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Topic: Quilt project part 2< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2012, 2:04 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Since i butchered my last quilt when doing the baffles, i figured i may need to cheat some and use some synthetic type stuff in combination.  I've also modified it in other ways as well.  

 While i was tempted to just get another double silk sleep liner, i figured at this point i should just go with cheaper and more durable, so i ended up getting some calendered rip stop nylon with 1 side coated with DWR at Ebay that only cost 3 dollars a yard at 60 inches wide.  

 Got 2 yards of Climashield Apex material, the really light, 2.5 ounce per yard stuff.  Decided after the fact that i should get 2 more yards of it, which i'm waiting on.  

 So while i like the Kapok idea overall i am concerned a bit about the resiliency and compression durability.  That, and the Kapok fiber i originally ordered has more VM (vegetable matter) in it than i care for (it's a bit of a pain to pick it out when dealing with large amounts)  I'm still going to use some, but after some research and thinking, i've come around to one of my favorite fibers and fabrics--Alpaca and decided to use a blend.  

  Also on ebay, i found a good deal of 1 lb of 2nd's and 3rd's Raw alpaca fiber (not completely raw, been washed or rinsed once i think) for $20.   Normally people don't want 2nd's and 3rd's because it's not as good for spinning, weaving, yarn making etc, and/or tends to be noticeably more courser and larger diameter fibers than the blanket fiber/down area.  (granted, the smaller the diameter the fiber the warmer it will be, so it would be nice to have the 1st quality stuff)

 However, it's fine for my purpose as fill.   It still felt pretty soft and silky (so the fibers aren't that large), and actually surprisingly  had much less VM in it than the Kapok making it easier and quicker to work with.  It fluffs up really nice and lofty after plucking it apart, de-twining, etc. a little.  1lb was plenty enough to cover the entire bottom of the quilt (on top of the Climashield Apex material), which is about 58 in by 70.  

  If you don't know about Alpaca, there are some similarities and differences to Merino sheeps wool.  One major difference is that Alpaca is much more hollow, which makes it both noticeably lighter and more insulating in nature.  It's not a true hollow fiber or rather a uber hollow fiber as you find in Angora Rabbit fur, Qiviut (Arctic Musk Ox), Polar bear fur, etc, but it's hollow enough--after all, Alpacas have been bred to the tall Andes mountains and regularly have to endure -32 degree F temps or on the other extreme intense sunlight and/or heat at other times.  It's truly a animal and fiber bred for extremes.  

 It has stronger tensile strength than sheeps wool, and in some ways is more generally resilient.  It absorbs less moisture than Sheeps wool, but because of it's more hollow fibers it wicks better.  Both have the property of feeling warm when wet.  Sheeps wool has barbs while Alpaca has more scales and so Alpaca is much less prickly per same fiber diameter size.  Good quality Merino and good quality Alpaca run around a similar range diameter size of the fibers.

So i'm mixing about a half a pound of Kapok fiber in with the Alpaca and trying to mix it up well.  The Kapok fibers are shorter and clump a bit more and the Alpaca longer and more fluffy, voluminous.   I'm a bit tempted to cannibalize my cheap down alternative blanket some and add some of the super fine (non hollow) synthetic micro fibers in there as well (haven't made up my mind yet).

 Anyways, i'm going to add the other thin/lightweight 2.5 oz per sq yd Apex material on top of the fill, sort of sandwiching it in a bit.  If it was heavier, i would be worried about it decreasing the loft too much, but i don't think it will be a significant problem.  I'm going to to do some very minor hand quilting, and i'm hoping that with the Alpaca/Kapok (and maybe micro fiber) mix sandwhiched inbetween the two Apex layers, it will stabilize it enough without having to do the full quilting/baffle type work.  

 Either way, i'm not too worried.  With two layers of the Apex material and some fill inbetween, even if it does shift around some, it will still be pretty warm.   I live in central VA and with the exception of the occasional visit to the North East (where i'm originally from) i don't hike and camp in particularly cold climates.  

 I am "hoping" for some sub freezing temps at least to try it out in.  First either experiment in my backyard or car camping.  I might try it out tomorrow night in my backyard, without the 2nd Apex sheet since it's going to be around 31 degrees as a low.

P.S. one problem with using Alpaca fill is washing the quilt.  Loose, raw alpaca like loose raw sheeps wool tends to felt pretty easy, so i'll have to be extra careful washing it.  It will have to be more of a soak wash in cold water with gentle, non detergent soap, minimal agitation (done by hand) and hang/flat dry it.  

 p.s.s. i thought about using Angora rabbit fur, but i've heard the fiber is noticeably less durable than Alpaca and sometimes it's quite a bit pricier for larger amounts--oft approaching the pricing of good quality Goose down.  However, Angora rabbit fur is damn warm, even warmer than Alpaca and maybe more than most Goose down/feather combinations (pure Goose down is probably warmer though).

 Will let you all know how it goes, after some actual experience ;-)
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2012, 10:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't set yourself on fire...

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2012, 6:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Nov. 09 2012, 10:34 am)
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Don't set yourself on fire...


The voice experience there.   :laugh:
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 8:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Completed 1st experiment with the new quilt.  Slept outside in my back yard, cowboy style with a low of 32 degrees F and slight wind.   Didn't use the bivy, just ground cloth, pad, and wore a thin merino wool baselayer shirt, wore a pair of linen shorts (no underwear), some wool socks, and a thin merino balaclava (since i didn't use anything else to block the wind from my face, except my short beard).  

 Was surprisingly toasty and warm under the quilt.  I'm guessing i probably would have still been warm down to 25 no problem.  

 Quilt is not actually finished, one end is not sewed up and i had just rolled it up and used clothes pins to keep it shut (and i haven't added a foot box yet).  I'm thinking of putting a zipper on that end so i can adjust the insulation depending on conditions (however, i'm worried that fibers would get caught in the zipper and mess it up, so i may not do that).  Right now it has about 8.5 oz of Climashield apex, 1 lb of Alpaca fiber, and about 4 oz of Kapok fiber.  

 The climashield is permanent in there, but a zipper would allow me to take out the Alpaca and Kapok fibers during the summer.  Still may add some polyester microfiber from my down alternative comforter, but i wouldn't need to unless i went to a much colder climate.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 8:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think velcro would weigh less than a zipper.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most likely it would.  I've thought of using velcro as well, but when velcro becomes dirty (as it will faster than a zipper), it loses effectiveness.  Still considering different options.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 9:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Okay, but you can clean velcro.  I often have to clean pet hair out of mine.  It is also easily replaceable, unlike a zipper.
I HATE putting in zippers.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 9:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haha, points duly noted!  Yeah, i really didn't enjoy putting the zipper on the bivy i made recently, took me like 7 times to put it on properly so it would zip up right.

 What's the best way to clean velcro, just pick the stuff off with your fingers, or do you use a stiff brush or something?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 17 2012, 9:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When it is just pet hair (which it usually is) I just pluck it out with my fingers or tweezers.
For other options, etc. here's a link:

http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Velcro


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 12:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Och, tanks for the link Lass.
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