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Softening Nylon Webbing

Jay Chadney , Oct 13, 2006; 01:52 p.m.

There is no proper place to post this, and since I the nylon webbing is attached to a Leica camera, here it goes:

I have 2 Domke neck straps (one brown/one black). I am using them both on 2 different cameras. One has very slick, supple strap webbing on the thin length that is closest to the camera. The other has stiffer webbing. The stiffer one doesn't drape, and sometimes it will poke me in the eye when I raise the camera up. Is there any way to make the stiffer webbing softer/more flexible? I soaked it in 190 degree water for 20 minutes or so - no change.

I wonder if anyone in here has a solution, or is bothered by the same problem. Don't get all mad at me for such a trivial question, but if I poke my eye out, it may have far reaching ramifications.

Thanks, Jay


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Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Oct 13, 2006; 02:35 p.m.

I have an assortment of fabric straps. The softest ones seem to be Nikon, but they've been in use probably 25 years (on Leicas). The CL strap by Leica is the stiffest. The Bessa straps and a couple of no-name straps are in between. It'll probably get softer with age and use. Did you try using a fabric softener?

Dan Flanders , Oct 13, 2006; 03:44 p.m.

After many years of wrestling with straps of leather, webbing, metal, and various other materials and combinations therof I have settled on 1" wide grosgrain ribbon as the most practical material for my needs. It is adequate in strength, pliable, and doesn't bulk-up or chafe. Neither is it clumsy when stuffed into a gadget bag along with its camera or accessory. If anyone is interested I can provide a sketch showing how to rig the strap to make its length adjustable for comfort and utility.

Larry H-L , Oct 13, 2006; 04:04 p.m.

The accessory Voigtlander straps that Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest sells are quite nice, softer than a Domke strap, but not length adjustable. It almost feels like soft cotton and has a suede-like non-slip pad at the shoulder. I imagine that Rick Pinto at Photo Village would have them also. BTW, I think this is a different strap than the standard Bessa strap that comes with the cameras.

Jay Chadney , Oct 13, 2006; 05:46 p.m.

Please do

Dan, a sketch of what you did would be neat.

Vinay Patel , Oct 14, 2006; 12:21 p.m.

"Is there any way to make the stiffer webbing softer/more flexible? I soaked it in 190 degree water for 20 minutes or so - no change."

Try soaking it in chicken stock and give it to the dog. Oh yea, if he's given to burying bones in the backyard, you might want to take the strap off the camera first :-)

Ronald Moravec , Oct 14, 2006; 05:13 p.m.

Old Nikon ones like Al said. They are almost floppy.

Jay Chadney , Oct 16, 2006; 11:19 a.m.

Fabric softener, followed by a cycle in the washer did nothing. I realize part of the problem is the leather piece I have there to "protect" the camera body from rubs. It doesn't allow the o-ring to fall freely to the side of the camera. When the o-ring stops at horizontal, then so does the first few inches of strap.

I took the leather piece off, and the only place the metal ring could contact the body is when the strap is at a right angle to the body, and the tinist bit of ring can touch. Other than that, the strap itself acts as a bumper for the o-ring.

Is it really necessary to bumper the o-ring? I mean, when being carriend around, the ring can't touch the body.


Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Oct 16, 2006; 11:51 a.m.

The strap itself, any strap, will eventually make rub marks in the chrome, which is why some people want a piece of protective leather there between the strap and the body. The rings will also cause wear in the camera's attachment lugs. I've seen people using a length of leather shoe lace to attach the camera to the strap to avoid that from happening.

Dan Flanders , Oct 17, 2006; 06:34 p.m.

Here are the scans and sketches for the Grosgrain camera strap. I think the diagram is self explanatory. The ends are tapered by folding over and sewing. Dan

Grosgrain Camera Strap

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