With so many options of fabric out there (no stretch, low stretch, medium, high, super high!), it’s a good idea to research your options and find what you prefer. Absolutely everyone has their own preference. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Denier: Refers to the density and weight of the strands of the fabric. For example, 40denier is lighter than 80 denier. This doesn’t necessarily relate to the load rating of fabric, just weight and thickness.
Stretch: Refers to the stretch with weight bearing at the base of the silks. The higher you are, the less you will stretch there. However the higher the silks, the more you will stretch when at the base.
No Stretch Fabric is not necessarily ‘no’ stretch – all fabric will have a slight give. No Stretch will only minorly stretch bearing weight. This type of fabric is great for absolute beginners (introductory), however as soon as you can climb, it is harsher wrapped around the body. However, some people prefer the security of minimal stretch.
Low – Medium Stretch is a perfect middle ground. Although it may be harder for introductory aerialists to use for the first few weeks, as stretch makes it a little harder to climb consistently before an aerialist has enough strength. However, it is quickly adaptable and we would recommend this to all aerialists. Low-medium has enough give to feel comfortable in drops with a little bounce, lessening the harshness of a drop. It allows a little give to wrap and do tricks comfortably. Low-medium stretch allows around 8-10cm of stretch per metre. Therefore, if you are using 1m silks, you would stretch down 8-10cm at the base bearing your weight. If your silks are 6m high, you will stretch approximately 60cm with your weight at the base. This is the fabric we use at Aerials Australia and is by far the most sourced and sought after, and sold for both beginners and professionals.
High and Super High Stretch is, as is obvious, very stretchy. This is a fabric that is very dependable on the person selling, so it’s always good to find a max stretch. This is very bouncy and stretchy! You will need to pull down multiple times to find your place on it, but it can be plenty of fun and feels completely different. Not recommended for beginners.
Aerials Australia fabric is a low- medium 40 Denier Tricot, rated at 900kgs load. 40 Denier is a light, airy, yet super strong fabric and is a perfect middle ground for all aerial arts. It has a perfect hand hold, and has enough length stretch to be comfortable, but not so much that it is difficult. Width only comes into play in hammock, when you’re cocooned and the width is spread out.
As always, please give us a call or email if there’s anything we can help with, we’d love to help you get up on your silks right away!
Here is a great video from Aerial Dancing on stretch: