Handmade Hammocks Fairtrade Hammocks and Hammock Stands
Mexican Style Hammock Suspension
The nature of the thing:String or Mexican hammocksare like nets. There are no wooden bars and they are designed so that you lie across the way rather than end to end. These nets hammocks are like concertinas so that your body acts as the 'rod' to keep them open. Hold one side up and let it drop open - you'll see that the net is at least the length of your body and probably a good deal more. When you lie in these there is ample room on each side of you and no chance of tip out.
How to use them: Don't lie in a Mexican hammock end to end, lie in it diagonally. When you do so you are then lying against the weave and the effect is that the hammock net stetches out precisely to your length and the weave goes tight beneath you, supporting your back firmly. If you want to sleep the night in one of these then lie diagonally across it and your back will be level and you can roll from side to side in your sleep comfortably and safely.
Mexican hammocks are designed to be slept in like a sling. If you lie end to end, not only will you be wrapped up like a sausage but as you're lying with the weave instead of against it, the net does not open out to support you. In effect, the weight of your feet and you head cause ridges. Either a ridge of net appears between your feet or at the back of your head.
This design is incredibly strong and as long as the fixing points are sound and you have the space, there seems to be no limit to the number of people that can climb into a Mexican hammock. Depending upon the size, 7 occupants is quite common - not to mention the occasional Volkswagon Beetle!
The only minus point to these is that as they are made of a fine string in a fairly loose weave they can catch in buttons and buckles or can be torn with sharp objects. It is best not to wear shoes in this style (or any hammock if you can help it.) Mexican hammock also are not designed for impact so jumping into one of these off the top of the wardrobe will definitely result in a hole. Lie in them ordinary fashion and don't leave them out at the mercy of the weather and they should last indefinitely.
Suspension height: Fixing points need to be at approximately 2m in height to avoid bottoming-out. Remember for multiple occupancy use the closer the ends are together and the steeper the sides, the more roll-together ensues.
Suspension width: As they aren't lain in end to end, these should not be hung tight. You need to leave a drop between the highest and lowest point of about 1m. Hanging distance is not as vital with these as with rods, but height is of the utmost importance. In fact, if you don't mind having very steep sides and have the requisite amount of height, the ends can be fixed as close as 2m apart - although this won't work for multiple occupancy. Generally, 3m or 3.5m is a good span for one of these.
How to get in:Standing about half way along take an edge plus a handful of net in either hand. Open it out a little. Turn around and sit down. Pull it up behind you and lean back, at the same time draw your legs up and hook your heels into the edge. Stretch you legs out straight and you'll be lying flat and totally supported.
Tip: When it isn't tied up, always pick up this style by the brasso loop. This will avoid the spaghetti produced when you collect it by the middle and the 150 or so nylon brasso strings become enmeshed.
Washing: always before washing either take the nylon brasso by the loop end and knot the brasso through itself or tie elastic bands down the length of the brasso to prevent it from tangling through itself and becoming hopelessly knotted.
Handwash in cool water, or place in a wash bag or pillow slip and machine wash on a gentle, cool temperature cycle.
Dry by hanging it up and stretching it open with a cane. It will have shrunk during washing but with use will stretch back to its former size again.
If made of cotton these will last if you don't leave it out of doors when not in use.