Netted Rope Hammock - Making Progress

After making a hundred or so feet of rope out of plastic grocery bags, I wondered to myself what I would do with it. A few ideas came to mind: use it for knot and lashing practice with the Scouts or make a coiled-rope rug were two of the most notable. But then I wondered if I could use it to make a rope hammock.

After a bit of web research, I found that there are two main ways of making a rope hammock--basically a net that you lay in. The first way is to have multiple pairs of cords running the width of the hammock, then knotting alternating pairs of cords to form the mesh. This seemed to be an easier concept, and perhaps easier to execute; however, very few of the hammocks I saw were knotted this way and I wondered why, if it seemed so easy.



The second way is to use one continuous cord (or several shorter cords knotted together) and...sew...the hammock. (The PDF I used to learn this technique can be found at the new URL of http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/files/2009/04/technique4.pdf.)



This is the way I chose to go for a few reasons. First, it would be a challenge to learn a new knotting technique. Second, it seemed like a nifty skill to have. I can see it now...

Friend: "Here we are on our week long camping trip and I forgot my net! I wish I knew someone who could make a fishing net."
Me: "Have no fear! I can whip one up in no time at all. I just need to strip the inner bark fibers of that tree over there, twist them in to rope, and it'll be done in a jiffy!"

So here are a few pics of the hammock in progress. I figure I need about 30-40 more Meijer bags to get the job done. (So get shopping, Kara!) ;) Why am I insisting on using only Meijer bags? It's probably an OCD thing, but I don't want to have brown bags mixed in with the white ones. Or black Wal-Mart lettering mixed in with the red and white Meijer lettering. So it's purely cosmetic. However, if I had my way, I'd use 100% Target bags. They're larger (so I could use fewer), and they're a bit more rubbery than the regular plasticky grocery bags (so they'll be a bit more flexible, I think).


I doubt that this will be the world's most comfortable hammock, but that's not really why I'm making it. I'm making it to see if it can be done. And I really do think that it'll be able to hold me--but I'm testing it out with my 9 year-old first, just in case.

Comments

Yu-Lian said…
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Donna said…
Hello! Ran across your blog looking to see if anyone had tried to make a hammock out of plastic bags--so how did it eventually turn out?
Brig said…
I never did finish.

It turns out that there's a LOT of effort required to make the rope. The netting itself went pretty quickly, but it was taking 5 or 6 times the netting time to make the rope.

And once I was this far, I realized that my net was too narrow to make a decent hammock.

In theory it would work fine, but I just don't have the time to follow through on it.
Anonymous said…
Did you twist two smaller ropes together to make the plastic bag rope double thick before knotting the hammock? And how long were the plastic bag ropes you started with?
Tango said…
The link to your .pdf document detailing the technique has moved. The current link for the technique is: http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/files/2009/04/technique4.pdf
Brig said…
Thanks, Tango. I changed the URL in the post.

Anon, you could check my YouTube video on how I made the rope here: http://digrat.blogspot.com/2009/02/making-rope-from-plastic-bags.html
AllofLife said…
Have you found a web page that describes how to make the breaded rope to attach the hammock to? Those would be the breaded lines coming out like a flat funnel from the circular metal.
Sunni said…
I just started making plastic bag rope today but my hope is to make a hammock with it one day, assuming I follow through.
Anonymous said…
I assume your plastic bag hammock will be for indoor use only? Plastic bags break down in sunlight fairly rapidly.
todd smith said…
Learning to build a hammock isn't as difficult as you probably think, and by following the directions we have here for you, you'll be resting on your new hammock in no time. These directions are for making a one person hammock. More info

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