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Re: Hammock Camping Near Disaster!

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  • geoflyfisher
    Regarding the cause/anatomy/etc... the rip is at the end of the loop velcro. It is perpendicular to the edge of the fabric and extends about 6 inches into the
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 24, 2003
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      Regarding the cause/anatomy/etc...

      the rip is at the end of the loop velcro. It is perpendicular to the
      edge of the fabric and extends about 6 inches into the hammock.

      My guess is the cause was the hook velcro of my bug net. I had sewn
      hook velcro all the way to the end of the bug net, somewhat
      differently than you suggest. It is a little more form fitting to
      the opening of the hammock. I'd guess that the hooked together
      velcro on the bug net somewhere outside the overhand knot of the
      hammock got stuck and as I sat down on the edge of the hammock the
      hook velcro, or the sharp edge on that velcro, acted as a knife,
      starting a rip.

      At this point, I am considering doing something different with the
      velcro for the poncho/insulator, so I may just chuck the material for
      the hammock and peel off the existing velcro to re-use it. Patching
      the material might work, but for the 12 bucks to replace the
      material, it seems like too much work to patch and then worry.

      <><

      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Speer" <info@s...> wrote:
      > Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike. Your quick
      > thinking saved the day (or the night).
      >
      > I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure
      you
      > are. I've never had a hammock do that before, so my suspicion is
      that
      > the fabric somehow got cut or torn on a sharp edge. How was the rip
      > oriented--along the fabric edge, perpendicular to the fabric edge,
      etc.
      > Does the features of the rip suggest how it tore--I don't even know
      what
      > torn ripstop is suppose to like.
      >
      > Were you using 1.9 ripstop, or it's lighter 1.1 oz cousin? I've
      had 1.1
      > ripstop tear from normal use--but never 1.9.
      >
      > Tying the end knot by pulling the long edges a few inches longer
      than
      > the rest of the hammock shouldn't put undue stress on the long
      edges--if
      > anything, it puts more stress on the centerline of the hammock, not
      the
      > long edges. And the velcro shouldn't be the culprit either (FYI,
      > sometimes my velcro stops just shy of the end knot and other times
      it
      > disappears into the end knot, but it never extends completely
      through
      > the knots). As far as user weight goes, I've tested a 1.9 ripstop
      > hammock to 375 lbs w/ me wildly bouncing up and down --the only
      thing
      > that happened was the 1/2" steel bolts I was tied to pulled out of
      the
      > wall! I have many customers who weigh more than you and they've not
      > reported any problems. I'm currently using a 1.9 oz ripstop hammock
      > that has been slept in over 400 times--that's over 3,200 hours,
      with no
      > sign of failure or damage (I weigh 170 lbs). In fact, that's the
      same
      > hammock I tested to 375 lbs earlier.
      >
      > What I'm trying to say here is it seems unlikely the fabric failed
      from
      > normal use only. I would carefully consider sources other than the
      > fabric or the design. I'm assuming the fabric was sound to begin
      with.
      > Were you using seconds--fabric seconds are usually OK since defects
      are
      > generally cosmetic, but defects in the fabric strength can exist.
      >
      > How was the hammock packed/transported after the last use--is it
      > possible it could have been cut or ripped accidentally. Did the
      hammock
      > snag on anything while making or breaking camp, like a sharp stick
      or
      > rock--I've often worried that mine will get damaged this way--it's
      very
      > easy to miss a potential snag or rip. Also, once occupied, the taut
      > hammock fabric is much more susceptible to punctures or tears--
      could it
      > have gotten caught on anything after you were inside, either this
      time
      > or a recent previous use? Did anyone else use your hammock--could
      they
      > have had a problem? When all else fails, blame it on the Mad
      Hammock
      > Slasher!
      >
      > I'm sure you're trying to think of every possible cause and may have
      > already considered the ones I mention above. Hopefully we can use
      your
      > episode as a learning experience--if you can only solve the
      > mystery....Ed
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@y...]
      > Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 3:20 PM
      > To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Hammock Camping Near Disaster!
      >
      >
      > Well, it seems like near disaster. On my Zaleski trip, I almost
      had
      > to sleep on the ground. The robust nature of Ed's design had me
      > swinging after a 10 minute repair.
      >
      > When I arrived at the campsite, I put up the hammock and decided to
      > take the bug net off completely, as it is entirely too early for
      the
      > flying biting stuff, and I no longer need the bug net to keep snow
      > flakes off my quilt.
      >
      > When I got to one end, I discovered to my horror, that there was a
      6
      > inch rip in the hammock right at the end of the velcro strip. I
      > don't know if the hook velcro of the bug net had weakened the
      > unprotected 1.9 oz ripstop, or my pulling the 2 inches Ed suggests
      in
      > the book had caused the edge to become extra tight, but there was a
      > failure of the material. I was a bit afraid to sleep in the torn
      > hammock.
      >
      > Solution.. I pulled the strap loop down a foot or so toward the
      > other end of the hammock. Then I tied a new knot in the end of the
      > hammock, incorporating the velcro edge. The rip is in the
      material
      > that no longer supports weight. It worked just fine, but is a
      little
      > shorter (about 14 inches) than I planned. As such it will work
      fine
      > for Diane, but I was a little long for the new length. But it
      > worked.
      >
      > I'm glad I had not used the sewn method of making the hammock end.
      > If I had, I would have been sleeping on the ground.
      >
      > Prevention... I am reconsidering Ed's instruction to pull the two
      > edges up about two inches. I may be this unequal tension which led
      > to the failure. I have to think a little about that. I also am
      > considering sewing the velcro strip all the way to the end of the
      > material so the strip is part of the knot and lends extra strength
      at
      > the critical last couple inches.
      >
      > Has anyone else had problems with a failure of the hammock material
      > when they used the right material and did not violate the weight
      > limits?? (I weigh 190#)
      >
      > <><
      >
      >
      >
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    • Ed Speer
      Wow, Flyfisher. Thanks for the info. I ve never seen velcro cause a tear in ripstop nylon, but I ll certainly watch for that in the future. Good luck with
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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        Message
        Wow, Flyfisher.  Thanks for the info.  I've never seen velcro cause a tear in ripstop nylon, but I'll certainly watch for that in the future.  Good luck with your next hammock...Ed
        -----Original Message-----
        From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@...]
        Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 3:24 PM
        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: Hammock Camping Near Disaster!

        Regarding the cause/anatomy/etc...

        the rip is at the end of the loop velcro.  It is perpendicular to the
        edge of the fabric and extends about 6 inches into the hammock. 

        My guess is the cause was the hook velcro of my bug net.  I had sewn
        hook velcro all the way to the end of the bug net, somewhat
        differently than you suggest.  It is a little more form fitting to
        the opening of the hammock.  I'd guess that the hooked together
        velcro on the bug net somewhere outside the overhand knot of the
        hammock got stuck and as I sat down on the edge of the hammock the
        hook velcro, or the sharp edge on that velcro, acted as a knife,
        starting a rip.  

      • geoflyfisher
        ... you ... I did some work with the ripped hammock over the weekend. There is a new theory on what caused the tear. It looks like the tear actually started
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 31, 2003
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          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Speer" <info@s...> wrote:
          > Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike. Your quick
          > thinking saved the day (or the night).
          >
          > I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure
          you
          > are.

          I did some work with the ripped hammock over the weekend. There is a
          new theory on what caused the tear.

          It looks like the tear actually started in a bartack at the end of
          the velcro. The bartack was perpendicular to the edge of the
          hammock. The tear, once started, pulled through the hem of the
          hammock material and then about 6 inches into the body of the hammock.

          The material was white ripstop. It was listed as 1.9 oz but
          examination now leads me to think it could well be 1.1 oz instead. I
          have not weighed it, but will do so.

          As you know, Ed, the edge of the hammock takes some extra tension
          entering and exiting. Along the edge of my hammock, I had sewn the
          velcro and it ended about 6 inches short of the knot. Because the
          velcro is relatively non elastic compared to the nylon body of the
          hammock, at the end of the velcro, there is a stress point. That was
          the reason I had put the bartack in to begin with... but it ended up
          being the weak point instead.

          Plans for next experiment are to continue the velcro all the way into
          the knot both for strength and better bug protection, and to attach
          the insulator/poncho with snaps instead of velcro.

          <><
        • Ed Speer
          Thanks for the update Flyfisher. I, too have had simialr trouble elsewhere w/ heavy bar tacks--It s easy to reach a point where the additional thread in the
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 1, 2003
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            Thanks for the update Flyfisher.  I, too have had simialr trouble elsewhere w/ heavy bar tacks--It's easy to reach a point where the additional thread in the bar tack is not needed for strength, but the extra needle holes weaken the fabric by perforating it too much.  Kind of a catch22.  Best of luck with the remake...Ed
             
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@...]
            Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 8:28 AM
            To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Hammock Camping Near Disaster! "Autopsy" Results

            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Speer" <info@s...> wrote:
            > Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike.  Your quick
            > thinking saved the day (or the night). 

            > I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure
            you
            > are. 

            I did some work with the ripped hammock over the weekend.  There is a
            new theory on what caused the tear.

            It looks like the tear actually started in a bartack at the end of
            the velcro.  The bartack was perpendicular to the edge of the
            hammock.  The tear, once started, pulled through the hem of the
            hammock material and then about 6 inches into the body of the hammock.

            The material was white ripstop.  It was listed as 1.9 oz but
            examination now leads me to think it could well be 1.1 oz instead.  I
            have not weighed it, but will do so.

            As you know, Ed, the edge of the hammock takes some extra tension
            entering and exiting.  Along the edge of my hammock, I had sewn the
            velcro and it ended about 6 inches short of the knot.  Because the
            velcro is relatively non elastic compared to the nylon body of the
            hammock, at the end of the velcro, there is a stress point.  That was
            the reason I had put the bartack in to begin with...  but it ended up
            being the weak point instead. 

            Plans for next experiment are to continue the velcro all the way into
            the knot both for strength and better bug protection, and to attach
            the insulator/poncho with snaps instead of velcro. 

            <>< 



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          • rosaleen43@aol.com
            Hi, Everyone! There have been several posts trying to study a failure in a hammock, starting at the point of a bar tack. Just to add points to consider in
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 2, 2003
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              Hi, Everyone!

              There have been several posts trying to study a failure in a hammock, starting at the point of a bar tack.

              Just to add points to consider in sewing.  In my experience, there seem to be materials that perform as if I'd just made perforations indicating where I want to be able to tear something off.  Notably, stitching on pieces of foam/mylar for a reflector.

              There are likely a lot of reasons for this.  Let me throw in one thought for some of you who have less sewing experience.  Manufacturers have come out with different needle points, targeting them to knits or wovens.  There are also some sold as "universal point."

              So, along with length and diameter, dullness and burrs, we may also need to concern ourselves with the actual type of needle point.  Before starting a large project, or one that needs to bear weight, sew a test strip and subject it to the forces you anticipate for you finished project.  I haven't sewn enough silnylon to know, yet, it does best with the sharper needles meant for wovens or the ball points meant for knits.  It may just behave differently from what we expect. 

              Cheers, and happy tinkering!

              Rosaleen

            • geoflyfisher
              Hi Rosaleen, Great points in your post (pun intended ;) ) The hammock material which failed was uncoated ripstop nylon. I was using a standard sewing machine
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 2, 2003
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                Hi Rosaleen,

                Great points in your post (pun intended ;) )

                The hammock material which failed was uncoated ripstop nylon. I was
                using a standard sewing machine needle... not ball point, not
                cutting needle, just sharp... When I made the bar tack, I had just
                sewn dozens of feet of hook and also loop velcro, which tends to
                cause burrs on the needle occasionally.

                I believe that ripstop nylon would be less likely to be weakened by
                sewing than silnylon is. The silicone stablizes the fabric thread
                and may allow it to be cut by a needle when regular woven cloth
                threads would be allowed to be separated by the needle.

                For this reason, silnylon and tyvek may have some inherent weakness
                for the weight supporting part of hammock making which the woven
                ripstop does not.

                I pointed out what I did to allow others to avoid over sewing the
                velcro at such a vulnerable location. As Ed Speer noted, it is
                likely the many needle punctures of the material which caused
                weakness instead of strength.

                <><

                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, rosaleen43@a... wrote:
                > Hi, Everyone!
                >
                > There have been several posts trying to study a failure in a
                hammock,
                > starting at the point of a bar tack.
                >
                > Just to add points to consider in sewing. In my experience, there
                seem to be
                > materials that perform as if I'd just made perforations indicating
                where I
                > want to be able to tear something off. Notably, stitching on
                pieces of
                > foam/mylar for a reflector.
                >
                > There are likely a lot of reasons for this. Let me throw in one
                thought for
                > some of you who have less sewing experience. Manufacturers have
                come out
                > with different needle points, targeting them to knits or wovens.
                There are
                > also some sold as "universal point."
                >
                > So, along with length and diameter, dullness and burrs, we may also
                need to
                > concern ourselves with the actual type of needle point. Before
                starting a
                > large project, or one that needs to bear weight, sew a test strip
                and subject
                > it to the forces you anticipate for you finished project. I
                haven't sewn
                > enough silnylon to know, yet, it does best with the sharper needles
                meant for
                > wovens or the ball points meant for knits. It may just behave
                differently
                > from what we expect.
                >
                > Cheers, and happy tinkering!
                >
                > Rosaleen
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