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  1. #1
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Best Silk Material For Making A Hammock.

    I have seen some people who make their hammocks from silk. My brother travels to China a few times a year and he says silk is ultra-cheap over there so I thought I would have him pick some up next time he goes over there.

    I did have some questions about silk hammocks:

    1. Is there any major advantage of silk over ripstop nylon?

    2. What weight/type of fabric should I have him look for?

    3. Is silk a lot more fragile that ripstop?

    4. Anybody know where I could get a small sample of silk that I could send with my brother so he can bring back the correct stuff?
    Last edited by headchange4u; 10-16-2006 at 10:28.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Ray Garlington and Bill Fornshell have made silk hammocks...


    http://www.garlington.biz/Ray/SilkHammock/

    Quote: Gardenville @TLB (Bill Fornshell on hammock camping)

    Why silk for a hammock? That is a good question. If you have ever worn something made from silk vs Ripstop nylon you might understand. The ripstop for warm weather can be sticky and hot. I had at the time 3 hammocks made from some kind of nylon. There was some talk on the yahoo group "hammockcamping" about a different fabric for summer use. No one had a real answer. I asked about making a hammock from silk. Most folks think silk costs a lot and don't consider it. Ed said he didn't know much about silk and had no real idea if it would work. I asked if he would try one out of silk if I sent him the silk. He said yes. That has been about a year ago and the silk is holding up great. The weight of the silk I used is 1.02oz per square yard . Ed also made the bug net out of a very light weight silk gauze. The hammock with bug net and Ed's standard straps is about 14oz. This is lighter than his standard hammock and also lighter than (I think) any HH.

    The silk is SO nice. It is very cool against your skin and will dry fast if it happens to get wet or needs to be washed. I now use the silk hammock year around and have sleep in it down to 29 degrees. I use any number of pads for how ever cold I expect and a good down sleeping bag or quilt. I have a new Stephenson DAM to try this winter and expect to extend the hammock sleeping range down to between 0 and 20 degrees. This is with a sleeping bag/quilt rated at the expected temp range.
    “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

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  3. #3
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Hmmmm....sounds like a promising material to use.

    I would probably go with a 1.1 - 1.3 oz per square yard just to have a little heavier material. The article goes on to that he used 10mm(?) silk from here. It costs 7.10 per 54" wide yard, which isn't as bad as I thought. I don't think white would be my first choice in colors.

    Hopefully I can find a sample before he goes back to China.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    And that's about the right width for a hammock, so no long straight cuts needed.
    “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

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  5. #5
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I ordered the material today for my first silk hammock. It cost $30.00 from Dharma Trading Co. for 4 yards, 55" wide. This is the cheapest I have been able to find it @ 6.41 per yard. They also have silk in 70" (out of stock), 94", and 110" widths. I had to order white because that's the only color they had so I may have to dye it or paint a design on it a little later on.

    I am really excited.

  6. #6
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    I'm 6'1 175 and used 10mm silk for my hammock regularly until it broke (probably 30 nights on it) when I lent it to my buddy. After hanging out with him more, I think it was his fault for being careless, not the fabrics fault, as he usually is ruthless with gear. It is great stuff and I guess I'll be making a new one soon, maybe 15mm.

    -David Wills

  7. #7
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Got my silk and finished my hammock today. It's really nice and comfortable. Silk is great.

    Here's a teaser pic with my wife in the hammock. I whipped it together with a 1.1oz DWR ripstop shell (dark green) so I could use my Big Agnes air core pad. Worked out better than I expected. More pics will follow.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...e.php?i=85&c=2

  8. #8
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    Looks good. I have a strange question for you on the silk. I make a lot of noise in my ripstop nylon when my sleeping bag or whatever rubs up against it. Do you have the same problem with the silk, or is it quieter? I am going to add a silk hammock to the long list of DIY projects. If it is dramatically quieter, I may bump it up the list.

  9. #9
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I haven't used it with my bag yet but I would venture a guess and say that it would be a little quieter that ripstop because of the texture of the material. My Western Mountaineering bag has the microfibre shell so it's not as noisy as other bags I have used in that respect.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by headchange4u View Post
    I haven't used it with my bag yet but I would venture a guess and say that it would be a little quieter that ripstop because of the texture of the material. My Western Mountaineering bag has the microfibre shell so it's not as noisy as other bags I have used in that respect.
    Thanks. My bag itself it quiet, but against the hammock it make a lot of noise.

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