DIY net-less camping hammock - part 1

Posted on 08 July 2015

Part 1 - Sewing the hammock body

Tools required:
a. Sharp scissors or rotary cutter
b. Fabric marking pencil or similar
c. Measuring tape or ruler
d. Long straight edge
e. Sewing machine

Materials used:
a. A good quality polyester or nylon fabric. In this instance I used Argon 1.6 which is a ripstop nylon designed specifically for hammocks.
b. Good quality sewing thread. Gutermann's Mara 70 would be a popular choice for the DIYer as would Rasant 75.

1. Cut your fabric to the length you require, taking into account the end channels and some loss of length when you gather the hammock. For a 3.3metres length hammock I start with 3.6 metres of fabric, as my end channels take up 100mm at each end and there is also some loss when the hammock is gathered. Fabric width is usually around 1500mm.

2. Sew a rolled hem along both long sides. Start by folding the edge over once, and then over again. My hems are usually around 10mm in width but you can go bigger or smaller. Start by sewing along the inside edge of your hem. A single line of stitching is adequate but a second line of stitching adds a professional touch, and some extra reinforcement to your hem. The second line of stitching should be just inside the outside edge of the fabric.

3. Repeat Step 2 on the other side of your fabric. Once finished the hem on both sides it's time for the end channels to be sewn on the short sides of the fabric.

4. There are a number of ways to sew the end channels. I measure down 100mm from the end of the fabric and mark a line across the width of the fabric. I then take the end of the fabric and fold it over so that it is a couple of mm before the marked line. Now I fold the end of the fabric over again to just past the raw edge and this time right on the marked line. This hides the raw edge inside the channel, and gives you four layers of fabric making up your channel at a width of about 25mm. If you are going to use the end channels to run your suspension directly through then this end channel may be made larger if required.

5. Now you are going to sew the end channel down. Depending on how you are going to gather the hammock you will need to sew at least 2 lines of stitching, though 1 would be adequate, or 3 if you are going to run the suspension through the channel and hence making the stitching on the end channel weight bearing. I do not run the suspension through the end channel so I only sew 2 lines of stitching.

6. Sew the first line of stitching along the inside edge of the end channel, and then the second line of stitching 4-5mm inside of the this. This second line of stitching ensure you capture the raw edge of the fabric inside the end channel.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 at the other end of the fabric.

8. Congratulations that is your hammock body sewn. Basically I could have broken it down to: sew a rolled hem on both long sides, then sew a bigger rolled hem along the short sides and then gather - job done! It really is that simple.

There are a few ways to gather the ends so I am going to get to that in Part 2.

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Comments (2)

Simon·30 August 2015 - 08:15pmThanks Nick, it's like a practice in mindfulness when you get going.

Nick·30 August 2015 - 08:09pmThat is some enviously good straight stitching going on there! :)

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