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  1. #21
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    Definitely. I've been pretty happy with Dutch's regular width Hexon 1.6 and sticking with it to eliminate variables, and have found I prefer at least 10.5' long for that width. Not sure how the contour plays in. Straight ends can get me pretty close but no matter what the sag, I find a level lay is not really possible with straight ends. It just doesn't bother me that much to have my feet up a few inches, although I prefer the flat level lay if I could just get the support points right

  2. #22
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    i think the main "issue", as has been pointed out already, is that with "resonable" fabric, you'll get there or close enough just by laying in a well hung gathered end hammock. and then, you'll turn half way to the other side and the fabric/lay will conform again "well enough". this is part of the magic of the gathered end hammock; on the other hand, if customized too much to be a tailored fit, it becomes too restrictive (maybe?).

    having said that, it's one of the few things i've played with from the start, and there's value in it at least to "dial in" the lay. what i would suggest is to use a different method for prototyping (no more seam ripping), it will save you lots of time and frustration: instead of channels, or whipping, use a becket hitch (hammock fabric forms the "x", a dyneema continuous loop or soft shackle forms the "U"). this means you only need to loosen the knot a little on one side, and then you can adjust edges, middle etc as needed. in fact, i like this method so much, it is how i do all my hammocks these days (it's also the strongest i think, though i didn't do any destruction testing). i guess it's not the pretiest, but i like it, and trust it more than even triple sewn channels. but for prototyping this kind of thing, i think it will be invaluable: you'll be able to test 10 ideas in the time it would otherwise take you to test one, if using sewn channels.

    i think it is very interesting to experiment with this, would be great to hear how you go

  3. #23
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    What I have done with my prototypes is, I have drawn the different shapes on both ends with chalk, and stitched along the drawn line with a thin Dyneema fishing thread. Then I cinched the fabric up on the fishing line, and whipped it. That's pretty easy to do, very exact, and you can do your experimenting with one hammock blank.

    However, I still did not manage to come up with a prototype that provided a better lay than my favorite gathered end hammocks.

  4. #24
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutzelbein View Post
    Some of my shaped hammocks were more comfortable than others, but I found that using a hammock fabric with the right amount of stretch, and getting the length, width and especially the sag right were a lot more successful. In my experience, people who are unhappy with the gathered end design often simply have not paid enough attention to the other factors. It's like coming to the conclusion that backpacks suck because the only backpack you ever tried didn't fit you very well.
    Concise — and IMO accurate — summary of the situation.

    On the few occasions that I've not had optimum comfort it's due to one of those factors. And one more factor I'd add is proper foot end height relative to head to 'lock in' the correct body position and prevent sliding toward the foot end.

    Getting all of these right eliminates 99.5% of the problems with calf ridge.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  5. #25
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2012
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    It CAN help. Iv tried well over 30 variants in multiple fabrics with some sort of cat cut end. None of the regular type fabrics saw any large benefit, but one in particular saw an increase in comfort.
    A long, 6' wide tablecloth hammock. It's wipped with about a 2" curve on both ends. Its super uncomfortable if sitting in the wrong spot, but put your butt where it belongs, and it's a dream come true with the calf ridge being more under the knees and a very diagonal lay achievable. I can lay edge to edge, and that was my origional goal with the cat cut style. I have not been able to replicate this in any other fabric, so not sure if it's luck or the fabric. But it's worth playing with if your so inclined.

  6. #26
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the Tablecloth fabric is on the stretchier side. With stretchier fabrics you can counteract the stretch partially with curved ends. I prefer using less stretchy fabrics - so there is nothing to counteract.

  7. #27
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    It's stretchy, esp for its weight. Perhaps old skool at this point, they are still my favorite lounging hammocks.

  8. #28
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    I have the same experience with tablecloth hammocks. They do benefit from having a curved or W end pattern. Regular fabrics not so much

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutzelbein View Post
    What I have done with my prototypes is, I have drawn the different shapes on both ends with chalk, and stitched along the drawn line with a thin Dyneema fishing thread. Then I cinched the fabric up on the fishing line, and whipped it. That's pretty easy to do, very exact, and you can do your experimenting with one hammock blank.

    However, I still did not manage to come up with a prototype that provided a better lay than my favorite gathered end hammocks.
    that's beautiful, "my kind' of solution, thanks for sharing. i can't beat that in terms of precision and repeatability (i'd probably still try to use the becket instead of whipping, but whipping might turn out more consistent).

    also thanks for sharing your conclusion, while i came to the same as i explained above, i did not do nearly as much experimenting as you did, it's nice to see others approaches and results too.
    Last edited by nanok; 05-29-2021 at 02:01.

  10. #30
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    Once again, I am grateful to those with such an interest in such an old revived thread, but then I guess both hammocking and prototyping inspires an amount of passion in certain types - I count myself as one. Nanok, I think you're right both that a Becket hitch would allow faster adjustment and would lack a certain amount of precision. I'll totally give it a shot, though, as well as give my other adjustable designs a shot. I just got some more Hexon in recently. Time to get back at it.

    I'm glad, of course, for those who can find a comfortable enough lay to sleep all night without having to create something new, and generally speaking I'd agree, but as I mentioned, my brother has an old injury that factors in and with quite a lot of experimentation had more or less given up on hammock camping. That's how I picked up the torch, and I'm glad I did for a few reasons. It's interesting the features that crop up as side effects while pursuing another goal, like the variation that accidentally provided a perfectly supported pocket for the upward extended arm of a side sleeper, or the variations that due to the path of their end contour naturally created a separate pocket with the fabric not directly under the person so that you can stash things beside you, even as big as a full size guitar, and have them hang separately without sliding underneath you or needing a specific accessory. There is a novel constellation of solutions to be found. Not to mention the well known desires for lighter, more compact, etc. I just hope I can find a solution to the initial problem along the way. It seems that I differ from the general consensus, at least at this point, but I had hoped to find out the general feeling of those who have similarly obsessed over this and now have a good sense about that. I'll continue to check back, and of course if I find a solution I think is likely to change your minds, I'll bring it up. It's been a great journey so far.

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