Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The History of the Hammock

Where it began
The history of the hammock is actually a rather interesting one. We all know what a hammock is but do we really know how it came into being? The earliest usage of the hammock was believed to be by Native American Indians. Spanish explorers noted that these hammocks were woven from the bark of a hamack tree. Over time this idea was improved upon by using sisal fibers which were more flexible and in a larger abundance across the land over the bark of the hamack tree.

The hammock became increasingly more popular in South America for their multi uses. Hammocks were noted to be beneficial in protection from insects and even the spread of disease. This was due to the above-the-ground suspension which hammocks offer.  People did not have to sleep on the ground and could avoid encounters with snakes and other poisonous and dangerous creatures.

Helping Ship Board Life
By the time the 1590s came around, British sailors would use hammocks on their ships and in their bunks. You could move a hammock anywhere on a ship as long as you had two places to suspend it from. Naval hammocks as they were called are still popular today on sailing vessels. Not only have hammocks found their way onto sailing vessels but they are also popular on most spacecraft even today. Hammocks evidently work great in zero gravity.

The United States military began using hammocks during the Vietnam War; however these war hammocks had one flaw. They were designed to be waterproof using segmented waterproof panels that would become filled with water overnight and place for the water to drain. Eventually the United States resolved this error in design.

Hammocks eventually spread as far as Mexico and Venezuela. Hammocks were used widely by the Mayan civilization. When the Spanish Conquistadors came and conquered the Mayans they took the idea of the hammock with them, however the Spanish have evolved the design of the hammock which is what we have today. The Spanish were the first to weave hammocks through looms and even implore the use of hand woven techniques.

Hammocks Today
Even today some of the classic hammock designs are the most popular. The Spreader bar, Mayan, Brazilian, naval, Nicaraguan, Venezuelan and even the travel size hammocks are all a product of Spanish ingenuity. Today hammocks remain one of the best selling items in many areas such as home improvement, gardening, camping, and simple leisure activities.

Mark Gregory recommends Landmark Linen who offer a wide range of quality bedding.

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1 comment:

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