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  1. #1

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    Cloth Light trap Material for Plate Cameras?

    I'm looking for the material that was used for the light traps in European single sided metal film/plate holders and inside the backs of vintage Plaubel Makina cameras. It is not a foam material nor is it exactly felt. Upon looking at it very closely one can see that it is a pile material much like carpet. Felt is a laid material of random filers much like paper is made and is flat on top. This is fuzzy with densely packed threads sticking up. In my Makina and the holders its about 3/32 - 1/8th inch thick.
    Anybody have any ideas?
    thank you!

  2. #2

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    In the past 2 weeks I have been searching for exactly the same fabric. It is in fact velvet ribbon - black of course - and on my Thornton Pickard Triple it is quarter of an inch wide. 7mm seems to be the metric equivalent and I have today located a supply in the UK here;
    http://www.theribboncompany.com/ Originally it would have been cotton but it is now nylon. You are able to order it by the reel or get 1 metre sample. I have ordered 5mm and 7mm samples to give it a try. Maybe that'll be some sort of help to you.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Yes it's velvet, the thickness seems to be the problem, I need some as well but what I found last time I was back in the UK wasn't good enough, so Wobsy let me know how you get on please.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Ian - I'll report back but I've been advised it may be up to 21 days delivery.

  5. #5

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    I looked at the fabric very closely as I said. I also have understood that even if I did find some cloth like it in texture, it would most likely be way too thin. I believe I'll have to build up the proper thickness by glueing the cloth to some thin cardboard or proper thickness foam sheet or something.
    As far as velvet ribbon goes, the black velvet ribbon that I have seen is very thin and actually more of a flocked material ie: cloth fibers adhered to a base of nylon ribbon. I think that this may not stand up to the repeated sliding of the holders over its surface. Flocked surfaces are matt and smooth with only little depth to the texture. Seems like ribbons were intended for temporary use as well.
    Wobsy, I do hope you have found something that will work. I would appreciate your evaluation once you receive it.
    Thank you both!
    Robert

  6. #6

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    I talked with Jon, the person who sells light seals on the auction site. He knows a lot about light seal materials. he described what we're looking for as a 1/8th inch stiff shag carpet. I agree, that is exactly what it looks like. He said that he has tried for 10 years to duplicate that material - no luck. The best idea so far is to laminate the thinner velvet material that he has with some thin foam to make the correct thickness.
    I think I'm going to give this a try.
    If anybody comes up with something better, please let me (us) know.
    thanks!
    Robert

  7. #7
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    I've been using "regular" velvet purchased at the local Joann Fabric in both ribbon and cloth and it works great. Route a channel, cover some finger stock with the material and you're good to go. I've done many plates and many pulls of the slide and all is working fine.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Bit difficult to route a channel in these German metal plate holders But I think you're right Bill velvet cloth seems thicker than the velvet tape available in the UK. The originals seem to use cloth rather than tape the cut edge slipping under a metal guide on my plate-holders, and on my Patent Etui camera.

    How thick is the tape you're buying in the US ?

    Ian

  9. #9
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    How thick is the tape you're buying in the US ?
    Sorry.... missed the part about the metal

    The tape I am getting has about a 1/8" thickness when laying flat with no pressure. The cloth is about the same, but the backing cloth is a little more stiff on the tape. For the spring light traps, the cloth works better as it is more supple and causes less resistance when pulling and pushing the slide.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Thanks Bill, I'll try the bazaars here in Turkey there's far more places in every town selling cloths & fabrics than in the UK, and I'd guess the US, there's still a tradition of street tailors, dressmakers etc. Maybe it's possible to find the heavier velvet here.

    Ian

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