Here's how to make a hammock in a minute from a sheet or any big piece of cloth. It's the simplest method from my "Instant Hammock" article in Make Magazine Issue #9. I used the program "Avd Video Processor" to make these animated gifs from video.
Now on Know How! Click on the steps above for more details.
In case you'd like to make an elaborate Maya style hammock, here are some notes from 2001.
You should probably buy a hammock to look at (and rest in) before attempting to make your own.
Lauro lives at the entrance to Bahias de Punta Soliman in the Yucatan, Mexico.
He weaves hammocks to pass the time. Here he is at work.
He's using a netting needle just the same as the fishermen use to mend their nets.
The string is thin hammock string which is sold in fabric and hardware stores there.
To start out he winds about half the string needed to make the hammock at the top of the loom at 'a'.
Let's call that the "warp" string, although technically he's "twining" rather than "weaving" and it probably has a different official name.
Then he loads up his netting needle with string and starts to wind it around the first two strands of warp string as shown.
Wrap another turn of warp thread around the frame and go around and around it with your netting needle. The drawing is a little ambiguous (and rough). It's supposed to look like going around and around, not any other sort of more complicated pattern.
There are many styles of hammock. This style gets you the most hammock for the least string. There are some where you wind your string around three or more warp strings at a time rather than the two shown here.