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  1. #1
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Illustration: Weaving a Mayan Hammock

    Hey folks! It's been a while since I last posted on HF and this seemed to be a good time to post. Many of you, like me, have been interested in weaving your own Mayan-style hammock, but there is very little online that helps clarify the weaving process and the edge "crochet."

    I spent months pouring over YouTube videos, photos, illustrations, out-of-print books, and descriptions (and even promised my wife a cruise to South America) but finally figured it out. Woot! I knew the process wasn't that difficult, but when you watch a skilled weaver work with dizzying speed, it seems a bit like magic. I nearly cut apart my Mayan hammock as I deconstructed the edge crochet. In the end, it turns out the technique isn't that difficult, but becoming a master takes time and effort. (My wife says I can't get out of the cruise promise though...)

    The post is long, filled with photos, illustrations, and a video, so I didn't want to repeat it all here, so I hope a link and some teaser content will work. If there is anything you need clarified, let me know.

    > http://theultimatehang.com/2013/07/w...mayan-hammock/







    For those who want to know, I still do a lot of hammock-related illustrations and posts, but I am archiving them on my blog now for safe keeping instead of on HF. Part of the reason is because I am now considered a vendor/manufacturer on HF, as my illustrations, posts, and comments are viewed as either a direct or indirect sponsorship/promotion of my book. Once I came to terms with that, I realized that it is better that I post everything on my blog to remain as transparent as possible. I still visit HF on occasion, but you'll find most of my major posts and illustrations on my blog. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, but I think it is the best way for me to remain clearly on the vendor side of the fence.

    I still love giving back to the community, and my website is always free to access. There is no pay gate to access all my illustrations (many of which have been updated and reposted) on my blog and I hope it will be an easy way to see all my work organized and searchable online.

    For full disclosure, I am not sponsored by any hammock vendors and I don't do 3rd party advertising on my site--I don't even monetize my videos on YouTube. I do occasionally receive hammock products to test and review, either privately for research or publicly on my blog. I will always disclose how I received the gear, unless I purchased it myself.

    Anyway, 'nuff said. I still do a lot of pro-bono hammock illustrations for the HF community, so if you have a concept or idea you'd like to see illustrated, please drop me a line or a PM and I'll see what I can do. I have a few in the queue right now that I hope to publish soon.

    Thanks for your support!

  2. #2
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    Wow, I love posts like this.
    You could weave blankets or nearly anything
    using this method, and a few changes.
    Quite a quality topic, and thanks for the UltimateHang link.
    I will dive into it later.

    I fully expect this to be a new hobby of mine. I am curious
    what type of thread that is used. The link might discuss it,
    but have not checked it yet.

    I am personally disappointed to hear about your stuggles with classification
    as a vendor. I would much rather you be able to discuss topics and things
    here on HF, as I feel that you provide valuable information for our community.
    Is there anyway that this can be worked around? Can you post copies of
    your blogs into the vendor section?

    Perhaps the forum can evolve to include a Vendor Blog section. If vendors
    all posted blogs in one section, this could make a great compilation of information.
    Just my two pennies.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Thanks Sail; interesting thoughts. I have a good relationship with the Mods and I'll leave it up to them on what is best.

    As for thread, to be honest, I'm still working that detail out. When I compared my Mayan hammocks to thread, the #18 twisted nylon was the best match in terms of size. You can find this stuff at hardware stores sold as "Mason Line". I picked up a spool of 1,000+ yards white for a few dollars, if I remember correctly. I found #18 colored nylon string at some hobby stores such as Hobby Lobby.

    The cotton string has been trickier to find. If anyone is better at weaving and knows their string, please help out. I've been working with the Yarn Barn for a few weeks passing samples and talking over the phone. I'm pretty close to a match, but I'm not 100% certain about breaking strength, etc., and neither is the Yarn Barn. I think it will work, but it's hard to say.

    I spoke with a few hammock vendors who resell Mayan hammocks from South America and they are willing to sell me the yarn they use, but the prices are extreme. You can buy a brand-new Mayan hammock for the cost of the yarn, and then add shipping, which was 1.5 times the yarn. I passed. Honestly, I'm surprised the weavers make any money making those hammocks, knowing the low prices you can pay for a finished hammock here in the states and the mark-up that must occur. It takes a week+ for a skilled weaver to finish a hammock.

  4. #4
    richtorfla's Avatar
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    Cool! Thanks DeJoha! We took a cruise to Mexico and we picked up a mayan there. There were woman weaving a hammock where we got ours. I wouldn't mind giving this a shot when the time is right. It will be learning patience that will be the true virtue. Like the illustration of the loom!

    Watching the vid makes me realize how talented the mayan women are! When I lay in it, I will thank them for the most excellant job!
    Last edited by richtorfla; 07-26-2013 at 18:19. Reason: added text

  5. #5
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Thanks Rich!

    It is absolutely amazing to watch talented weavers do their work. I haven't seen any in person and can only go off of all the videos I watched. I was glad there were a few videos where they were slow enough I could figure out the technique.

    Once you get a rhythm, it goes pretty quick. My first attempts were so robotic that I only completed an inch of weaving in an hour. Getting the right netting needle (thin, narrow) helps a ton and getting a technique that works.

    From what I could tell, speed weavers are able to push the shuttle under, over, and around the appropriate strings in one fluid motion. When I switched to a thinner shuttle I was able to approximate this better and go faster.

    If/when I get down to the Yucatan Peninsula, I hope I can find a weaver and pay them the full price I pay in the US.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Unrelated

    I was searching net making tutorials on you tube to refresh an old skill and saw yours on making the hammock clew. Good tutorial. It was neat to see a name I recognized.

    In the tutorial
    I wonder if you double (or triple) the length of the outer lines/weaving lines and add 1 more hook in the center, can you eliminate the decorative knots at the end/point of the clew?

    When you get to the point of the clew, you bring them both down to the new center hook once you're done weaving the clew and start weaving the hammock? I've never tried it.
    KCCO

  7. #7
    New Member
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    cord

    If you have better luck at finding the cord, please let me know. I have found that the soft spun twisted polyester is the best fit, but can not find a retailer that has this in any other color than white (or most cases, no one has this at all) I know how to dye natural fiber yarn, not manu so that's a bust. Good luck and if I find something, Ill let you know too.
    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Pretty cool Derek! Would love to see a picture here or on your website with your finished hammock! Looks like a fun project.

  9. #9
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Nice work. It will be a while before I am ready to tackle one as I am still working on sewing a straight line with my thread injector.
    Frosty Butt Hang Jan 2015 .................. Fat Butt Hang April 2015

    neusioktrail.org ..................... Free Hammock Classes

    I am 18 with 43 years of experience !

  10. #10
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BER View Post
    Pretty cool Derek! Would love to see a picture here or on your website with your finished hammock! Looks like a fun project.
    Yes, I'll post one. My first hammock was baby size. It was just a test with a mismatch of yarn sizes and colors. It's currently hanging in my daughter's room. I'm now working on a full-size hammock and I'll post photos of that when I get more done on it.

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