Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Care and Feeding of the Real Bond NATO

Well, it's been six months since we introduced this watchstrap, and we have almost sold out of the first mill run of webbing.

I thought it would be a good time to give some tips on keeping the straps looking their best. No NATO-style strap last forever, but there are some tricks to keeping them looking top notch.

As you all know, the Corvus Real Bond straps are made from an unusually soft and silky material. This provides for exceptional comfort, but there is a trade-off. Fraying can occur, especially around the buckle hole. This happens with all NATO-style straps, but can happen a little quicker with our very soft material.
(NOTE: We are resupplying from a new mill run of webbing. It should be ready in 2-3 weeks. The new stuff will be thicker and more durable, but a little stiffer. I have mixed feelings about this, but I think most people will like the new beefier webbing very much. Still, I will miss the silky soft stuff.)

Tip 1: The washing machine is your friend.

It's always a good idea to keep your strap clean, especially in the summertime. The easiest and best way is to just throw it in the washer. Afterward, I like to then throw it in the dryer with my regular laundry. This tightens up the weave considerably and reduces the appearance of wear.

Tip 2: Fire is good.

Like most NATO straps, the Real Bond straps are made of nylon. Nylon melts at a fairly low temperature. This is why the RAF style straps were made straight without the second strap, because they were made to fit through a non-flammable leather pad. Flammable things next to your skin are not good for burning jet fuel.

This characteristic does, however, allow for the nylon webbing to be heat welded (basically melting two parts together) and for the holes to be cut with hot pins that basically melt a hole in the webbing.

When you experience the inevitable fraying around your favorite buckle hole, apply a lighter or match to the flayed part. About 1-2 seconds is plenty. The fraying will melt off and the hole will become re-cauterized, looking almost like new. This works for any part of the strap that shows fine exposed threads, just take it easy. A few short (1 second) applications of the fire are better than one long one.

1 comment:

  1. These tips are very informative for me. I 'll try to practice these techniques. Thanks for sharing these nice tips.