Ripstop is a type of nylon blend fabric that is woven using a special technique that makes it extremely durable. It is used to make things that require a strong, wear-resistant fabric, such as hot-air balloons, kites, parachutes and camping equipment. The nylon threads in ripstop fabric are thicker than the other composition threads because it is intended to reinforce the weave. Other fabric combined with nylon to make ripstop may include cotton, silk, polyester and polypropylene.
Ripstop nylon is extremely durable because it is woven using a reinforced and tightly woven crosshatch pattern. This make the fabric resistant to tearing, ripping and fraying. The design of the weave is also meant to prevent a tear or rip from becoming larger.
Ripstop nylon is also light in weight. This makes it ideal for use in applications for which weight is a factor. For instance, camping equipment made from ripstop is not as cumbersome to set up or carry. Similarly, a jacket made of ripstop may not keep you warm, but it will create a barrier between your body and the elements when you are riding a bike or participating in outdoor activities.
Ripstop nylon is non-porous, which means it is weather-resistant. The fabric cannot be penetrated by air or water. This is one of the reasons it is preferred for camping equipment and jackets.
Ripstop nylon comes in a variety of different textures. Some ripstop nylon is smooth and soft in texture like silk, or satin. Other varieties of ripstop nylon have a more crisp, rough texture.