Q: How do I attach the fabric to the wood frame?
A: We recommend using Aleene's Tacky Glue™, which can be found at Wal-Mart™, Michael's Art and Crafts™ and JoAnn Fabrics™. You should run a line of fabric glue down the center line of the leading and trailing wing edge, and then run a line on several of the rib caps. The fabric has been ironed and it is dry. Once dried in place, lightly mist the fabric with water. This will help it tighten even further.
Q: Where can I find the materials to finish the fabric?
A: You can use either SIG Manufacturing™ or Randolph™ dopes. We use Supercoat Clear (Butyrate) dope. SIG Manufacturing's™ butyrate dope is tautening. Randolph™ offers tautening and non-tautening clear dope. Randolph makes a lot of different dopes; make sure you get the one for linen. Both types of dope should be thinned before applying.
Q: Why doesn't the fabric work with a heat gun or iron?
A: Our lozenge fabric is 100% linen, which is not affected by heat.
Q: Who came up with the colors?
A: The polygon colors have all been matched to the original World War I fabric. Fabric historians identified the proper color hues to use.
Q: Do I have to sew the fabric together?
A: The quick answer is no. The original fabric was usually rotated 90 degrees when applied. This means the polygons would be perpendicular to the wing chord. This original application requires sewing. You could elect not to rotate the fabric and have the polygons go from wing tip to root rib. You can overlap the fabric at a particular rib, gluing the fabric on top of each other. The dope will help secure and seal the overlapping fabric.
Q: When do I add the rib tapes?
A: We recommend adding the rib tapes after the fabric is tight, which is usually after the first or second coat of butyrate dope. You can use the fabric glue to help secure the rib tape edges in place.
Q: Where can I find blue or salmon rib tapes?
A: You need to make them. You can use plain white ribbon tape found in fabric stores. For 1/4 scale planes, the ribbon tape should be 1/4 inch or ~6mm wide. For 1/3 scale planes the ribbon tape should be 5/16 inch or 8mm. Then you need to dye the ribbon material. We used Rit Powder Dye™ which can be found at Wal-Mart and fabric stores. Once you dye your ribbon tapes, you apply them when the lozenge fabric has one or two coats of butyrate dope. The dopes do not harm the dyed ribbons.
Q: How do I sew the fabric together?
A: The fabric is sewn with two straight stitches using a khaki or cream colored thread. First, you cut your fabric into the lengths needed to cover the wing. For example, for a 1/3 scale D6 top wing you need six pieces of fabric which will require five sewn stitches. You face the good side of the fabric together; sew one edge about a 1/2 inch or 12mm in from the edge. Use a straight stitch. Then open the fabric folding the 1/2 inch flap of fabric under one side and straight stitch that flap. You should have two parallel stitch lines that are about 1/4 inch apart.