Bright Silver Stretch Knit Fabric with Tiny Sparkly Sequins - 5 Yard
Why we love it?
Some comments about this we saw on the web:* /u/happycj on /r/BurningMan So I have been burning for a really really really long time, and I also have done extensive materials research as a part of my Fashion Design degree.
Safety. Attaching your cover to your dome is the least-safe way to do it. It can be made to be safe, of course, but a cover that is NOT attached to the dome can blow away harmlessly in a big wind. A cover attached to a dome always has the possibility of demolishing your dome and injuring someone.
Intent If you want a convertible space, a cover with a couple of ropes is easier to reconfigure according to your needs. Pull back the edge during the evening to open up the dome to the night. Pull the cover down again to protect from morning/afternoon sun.
Materials While parachutes are common, they don’t provide UV protection (you still get sunburned under them!), and don’t provide a lot of protection from the elements. If you go with a parachute, embrace the dust. (My camp did that for 5 years, and it worked great for us.)
Billboard Vinyl. Billboards are actually printed on huge sheets of vinyl, and you can get them for free. This can be a LOT of fun! (Tip: Face the advertising INSIDE, so the white side is to the sun.) It also is the only way to TOTALLY SEAL your dome from the elements. In addition, there are already grommets and ropes around the edges, so it can be the easiest thing in the world to use. The big problem is that they are fucking HEAVY.
Fabric Panels The grooviest looking domes use individual pieces of fabric between the spars. While this provides effectively zero protection from the elements of sun, dust, and wind, it can create a stunning space. (The gaps between the fabric and the pipes will ALWAYS be there, letting in sun, dust, etc.)
The best fabric to use is some sort of stretch fabric like Spandex. There are a lot of different brand names to choose from, but these fabrics all share the same few features: A jillion colors to choose from, stretchy, easy to sew (with a serger sewing machine NOT a traditional straight-stitch machine), machine washable, and cheap. And entire bolt of fabric can cost as little as $100. (Heck, cover your dome in this for about $5k, and have the best dome on the playa!)
Fabric panels are - by far - the most fun BEFORE the event. Having build parties where your camp gets together, orders pizza and beer, and makes a shitload of panels… well, it is a hell of a lot of fun, and a great way to get everyone involved in the dome build.
From a materials perspective, spandex panels also let so much air through that the dome is never going to become a sail and fly away. Yeah, you still need to tie it down, but the spandex breathes so well that it makes a terrible sail.
Anything heavier (canvas, woven cotton, etc) is going to start generating more resistance to wind, and therefore could be more dangerous. (There’s a reason sailboats have sails made from canvas.)
Anyway. I’m tired of typing, and gotta check in on the World Cup. Lemme know if you have any specific questions about anything I wrote here.
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