A customer wanted a strap that used a buckle that I don’t carry, nor do any of my domestic suppliers. The customer sent me a link so I could buy them online. The problem was the supplier was located in China.
I had to turn this project down. Why?
When we source a product from a domestic supplier, either manufacturer or importer, they provide us with product liability coverage for their products. Importers located in the United States will either carry their own insurance or work with the overseas manufacturer so they carry insurance that covers sales in the United States.
If we were to order product directly from China through an online e-commerce site there isn’t any insurance coverage. Any liability falls directly on the importer, most of whom do not realize the risk they are assuming.
Don’t Amazon, ebay or other e-commerce sites protect their customers based in the United States?
Not if you are buying from a “Third Party Seller” which is what any company shipping from overseas would be. Forget any help, you are on your own.
What is the solution?
Simple, buy from a company based in the United States!
OK, what if you are living outside the United States?
If something were to go wrong, really wrong you are still protected by our insurance. It might be a mess but at least you have options.
Just trying to return a product will still be difficult just due to the cost of transport and that is not what I am discussing.
Westpac Marine, the parent company of Straps to Go has been in business since February 14, 1984. We used to service marine lifesaving equipment and understand the product liability implications from that high risk business. We have been sued for problems with imported products and through this process learned what needed to be done to protect both ourselves and our customers.
This is a crazy world we live in and it seems not a week goes by when you don’t read about a problem with a product that just shouldn’t have any issues. Dog leashes were in the news not too long ago, breaking and injuring the user (human not canine).
We don’t sell products that fail to carry product liability insurance. We don’t make straps that are destined to fail. We care about our customers and their safety.
You want a logo on your webbing and would like it to be in color. Quickly you will enter the world of dye sublimation “printing”, often called dye-sub “printing”. This is a process that turns ink into a gas that will bond with polyester. The end result is something that has amazing vibrancy and longevity.
If you ride bicycles, jerseys are “printed” that way and will last longer than most of us care to wear them. Spandex exercise wear is dye-sub “printed”. Now the industry even coats metal and coffee cups with polyester so they can be “printed”. It is an amazing technology.
Dye-sub “printing” does have its downsides when it comes to webbing. It only works on polyester, not nylon or polypropylene. Webbing is thicker than clothing and dye-sub “printing” only will dye the surface.
Above is white polyester webbing that has been “printed” black. From this view it looks great but-
here is the end of the roll. You can see that the center of the webbing is white and should your strap experiance abrasion, you will soon see that white.
This is the side of the same roll of webbing. Once again the white is showing through.
We are dealing with a dyeing process that requires that the ink be darker than the material being dyed. With webbing one starts with white and then you dye the darker colors. If there is white in the image, you just don’t dye in that area. To get a black strap with white lettering you start with white webbing and dye everything other than the lettering.
Advantages of dye sublimation:
Short production runs are possible
True 4 color process
Fast turn around (compared to production runs of webbing with a logo)
You can have different images/colors on each side of the webbing
Disadvantages of dye sublimation:
Not abrasion resistant
Cut ends and the sides of webbing will be white
Is this the right technology for your application? Give us a call and we will help you figure it out. (253) 627-6000
Webbing and grommets go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you need a hole through a piece of webbing a grommet will prevent it from chafing. They come in all sorts of sizes and while brass is the most common metal used to make grommets, stainless steel is also an option.
Trying to be efficient we use self piercing grommets whenever possible. This eliminates the need to pre-punch a hole through the webbing making the assembly more cost effective. Our semi-automatic setting machine can handle the following sizes-
If you need something larger we have to install them manually. Here you can get up to a 13/16″ inside diameter and there are also more material options.
When specifying a grommet you need to be specific. Are you providing us with the grommet size, inside diameter or outside diameter? Recently we had an inquiry where the outside diameter of the grommet was larger than the width of the webbing, that doesn’t work. We also need to know your material preference. Plain brass, stainless steel, brass with a nickel plating and brass with a black oxide plating are the most common. Not all sizes and types are available in every finish.
Grommets can also be installed without the washer as seen in the image above. This is a polypropylene strap that has the loop side of hook & loop sewn to it. We have then placed a grommet without washer into one end of the strap. Why, I am not sure but it does show another option.
If a grommet is overkill we can melt small holes in to polypropylene, nylon and polyester webbing. This technique does not provide any protection to the webbing but there are applications where that is not necessary.
Give us a call at (253) 627-6000 if you have questions, we are always happy to talk about grommets.
Looking for belt extenders that fit Block & Company tip bags? We can make them.
A customer called looking for these. They had tried ordering some elsewhere only to find that the buckles weren’t the same so they wouldn’t work. The buckle on the tip bag was an ACW CSR 1″ which is something we have in stock. For under $3.00 each our customer now has belt extenders.
Not having been to more than 2 or 3 casino’s in my life, I don’t have a clue how a tip bag is used but I hope the employees need them because they are getting massive tips and need a secure way to transfer them to their bank accounts.
Here are examples of a 12″ and 24″ strap extenders made from #630 black 1″ nylon webbing and ACW’s 1″ CSR buckle. We can make these any length and this webbing comes in many colors.
We were asked to make a knife sheath and adjustable belt for workers in fish canneries. They needed to be rugged, inexpensive and easy to use.
The sheath is made from our 2″ #673 webbing which is extremely stiff and in commonly used for scuba divers weight belts. A pair of rivets and a bit of sewing and you have a functional sheath.
Every sheath needs a belt and this one needed to be adjustable and easily worn over cannery aprons or waterproof rain gear.
Here we used heavyweight #560 polypropylene webbing in an 1½” width. There are a few inches of elastic webbing to keep it taught without being uncomfortable and a side release buckle to make it easy to put on and take off. Finally a slide keeps the tail end of the belt secure and makes sure it doesn’t decide to loosen on its own accord.
Like the sheath there is minimal labor in producing the belt, helping keep the cost down. Is this something to wear around town? No, but it does fulfill the need if you are working in a cannery.
A strap was needed with 1000 pound breaking strength using 1″ polyester webbing that has a minimum breaking strength of 1000 pounds. We needed to test stitching patterns to come up with one that would provide the breaking strength needed and still be economical to sew.
Here is a test of a Double-W stitching pattern using Tex 90 polyester thread. As you can see we have exceeded the 1000 pound requirement and when the load was relaxed both the webbing and stitching looked great.
We also tried a few other stitching patterns but this one performed the best. The others would hold the load but afterwards it was obvious that they had been strained.
If your project requires something a bit out of the ordinary give us a call and let us offer some suggestions. (253) 883-5800
How does nylon webbing get its color? There are a number of ways, each with its own good and bad points.
One can dye the yarn as it is manufactured. This is called solution dyeing and the yarn ends up looking like this:
The color goes all the way through the yarn and you end up with the most colorfast product. Some strength is lost and solution dyeing requires large production runs.
Another way is to dye the yarn after it has been drawn. This is called package dyeing and the finished yarn would look like:
The color is just on the outside and the strength of the yarn is not affected which is important in load bearing applications like safety harnesses. However if the yarn is used in a high abrasion application like a carpet having the color go all the way through is a plus.
Both of the methods discussed above require dyeing the yarn prior to manufacturing the webbing. If you have red yarn, you are going to get red webbing but what if you need purple (for all those Husky and Tiger fans)? Back to the vat to dye some purple yarn and then manufacture purple webbing. The minimum quantity you want to make is quite large for either of these processes. As with most items there are popular colors and those you just have to have but don’t sell in huge quantities. So how do you get all the colors offered without having to produce a lifetime supply of a marginal selling color?
The answer is to manufacture nylon webbing with un-dyed yarn (often called greige goods). Then when the order comes in for purple nylon webbing you piece dye your webbing. The end result will be webbing with good colorfastness without loss of strength. Like with package dyeing the color will just be on the outside, like staining wood. Minimum orders are low enough to allow for a wide variety of colors to meet all your needs.
Can you specify what process is used for your webbing? Not easily. If your needs are large enough to purchase a whole production run and you are willing to wait I am sure the mill will be willing to take your money. We deal with manufacturers we trust and the materials they provide meet our (and your) needs.
Looking for something a bit lighter than a strap, check out our Gear Wranglers. They are perfect for securing your light gear, attaching a plant to a stake or even keeping the bag of potato chips closed.
Gear Wranglers are made using 1/8″ elastic cord and a cord lock to adjust their length. The come in 12″, 24″ and 36″ lengths and are packaged 6 to a bag. Like our Rod Wranglers the elastic cord ends are secured using a zipper pull.
Order your Gear Wranglers now, if you order 3 packs (you choose the size) and put the code ROLLIE-PAYS in the comment section of our check out, Rollie will pay the shipping by US Mail. This offer ends November 30, 2016. Our shopping cart is not smart enough to pick up on this offer but be assured we will take care of it prior to your credit card being charged.
If you don’t need that many Gear Wranglers, but want a great way to keep your fishing rods corralled, check out our Rod Wranglers, you can even use them to make up the 3 packs for free shipping.
We now carry 1″ black polyester webbing with a 9/16″ reflective strip down the center. This material is thinner than the standard webbing we sell which makes it easy to sew on to bags, packs or even a coat. It is still sturdy enough to use for the adjustment straps on a backpack or with a buckle to fasten something to your bike rack.
Polyester webbing is great for many uses since it has minimal stretch and doesn’t want to adsorb water. It is also quite abrasion resistant although the reflective strip will get worn off due to abrasion. We sell this material by the foot and you can order it online or come by our shop to check it out.
The trend seems to be that all of our outerwear is getting darker and darker making it difficult for drivers to see us when we are walking or biking. Carrying a bag or pack with plenty of reflective surfaces will help you or your children stand out as our days become shorter and weather gets worse. This material is easy to sew so adding it to existing gear should not be a major issue for anyone with a sewing machine.
Here is a picture of our reflective webbing taken in a rather dark room without flash (there was a dim night-light to the left of the webbing)-
And here is a picture of the same piece of webbing taken with the flash turned on-
The webbing in these pictures was about 12″ long and the picture was taken using an iPhone from 15 feet away. It is pretty amazing stuff!