A few hammocks and tying techniques:
A. Varieties of hammocks are found all over the New World. These
Nicaraguan students are sleeping while waiting for nesting turtles to
come ashore in their study area. These very small hammocks are one
of the traditional styles and are surprisingly comfortable. The ones
shown are made of uncoated polypropylene and are sold in all the
markets for next to nothing. Stacked on a shelf they look like shopping
bags, and you wouldn’t know they were hammocks.
B. Detail of how this hammock is hung: The rope is passed through a
large hem at the end of the hammock, bunching the cloth together.
Then that end of the rope is tied with a bowline knot to make a loop.
The other end of the rope is tied to a pillar or tree.
C. A fancier style of large hammock, this denim model is in a hotel
on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua. It was sewn just the same as the smaller C
hammocks seen above. Then a dozen or so slits were cut in the hem.
The fingers of cloth thus created are tied with bowline knots to the ends
of 5-foot chunks of colorful cord, forming loops to make the bridle.
D. Other end of the bridle: The loops of cord are gathered together into a
single loop. This is whipped with a covering of cord knotted with a series
of half hitches, one at each turn. The covering keeps the bridle lines from
slipping and prevents the suspension rope from chafing through them. D
The suspension rope is tied to the loop with a lark’s head knot.
3. Bunch up both ends of your cloth. If your cloth is long enough
and you want to be extra secure, tie an overhand knot in the
ends of your sheet to keep the rope from sliding off.
OPTIONAL: If your cloth is long enough and you want to be
extra secure, tie an overhand knot in the ends of your sheet
to keep the rope from sliding off.
4. Tie a chunk of rope to each end of your sheet using a lark’s
head knot (see MAKE, Volume 01, page 77).
Photography by Tim Anderson
5. Hang your new hammock between two stationary objects,
get in, and relax. A nice feature of these cloth hammocks is that
you can pull the sides closed over yourself and be very cozy
inside. If the hammock is large, you can lie diagonally in it and
have your spine totally straight. That’s how the Mayans do it.
Tim Anderson, founder of Z Corp., has a home at mit.edu/robot.