A Simple Parachute

This is a method to make a simple parachute. Even with my marginal sewing skills, this parachute only takes a few hours to assemble and it turns-out fine.

  • Materials:

  • 1. Sew together panels

    The Nylon I bought came from JoAnn Fabrics. JoAnn's Nylon is okay, but for important projects I recommend buying from an online source.

    The Nylon is sold in rolls 60" wide. Since I want a 10' parachute I need to sew two strips together. Ironing a 1" wide crease in the Nylon makes sewing the strips much easier. Then laying the fabric on the floor, I use a combination of pins and masking tape to get the seam straight. Nylon is slippery and pins alone don't hold the seam very well.

    Sewing the panels is the hardest part of making a parachute. The only reason this step is difficult is because the fabric is so long it bunches-up in the sewing machine.

    2. Cut the Nylon Round

    Tape the large Nylon to the floor. Using a marker on a string, draw a circle.

    A old soldering iron makes a perfect cutting tool and binds the edge so it won't fray. Melting Nylon will bugger-up the iron so don't use an expensive soldering station.

    3. Attach Shroud Lines

    Sew about a foot of 1" wide Nylon strapping material to the parachute. I run 4 rows of thread. Then, using the soldering iron, burn a hole in the strapping material and parachute. Attach a brass grommet.

    For the shroud lines I use any rope or line rated a few hundred pounds of strength or more. A bowline knot strongly attaches the shroud lines to the parachute.


    The parachutes pack into a fairly small volume. The Orange parachute will fit into a 4" diameter airframe. The Purple parachute is also 10 feet in diamater, but it is made from a higher quality, thinner Nylon purchased online. The Purple parachute fits into a 3" airframe.


    http://www.strapworks.com - Nylon tape
    http://www.joann.com - Ripstop Nylon
    http://www.joann.com - Thread
    http://www.thethreadexchange.com - Better thread
    http://www.apogeerockets.com - Kevlar shock cord
    http://www.mcmaster.com - Grommet