Mexican hammocks and Mayan hammocks are are hand woven on looms using 100% cotton cord with nylon end strings for added strength. This makes it a strong, yet comfortable hammock that will mould to your body when you sit or lie in it. It takes time to weave a hammock by hand and can use up to a mile of string.
The next step is to interweave the yarn on the shuttles with what is wrapped around the hammock loom. Now it is time for the skill of the weaver to shine. Infinite patterns can be created by switching colors and weaving them into the hammock in a repetitive process. Sometimes, no particular pattern is followed, resulting in very wild looking Mayan hammocks.
During the weaving process it is very important to keep a constant, uniform tension on the warp. If the tension is too tight then one part of the hammock it will have a lump, or be too soft, and the hammock will have a dip. Improper tension is a sure sign of an inexperienced weaver. Many people believe that this is the most difficult part of learning to weave hammocks. The work involved in creating a brilliantly designed hammock is considerably more because when the color switches there is a pause in the weaving to tie the knots together. The more knots the more time involved to weave the Mayan hammock. This is why there is frequently a tendency for mass producers to create less complex designs. Fortunately there are still some quality producers in Mexico like the women of the Yucatan making fine Mayan hammocks in the old ways and designs.
The woven beds are taken off the looms and carefully saved until a quantity of Mayan hammocks end strings are ready to be strung. After the Mayan hammock bed has been woven and quantity amassed, then it is time to attach the end strings or hammock wrist as they are sometimes called. They are taken to the specialist to be all done at once. The end strings or loops require an expertise to make them strong.
The end strings are basically wrapped tightly, thus providing strength both in the hanging strings and in the binding of the loop. Again, proper tension is critical. It is very important that all the end strings are exactly the same length. If improperly done the hammock will have humps or dips. The end strings are wrapped in a continuous manner and after the outermost parts will be bundled and wrapped tightly together to form the hammock loop or hammock wrist.
The hammocks are then collected and brought to Merida for a final check before being shipped out all around the world.
When considering a hammock there are two materials to consider: nylon and cotton. Nylon would be a good choice, as it holds up to weather and wind better than cotton. However, nylon is not as comfortable a material. The synthetic fibers don’t stretch or conform as well as cotton. Cotton, being a natural material, is much more comfortable and cradles well to the body. The best Mexican hammocks take advantage of these 2 fibers. All our Mexican hammocks are made of 100% cotton, with the end strings or loops made of nylon to provide the strength and support. The Mayan women of today use them in the villages to rock their baby to sleep as they make the hammocks.