It is possible to make a rope hammock just using a few knots and the most basic materials. Macramé is a simple and effective way to turn a ball of nylon rope into a really useful, and durable, nylon hammock. To create a rope hammock, often called a Mayan hammock, all you need to know is a few very basic knots. The dowel should be around 3 inches in diameter. Nylon does not tie as easily as hemp, jute or cotton, so you will have to pay attention and make sure you pull those knots tightly. This is a very inexpensive and relatively easy way to make a rope hammock.
Step 1 - Preparation
Hang one of the dowels onto the wall, horizontally, just above eye level. Cut forty lengths of rope, each 32 yards long.
Step 2 - Attaching the Ropes
Attach one of the ropes to the dowel by folding it in half and passing both ends over the pole. Pass both ends through the loop. Tighten. Repeat. All of the forty lengths must be attached. However, to stop everything becoming a tangled mess, coil each of the ends into a bobbin. Simply wrap the rope around the thumb and little finger of your left hand, then tie it up in the middle. Leave around a 3 feet free. When you have completed this process, you should have 40 double loops and 80 bobbins. Spread them evenly across the 5 feet dowel, leaving 1 foot on each side.
Step 3 - The First Row
The hammock is knotted using a reef knot, also known as a square knot. Start with the first 4 strings on the left of the pole. Separate the 2 outer ropes from the 2 inner cords. Take the right rope and bring it over the two center ropes. Bring the left hand rope over the right rope, under the center ropes, and over to the right. Now tie the left and right ropes together in an overhand knot. To complete a reef knot, simply reverse this step. Take the left string over the center ropes. Bring the right rope over the left rope and under the center ropes. Then knot tightly.
Step 4 - Working the Body
The next row must be staggered. Simply miss the first two strings. Repeat the knots all the way across. The missed ropes from the last row will be taken up in the next row. Continue until the body of the hammock is around 7 feet long. The hammock will stretch! Keep the knots tight and the rows far enough apart to give a little stretch.
Step 5 - Finishing Up
All the cords must be tied around the last pole to finish, using a double half hitch. The easiest way to do this, is to lay the dowel over all the ropes and knot from the right to the left. Be sure you keep the hammock square with the dowel. Only when you are totally satisfied, start tying.