Originally Posted by Theosus
It worries me a bit my Hennessy is NOT ripstop. I hear that hammocks are pretty tough but they tend to fail dramatically. Falling through the bottom at 3am into 20 degree weather sounds about as dramatic as it could be.
I like the Jo-Ann ripstop. I made a hammock chair out of it and it is some tough stuff. If I can ever get the bleeping rigging right so I can actually sit in the bloody thing I'll put up a picture, but the fact that a few ounces of fabric and some grosgrain ribbon will hold my heavy butt off the ground was surprising.
Ripstop will work just fine in its intended application: keeping unstressed rips from widening under normal use. What it won't
do is prevent your body weight from widening a tear into a catastrophic failure of an hammock. At least, not in any fabric weight I'm familiar with. What's more important is fabric type (to avoid rotting/moulding due to moisture and other factors) and fabric weight (as that is the most important factor in pull strength for fabric).
That being said, nylon is very tough stuff in any
weave, and the way that your body weight is distributed is fairly even with an hammock. You'd be surprised at how light of a material is needed to hold you off of the ground--provided you take care to avoid holes in it. (i.e.: "Don't smoke in bed. Don't set up your hammock so that sharp things underneath can cause a tear. Don't keep your keys (or other pointy objects) in your pockets when you go to bed." Etc.)
I hope that your DIY attempt goes well! I've found that I can have exactly what I
want with DIY, and that's really the attraction of it...