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Sig Koverall

Old 03-06-2007, 05:51 PM
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fly4food18
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Default Sig Koverall

I am looking to recover an Aronca Champ looking kit I have purchased from a friend. It is a 50-60 size plane I am going to put a 52 four stroke on it. I have done a lot of work with monokote but I would like to give this plane a different look.

Has any one used Koverall and Stix-It?

What do you think of it?

How easy was it to mask and paint?

Does it give the fabric finish to it?

Is there some thing better?

Thanks
Brian
Old 03-06-2007, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

I have been using Koverall for about 20 years now, and there is nothing better for a scale finish. For a look, go to the Vintage and Antique forum, and open the WACO YMF thread. Lots of information and pictures. It finishes extremely well, but there is some work involved. It ain't an iron it on and hope for the best option like the plastic film.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:53 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Listen to the Master Chief. Once you've used Koverall, and done the extra work to finish it, you'll want to use it on everything. It ain't a cut-it-out-and-iron-it-on covering, there's definitely work involved; but it is strong, shrinks up tight, and will never sag or wrinkle in the sun. Too many ways to seal it and paint it to mention here, but I think the traditional nitrate and butyrate dope method is still the best. Here's two done in Koverall. Both are doped; the L-4 is painted with Rustoleum and polyurethane, the Bristol is painted with LustreKote
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:07 PM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Here are a few examples dpme in Koverall. The WACO Biplane is new, the Corben Super Ace and the Cub are over 10 years old. The PT-19 is done in dress liner (unshrunk) and is 25 years old. This stuff lasts forever (I think) The WACO is finished in Automotive paint. The rest are done with Butyrate dope over Nitrate dope.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:24 PM
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ag4ever
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Bill,

I am very impressed with your finishes, and you have inspired me to try the coverall. I have only covered my trainer with monocoat, and I have never been happy with the finish. It just looks like plastic, and planes are not plastic!

Is there a good resource for me, where I can learn about how to apply the coverall to the air frame (dope, hairspray, bubble gum, waddle and daub?) to filling the weave to types of paints or other finishes for it?

I browsed thru your WACO thread, and it is just overwhelming. I guess that is another one on my list that must be built. I just love the classic planes from WWI to WWII and all in between.
Old 03-07-2007, 12:31 AM
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sscherin
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

I'd posted a question over in QA about koverall and other painted options but it's not getting much action..

what are the options other than dope for attaching and sealing? I know nitrate dope is king but I was hoping for low odor options.

I was going to practice using koverall on my Midwest Sweet Stik that used to be done in Coverrite..

After I get some practice I'll do my Nosen 40 Citabria then re-cover my Aristo-Craft PT-17 thats currently covered with film.
Old 03-07-2007, 12:45 AM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Search this forum for "koverall" and you should find quite a number of threads regarding the use of Koverall and fiberglass cloth with Minnwax PolyCryllic. It is a water based acryllic that works very well for attaching and filling the cloth. Being water based, clean up is a snap and it doesn't fume you out of the house. You can paint over it with latex paints (basically house paints...) for almost unlimited color options and choices. For gas engines, the latex is fuel proof as is, for glow a clear coat of laquer or other fuel proof paint is required to protect the latex paint.


Mark
Old 03-07-2007, 05:42 AM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

The only problem with using the Minnwax, or other poly-based acrylics is that the Nitrate dope does continue to shrink the covering, while the acrylics do not. I use the spray booth at the dealership so that I don't fume the house out, or do it outside. These may not be an option for you though. You can also adhere the cloth to the framework using SIG Stix-it. This is a thermal activated product. Best of luck.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall


ORIGINAL: Stickbuilder

The only problem with using the Minnwax, or other poly-based acrylics is that the Nitrate dope does continue to shrink the covering, while the acrylics do not. I use the spray booth at the dealership so that I don't fume the house out, or do it outside. These may not be an option for you though. You can also adhere the cloth to the framework using SIG Stix-it. This is a thermal activated product. Best of luck.

Bill, AMA 4720
WACO Brotherhood #1
Bill, that is a valid point. I have not used the PolyC yet, but I do have a Kadet Sr. wing I covered with Koverall and dope close to 15 years ago and it is still as tight as a drum today. My problem with the dope is that I must do it in the garage and it is too cold through the winter to do much out there, especially not painting.... The PolyC will allow me to finish an airframe right up to the clearcoat inside the basement, then simply add the clear in the garage when spring comes. Much better for production that way.


Mark
Old 03-07-2007, 10:38 AM
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ginsco75
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

I too have been wanting to try using Koverall and have done alot of searches on it. The one question that I cant find the answer to is how to apply it to the cut outs for the ailerons. Do you do it the same as if you were using monokote by cutting strips and applying those first or do you just go to the edges of the openings and then use the dope to seal the wood where the hinges are mounted.
About the strong odor of doping in the house, during my searches a fellow suggested using the sented oils that you can by in drug stores and add a few drops in it and it will cover the smell. I believe he was referring to those little glass bottles that women use when they make hard tack candy.
Thanks
Old 03-07-2007, 10:50 AM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall


ORIGINAL: ginsco75

I too have been wanting to try using Koverall and have done alot of searches on it. The one question that I cant find the answer to is how to apply it to the cut outs for the ailerons. Do you do it the same as if you were using monokote by cutting strips and applying those first or do you just go to the edges of the openings and then use the dope to seal the wood where the hinges are mounted.
About the strong odor of doping in the house, during my searches a fellow suggested using the sented oils that you can by in drug stores and add a few drops in it and it will cover the smell. I believe he was referring to those little glass bottles that women use when they make hard tack candy.
Thanks
You can do either for the cutouts. I have done it by folding the edges over and by adding pieces separately, but because you are painting it you can really just let the dope seal it and the paint cover it. Unlike films, where you have an open edge seam if you cover them with a separate piece, the painting will seal that edge nicely.

It's not just the odor, there are lots of volatile organics in dope and I am not really interested in subjecting my family to that particular health risk. Interesting idea for small doping jobs, though.


Mark
Old 03-07-2007, 12:20 PM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

fly4,

Something better? In a word, Solartex. If you can use Monokote, you'll love this stuff. Goes on with less heat, covers curves better, shrinks tighter. Best of all, it IS A FABRIC, and can take any dope, paint or varnish finish you like. I've done Koverall and stixit, and it works very well, but this stuff is the absolute best in my book. A really neat job with a lot less work and stink.

papermache
Old 03-07-2007, 02:14 PM
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ginsco75
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Thanks for the reply. Thats what I was kinda thinking about the paint and the dope sealing the edges and the wood but wasnt sure.
Thanks for clearing that up.
Scott
Old 03-07-2007, 04:39 PM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Actually, you can run the Koverall full Chord, and then cut from the corner of the aileron pocket at a 45 degree angle, and wrap the opening as you would do a box. Seal the material down with the dope, and you wind up with a nice finish.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:25 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Guys, I'm getting ready to cover my Cox WACO in the next week or so, and will be using Koverall. I have been posting my mods to this ARF over on Stickbuilder's thread in the Antiques forum, and will be more than happy to post the covering and give commentary as I go. Would you prefer it to remain on his thread, or would you like it here, as a separate thread on using Koverall? I use the Stix-It and dope method. I can cover the rudder and elevators first to show the basics, or whatever you'd like to see first. If you'd like, I can try to put the audio on, so you can hear my wife complain about the stink
Old 03-08-2007, 12:01 AM
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ag4ever
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

I would love that!

I just picked up my Koverall, but I mistakenly got the bueytyl (or however it is spelled) dope instead of the nitrate dope. Unfortunatly since I work in a small town 1 1/2 hours west of Houston and my LHS closes at 6:00 PM, I won't be able to swing by and get the correct dope. So I will be sending my wife by the excange it for the correct stuff.

I was reading the directions for the coverall, and correct me if I am worng, but the first step is to apply two coats of dope to the airplane and sand it smooth before even thinking about applying the koverall. Then after it is doped and sanded you attach the koverall by means of more dope or the stick-it.

So first step is more sanding, oh joy. I don't have enough balsa dust in the house anyways.

Bill, do you apply the spackle after your first coat of dope on the airframe, then sand it smooth, then add the second coat of dope, then cover with Koverall? Or do you spackle after the Koverall is applied?

As for the fumes, this will be an outdoor only project. I refuse to put my wife's health at risk for my silly hobby, and I will be using a resperator (not a dust mask) as I don't want to put my health at risk. The scented oils are great if you want to get "doped up" on the fumes but don't like the smell, but it does no good for preventing nerve damage from the chemicals.
Old 03-08-2007, 05:29 AM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Spackle first, then apply the dope to the framework. You are not going to be generating any more balsa dust. Apply 2 coats to the framework, and then sand smooth. You can then adhere the Koverall to the framework using thiner only if you wish. This is a lacquer based product, and each time you apply more dope or thinner, it wets the previous coats, unlike other (enamel, epoxy, urethanes) products that only allow the subsequent coats to lay atop the previous coats.

The lightweight spackle is to fill any small voids. Apply it before you add any dope to the model. Sand and clean the airframe after the spackle is used. When you are satisfied with the surface, then apply the dope.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:20 AM
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ginsco75
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

khodges,
That would be great. In all the searching I have done I havent come across a thread like that, and it was exactly what I was looking for. As far as where to post it, since your offering to teach us, just let us know where its at and we will follow along.
Thanks
Scott
Old 03-08-2007, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

I'm covering an old Curtiss Robin that was originally framed up 40+ years ago.

I've statred on the horizontal stab first to get a 'feel" for using the Koverall. I'm using Stix-It. So far, so good...HOWEVER...

Even with new single edge blades, I can't get an even cut to trim the fabric once adhered. I've got all these little wisps of thread all around the edges. I applied additional liquid to seal down the seams but all that did was gunk up my iron, lol.

I've shrunk up the fabric but have not yet applied any filler coats. How does one get nice, smooth edges. Light sanding doesn't do the job either.

Ok, so what am I missing here???

:-(
PM
Old 03-08-2007, 03:55 PM
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fly4food18
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Bill thanks for all the information. I'll be getting some koverall once I finnish my current project.

Brian
Old 03-08-2007, 04:49 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

You need a good pair of scissors to cut and trim koverall. I use a pair of Wiss upholstery shears that I've had for 30+ years that I used when I worked in a furniture factory, I keep them sharp enough to shave the hair on your arm. You can trim the excess close enough that you can stick down the small tags with a bit more stix-it or even a tiny drop of Ca, use a piece of wax paper over your finger to smear it (Ca) into the fabric without gumming up your finger.

I know that the literature, and a lot of others, say to coat the framework with a couple coats of dope before covering, but I don't do it. I want the cover to be able to move on the framework when I shrink it, allows for more even shrinkage, IMO. I put Stix-It ONLY where I want the cover to adhere, and I tend to try my best to minimize the number of seams. On my WACO, I'll cover each wing with a single piece, instead of one for the top half and one for the bottom. I guess it goes back to my upholstery days

I spread out the Koverall, and lay the wing on it so I have a bit more than an inch extra along the trailing edge at the widest chord section; fold the fabric over the wing loosely but not wrinkled, allow about three inches (enough to give you something to pull on)over the trailing edge, and cut it off, so that the entire wing has fabric over and under, with about two to three inches past each wingtip.

Lay this aside, and fill in the inside corners of the aileron bays with a small piece of the Koverall, extending it about 1-1/2 inches out from the corner(s).Go ahead and apply some stix-it to this area and iron these pieces down, and trim as close to the top and bottom edges as you can. You can use a razor blade for this, and it's easier if you can hold the fabric tight as you cut it, it will cut cleaner that way.

Now, apply Stix-It along the trailing edge of the wing; if it's sheeted, you can "paint" the area about 1/4 inch either side of the edge, but you don't need any more. Include the entire surface of the aileron bays. Go around the wingtips with a thin line of Stix-It, just on the edge, until you get to the leading edge, about 1/2 inch onto the straight. Now, lay the wing on the spread out sheet of fabric, and tack the trailing edge down starting at the center section. Tack about 2 inches, then go to the corner of the aileron bay and tack it at that corner, just pulling the fabric snug but not trying to stretch it; repeat for the other aileron bay. You should have about an inch of fabric overhanging the trailing edge. Now stick the rest of the trailing edge down, starting from half way between center and aileron bay, then half of that, maintaining the trailing edge overhang as even as possible. This ensures the weave of the fabric is parallel to the wing edge and not on any bias. BTW, the selvedge edge of the sheet of Koverall should go spanwise, it says this in the literature that comes with the fabric.

Now you have to align the material along the aileron bay, with the wing lying flat on top of the material. Cut out the fabric inside the area of the bay, leavinf enough to cover the inside of the bay when you fold the material over the edges. On the inside corners, make a slit in the "flap" at a 45 degree angle, right up to the edge of the corner. When you iron the insides of the aileron bay down you'll see that the little pieces you applied in the corners earlier fill the space that this angled cut won't cover.

Once the entire rear edge of the wing is tacked down, including the bottom part of the aileron bays, you should have a fairly smooth, wrinkle free edge.Now, trim all but a 1/4 inch or so of the "overhanging" edge of the fabric, and iron the rest down, rolling the iron as you go, over the top surface of the trailing edge, so the remainder of the overhanging edge gets stuck down to the top surface. you shouldn't have any loose tags once done, and the ironed edge should be wrinkle and kink free.

Now apply some more stix-it to the trailing edge you just finished, over the ironed fabric, and to about 1/4 inch onto the bottom edge of the wing, and along the inside top edge of the aileron bays. Don't go out onto the wingtips yet. Wrap the fabric around the front and over the top surface of the wing. There should be enough overlap at the trailing edge to have plenty to pull on You'll start again at the center section. Pull the fabric taut, and tack it to the trailing edge. Work your way from the center toward the wingtips, tacking the fabric smoothly and evenly as you go. When you get to the aileron bays, trim again as you did for the bottom half, but leave enough to pull with so you can get it fairly taut. If the wing has a lot of dihedral, the fabric will tend to stay "proud" of the top surface at the center section. You can paint a strip of Stix-It down the middle of the top center sheeting and iron the material to it.

Now your wing should have fabric top and bottom, sort of snug from front to back, aileron bays ironed bown, and an excess of fabric hanging off the trailing edge. trim this excess to about 1/4 inch from the wing, and iron it down, rolling the iron over the trailing edge to the bottom of the wing. You now have the entire wing covered with a single piece of fabric.

Now, apply Stix-It to the edges ONLY of the wingtips. Pull the bottom fabric taut, starting in the middle of the wingtip, and tack it down. Work toward the trailing edge and aileron bay outside corner. Moderate your pull on the fabric so there's not an excess when you get to the bay, a small wrinkle will shrink out, but try to have as little as possible. Now work your way to the leading edge; there will be a point where the fabric of the top and bottom come together. You'll overlap them, top over bottom and trim it as carefully as possible to minimize an uncovered area. This is the most difficult part of covering with a single piece. Once the underside edge is stuck, trim it to about 1/8 inch from the wingtip edge,and apply stix-it again to the edge and about 1/4 inch of the bottom fabric. Pull the top surface fabric over the wingtip, starting again in the middle and working to the rear, then front. Roll the iron over the wingtip, top to bottom, as you iron the fabric. Your wing is essentially complete, for the basic covering, Some loose threads may still stick up, but when you dope the wing, you'll be able to light sand them away, and if you apply pinking tape, it will also dress the edge. There may be som wrinkles in the fabric, but should be mostly snug. When you take your hot air gun and shrink the fabric, avoid the stix-it areas to keep from softening it and releasing the fabric. As the fabric shrinks, it can slide over the portions of the framework and ribs as needed that don't have adhesive, allowinfg the fabric to attain an even tension.

All this and not a single picture. It will be much easier to see what I mean with some pictures, and I'll try to get this started this weekend. I'm taking my older daughter (turns 14 Saturday) and two of her friends to see Blue Man Group in Raleigh. I may act a bit shell-shocked for a while after that, so bear with me. Got to go now, the Daddy Taxi Service is calling.
Old 03-08-2007, 05:30 PM
  #22  
ag4ever
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

You will really enjoy the concert. My wife and I went to the one in Vegas, and loved it. wish we had gone to the one here in Houston, but did not try to get tickets soon enough, and then they were sold out. We do have a painting they made on stage at the Vegas show though. The blue finger print is still wet, it nevere cured. Don't know what it is they put on themselves.

Bill, are you saying you can use straight thinner to attach the Koverall to the frame?

Here are the products I plan to use. My LHS does not have the Nitrate in stock, so I will be ordering it.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:27 PM
  #23  
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

This is where Khodges and I differ. I put 2 coats of Nitrate dope full strength around the perimeter and anywhere else I want the fabric to stick. I do cover the wings in one piece. When I am ready to attach the Koverall, I wrap the koverall around the wing, and then I dip the brush in the thinner, and brush the thinner (heavily) on the Koverall where the frame has been doped. I rub the surface with my forefinger until the thinner has penetrated the cloth. It cures in a few seconds, and then I move to the next area. I normally stick the leading edge first, then the trailing edge, then the aileron bays, and then the tips. I use a new single edge razor blade to trim the excess fabric, since a rizor blade is sharper than is an Xacto blade, plus it holds it's edge longer, and you can control the cut better. I do not buy the expensive Sig thinner, but use automotive lacquer thinner that you can buy at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowes, as well as the automotive paint jobber's. I normally pay less than $2.00 per quart for the stuff, and it works just as well as the Dope thinner. The thinner will melt the underlying dope and it adheres extremely well.

The down side of using Stix-It is that it is a thermal bond product. As you apply the heat to seal the fabric, you also begin to shrink the fabric. I like to shrink the fabric as a seperate step, and that way get to better control the shrinkage rate. Just a personal preference.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:19 PM
  #24  
khodges
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

You can see, guys, that there is more than one way to use this stuff. I've seen some of the Master Chief's planes (posted pics) and they look damn good, so his method works well and that's probably how he was either taught or figured it out. I like the thinner idea, it softens the already applied dope and allows the fabric to wick it in and get a good bond. My method works well for me, and that's what I will show, but I think I might try some of Stickbuilder's, too.

As far as the thermal bond goes with Stix-It, I have my iron just hot enough to get it to stick the fabric down, and then turn it up after the entire edge is done. Then I shrink the bulk of the covering with my air gun. I also work between the top and bottom in a semi-random manner, so as not to shrink any one area more than or sooner than another. You can warp a wing in a big way with this stuff; it really gets that tight. I can watch the material move over the leading edge as I shrink it. After it's shrunk, I dope the entire thing, one medium coat, but try not to push it through the material, so it doesn't runthrough and drip, but I get the parts over ribs and sheeting fairly heavy. Before it has dried completely, I start applying precut rib tapes, and then reapply at least two more coats, then switch to butyrate from nitrate. After the tapes are applied, I allow each subsequent coat to dry a full day before coating it again. On the last two coats, I lightly sand the edges and over any ribtapes with 320 grit paper to knock any sharp edges off and soften the appearance of the tapes. I haven't done rib stitching, on this scale I feel its too much work for too little appearance.
Old 03-09-2007, 05:51 AM
  #25  
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Default RE: Sig Koverall

Other than the use of the Stix-It, Ken and I are completely in accord with the application techniques. I don't use butyrate dope any longer, since switching over to automotive finishes. If I wanted a more dull appearence, I might consider butyrate dope again. Ken, I agree with you about the rib stitching on a 1/5th scale model. Just not much bang for the buck there.

Important note..... Koverall will shrink approximately 12%, so go easy on the heat. Once you have achieved the maximum shrinkage, continuing to apply heat will not shrink the fabric more, in fact, trying to overshrink the fabric will result in the fiber beginning to elongate, and you can end up with a baggy mess. Elongation is growth. the opposite of shrinkage. Do not ever attempt to apply the Koverall wet (as you would do when using silk) Koverall is a high thread count Dacron woven polyester, and wet application will wet the framework and not the cloth. Dacron is hygraphobic (will not absorb moisture) so wetting the fabric does nothing for shrinkage. Silk is hygrascophic (will absorb moisture) and wetting the fabric does promote shrinkage. Hope that helps.

Bill, AMA 4720
WACO Brotherhood #1

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