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Offshore distance racers who need rugged sails have the option of a finely woven polyester taffeta on both sides of the sail. X-Drive and Tape-Drive sails can be made laminates that come from the cloth manufacturers with taffeta on one side. Then, after the sail is made and the tapes have been laid, a second layer of taffeta can be applied over the tapes as shown to the right. The taffeta layers don’t add strength to the sail, but they do add durability by protecting the film and tapes from chafe and UV damage. Taffeta also reduces damage from flogging and hinging at the leech, but there are weight and expense issues to consider.
Titanium sails can be made with taffeta on both sides of the finished laminate. As shown below, this makes the highest performance cruising sail UK Sailmakers makes.
Taffeta comes in white and grey.