Ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics often made out of nylon, using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving (thick) reinforcement threads are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern. The intervals are typically 5 to 8 millimeters (0.2 to 0.3 in). Thin and lightweight ripstop fabrics have a 3-dimensional structure due to the thicker threads being interwoven in thinner cloth. Older lightweight ripstop-fabrics display the thicker interlocking thread patterns in the material quite prominently, but more modern weaving techniques make the ripstop threads less obvious. A similar effect can be achieved by weaving two or three fine yarns together at intervals.
Advantages of ripstop are the favourable strength-to-weight ratio and that small tears can not easily spread. Fabrics used to make ripstop include cotton, silk, polyester, and polypropylene, with nylon content limited to the crosshatched threads that make it tear-resistant.
Ripstop fabrics are used in yacht sails and spinnakers, hot air balloons, kites, parachutes, remote control hovercrafts, camping equipment such as lightweight tents and sleeping bags, swags, flags, banners, and other applications requiring a strong lightweight fabric. Ripstop reinforcement are incorporated into heavier fabrics requiring extreme durability, such as those used in Battle Dress Uniforms, Nomex protective clothing for firefighters and other workwear, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uniforms, outdoor and sports clothing, backpacks, and luggage bags. Self-adhesive ripstop cloth repairs rips and tears in other fabrics. Ripstop nylon is also the primary material used in hot air balloons
Ripstop nylon is a light-weight nylon fabric with interwoven ripstop reinforcement threads in a crosshatch pattern. The material comes in many different colors and sizes, including thickness. It is woven with coarse, strong warp and filling yarns at intervals so that tears will not spread.
Ripstop nylon may be waterproof, water resistant, fire resistant, or have zero porosity (will not allow air or water through), and comes in light, medium and heavy weights. Textures range from a soft and silk-like material to a crisp or stiff fabric that sounds like a paper bag when moved.