Some Instructions & A Short Tour of Our Workshop
Making hammocks has been a handcraft business for Twin Oaks since 1967. Our rope hammock designs are traditional; some of our methods of production are not. Should you wish to make and/or design your own hammock we hope the following introductory instructions will be helpful. At the end of this tour (bottom of page) you'll also find reference to the only book we know of on the subject of hammock making: Hammock : How to Make Your Own and Lie in It.
1. Obtain the rope. We produce most of our own rope on twisting machines from various yarns. Hammock rope can be purchased from a few wholesale vendors as well. There must be retail sources of such rope, though we haven't made contact with any of them.
2. Put the rope on weaving shuttles. Originally we used handmade wood, then plastic, now custom-welded stainless weaving shuttles. The rope can be wound onto the shuttle by hand - in our shop a small motor and counter assist the process.
3. Weave the hammock bed. With our weaving technique a hammock is started in the middle. Two shuttles are used for each hand-woven hammock produced.
(Note: technically a hammock bed is a knit stitch, not a weave)
4. In our shop wooden jigs are used with slotted pegs. The curved measuring outriggers make a shaped hammock bed.
5. Finish off the hammock edges. A crochet stitch piece is used in our shop to finish off and strengthen the hammock edge.
6. Prepare the harness. Rope is wound around pegs and clamped prior to cutting with a hot wire.
7. Macrame the harness. The trimmed ropes of a single harness are slipped into a welded plated hammock ring, then placed on a tapered wood holder for knotting.
8. Thread harness into drilled and oiled oak spreader bars. Only white oak is used, milled from local trees, then planed and drilled. Other woods are not sufficiently strong and weather resistant (photo below.)
9. Trim harness. Sythetic olefin and polyester ropes are cut & sealed with a hot iron such as a soldering iron.
10. Tie completed harnesses to hammock bed. Bowline knots are used to complete this process .
11. Hammocks hanging, ready to bag. After tying on both harnesses, the finished hammock is removed from weaving jig and hung for final inspection before packaging.
There is an out-of-print book on the subject of making your own hammock: