A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in the wind. It is in essence a wing used for propulsion. Sails can be made from various materials and strengthened using specific liquid mixtures.

Source materials[edit | edit source]

Any type of natural material also used to make textile can be used, knowingly: cotton, wool, kashmere, hemp, sisal, silk, kenaf, jute, ramie, linen, lyocell

Doping[edit | edit source]

Doping, or impregnating the textile with a liquid to make it tougher can also be done. Since most sails are intented for outdoor use, it is often a good idea to this this as it increases the life span of the sail.

Throughout history, a variety of dopes has been developed:

  • a popular dope for windmill sails was: 10 liter water, combined with 0,75 liter linseed oil, 0,75 liter grease, and 1 kg of bolus.[1][2]
  • cellulose_acetate
  • cellulose acetate butyrate
  • nitrocellulose
  • certain other lacquers, varnishes, resins...

Synthetic dopes are often better in toughening the textile, and thus require only treatment or only a few treatments a year. However, the products can be a lot harder to attain, cost more and are environmentally unfriendly. Due to the latter issue, it is also advisable that the textile is burned when it becomes worn.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Werken met molens by Werkgroep West-Vlaamse Molens v.z.w.
  2. Bolus used for windmill sail
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors KVDP
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
Aliases Windmill sail
Impact 467 page views
Created April 13, 2012 by KVDP
Modified June 9, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.