Lots of great questions! Not all easy answers.
I've posted some questions about "advanced hammock theory
," but not a lot of people really go there because I think we get too cozy in our hammocks to think that deeply. I think there is a correlation between hammock width, length, and occupant size, but I need to find some people who are really good with math and don't fall asleep too easily to partner with me.
Making hammocks is really easy and I think the knotty post is pretty straight forward
Check out my website with a link to the hammock manufacturer list
. There are a lot of folks playing in this niche field and I'm not sure where the growth potential is. I see a lot of simple, gathered-end hammocks made from "parachute nylon" that are identical. There are a few folks innovating with bug net hammocks, but with the patent wars on hammocks, it's tough to do certain things.
Future of hammocks? There are more
main stream companies making kits. I think we will see more kit style, like the hennessy (e.g., hammock + bug net + tarp) to make an approachable, tent-like all-in-one solution. Soon, however, mainstream buyers will want warmth, and you can't ignore that hammocks get cold underneath much sooner than you think. Insulation options haven't gone mainstream (e.g., under quilts), but I think they will be the next thing to follow.
Welcome to the forums! I was just in Utah and met up with some folks up there for some hammock demos. My family hails from St. George. Next time I'm up, we should meet.