How to Hang Aerial Silks from a Beam: A Step-by-Step Guide

Aerial silks, also known as aerial fabrics or aerial ribbons, have gained immense popularity in recent years for their breathtaking displays of grace and strength. Whether you’re an experienced aerialist or just starting your journey into this mesmerizing art form, knowing how to properly hang your silks is crucial for safety and optimal performance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of hanging aerial silks from a beam so that you can soar through the air with confidence.

1. Choosing the Right Beam

Before embarking on any installation project, it’s essential to select a suitable beam that can withstand the weight and tension exerted by your aerial silk rigging. Look for a load-bearing beam made of solid wood or steel with sufficient structural support. Ensure it is securely anchored and free from any defects or weakness.

2. Identifying the Hanging Points

Once you’ve found the perfect beam, locate two strong points where you’ll attach your rigging apparatus securely. These points should be parallel to each other and positioned at a distance slightly greater than shoulder-width apart to provide stability during movements on the silks.

3. Installing Mounting Hardware

To mount your hardware onto the chosen hanging points, begin by marking precise spots for drilling holes using a measuring tape and pencil. Carefully drill holes according to manufacturer guidelines while ensuring proper alignment between both sides.

Next, insert sturdy eye bolts into these holes until they are tightly secured within the beam structure without protruding excessively on either side—using washers or backing plates behind each bolt head further enhances stability.

4. Attaching Carabiners and Swivels

Now that your mounting hardware is in place, it’s time to attach the carabiners and swivels that will hold your aerial silks. Open each carabiner by twisting its locking mechanism and pass it through the eye of an installed bolt. Close the carabiners firmly, ensuring they’re fully engaged.

Similarly, hook one end of a swivel onto each carabiner, allowing for smooth rotation during aerial manoeuvers. Confirm that all connections are secure before proceeding further.

5. Preparing Your Aerial Silks

Before attaching your aerial silks to the rigging apparatus, ensure they are in good condition without any tears or fraying edges that could compromise safety while performing. Carefully inspect both ends of each fabric length to confirm integrity.

To attach your silk securely, fold it in half vertically with one end overlapping the other by a few feet. This doubled-up section will form a loop through which you’ll pass the swivels and connect them using dedicated connectors designed specifically for aerial rigging.

6. Testing and Adjusting

With everything set up, it’s crucial to test your rigging before using it for actual performances or training sessions. Gently put weight on the silks while maintaining control throughout this process—any signs of instability or unusual movements may indicate adjustments are required.

Additionally, carefully check that all elements remain tightly fastened after testing; slight readjustments may be necessary as settling can occur during initial use or over time due to vibrations.

Safety First: Considerations and Final Thoughts

When hanging aerial silks from a beam, prioritizing safety is paramount at every stage—from selecting an appropriate beam to regularly inspecting rigging hardware and fabrics for wear-and-tear signs. If you’re unsure about any aspect of installation or maintenance, consulting with a professional rigger experienced in working with aerial equipment is highly recommended.

Remember always to handle your silks with care and never exceed the load capacity specified by the manufacturer. With proper installation, regular inspections, and adherence to safety protocols, you can confidently embark on your aerial silk journey and enjoy the exhilarating freedom of flight.