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  1. #1
    Senior Member JBizzle's Avatar
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    Question DIY Hammock End Channels Design Ripstop Ripping

    I'm new to the DIY world and sewing for that matter, but I'd have to say I'm catching on fairly quickly. I made a DIY hammock out of 1.5oz ripstop nylon and I'm noticing that the nylon is starting to rip along the thread. I'm using Gutermann Tera Thread. Ultra High Strength. 50 Tex. With about 8-10 stitches per inch. My stitches appear to be at the proper tension on both sides. The thread is holding up fine, but the nylon is starting to rip in several places. It's still holding me fairly well, but this is a major concern.

    What could I be doing wrong? I read an article that suggested the needle size I should use, I will confirm the number needle at lunch. Should I put more/less stitches per inch? Am I using the wrong thread? (The thread isn't ripping) What on earth is going on? The fact that I put 3 hems (at least 1/4" apart) along the channel for support means nothing when the nylon supporting my weight is ripping.

    I have a hammock made of 1.1 and it's not doing this, so I'm doing something wrong, but my stitching looks almost identical to that on the grand trunk.

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance,

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JBizzle's Avatar
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    Here is the needle I used and a shotty picture of the rippage.
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    JBizzle
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    IMO needle size is something that is imprtant for commercial stitching but is almost totally meaningless to the home stitcher. I know others will disagree but I find the concern over stressed. A couple of thoughts come to my mind.

    The thread might possibly be an issue although I would not go so far as to label it the sole cause. Here's the deal... IMO I want the thread to be weaker than the fabric. That way, _if_ the thread snaps I can simply stitch it up again. If the fabric tears the entire project is compromised. Stretch can play hob with with overly heavy thread. The fabric rips where the thread does not allow the fabric to stretch and move. There should be balance in the system. I use regular house hold sewing thread and have never had a problem.

    Nylon is particularly subject to degradation from sunlight. It the fabric is old and has been stored poorly you might be experiencing that kind of damage. There may not be any one cause either. It could be a combination of things.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member scum's Avatar
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    While I've had success doing the channeled ends, I've always felt more comfortable with simply tying an overhand knot at the ends and tying my suspension off to the knots. I then use a cow hitch or equiv to tie my suspension to the knot.

    The knotted method pose no threat of ripping/tearing and is super easy to make. I also like that you can untie and 'adjust' a bit to help suck in the side walls if needed - though I prefer Knotty's stretch side method to take care of that.

    That being said, I've noticed people tend to steer away from the knotted end method. I believe the only reason being that there are a few inches wasted in the knot so there is some added wieght? I can't imagine the weight difference being enough to worry about and the security of a rock solid connection between me and the tree is worth it to me. And did I mention it's easier? Do a simple rolled hem at the ends to prevent fraying and tie an overhand knot - done.

  5. #5
    Senior Member scum's Avatar
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    Correction. It's a larkshead used to tie the suspension to the hammock end knots. Similar to what Just Jeff uses here - although his ends aren't knotted. Although, looking at animated knots website, they look pretty darn similar if not the same...

    http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock3.html

  6. #6
    dragon360's Avatar
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    I can't really see from your image - is it ripping or is the fabric pulling? I ask because it looks similar to something I noticed with my Hennessy classic right at the bottom of the velcro entrance. Spoke with Tom Hennessy himself and he told me that this was normal and would not compromise the strength of the hammock (felt unsure since it was right under me).

    If you are really freaked out, try a gathered end similar to the Warbonnet and that way the weight is more on the ball of material than on the stitches.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Hey, Scum! Your comments are right on. I think your knot is correctly called a cow hitch, but often misidentified as a lark's head. I always thought--and I could be dead wrong--that a lark's head was tied with a loop (like a Prussic).

    I think an objection folks have to simply tying the ends of a gathered end hammock is that you have little control over the way the fabric gathers. A channel end--I think--gives the most uniform gather. A very close second is the "Knotty" end. That's the only reason I can think of that people don't just put overhand knots in the ends and call it done. I mean, that's why I don't do it. Good thread!

    JB: I can't tell from your picture. Did you DOUBLE UP your channel? In other words, fold over FOUR inches of fabric, then fold THAT in half and sewed the channel through FOUR layers of fabric? That might equalize the fabric strength-to-thread-strength ratio Rambin' Rev explained above. Good luck!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member JBizzle's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I just picked up the Ripstop Nylon online so there shouldn't be any degradation in the material. Sorry about the picture, I couldn't' seem to get anything better at lunch time. I'll have to look closely again at it when I get home. It seems to me it's perforated now and just waiting for the channel to weaken enough to drop me. Hopefully it's just stretching and only looks thinner and isn't actually ripped off, but I'm pretty sure it's ripping.

    I did not double up the end channel, but I'm not sure it would help if I did. I'd still have only one layer of fabric holding me up, right? The channel is not ripping and either are the backing hems. Like I said, it's almost like it's perforated and starting to tear along the stitch.

    I'm starting to lean towards the idea it might be a combination between too big of a needle and maybe too strong of thread? The thread was labeled as "perfect for ENO style end channels", but I'm kind of feeling what Ramblinrev said about the fabric stretching and my thread not allowing it to.
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  9. #9
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    If it is actually ripping, you can easily save the project by using whipped ends as shown in the "Just Jeff's" link....http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock2.html.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JBizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    If it is actually ripping, you can easily save the project by using whipped ends as shown in the "Just Jeff's" link....http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock2.html.
    Thank you, I may do that, but I'd really like to make some more hammocks and figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have a 1.1oz GT Nano and it's holding up fine.

    I'm thinking about conducting some experiments with maybe like 12 inch mini hammocks or something. Sewing one exactly as I have been, putting some weight on it (like a dumbell or something) seeing if I get the rippage and then making more using different needles, different thread, different amounts of stitches per inch, and different tensions to see if I still get rippage with different methods.

    Something I'm doing isn't quite right and I never thought it would be something so small (like needle size), but maybe it is.

    Keep the comments coming if you may know what's causing this.

    Good news is, I haven't hit the ground yet!!!
    JBizzle
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