What are Hammocks Made of?

What are Hammocks Made of
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Hammocks are made of a variety of different fabrics and materials, depending on their intended purpose or where they are made. Here are some of the most common hammock materials, and what they are used for:

Rope Hammock

These hammocks are made of open-woven rope, in a classic visual style. They are usually held open with a spreader bar. Rope hammocks can be made from:


Cotton is soft and comfortable, but retains water and may be prone to mildew. It's not the most durable material.


Polyester can be soft on the skin, and is more durable and dries more quickly than cotton, making it more resistant to mold and mildew.


Duracord is durable, moisture resistant, and colorfast for a rope hammock that lasts a long time.

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Rope Hammock Pros

  • Allows excellent airflow, keeping you cool and promoting air drying
  • Cotton can be soft and comfortable against the skin
  • Hammocks with spreader bars are comfortable for lounging

Rope Hammock Cons

  • Cotton fibers can retain water, making them heavy and prone to mold and mildew
  • Hammocks with spreader bars can be more difficult to get into and out of
  • Rope hammocks can leave a waffle-pattern imprint on your skin

Fabric Hammock

Many traditional Central and South American hammocks are made from cotton woven into brightly colored fabric. Different regions favor different colors, patterns, and fabric densities. Some fabric hammocks are made of canvas for strength and durability, and canvas hammocks have been widely used in the military. Fabric hammocks may be made of:


Cotton is soft and comfortable, and has vivid colors. It can be heavy when wet, is prone to mold and mildew, and isn't the most durable fabric.


Canvas is a woven fabric that may be made from cotton, linen, or hemp, and is known for strength and durability.


Polyester can be soft on the skin, and is more durable and dries more quickly than cotton, making it more resistant to mold and mildew.

Acrylic and textilene

Acrylic and textilene fabrics are suitable for all weather, and dry quickly. They are mildew resistant and durable.

Duracord and sunbrella

These all-weather fabrics are durable, quick drying, and mold and mildew resistant. They also have UV resistant properties to retain color for longer.

Fabric hammock Pros

  • These are the most beautiful hammocks
  • They have reduced or no skin patterning
  • They are very comfortable

Fabric Hammock Cons 

  • Can be heavy and retain water when wet
  • Cotton isn't as durable as other hammock materials
  • Not as portable as other hammock materials
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Quilted Hammock 

Quilted hammocks are, like all quilts, usually made of two layers of fabric sewn together with some amount of padding in between. They can be made from a wide range of different fabrics, with different degrees of padding. It's also possible to get a quilted pad for a rope or fabric hammock, to have the breathability of an open weave in hot weather, or the padded cushion of quilting in cooler weather. Quilted hammocks are generally made of a fabric exterior with a polyester fill.

Quilted Hammock Pros

  • Soft and cushioned for extra comfort
  • No skin imprinting
  • Warmer than other kinds of hammock

Quilted Hammock Cons

  • Reduced air flow
  • Heavier and less portable
  • Slowest to dry when wet

Camping Hammock

Most camping hammocks are made from nylon, and nylon is also a popular material in humid climates and for military hammocks.  Nylon is extremely strong for its weight. Nylon is lightweight and compresses into a small size, making it easy to put into a bag or pack without adding extra weight. It is also quick-drying and water-resistant. Nylon comes in different densities, however, which affect its weight and strength.

Camping Hammock Pros

  • Compact and lightweight, making it easy to stow and carry while camping
  • Water-resistant and quick-drying, making it easy to use in wet and humid environments

Camping Hammock Cons

Can be cold in cold weather, without much protection or insulation

As you can see, hammocks are made of a wide range of materials, and each of them are ideally suited to different uses in different environments. Whether you want a poolside or backyard hammock, or a rugged outdoor hammock, choose the materials that work best for your needs and expectations.

Remember that it's worth investing in a hammock made of high-quality materials, so that your hammock doesn't unexpectedly tear, spilling you to the ground. Make the best choice for your environment and enjoy your hammock for years to come.

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