Ripstop Fabric: History, Properties, Use, Care, Where to Buy

Introduction to Ripstop Fabric

Ripstop fabric is a popular material in the textile market. It is a woven fabric, typically composed of nylon, that is strengthened through a reinforcing process that makes it more resistant to tears. 

For the benefit of those who may not be aware of the term, “Ripstop” refers to a woven fabric constructed using a specific strengthening process that prevents tears from growing once they have occurred. That’s why it’s called a “Ripstop.”


  • Ripstop fabric is a woven fabric that is reinforced to make it more resistant to tears and rips.
  • The history of ripstop fabric dates back to World War II, when it was developed to strengthen parachutes.
  • Ripstop fabric is commonly used in various applications such as daily wear, camping gear, military and combat suits, and sewing projects.

What is the History of Ripstop Fabric?

The history of the ripstop weave method may be traced back to World War II. There was a lot of worry among the allies about rips destroying parachutes. Therefore, fabric researchers began working on developing a remedy to the problem.

The majority of this research was carried out at facilities either owned by or affiliated with the DuPont chemical business, which also led the charge in developing parachute canopies made of nylon.

After the members of the DuPont team were satisfied with the viability of their ripstop fabric weaving technology, they turned it over to the allies so that harder parachutes could be manufactured using it. It appeared as though Ripstop was off to an auspicious beginning.

However, until the decade of the 1960s, no additional work was done to advance the invention of Ripstop.

 By 1980, the level of development of Ripstop fabric had reached a stage where the strategic sector was employing it in the production of BDUs and a wide variety of other types of gear that needed to withstand unrelenting stress and strain.

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Properties of Ripstop Fabric

  • It is a highly durable fabric.
  • It is fine and smooth in texture 
  • It is a lightweight and strong fabric.
  • It is comfortable to wear.

How is Ripstop Fabric Made?

During the weaving process, reinforcement threads that are more robust (and frequently greater thickness) are interlaced periodically in a crosshatch design. The distances between each one are normally between 5 and 8 millimetres. 

Because the thicker yarns are intertwined in, the thinner material, Ripstop textiles that are more lightweight and slimmer have a composition that is just two-dimensional.

Silk, cotton, polyester, and polypropylene are some of the materials utilised in the production of Ripstop, and the nylon component of Ripstop is often restricted to the crosshatched strands that give it its tear-resistant properties.

Where is Ripstop Fabric Made?

Ripstop fabric is made mostly in the United States and Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and China. Since China is the leader in the textile market. Most of the fabric is produced from where consumers and garment makers can obtain it.

Common uses of Ripstop Fabric

Ripstop fabric is used for various garments along with different products.

Daily wear

Putting on your new skirts and dresses made from this fabric will give you a modern and up-to-date appearance in the fashion world.

Camping and Parachutes

Ripstop fabric is utilised to produce sails for yachts and parachutes, wingsuits, and kites.

Ripstop is typically used in camping gear such as tents, sleeping bags, and camping hammocks to limit the amount of wear and tear on the textiles of these items, which are in direct contact with the natural surroundings.

Military and Combat uses

Ripstop fabric is used for military combat suits, gear for firefighters, sports garments and other outdoor materials due to its durable nature.

Sewing with Ripstop fabric

Ripstop is a lightweight fabric that is difficult to sew. However, Sewing patterns and designs on the fabric can be done without a hindrance if one ensures using the correct sewing essentials and sewing notions and supplies.

It would help if you used a universal sewing needle for your Ripstop textiles. Also, sur to the slippery nature of the fabric, you should use a roller presser foot to prevent your cloth from being entangled within the machine.

The sewing thread should match the material you’re dealing with, making the fabric last longer. It would help if you also used smaller stitches when sewing the fabric.

To obtain a better-sewed fabric, you can use the best sewing machines like the Brother SE600 for better results. Keeping in mind these tips and tricks, you can easily sew the fabric to make clothes and garments of your choice.

Dyeing with Ripstop fabric

Those familiar with the material may be surprised to learn that Ripstop fabric may have different colours dyed onto it. This method is useful for fashion designers and customers who have their personal preferences in terms of design.

Depending on the fibres that make up the fabric, it might be possible to colour it. It is possible to use Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye, the best fabric dye available, on items that have been manufactured using nylon, silk, cotton, polyester and other types of synthetic threads.

How to care for Ripstop Fabric?

Ripstop fabrics aren’t so hard to care for and can easily be washed and ironed.


  • Use water at temperatures below 40 degrees to wash the fabric
  • Handwashing is always the safest and most effective cleaning 
  • You should use a gentle laundry detergent if machine washing the fabric.
  • The machine setting should be set to a normal cycle
  • Hang drying is the best option
  • Alternatively, you can tumble dry the garment on low,


Where to buy Ripstop Fabric?

Fabric stores and garment shops both stock Ripstop, so you should be able to find it there. Clients also can purchase Ripstop fabric from online retailers and websites such as and Amazon, both of which have the best Ripstop fabric currently on the market, such as the durable Nylon Rip-Stop White.

It can be sold in several ways depending on the seller;

  • By yard
  • By Inches
  • Can be cut to order

Ripstop is a woven fabric. This incredible fabric is often made with nylon fibers that are woven with a unique technique that makes them, as their name implies, impervious to rips and tears. Ripstop can also be made using cotton fibers, or other fibers as well. This fabric is most often applied to outdoor items and can be used for anything from sails to sleeping bags and tents. Though the fabric is usually used for utility uses, ripstop can also be used to make apparel items. Ripstop Fabric comes in different weights. The fabric, like other fabrics, can be lightweight, medium-weight, or heavy-weight.

Best Ripstop Fabrics

Here are our ripstop fabric reviews.

1. Organic Cotton Ripstop Army Combat Uniform

This organic cotton ripstop comes in an army uniform print, so it is aptly named. This fabric is medium-weight and extremely versatile. The fabric can be used for apparel items, bags, upholstery, and more. This fabric is made from 100% organic cotton but is not GOTS-certified.

  • Available in 60” widths
  • This fabric is part of a ripstop line that includes ripstop fabrics in over sixty different prints and colors
  • Machine wash on cold, tumble dry on low heat

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2. Nylon Rip Stop White

This fabric features a cross-woven technique which helps ensure that this fabric is extremely strong and very durable. This fabric is actually perfect for many different apparel items. Activewear, jackets, swimwear, shirts, and more can all be made using this fabric. While the fabric is appropriate for apparel, it can also be a great choice for utility items like bags or lining items.

  • This fabric is very lightweight
  • Made from 100% nylon and is available in 62” widths
  • Machine wash with cold water, tumble dry on low heat

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3. Cotton Ripstop Royal Blue

To those that imagined that ripstop comes in only bland or dreary colors, think again! This incredible fabric comes in a whole host of different colors and prints. This fabric can be used for apparel items like shorts, pants, or jackets, and is versatile enough that it can also be used for bags and more.

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4. Ottertex Ripstop

This unique fabric can be used both indoors and outdoors. This synthetic fabric’s special weave ensures that is extremely strong and very durable. The fabric is also waterproof, due to the DWR coating. The fabric is also adaptable, dries quite quickly, and is medium to heavyweight. This line comes in over thirty different colors.

  • This fabric is made from 100% polyurethane-coated polyester
  • Available in 60” widths
  • Fabric can be cleaned by wiping it with a damp cloth

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5. Fabri-Quilt Nylon Rip Stop

This nylon rip-stop fabric is exceptionally durable due to the fabric’s unique cross-hatch weave pattern. This fabric would be ideal for making outdoor clothing like jackets and activewear, but can also be used for making things like bags and utility items. This line of nylon ripstop comes in almost ten different colors and prints

  • Machine wash cold, tumble dry on low heat
  • Fabric is made from 100% nylon
  • Very lightweight

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Ripstop Fabric Buying Guide

Ripstop is often a great choice of fabric, especially for the outdoors, because it has many amazing properties. The fabric can be treated to be waterproof,  and can sometimes also be fireproof. Untreated ripstop is often quite breathable. Ripstop is very strong and durable and is also extremely versatile. Ripstop also holds up very well for cleaning and laundering.

Food Safe

Surprisingly, ripstop is also food safe. If you’ve been looking for that perfect lining fabric to make a reusable sandwich or snack bag, to make a sandwich wrap, or to line a lunch bag, ripstop can be your go-to. Ripstop is easy to wash and care for, which is a huge bonus for making items that are going to see a ton of laundering.

Cost of Ripstop

Ripstop is an extremely durable fabric that comes in many different weights and can be made with different fibers. This fabric, despite its unique form, versatility, and ability to hold up, is actually quite inexpensive to purchase. Some lines of ripstop fabric can be purchased for under five dollars per yard and many others can be purchased for under ten dollars. This fabric is great for tons of different projects, so you can get sewing and save money.

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Ripstop is a highly durable and lightweight fabric with multitudes of uses and sewing applications for designers and customers alike.


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