Nylon was originally created as a substitute for silk and generally has a smoother texture than polyester. Nylon has a silky texture while polyester has more of a fiber feeling. Even though nylon is more stretchable than polyester it is still extremely durable and is generally considered a very strong fabric. Compared to polyester, nylon has very good resistance to abrasion, fungi, insects, chemicals, and even mildew.
All Nordisk Nylon is made with rip-stop, which is a reinforcement technique where tear proof threads are woven into the material with regular intervals. Rip-stop ensures that small tears do not spread. Nylon can be produced in very fine qualities making it possible to create nylon fabrics down to 7D, which is extremely light weight.
Polyester is a sturdy and durable material that gives you great value for money. It is strong, crisp and resilient wet or dry.
Polyester is more heat-resistant and UV resistant than nylon, and it is also slightly more fast-drying than nylon. Polyester fabrics also tends to be slightly more wrinkle resistant than nylon fabrics.
Even though modern polyester can be quite soft and in some ways match the nylon handfeel, polyester is generally a rougher fabric than nylon, which is why it has traditionally been used in outerwear garment. Polyester can only be produced down to 20D which sets a natural barrier for producing extreme light weight tents from polyester.
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of cotton plants. The fiber is spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times.
Cotton is the traditional material for tents and has been used for many years as it offers a great indoor climate – especially on a hot day. Cotton is a great material if weight is not an issue.
For both our cotton fabrics we have developed a unique treatment which allows us to avoid a coating. This impregnation helps maintain a comfortable indoor climate while still ensuring water resistance. When wet the cotton fibres simply absorb a part of the water and thereby expand, which assists to seal the fabric against rain.
Polyurethane coating (PU)
Polyurethane coated fabric is coated on one side of the fabric, normally on the ‘inside’. PU coating is not as flexible as SI coating and has a lower tear strength, but with a PU coated tent the seams of the tent can be taped making the tent as close to waterproof as can be.
As the PU coating might stick to itself and eventually break off if you pack it up wet for a very long time, it is important to dry up the tent before packing and storing it.
Nordisk PU coating is applied on all Leisure tents.
Silicone coating (SI)
Where the PU coating is applied to the surface of the fabric, the lighter SI coating penetrates the fabric so it can’t peel off. Therefore the SI coating actually adds strength to the fabric, and compared to PU the much more elastic SI coating actually has a much higher tearing strength.
As SI coating is ‘hydrophobic’ it naturally repells water, so when it rains all the water stays on the surface where a quick shake will get rid of almost all of it – and only a few minutes in the wind or sunshine will dry the tent completely.
Since SI coated fabric can not be taped, the Nordisk SI tents are specially designed with folded seams and expanding threads that expands when wet to avoid water penetrating the seams. However, it is still recommended to add seam sealer on the seams for improved waterproofness. SI coating is very dependent on the coating technique, which differs from brand to brand. Nordisk only use European silicone which is applied in three layers on each side.
Nordisk SI coating is applied on all Performance and Lightweight tents.