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Aerial Silks

Type of Fabric

Aerial silks are not made of silk, despite the name.

The breaking strength of a single leg of your aerial silk fabric should be at least 2000 pounds, as a standard practice. Many vendors test and list their breaking points for bolts of fabric, sometimes called "tensile strength" of the fabric (this just means fabric's strength when pulled longways). Be wary of buying fabric that has not been tested unless you are sure it will work for your application.

Fabrics used may vary, but the most common materials are:

Nylon or Polyester in

  • 40 denier tricot
  • 70 denier interlock tricot

Interlock is stretchy, while tricot is much less so. If you are beginning, it is often easier to learn to climb on a non-stretch, tricot fabric. Experienced aerialists who practice drops often prefer interlock fabric because of the way it gives and absorbs the shock of a fall, though it is more difficult to climb.

Fabric Stretchiness

This video, by Rebekah Leach of, demonstrates three different stretch levels of fabric.

Your results will vary from vendor to vendor, and even within the same fabric type due to manufacturing differences between bolts of cloth. This is to give you a general idea of what the fabrics should look like, and will let you know what you've been practicing on if you aren't sure what to expect.

Non-stretch fabric is typically wide, around 108" wide.

Stretch fabric is typically narrower.


  • Carbiner(s)
  • Rescue 8
  • Sling(s)/Runner(s)
  • Swivel (optional)
  • Crash pad/mat

For a non-swivel setup, you'll need, at minimum:

  • Carbiner x 1
  • Rescue 8 x 1
  • Sling(s)/Runner(s) x 1

For a swiveling setup, you'll need:

  • Carbiner x 2
  • Rescue 8 x 1
  • Sling(s)/Runner(s) x 1
  • Swivel x 1
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