The skirt consists of a ring of fabric composed of 8 pieces (panels) and a steel skirt hoop.

The layout of each of these 8 pieces is here.

The skirt is held open by a ring of steel called the "skirt hoop" The skirt hoop is made by taking a long, skinny piece of steel and pulling one end around to form an loop and then to overlapping the ends holding the two ends together with two "split bolt connectors".

The steel is Grade 1075 1/2" wide x .095" thick x 24 ft long. It can be difficult to buy steel in reasonably small pieces. Most steel suppliers have a minimum that will amount to enough steel for 10 skirts.

An alternative is to buy the steel from McMaster-Carr ( The part number for a 100-foot long piece is part #9074K261 .

Another alternative is to buy a hardware store variety plumbing snake. Some are made of the same or lighter grade type spring steel and are usually about 25 feet in length.

The connectors are copper Split Bolt Connectors, most comonly made by a company named Burndy. They can be found at most hardware stores in the electrical section and are conventionally used to join large connector wires. The correct size will be marked "4 Sol." and comparable to McMaster-Carr #6921K58 (See

Once the hoop is put together, it is sewn into a pocket along the bottom end of the skirt.

All information on this site is subject to the following disclaimer.

The balloon plans and descriptions provided here are
Copyright 2007-2008 Daniel Nachbar and Paul Stumpf
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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.