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Tape Yarn vs. Monofilament Yarn Description

Many of Acadian’s fabrics are made from polypropylene or polyethylene threads in different sizes, looks, and feels. Each thread type is designed for the fabric and application. Think about sewing threads, you wouldn’t use a thin clothing thread on a couch and expect it to last. Or a fishing line, you pick a line based on the heaviest/fastest fish you want to catch. If you don't, the line may break before you get the fish in the boat!


To make the right thread, raw polypropylene or polyethylene are heated to their melting point and then pushed through an extrusion machine. This machine shapes the melted resin into monofilament or tape thread that forms the thread. The thread is pulled, heated and cooled to achieve its target denier and strength. Once the thread is made, it is moved to the looms for weaving.


Some of the most common thread types used in our industry (horticulture. trucking, construction, etc) are tape yarn or monofilament yarn, each in various sizes and weights. They can usually be easily identified by looking at a piece of fabric.





Does yarn type matter?


Fabric Density: Tape yarns are flat and wide, making it easier to produce a denser fabric that will provide a higher shade factor. The round monofilament threads require a higher number of yarns per square inch to achieve a similar shade factor. Depending on the construction of the fabric, it can be hard to achieve a shade factor higher than 70% using only monofilament yarns.


UV Effect on Fabric: The round monofilament yarn is thicker and has less surface area than a tape yarn, taking UV rays longer to cause damage to the thread. The thin nature of tape yarns means there is less raw material for the UV to penetrate, which can cause the polypropylene or polyethylene to lose strength in a shorter period. Both monofilament and tape yarns fabrics require some UV additives. Additional amounts of UV additive can be added to tape yarn so that they are equally protected.


Fabric Strength: The thin nature of tape yarns means less material to break through, compared to the thicker monofilament yarn. A fabric made of only tape yarn is not expected to be as strong as a fabric made of only monofilament yarns. By increasing the density of the fabric, or changing the heating, cooling cycles when the yarn is made, a stronger fabric can be produced. Sometimes customers may like a fabric composed of both tape yarns and monofilament yarns to achieve a more closed fabric with a mid-line strength specification.


Yarn type may matter, and sometimes price matters more. Tape yarn fabrics can be half the price of monofilament of the same shade By knowing how a fabric will be used and for how many years, the right product can be bought at the best price.







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