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Higher performance, Improved durability 

and even attractive prices. Understand our technology and find out why these - seemingly contradicting - claims aren't contradicting at all

Anchor 2

Cold-Setting: An alternative to heat-setting, developed for fibre-reinforced sailcloth


Heat-setting is an important step in woven sailcloth manufacturing. It provides a boost in fibre density, tightening the weave up, which in turn creates very durable bias stability. While heat-setting is straightforward for Dacron sailcloth, it is not an an option for sailcloth made with high-performance fibres: different abilities to shrink would cause some fibres to shrink a lot and others to shrink very little, or not at all. Manufacturers of this type of sailcloth have had no choice other than to sacrifice the high fibre-density that comes from shrinking and rely mainly on coating resin for bias stability. 

Cold-Setting is a highly efficient alternative to heat-setting. By shrinking a fibre-reinforced sailcloth - by up to 20% - Cold-Setting provides ultra-high fibre density. Equally important, Cold-Setting is uni-directional and does not cause any crimp or shrinkage in the fibre-reinforced direction of the sailcloth. By leaving the Dyneema fibres free of any crimp or slack, a significant and long-lasting improvement in stretch resistance is achieved. In addition, having absolutely crimpless Dyneema in the weft of the sailcloth even allows us to strengthen the warp as well, resulting in a sailcloth with high resistance to stretching in both weft and warp. This is explained in detail here.

The properties of Cold-Setting work together nicely. The perfectly crimpless Dyneema reinforces the weft and indirectly also the warp of the sailcloth. The extreme fibre density allows the loads in most other directions to be transferred into the weft and warp fibres. In fact, the Dyneema fibres in the weft support not only the weft itself, but also any other direction as far as 30 degrees off the weft. The high fibre density also creates a very a high stretch resistance in the bias direction, where the weft and warp fibres don't carry any load. And finally, the fibre density supports the resin and creates a durability that is unmatched by any other woven sailcloth. 

The result is a woven sailcloth with excellent performance and durability. Take look at a comparison between Nautosphere Voyager and the corresponding weight from Dimension Polyant's Hydra-Net radial range here.

This performance and durability even comes at an attractive price. It's generally accepted that cross cut sail design is a safe choice up to around 40 ft boats. A combination of Dyneema fibres and Cold-Setting increases this safe range to 60 ft and it's now possible to make more cost efficient cross-cut sails, even for large yachts.

Although heat-setting of woven sailcloth is traditionally done at high temperature, using heated air or contact rollers, it is well known that heat-setting can also take place in hot water or other heated liquids. It is less well known that the presence of certain additives greatly reduce the temperature at which the desired shrinking take place.


By working below the normal temperature window for heat-setting and by carefully selecting combinations of yarns and additives, it is possible to shrink specific yarns while leaving other yarns untouched. This property can be used to shrink only one direction of the sailcloth, the warp or fill as desired, leaving the other direction completely unaffected. Cold-Setting is 100% uni-directional. 


The uni-directional nature of cold-setting is the reason we are able to strenghten all directions, weft, warp and bias, at the same time. This means adding both performance and durability to the sailcloth. The world of sailmaking has long been used to seeing improved performance come at the expense of durability. Or the other way around. Cold-setting provides a rare, but attractive, exception to this rule.

Before and after cold-setting: the lower half of the sample has been cold-set while the upper half has been left untouched. The shrinking, approximately 15%, is uni-directional, providing bias stability while leaving the Dyneema ®  fibres crimp-free (flat and tight), ready to carry a load.

Cold-Setting explained: the importance of working uni-directionally 

Cold-setting is done at temperatures not exceeding 65° C and is therefore also the only shrinking method that works with a woven sailcloth containing Dyneema   fibres.

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