I've been noticing an increase in aerial silk, aerial sling, aerial yoga hammocks / antigravity hammocks sales online lately and I have been looking through them individually to compare quality and price. If any of you are pole artists you probably remember when someone duplicated the xpole and made a fraudulent item posing as the real thing that wasn't safe, same with silks. Some sellers are not using the right kind of material that is strong enough for your safety.
It is good to ask the seller many questions, here are some questions you can ask them and yourself before purchasing aerial fabric.
The majority of the ads don't tell you what type of fabric it is other than "chiffon" which can be any synthetic material which means the tensile strength is unknown, and they don't mention the denier, etc.
When buying aerial silks the width and length are extremely important.
You want them to be long(tall) enough for what you are doing, and the width is important because it affects the tensile strength of the fabric. The shortest amount of fabric I recommend is no shorter than 10yards because 10yards can reach a 12ft-16ft ceiling, so you can practice but I don't recommend doing drops on that short of silks unless you know what you are doing.
As far as length goes you have to double the height of your ceiling because you are pretty much taking a long length of fabric and folding it in half at the ceiling so both strands reach the ground so example if you have a 12ft ceiling you need at least 24ft (8yards) of silks (though I recommend a little extra like the 10yds just because attaching silks to equipment such as rescue 8 etc takes extra of the length) and if your silks barely touch the ground from the ceiling you are not going to have any beautiful tails to play with to create that dramatic performance, you'll have little short nubs under your footlocks instead of gorgeous fabric fanning the audience.
A 60 inches width is generally recommended for children
Minimum of 75inches up to 110inches is recommended for teens and adults.
I'm seeing silks being sold on ebay and other sites for only 64inches wide and only 8yards.
I am also seeing on online silks rigged to rings which have no info of what kind of rings they are or what the weight limit on them. You can buy similar rings at home depot that say right on the package "NOT INTENDED FOR HUMAN WEIGHT" make sure if you get a set with a ring that it is an authentic steel O ring from a reputable climbing company example: pretzel, etc.
Yes the price is cheaper on some of these fabrics but at what cost? Do you really want to save money if it means putting your life in jeopardy?
We sell safe aerial fabric at http://www.aerialempowerment.com