How to Sew A Chute for agility

A question posted by Peggy on the agility-Equipment yahoo group.

I have all the material to build a collapsed tunnel. However, it occurs to me that the chute t needs to taper out toward the end. The books I have read said that it should be around sixty-six inches at the barrel end and ninty-six inches at the far end. Does anyone have any suggestions on making your own chute. I am trying to figure out how to accomplish the taper.

answer from Dee

It is very easy if you have enough room to lay your fabric out flat. it comes folded even up your selvage edges and then find the center of one end and then the center of the other end. Now this part is easier with two people if you have someone to help, and hopefully you know what a chalk line is. Measure one half the distance of the size you want each end of your chute and mark that measurement from the center mark on each side. Then take your chalk line and make you a mark from one end to the other to your outside marks this will give you the lines in which to sew on and after you do that you can hem the ends and you are ready to go.

answer from Ruth

I cut my chutes with the fabric on the fold with a top piece and a bottom piece. I taped all my paper together to get the length I needed including the hems at both ends. I measured up 1/4th the circumfrence at the barrel end and the same at the open end. then I took a metal 16′ measuring tape and drew the taper from those two points. I’ve made about 10 different chutes with this pattern….all my friends love me. I just make them hold the bulk of the fabric as I run it through the serger.

Answer from Beth

Directions for sewing chute:

1) You will have 2 pieces of material (however long the chute is supposed to be. Each one will make up half of the chute.

2) Lay the material out on a table (or a hard floor which is probably easier).

3) The material should be 49.5″ wide, this allows for about 3/4″ seams (so make sure you buy 60″ wide fabric and cut it to 49″)

4) Take a pin and mark in from the both edges 3/4″ on one end of the fabric at the opposite end mark in 8″ inches from both edges.

5) Hence you have one end of the fabric that has 48″ inbetween the two pins and way at the other end there is 33″ between the two pins.

6) Fold on a diagonal from the first pin down to the pin at the other end (this is your taper) Use an Iron to press the fold so you can see it. Repeat with the other side of the fabric

7) Now you should have a piece of fabric that has the tapers ironed into it. You would then cut 3/4″ out from the fold (towards the edge) this will be to allow 3/4″for the seam.

8) Now you should have a piece of fabric that is still 49.5 wide and the other end is 34.5 inches wide.

9) Repeat this with the other piece of fabric.

10) Now you should have two pieces of fabric that are however long a chute is supposed to be and are 49.5 wide at one end and the other end is 34.5 inches wide.

11) take these two pieces of fabric and pin them, right sides together (as in the pretty side of the fabric, not the direction) (if the fabric has a right side) the wide end should be pinned to the wide end and the narrow to the narrow.

12) Place pins in 3/4″ the whole way down the seam.

13) Sew the sides of the pieces together. Turn them right side out and you have yourself a bonefied 66″ x 96″ chute.

Good point from Mary-Ann

In addition to the other suggestions on marking the taper before cutting, I suggest you measure the circumference of your barrel before cutting. I used an empty barrel from the car wash with both ends cut off, but left the bottom lip/groove so I could use a lashing strap to hold it on. My tunnel opening measured ~73″, so I tapered my chute from 73 to 96″.

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3 thoughts on “How to Sew A Chute for agility

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