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Edging For a Sail


mikiek
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This sorta goes along with this other post.  Regarding a lateen rig, instructions for Arrow say to get some ribbon, fold it in half lengthwise and glue around the edges of the sails. It sounds reasonable, would add some strength and would eliminate the need to hem the sail. However this is the first time I've heard of this technique.

 

Does anyone have experience with this?

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Thanasis - how do you cut your cloth?  It looks so neat. I always end up with frayed edges and threads sticking out. Perhaps the better question is what kind of cloth do you use?

 

Keith - What color do you use for the tape? I like the idea but those are some pretty gaudy colors in the video ^_^

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When you fold strips of cloth over the edge of your sail, you end up with a hem on both sides - which is not correct and doesn't make sense really. On the prototype the hem would be folded over to the port side (for fore-and-aft sails) or the back (for square sails). Similarly, the bolt-rope goes onto the port side and back of the sails respectively.

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I will agree with wefalck up to a point.

  According to Gr. book  "About the rigging of the ship" (Περί εξαρτισμού των πλοίων) of 1919 at page 96, the hem of a sail is not being folded (back) and sewed alone but there are additional fabric strips, that are being placed at the front of the sail and then are sewed together.

  Also in the Gr. book  "Terms of sail ships"  (Ονοματολόγιο ιστιοφόρων) of 1890 at page 112, there is the French term  "les doublages" that is referring to fabric strips that are being sewed at the sides of a sail to give reinforcement. It doesn’t say on which side (back or in front) so I can only guess what that "doubla" means.

So at least me, I can accept hem on both sides of a sail.

 

If someone can read Greek, I can place photos of those pages.

 

Thx

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a lot can be conveyed with strips of paper glued to the sail. Paper is thinnest of all and conforms well. I've also had success using a white ink pen and drawing the details onto a sail. If you think how thin the actual fabric on the real sail would be, it's hard to keep sail construction details on a model in scale- anything you glue onto your sail is going to be very very thick compared to the real sail. On the other hand the thickness of a sail, which one can only see one side of at a time, is hard to perceive and as long as you don't get too crazy you can get away with a lot. 

i do feel though that folding a ribbon over the cut edge (called bias tapeing in garment sewing) is adding thickness unnecessarily. Bias tape does remove the problem of a frayed edge but if you are adding a bolt rope to the edge of your sail anyway, is it needed? If the sole pourpose of bias tape is to control the frayed ends, you could avoid the frayed edge altogether with careful cutting as mentioned above. I found that starching the fabric with cornstarch first makes for perfect xacto or razor cuts with zero fraying.

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All good ideas JCF. I will experiment. The ribbon is called for in the instructions. Why? I don't know. I will be poking a lot of holes in the upper edge of the sail to lace it up to the yard. So strength might have something to do with it.

 

How would you apply paper to a sail edge and keep it so the sail is workable?

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