So my question is which one of the two we compared is a regular 1050 Ballistic nylon? Which one is most common? Is it vendor dependent? How does one know what type of 1050 they will be getting if buying on-line?

    Again, I am 100% happy with Tom Bihn's 1050. I wish I bought that type of 1050 which would've made my wife's job way easier. I just did not realize the two would be so different..

    Thanks.
    Last edited by one2many; 11-19-2019 at 11:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Tom Bihn 1050 ballistic nylon question

    Hi @one2many,
    I’m sure @Darcy could give you a better answer, but I’ll just quote a couple of her replies in a 2013 thread, which explained that there are many materials sold as 1050d Ballistic Nylon with varying material properties. I f you click on the arrow to the right at the start of quoted excerpts you can be taken to the parent thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    The ballistic nylon we use is 1050d HT (high tenacity) two-ply (so yes, two yarns woven as one) in a basket weave pattern. The real question is whether the yarns are high tenacity (type 6.6 nylon as opposed to just type 6) or not. HT yarns are far stronger and more abrasion restart than your standard nylon. There's definitely various other 1050D fabrics out there, but mostly they aren't high tenacity.

    We'll ask about the 1050D x 1260D fabric and let you know what our fabric Guru says...
    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Glad to answer such a good question.

    Our fabric Guru says:

    "To be THE ORIGINAL BALLISTIC FABRIC[Dupont] or TRU BALLISTIC [Allied] the yarn has to be 1050 Denier HIGH TENACITY.
    Asia has marketed many different constructions and called them "ballistic"."
    So, I think this might explain the differences you noted between the 1050d Ballistic Nylon in your Yeoman Duffel and the sample you bought from Amazon.

    There’s an old video from 2012 on “Our Materials” that you can find under the videos section or by going to the Video: Our Materials forum thread:
    https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...materials.html

    Actually, a better thread to check is the Video Request to the TB team in 2014, since it includes another video Made in 2013 that I was looking for that is their Innovation in Fabrics video describing some of the background work that goes into developing the fabrics they use. At the time that video was made, the 420d material they talked about was Parapack Nylon — just making its appearance in bags like the Guide’s Pack:
    https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...t-tb-team.html


    HTH

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 11-20-2019 at 06:36 AM.

  3. #3
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    As a handweaver, the weave structure will also make a difference to the hand (softness) of the cloth. Plain weave has the threads going over one under one. Basket weave has the threads going over 2 under 2, twice. The more threads the warp and weft threads go over or under, the more supple the cloth. Also, the threads sit tighter to each other when they go over and under more threads (i.e. more threads per inch).

    It sounds like you may have used a plain weave cloth, whereas TB uses a basket weave cloth.

  4. #4
    Forum Member one2many's Avatar
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    Thank you for the answers. Useful. Perhaps what we see is that difference in the weave structure. I think I bought a plain weave 1050.

    I also believe that the Polyurethane Coating is different as well. On the one from Amazon it is thicker (or at least seems to be).

    So the question remains - which type is more common and what one will be getting if bought on-line wrt material weight and thickness? Is TB's "light" 1050 version more special and rare to get?
    Last edited by one2many; 11-23-2019 at 12:34 PM.

  5. #5
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I asked Tom to weigh in, and he says:

    Very interesting!

    Not having the Amazon stuff in front of us, it’s hard to tell what exactly they are selling. Zooming in on the color swatch, it doesn’t look like a 2x2 (or “basket”) weave, which is what typically defines “ballistic” cloth, but rather a 1x1 construction. That said, it’s pretty hard to tell from the photograph.

    As BWeaves points out, a 2x2 weave can be a bit more pliant than a 1x1 weave, but there’s other ways the mill can achieve stiffness: controlling the “heat set” (where the undyed nylon is run over heated rollers to melt the yarns slightly and stabilize the weave) and adding (or not adding) a resin finish. Some cheaper so-called ballistic fabrics actually have a heavy lamination of PVC on the backside: this gives the fabric a stiff hand, but otherwise will not make a quality bag. We actually work with our mill to target a perfect “Mama Bear” middle ground hand: we require something stiff enough that the finished bag tends to hold its shape, but not so stiff as to make it difficult to work with on the sewing floor.

    We’ve definitely been offered some ballistic type nylons that were substantially stiffer than what we use, though not heavier. For most folks perceive stiffness as heaviness. We’d be curious to see what you got from Amazon, so if you feel like taking the time to send us a tiny scrap in a letter, that'd be fun.
    Current Carry: The Hero's Journey, Skookum Dog Citizen Canine, Founder's Briefcase, Synapse 19 (day hikes), Guide's Pack (longer day hikes), Yeoman Duffel (winter/emergency stuff for the car), Aeronaut 30 (travel), Night Flight Travel Duffel (camera bag), Moveable Feast + Shop Bags (food)

  6. #6
    Forum Member one2many's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    I asked Tom to weigh in, and he says:

    Very interesting!

    Not having the Amazon stuff in front of us, it’s hard to tell what exactly they are selling. Zooming in on the color swatch, it doesn’t look like a 2x2 (or “basket”) weave, which is what typically defines “ballistic” cloth, but rather a 1x1 construction. That said, it’s pretty hard to tell from the photograph.

    As BWeaves points out, a 2x2 weave can be a bit more pliant than a 1x1 weave, but there’s other ways the mill can achieve stiffness: controlling the “heat set” (where the undyed nylon is run over heated rollers to melt the yarns slightly and stabilize the weave) and adding (or not adding) a resin finish. Some cheaper so-called ballistic fabrics actually have a heavy lamination of PVC on the backside: this gives the fabric a stiff hand, but otherwise will not make a quality bag. We actually work with our mill to target a perfect “Mama Bear” middle ground hand: we require something stiff enough that the finished bag tends to hold its shape, but not so stiff as to make it difficult to work with on the sewing floor.

    We’ve definitely been offered some ballistic type nylons that were substantially stiffer than what we use, though not heavier. For most folks perceive stiffness as heaviness. We’d be curious to see what you got from Amazon, so if you feel like taking the time to send us a tiny scrap in a letter, that'd be fun.
    Thanks Darcy. You are excellent.
    I will send you a sample.

  7. #7
    Forum Member one2many's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by one2many View Post
    Thanks Darcy. You are excellent.
    I will send you a sample.
    A sample got mailed few weeks ago. Any updates please, Darcy?

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by one2many View Post
    A sample got mailed few weeks ago. Any updates please, Darcy?
    Hi @one2many! I suggest sending an email--I don't know if Darcy will see this as it's easy to miss a post here lately, there have been so many posts in the last few weeks! The address is emailus@tombihn.com .
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  9. #9
    Forum Member one2many's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    Hi @one2many! I suggest sending an email--I don't know if Darcy will see this as it's easy to miss a post here lately, there have been so many posts in the last few weeks! The address is emailus@tombihn.com .
    Thanks. email in route.

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