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Old 10-25-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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What is correct name for white screen material?

The white plastic (?) screen material that covers the windows on my boat got soot all over them when the engine overheated, and attempts to clean them seem to be futile. So I want to order some new material and just make new covers for the windows, using the old ones for a pattern.

Unfortunately, I cannot seem to come up with the correct name, so searching for the material at West Marine and Defender has not been successful. Can anyone give me the right name to look for?
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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Try this:

Phifer - SheerWeave

Phifertex Plus Vinyl Mesh White 54" Fabric -- Sold by the Yard
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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Thanks, Rick.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Solar screens?????
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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I think that Rick got it right with the Phifer suggestion. I went to that website and looked at their stuff, and it seems to be what I have now, which is what I was looking for.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Rick is correct. It comes in two different weaves. Coarse and fine.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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Rick is correct. It comes in two different weaves. Coarse and fine.
I know Bess does your canvas work Tom. So from the department of stupid questions I submit the following...

What's the difference between the sewing machines on the Sailrite website Rick posted and the one my wife owns already?

We are considering changing ours and making them ourselves. Will our machine work?
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
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Craig - since we're doing some re-upholstery work and are planning on some canvas work, we've experienced how a "regular" sewing machine just doesn't have the "horsepower" to sew through thicker materials. We're actually using a friend's industrial sewing machine that's about 20 years old, and even it has problems now and then. Other friends who own or have used a Sailrite say they are definitely worth it. Of course, that all depends on just how much you plan on using one...
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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A standard machine will not be able to punch thru multi-layers of thick material like Sunbrella. Think of the difference of a Mazda B1000 pickup and Ford F350. If you open a Sailrite machine, you will instantly see the difference. The gauge of the parts is staggeringly higher. I like to say: You could sew two sheets of plywood together if you needed to. Are there better machines than Sailrite? Yes, but it's a machine made for boaters, by boaters. They have two basic models... one is straight-stitch only and one does zig-zag for sails. We just got the straight-stitch one. I like it and so does Bess. I'm sure she will chime in about this.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, leave it to me to fail to consider the obvious
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:36 PM   #11
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I'm amazed you people actually do your own upholstery and canvas work.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:17 AM   #12
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I searched around and found an old (1987) Pfaff 545 commercial sewing machine. It makes quick work of Pfifertex and Pfifertex Plus, but I know a couple of folks that have been able to sew it with a home machine. If you send me your email I can send ya a couple of swatches of material that you could try on your wife's machine when she's not looking.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
Craig - since we're doing some re-upholstery work and are planning on some canvas work, we've experienced how a "regular" sewing machine just doesn't have the "horsepower" to sew through thicker materials. We're actually using a friend's industrial sewing machine that's about 20 years old, and even it has problems now and then. Other friends who own or have used a Sailrite say they are definitely worth it. Of course, that all depends on just how much you plan on using one...
I bought a Sailrite sewing machine almost 2 years ago when we bought our trawler. I had a regular home sewing machine that I had tried to use on boat projects (that's about all I ever sew). I can tell you the Sailrite has more than paid for itself. I've made sun shades for all the windows and doors (Phifertex is really easy to sew), Sunbrella forward hatch and aft door covers, grill covers, and dinghy outboard motor cover

I made Phifertex sun shades for our boat. It comes in 75% and 90% light reduction. I tried a couple of window made of the 75% Phifertex and in the Florida sun it just didn't keep us cool enough. Now we have 90% on all the windows and it works well for us.

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Old 10-26-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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SomeSailor- an old Pfaff is a true find!! Parts are really hard to come by. My mom had one for years. It will go through Sunbrella as well. But getting service will be a challenge.

The Beauty of the Sailrite machine is it's simplicity. The heavy metal machinery is awesome too. It sews forward and reverse with multiple size stitches. New "home" machines are (A) plastic on the inside where it counts, and (B) would never go through multiple layers of any fabric and (C) have more new fangly programs that you would never use anyway.

I know you think, how many layers are you going through? You have a double hem all the way around anything, and then at the corners you end up with double hem doubled over, twice. So every corner has six to eight layers.

Moonfish and Craig - invest in a good machine. We spent 800 bucks on ours. I did our flybridge surround for about 500.00. I saved 4000.00 in that first job. Everytime I make a shade or a cushion I save money. It's so worth it. And Sailrite as a company is always there to support you, even with dumb questions. I almost bought the wrong zippers once, and they saved me about 50 bucks in zippers by asking me why I wanted those ones. I'm a big big fan. We buy all of our stuff from them.

Oh, and I've broken several machines over the years, so Tom has seen the inside of the good bad and ugly ones.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Some industrial Singers can do the work but you need to know which is which.

My wife sewed our front window cover and side window mesh/screens with our old Singer but it was at it's limit and it is a good machine. She wasn't going through as much as Bess , probably 5 layers max, so the heavier machine will be the way to go.

We owned the Singer, it was my Mothers who did commercial sewing a long time ago.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:12 PM   #16
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When I got divorced, my ex left me some things, among them the Sailrite sewing machine we bought while cruising. She was a whiz on it, and made a lot of stuff when we lived on the sailboat. Unfortunately, I do not know how to use a sewing machine. But from reading this thread it would probably behoove me to learn. (I know why she left it to me -- she cannot pick it up. :-)
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #17
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Thanks gang. Opened our machine an hour ago and saw all the plastic gears and thought "this ain't gonna cut it". There's also enough completely useless stitch settings on it to make HTML code easy to understand comparatively.

Gina or Bess, do you think your Sailrite machines can sew leather? I currently use an awl to make repairs in canvas and leather and wouldn't dream of using one to do an entire project? Well, maybe before my shoulder injuries but definitely not now
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:16 PM   #18
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SomeSailor- an old Pfaff is a true find!! Parts are really hard to come by. My mom had one for years. It will go through Sunbrella as well. But getting service will be a challenge.
The 545 is a much heavier machine than anything I'll ever break (all metal gears and commercial castings). Mine was completely reconditioned and re-timed. It'll effortlessly sew 1/2" thick elk leather. It's fitted with a Consew digital servo motor and a 3:1 reduction drive so it's a breeze through canvas. The guy I got it from was sewing leather gun holsters with it. I can actually sew through 1/8" wood bender board. They do a lot of that with headliners.

It's a fun machine. You don't get your fingers anywhere near it though.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #19
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Thanks gang. Opened our machine an hour ago and saw all the plastic gears and thought "this ain't gonna cut it". There's also enough completely useless stitch settings on it to make HTML code easy to understand comparatively.

Gina or Bess, do you think your Sailrite machines can sew leather? I currently use an awl to make repairs in canvas and leather and wouldn't dream of using one to do an entire project? Well, maybe before my shoulder injuries but definitely not now

Yes, absolutely and multiple layers of leather. No problem. If it will fit under the foot, it will power through it. No problems with the 40 gauge glass and double layers of sunbrella. Another cool thing, is it has a walking foot, so it's pulling the material through as it stitches.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:26 PM   #20
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If you send me your email I can send ya a couple of swatches of material that you could try on your wife's machine when she's not looking.
Missed this earlier and thanks much for the offer but seeing all the plastic in our machine convinced me to pass on the idea until we upgrade to something more durable.
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