I agree on the Bainbridge to Carrington comparison. The other popular nylon was Toray. Toray also had colors more to the pastel spectrum.
Icarex was the first "popular" polyester, there might have been some others before that were less poular.
Toray had a ripstop polyester with a name somewhat like Chakira. It was Toray's answer to Icarex. It was softer, thus did not crackle like Icarex. Toray's colors were all towards pastels. I don't recall the correct name. I have not heard anything about it for several years.
Icarex has the more brilliant colors.
I really don't know much about Chakira except that it is a ripstop nylon.
Hi John, yep forgot to mention Toray.
And Jeff reminds me of the two weights also. I might even have an original swatch somewhere of Icarex. I was flying (dual Line) for Benson Kites at this time (and winning consitently
- got to love Tim's kites) and I seem to remember there may have even have been a third weight for Icarex.
Also re Martin's soft kites. The Ballon fabric is either uncoated or only coated on one side, this gives it the ability to "balloon" which works so well for soft inflatable kites.