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The lifting bags or envelopes for hot air balloons are made of lightweight ripstop nylon or polyester. It has to be strong enough to carry the gondola or basket. The fabric is cut into sections as seen in the photo . These sections are called gores. They are cut and sewn into panels with structural load tapes to help carry the weight of the basket. The technique for sewing these panels together is called the French felled. As hot air balloons were first pioneerred in France in the 1780's, many of the modern construction techniques have developed since the 1950's here in the U.S. Most of the envelope is then coated with a sealer like polyurethane to make it impermeable to air.
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Additional Photos by Karen Abel (kabel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 322] (1930)
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