I seem to be adding a lot of bug nets to hammocks for friends and family lately and wish to share an easy, nearly fool proof way to measure and install the net. By no means is this the only way to install a net, but it works beautifully for me and cuts the install process in half, time wise.
I only have to get in the hammock and test the net tension once and make only one or two quick adjustments before it's right - usually around where my feet lay. I used to have the net too tight or too loose or a mix of all of the above.
Several members on the forum have a method that involve math and measuring. I got tired of not getting the measurements right and having the net look really bad, so I thought of a simple method requiring only one measurement - just the length. I'm not great with math or geometry anymore.
The pictures show the step by step process which has worked on 4 hammocks of different lengths and widths. I've only had to make very minor adjustments that took seconds to perform. The netting has gone on with just the right amount of tension.
The secret is to hang the hammock tight and have the side pulls tight - this forms a nice rectangle to work with. I hang the hammock about chest height so I don't have to bend over.
Be aware that I sew the zipper coil on first! With the tight rectangle, all I do is measure the length end to end and add 4 or so inches for a good overlap.
As an example - my new hammock has an end to end (lengthwise along the ridgeline) measurement of 96". I cut a piece of 55/56" wide nooseeum 104" long.
I drape the netting over the hammock and position it correctly.
I don't pull the netting tight! I let the weight of the net droop by itself over the ridgeline - it's hard to picture, but it's like a swimming pool cover - tight on the sides with a droop in the middle. Doing it this way has turned out nearly perfect tensioning on the net.
Once I see everything is in the right place, I simply pin the net to the zipper coil. Once that's done, I unzip the net and get in the hammock to check the net tension. The only spots I've had to loosen were right where my feet go - the net would be a bit tight in that area. Then I get out and loosen the area that was tight and re-pin it - it's usually only a half inch or so adjustment.
After the first 2 hammocks, I don't bother with checking the tension again.
The entire process from hanging the hammock tight to bringing the hammock inside to sew the net on, takes me 30-40 minutes and I'm slow! Most of that time is spent pinning the net in place.
I know the word "droop" isn't very descriptive or scientific, but once you let the fabric "droop" under it's own weight, you'll see what I mean. Some of the pictures show the droop quite nicely. The droop with the hammock tight will go away once you hang the hammock normally. The tension on the net will be very close to perfect - it will be snug without being too tight.
I hope this helps those that are having trouble getting that net on correctly.
So - on to the pictures!