Introduction: Make a Rip Stop Nylon Hammock

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

Rip stop nylon is some pretty cool stuff. It’s used in jackets, sails, kites, wing suits, and parachutes. While at the sporting goods store, I saw it’s used in hammocks as well.

I made this hammock from two sections of rip stop nylon sewed together. While a single ply would have probably done just fine, I played it safe and doubled it. Don't worry if you don't know how to sew. This is probably the 3rd time I've ever used a sewing machine.  

Step 1: Sewing Rip Stop Nylon Fabric.

The material is already 60” wide right off the bolt. I asked for 4 yards. That gave me a section 12’x60”. When I got it home I cut 1’ off of the end making is 11’x60”. The one foot strip will be used to make a storage bag.

This material only stretches diagonally. Since I’m using the fabric in line with the weave, I able to use a straight line stitch. Otherwise, I would have had to use a zig-zag stitch to allow for stretching. I adjusted the sewing machine so the stitches were wide enough to prevent it from being a failure point. If they are too close together it becomes a perforation rather then a strong seam.

Step 2: Sew the Panels Together.

I matched the long edges and ran a straight stitch along the entire length. I then matched the edges on the other side and did the same. Since the panels are both 60” wide, They matched up nicely.

I used a rip stop line in the material to help guide the fabric along the sewing foot.

Step 3: Reinforcing the Seam.

To reinforce the seam, I folded the seam allowance down and sewed it flat. If I didn’t do this part I think it would have been fine. Very little stress is applied to these seams. Most of the stress goes along the center of the hammock. Still, this step makes the seam look a little more professional.  

Step 4: Sew in Channels for Paracord.

There is a channel sewed into each end of the hammock. Paracord is strung through these channels and looped. The loop is pulled tight so the edges bunch together and create the billowed shape. This also makes the anchor points. 

The solution to my inexperience with sewing was painters tape. I used it to hold a uniform fold along the entire short edge. After I ran the first seam, I removed the tape and ran another where the tape used to be.

Step 5: Make the Rip Stop Nylon Bag.

The storage bag is a simple draw string design.

I took the 1’ piece cut off at the beginning of the project and folded it in half. I then sewed the sides shut. Next I laid the bag down on it’s seams and taped the folded points down. See the pictures. After a couple more seams, the bag had its basic shape.

To attach the drawstring I folded upper edge of the bag over and placed a section of paracord inside the fold. I then ran a stitch all the way around the bag, keeping the paracord butted against the sewing foot.

Turn the bag outside in and it’s done.

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