Aerial Fabric and Slack Drops in Aerial Dance

We know aerial dancing is fun and that slack drops on aerial silks are particularly fun to do.

Here are a few cautions: First, make sure you have wrapped for the drop correctly.

Make sure you have enough room between you and the floor and you did not pull out more fabric for the drop than you planned!

Also, this type of drop has the potential to cause your fabric to melt from the friction or possibly cause burns to you. This can happen when the fabric is brand new or you have been using it for a while. It can happen with both Tricot and Interlock. The new tricot that has some bounce is more susceptible to melting when you use it for slack drops.

Slack drops are made worse if you are wearing synthetic material like tights.

A slack drop is any drop where you pull out a length of fabric out and then drop down through the slack, hitting the bottom of the drop with quite a bit of force. There are some slack drops where the fabric is wound behind the back and this type of drop creates quite a bit of friction! You do not have to drop far for this drop to damage your silks.

Usually people have trouble with Tricot melting from slack drops. However, any synthetic material will melt with the heat from the friction created in a large slack drop. A large drop is anything more than 3′ unless you have wound the fabric in some way and then the fabric is stressed at the point it wraps on itself.

The combination of the slack drop and the synthetic material in your tights increases the possibility for the fabric to melt from the heat of the friction. After melting, it will create a hole. With tricot, it can sometimes just create a hole with no evidence of melting.

We have seen the fabric pucker in spots that have been caused by friction or stress. We had quite a bit of ruined fabric for a couple of months when the advanced students in our classes were doing slack drops. They were using the Tricot.

If there is a lot of force generated in a drop, you may find the fabric will show puckering or even have a hole. You can find the different results of our stress tests if you review the Specs tab on our site. Also, you can see photos of the fabric that was tested. You can see in the photos the puckering and what the fabric looks like when it is torn.

Although fun, unfortunately, slack drops are notorious for being hard on all the fabric used for aerial dance and aerial acrobatics.