Richard Nakka's Experimental Rocketry Web Site

Parts list for Parachute Construction

Fabric for canopy

Suggested material is lightweight ripstop nylon. For the prototype parachute that I constructed, I simply used a nylon shower curtain, which was nearly ideal, the only drawbacks being it was not ripstop and that it was somewhat heavier fabric than was necessary. It had a nice tight weave, not surprisingly, since it's intended purpose dictates that it be water-resistant! The following table lists the specifications for commercial parachute fabrics, as well as for the fabric that I used for the prototype parachute:

Parachute Fabric Properties
CODETYPE(oz/sq.yd.)(per in.)(per in.)(in)(lbs)(lbs/in)(CFM/sq.ft)
* *1.81801000.004N.A.47N.A.

*  IKEAtm, Billingen shower curtain (white) or Rosanna (off-white), 180x200 cm.; p/n 17763 (Billigen), 14331 (Rosanna), $14.50 CAD (sufficient fabric to make two 1-metre diameter canopies). Fabric for both is identical (100% nylon). The latter has a water-repellant coating, but this can be eliminated (before dyeing) by washing the fabric in hot water with laundry detergent. Properties listed for this fabric were determined by measurement and/or testing.

Fabric Dye

One half of the quantity of fabric that was used to make the canopy was dyed red. The dye used was:

Cord for shroud lines

The type that I used was braided nylon cord, the kind that is sold in the camping department of stores. The specific type that I used was:

The approximate width and thickness of the cord, measured under light tension loading, are :

and the cord tested breaking strength is:

Sewing thread

The thread that was used for machine stitching the canopy together and for sewing the shroud lines to the canopy was the following:

The measured diameter, and tested breaking strength of the thread are:

Seam Binding

The seam binding that was used to join the canopy panels was as follows:

The measured dimensions and tested breaking strength are:

Last updated

Last updated May 25, 2001

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