Generally, a bigger (longer and wider) hammock is more comfortable b/c it lets you lay flatter. I'm 5'10" and have found that 9'-10' is the right length, and probably 50"-55" is the right width.
The 63" wide ones (bolt width minus hems) are very comfortable, but they tend to restrict my vision too much when I'm inside, and the ~50" are good enough and weigh less.
My latest DownHammock is 116"x54" hemmed...it's about right...maybe the next one will be 110"x55", I think.
I'd say to get whatever ~1.9oz material Walmart has and make a full width one first...just easier b/c it's one less long cut. Play around with it and see how you like it, then start trimming the width away for your next models. It's nice to keep a full width one around so you don't forget what it's like when you try out a 48" wide one...compare them side by side until you get your dimensions settled.
Ripstop nylon is a great fabric and Walmart usually has some (the ones I go to do, at least), but really anything will work if it's strong enough.
It's $1/yd, so get the whole bolt! But if you really only want one hammock, 3.5 yards will be enough.
“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story
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IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER