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Making Fabric and Leather Tougher


chrisski

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Wondering if anyone has found anything to paint or spray on fabric or leather to make it tougher? 

For fabric it would be something like whatever is painted on cordura fabric. 

For leather, it would be something to make a set of leather boots and gloves tougher to stop the thorns from going through.

Can't find anything on google.  I'm looking for more than the 3m Fabric protectant.  Really trying to extend the life on some of the outdoor clothes and keep the scratched from my arms the thorns that puncture my boots when walking.  I've thought of spraying on acrylic, but don't know how that would work.

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 The only thing, imo, that will make leather/fabric  tougher is more leather/thicker fabric.

 Get better leather boots( injection molded  soles around a flimsy upper need not apply)   with  goodyear welt ,steel shank and thicker midsole, or find a good cobbler to modify existing boots.  

     A one-piece leather upper will cost more than  one pieced together, but with fewer seams , it will allow less dirt/water into the boot( got SNOWSEAL?) and have less potential for failure.

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I agree with the hillbille, or better put I would have up until a few years ago most likely..

The key here as far as a protective coating goes is flexability along with the durability, and added weight can be a factor as well..

We know they now mfg bulletproof weaves, but those aren't exactly cost effective for mining usage.. Frank C is probably the closest, but I'd imagine a rhino liner type substance is far too stiff.. Still, that to me seems like the right track..

I'd like to believe there's something like what Chris is after now available in today's marketplace.. I've not Googled it though.. So off the top of my head I can't say I actually know of anything but also can't help but believe someone has already come up with something that's workable and available..

Swamp
 

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18 minutes ago, Swampstomper Al said:

I agree with the hillbille, or better put I would have up until a few years ago most likely..

The key here as far as a protective coating goes is flexability along with the durability, and added weight can be a factor as well..

We know they now mfg bulletproof weaves, but those aren't exactly cost effective for mining usage.. Frank C is probably the closest, but I'd imagine a rhino liner type substance is far too stiff.. Still, that to me seems like the right track..

I'd like to believe there's something like what Chris is after now available in today's marketplace.. I've not Googled it though.. So off the top of my head I can't say I actually know of anything but also can't help but believe someone has already come up with something that's workable and available..

Swamp
 

For the boots there's is something out there, they're called snake gaiters/leggings!!

Which is probably cheaper than new boots and or modifying the existing ones

 

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8 minutes ago, Au Seeker said:

For the boot there's is something out there, they're called snake gaiters/leggings!!

I was actually going to mention those, Skip -- but they don't meet the flexability requirement..
Besides which, they are a separate piece of equipment, not a protective coating..
So it is both a yes and no, make that true and false..

Swamp

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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I may actually try rhino liner on the boots.  There's something called grizzly grip truck bed liner that comes in a tan color for $15 per pint.  The boots are on their last leg anyway.  The other thing I was thinking for the boots was a 3M adhesive spray and let it dry until it's hard.  You're right about the flexibility though.  The rhino liner may work on the part of the boots that don't move, but not the parts that flex.The Cholla needles are puncturing my boots when I step on them.  The pieces that break off are all over the ground.  If I find an old digging like an old coyote hole, they often have the cholla needles blown in then inches thick, and it's hard to get a detector in.

I wear snake gaiters and they're awesome and exactly the type of Fabric I'm looking for to keep the thorns off which I think is 1000 weave Courdora.  My gaiters just cover the legs and not the boots.  I bought my set at Cabelas, and the next step up from those all had a metal cable that went under the boots to keep from sliding. That metal cable on the boots won't be good for a metal detector.

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17 hours ago, chrisski said:

I may actually try rhino liner on the boots... [ snip ]

If you do give one or more a try Chris, let us know how things work out, 'k..? Positives & negatives, what works and what doesn't etc.. Tnx..

Swamp

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I'm also kicking around putting a light coating of fiberglass on the boots.  The other thing I found was a clear coat spray on bed liner for $13 available at autozone.  I have part of the fiberglass mixture.  I may give that a try, but both those are not flexible and the part that has thorns poking through is flexible on the outside of the boots just behind my toes.

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A few weeks ago I was playing around with plastic and fiberglass....coating 1/8" plywood paneling....if I was gonna use fiberglass, I'd use the marine grade "slow cure" resin and hardener from Tap Plastics along with "deck cloth",,,,something that might work better is to melt some plastic milk jugs and "Paint" whatever it is you want to coat...

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1 hour ago, chrisski said:

I'm also kicking around putting a light coating of fiberglass on the boots.  The other thing I found was a clear coat spray on bed liner for $13 available at autozone.  I have part of the fiberglass mixture.  I may give that a try, but both those are not flexible and the part that has thorns poking through is flexible on the outside of the boots just behind my toes.

We may be approaching a sole / heel fix from the wrong side..

Rather than trying to toughen that area from the outside, what do you think about cutting a fairly flexable piece of metal ( let's just say tin for an example ) to the same size as a Dr. Scholl's insert, then placing that cut-to-size metal between the mfg'd inside bottom and the inserts..?

Just a thought.. I dunno.. That should work, and it would be comfortable thanks to the inserts..  Question still is would it be flexable enough though..? And it does kinda fall into the same category as snake gaiters too.. But if it works and is the best solution to date, would that really matter..?

Swamp

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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4 minutes ago, Swampstomper Al said:

then placing that cut-to-size metal between the mfg'd inside bottom and the inserts..?

 

 It would be flexible if the galvanized sheet were cut into strips( across the width). Said strips could then B duct taped together along the length and/or siliconed/urethaned to the bottom of the insoles..

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7 minutes ago, weaver hillbille said:

 It would be flexible if the galvanized sheet were cut into strips( across the width). Said strips could then B duct taped together along the length and/or siliconed/urethaned to the bottom of the insoles..

True dat.. And even tho cut if placed and adhered properly still leaves next-to-no thorn-poking space..

Swamp

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3 hours ago, Swampstomper Al said:

Oops..! What was I thinking..?...Or a flex plastic..

That's what I should have said:tisk-tisk:.

What about 1/16" thick  aluminum? Same  build technique...... or,

 COstco just  sold rolls of recycled rubber( it smells like tires) 39" x6' longish@1/4" thick for $20.  Marketed as exercise mat...

:idunno:You could probably do 20 pairs of boots using Plumbers Goop to adhere  outlines of it to the soles.

 Or try   Swamp's idea of using flexible cutting  mat from  the kitchen. I think it's HDPE.

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For the soles, cut to shape pieces of an old tire tread and adhere them to the bottom of your boots, I remember having flipflops back in the 60s that had recycled tire tread soles on them and I stepped on many a board with lots of nail in them to test them out, gingerly a first and than with full body weight and the nails wouldn't penetrate the tire tread soles, tire rubber is pretty tough when only human body weight is being applied, that being dais I'm sure if you jumped up and down on a board with nails they would penetrate. 

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23 minutes ago, Au Seeker said:

For the soles, cut to shape pieces of an old tire tread 

 Poly/Nylon belted carcass only

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Well. I sprayed the back half of both boots with clear truck bed liner $20 from NAPA and I'll see what comes of it.  I'll try to post a pic of it tomorrow.  This paint is supposed to be like a paint on rhinoliner, only clear without the grit for traction added.  If there's any flexibility in the stuff, then I will spray the front.  If there's no flexibility, then I probably will spray the front with a light coat anyway to see what happens.  I bought these boots for around $40 four years ago as a closeout sale from LA Gear, but there's nothing available for that price now.

What my neighbors thought of me taping my boots with masking tape........

These are my metal detecting shoes, so there can't be any metal in these.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used the boots with the clear coat sprayed in the fabric.  out detecting today and they were fine.  The coating kept the needles out that had been making it through my boots.  What's not clear coated is covered by my snake gaiters.

The coating hardened and they were a little stiff, but lucky my feet never get blisters. It's fine to walk in, but I won't spray my gloves; too stiff. The ACE Hardware leather gloves are OK for digging and usually keeps cactus needles out, but wearing the gloves out and digging, they wear out quick.  I think it's something about the sand getting in the glove leather.

I sprayed the front and back of the boot.  The darker leather on the bottom has the clear coat on it; the lighter leather is the original tan color.  I did not clear coat the fabric.

I won't be wearing these to church, but it met the goal of keeping the cactus needles out.  It will also extend the life of the boots, they were worn out, so they will last a little longer.

CAM00361.jpg

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I hunt in the hot az desert.  I once got a pair of waterproof composite shoes off the shoe truck at work thinking they would work great for detecting.  I soon found that waterproof also means they don't breath much and man were they uncomfortably hot.  When I think of rhino liner or some other coating on boots I just think of the feeling of hot sweaty feet baking in those boots and really appreciate something with air flow.   I also have never had a thorn get through my current converse metal free boots.

Edited by Ahorton10
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These boots are old and I want to get a little more life out of them.  Five years, not daily, but any time I had rough work or prospecting.  I never had thorns go through them until this year, so I think the leather is getting old and worn.  I figure this will get me at least another year use out of them, hopefully more.  For circulation, the fabric part is not sprayed.  It's 80 not so it'll get 30 degrees hotter when I'll be out there.

Really just trying to get more use out of the boots without spending between $75 and $125 on an new set.

Still want to find something to keep the thorns out of my gloves.  I started wearing my ACE hardware gloves when I took a Cholla Cactus section off my hand with the needles stuck in.  The ACE gloves do work good, but needles still get through those.

For dry washing I got turned onto the rubber coated work gloves, and those work great for digging, last much longer than metal gloves, and are really cheap to replace.  Unfortunately, no thorn resistance.

Those thorns come out of nowhere and those chollas seem to jump at you.  The cholla I mentioned earlier, I remember looking at it, and it hurt, and I was thinking, I don't have to have these things stick in me every time I go out.

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