Here is the video utube address:
MULEBRIDGE PLEATED HAMMOCK
I have just completed my third pleated bridge hammock. Hereís what I learned:
1. It is worth the work. Each one took me over 15 hours focused sewing and forming pleats.
2. 3 to 1 ratio fabric length to hammock length is best. The first two, though intending to be 3/1 ended up being approximately 2/1 due to not having the pleats in better control while sewing them.
3. I think the space in the hammock that is occupied with the personís torso does not need pleats. Make pleats from a couple inches below the shoulder to a couple of inches below the butt. If your pleats are too many, or if they extend way below the neck or above the butt it wonít matter. It will matter however if you donít have enough of the hammock pleated if you want to sleep with your knees pulled up laying on your side or stomach sleeping with your arms under your head.
4. The masking tape is by far better than pinning. Make masking tape supports within a quarter inch of the seam line. Make the actual shape of the hammock the inside seam lines, then one 3 inches outside of those and another in between the two. Using one inch masking tape leaves just enough of the pleats to sew without having the walking bar pulling the pleats out as it tries to advance the fabric. Sew while moving the fabric with your hands the same speed of the walking bar, that keeps your pleats in place while being sewed.
Below are the initial comments made about doing this pleated hammock. I wrote them while the concept was fresh in my mind between the 1st and 3rd hammock.
ďThe pleated hammock can be configured at the time of assembly to suite individual tastes in sleeping postures. For instance, I donít get in the fetal position much so I saved fabric and weight (and labor) by pleating only below my knees and from the head side of the hammock to just under my, well, you get the picture.
Making one of these is extremely time consuming and labor intensive. I think itís a huge job. The reason I think so it that I could not find a way to pleat the hammock all the way across so that the pleats remained the same on both sides of the hammock where the webbing is connected to the body.
I had to, finally, after attempts to pre-iron the pleats, pin the pleats, sew the pleats by steps down the length of the the hammock, baste or sew the pleats in across the width of the hammock after folding them and pinning them on each side. One of the problems was when sewing several seams working from the edges and progressively working my way toward the center three feet of the hammock, (that beginning rectangular 16 foot shape of the fabric) to hold the folds down and parallel to the ends until the pleats reached the actual form of the hour-glass shape of the cutout, I noticed missing keeping the folds exactly straight stacked up an error the more seams I sewed. I sewed a seam every three inches from the long edge of the rectangle in to where the cutout would eventually be. By making this error, it made some of the folded pleats a little shorter that some others, which would put all the force on the shorter pleats.
Looking down the length of the hammock from the end, i.e., a cross section view, the hammockís shape is the same as a normal bridge. As the weight is put in the hammock the forces normally being applied to vertical and angular planes in the fabric, now, were all vertical.
The pleats prevent the fabric from sharing itís stitch strength with adjoining sections of the bridge because they make extra room in the hammock by expanding length-wise. As the weight of the person is suspended vertically by whatever pleats are directly under the person, the extra fabric in the pleats prevents the fabric from sharing itís load in angled, or diagonal fashion as is the case in a normal bridge. So, the shorter edge of each pleat holding up the weight takes most of the weight applied to the pleat. In other works, this makes keeping the pleats parallel to the ends very important. If one were to sloppily sew the pleats onto the webbing at angles this way or that off being parallel to the ends, it would make whichever side of the pleat is shortest to first bear the weight.
Some of the stitches pulled out in three places for an inch or less when I first laid in it. Applying another length of webbing to the other side of the fabric sandwiching in the rolled fabric seam made the hammock strong enough to bear my 215 pounds while trashing around changing positions whenever I liked.
It is very hard to make. The improvements I hoped to make on the second attempt were to get the pleats to be smaller, meaning each pleat had to bear less weight the smaller they are and also to get more material into the pleats to make more freedom in the hammock. #2 failed on the latter and about half failed on the smaller pleats. What happens is not matter how well you lay the fabric out, when you sew the pleats in the feeding foot on the sewing machine just straightens out the pleats allowing the slippery material to sort of un pleat itself as it goes through the machine. My next attempt will be to used sewing / basting glue to put in the pleats before sewing. That will stop the slipping in the machine. The way it is pleated, a half inch pleat every half inch should give you a ratio between the actual length of the fabric before and actual length of it after pleating of 3 to 1. I have only been able to get about 2 to 1 because of the slipping. Once I glue in the pleats all the way across, then sew them through and sew on the webbing I just wash it in detergent and the glue disappears.Ē
New comments, forget the glue, use masking tape as seen in the photos and video.