Joining Rip Stop Nylon

I've a little project on the go and need to join some pieces of rip stop nylon together. Suffering from SADS (Sewing Ability Deficit Syndrome), plus not having a sewing machine, I'm considering options.

A few searches indicate I can use some sort of "weld" using special tape to join / seam and a clothes iron to join the pieces. Any experience with this approach? Recommendations?

Or should I go down the route of curing my SADS and buy myself a sewing machine from an auction site?

Or other ideas?



Nov 16, 2019
Vantaa, Finland
So far I have come across tapes that:
- double sided just to keep the pieces together for sewing
- double sided but heat activated that somewhat tighter keeps the pieces together
- tape for for keeping the water out by shutting the thread holes
- tape that is heat welded on the inside to keep the seam from leaking


Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
~Hemel Hempstead~
Personally I'd go down the route of learning to sew and you've got a grip of it it'll open your mind to projects you thought beyond your current skills
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Oct 6, 2003
Sewing machines are the invention of the devil, sent to test us! Oh, the frustrations, the tangles, the puckered seams, the list of horrors is endless!

Misery loves company! Buy a machine and join us tormented souls!

I don't know about the auction sites, but I bought an old Toyota machine from a local shop and have managed to make five serviceable sil-poly tarps, three ultra light synthetic quilts, a dozen or so stuff sacks and zippered pull out pouches, organisers for PALS webbing, three Cordura volume expansion pockets for packs and a liner for a friend's tipi. I cannot now remember why I bought the machine, think it was wanting to make a lighter PLCE pocket system. Glad I did, it is very rewarding to use kit you make yourself, and unlike wood work, or knife making, sewing doesn't need a lot of gear or space, or bulky materials.

You don't say what you are making, or what weight the nylon material is. There may well be a tape that will work, there are many tapes and adhesives out there. I will be interested if anyone who has used one chimes in.

All the best

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Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
+1 for getting a sewing machine. My mother was a tailoress (very different to a seamstress) and taught me to sew on her old Singer treadle machine (which we still have) when I was a nipper. She then taught my wife who, obviously, far exceeds my capabilities :)

I've heard good things about the Aldi digital sewing machine (around £150 I think) but I've never used one. Second hand old ones are great if they're in good condition but you need to know what you're doing to buy one IMO. As Chris said, when they go wrong you will get a tangle of thread around the bobbin that only the Devil himself could have made :(
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Full Member
Jul 30, 2012
Yes you can weld it, but I do not fancy your chances, it seems to be employed by high end weight saving items, if it was easier than sewing you would see it at the low end product group.


Sep 6, 2011
I use double sided sail tape to stick spinnakers together. It depends on what material you are using, if it is coated nothing will stick to it .


Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
Welding ripstop needs the right machinery, at the right temperature, etc., etc.,
You can tape it, but unless you're using specialised sail or kite repair tape then it's mostly a hit or miss and usually a miss.
You can glue it, but that all too often leaves a hard brittle seam

Best advice is to sew it, and use a double seam, like the one on the outside leg of denims. That protects both raw edges.

If you don't want to buy a sewing machine, then either hand stitch it, which is labour intensive but can be very sound, or buy and learn to use a sewing awl...and mind and knot the ends of the threads.

Sewing awls aren't expensive, but buy decent thread to use in it.

If you want a waterproof seam you'll need to seal it too once it's stitched.
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
We looked into welding synthetics at work once. Nice idea but there's plenty of issues. Things such as too big a weld line that's been overheated leaving a semi rigid weld that can crack when flexed. We looked at ultrasonic welding, welding wheels with a pattern that will prevent this.

All possible but the ultrasonic kit was operated by a set of controls with a motherboard that cost best part of £10k on its own. Obviously industrial kit is expensive for a reason. We ended up sticking with a sewing machine. You can get a walking foot, industrial sewing machine that's a Chinese copy of one of the most reliable machines from Brother for a few hundred quid. It'll sew lightweight fabrics right up to 1000gsm fabrics easily IME and much more plus parts and spares can be obtained very easily and not too expensive neither from industrial suppliers like college sewing machines and hobkirks.
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