Traditionally, hammocks were used because of the high heat, which made sleeping in normal bedding impossible, or at least uncomfortable, for people. At first, the bark from a hamack tree was used to weave a mat on which people can rest, but later, this bark was replaced with strong fibers from a sisal plant.
Marine suppliers designed cheaper hammocks which were made from polyester, able to withstand the damp environment on the boats. The polyester lasts longer than cotton, but is uncomfortable, so cotton became the standard used material for many years.
The main materials needed for a hammock include: cord, hardwood bars, rings and some hammock accessories. Hammocks today are mostly made from a soft polyester fiber, woven into a micro-weave design, but there also are hammocks made of hemp fiber, which makes them stronger and more comfortable.
The cords are attached on the bars through specially designed rings, and then are collected in a knot on each of the hammock ends. Most of these rings are made of steel, since they must remain rigid, and are tested by their manufacturers to ensure they can hold more than the weight of an average adult.
Hardwood bars are used as support, withstanding considerable strain from the person’s weight. Some of the stronger spreader bars are made of oak, persimmon, hickory and cherry tree, and some may need to be treated to be protected from sunlight and moisture.
Among the commonly used hammock accessories are the special stands that hold the hammock, shade canopies, colorful pillows made of weather-resistant fabrics, umbrellas, bug nets, etc.
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