We’re always on the lookout for great products to offer to our customers. This season we are adding several outdoor lifestyle accessories we wanted to highlight in more detail on our blog.
Pawleys Island Hammocks
We first saw these in Chicago at the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market show. They have such an interesting company story, you might like to take a second and learn about them—no other company can boast of 100 years of hammock tradition! Their quality is top-notch.
Pawleys Island Hammock
The Pawleys story begins in 1889, with young South Carolina riverboat captain Joshua “Cap’n Josh” Ward, who was then having a tough time getting a good night’s sleep. Out of desperation, Cap’n Josh figured he’d give sleeping in a hammock a try, though the most common hammocks in his day were the fabric variety found on commercial and military ships, and didn’t offer much by way of improvement. Those maritime hammocks were small, hard to get into, cramped and prone to tipping. And because they were also made out of canvas, they felt rough, and were hot – sweaty hot.
Cap’n Josh thus turned his attentions to rope hammocks, figuring they’d have to allow for cooler sleeping. Unfortunately, the rope hammocks of his time were made from poor-quality hemp or manila rope, feeling like sandpaper against the skin. Not to mention they weren’t really all that sturdy, and had bulky, uncomfortable knots tied throughout.
So Cap’n Josh set out to create his own rope hammock, with his sights set on comfort instead. He began with heavy cotton rope, and then, rather than tying his ropes together in knots, he used a double-latch weave, where individual ropes pull against each other to produce a lattice-like design.
However, Cap’n Josh’s greatest contribution to the art of hammock-making has to be the spreader bar. He took slats from wooden oak storage barrels and sawed them to his selected size, boring holes in them at equal distances apart. He then threaded the holes with the rope ends from a standard mariner’s clew knot (the pretty triangular knot found at both ends of most hammocks), tying each threaded rope to a looped end of his woven hammock bed. This way, the only knots were away from the hammock bed itself.
In the many years since, the Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock has become the standard for what we now think of as the classic American hammock style – not to mention the best-known hammock brand in history! Almost any rope hammock you see today, no matter who makes it, is based on Cap’n Josh’s original design.
Why Pick Pawleys?
If the story above didn’t convince you, here are some other highlights about their hammocks…
Pawley’s weavers use a better-quality rope, and more of it, than you’ll find in other hammocks. Their hammock bodies a full 50 percent heavier than the majority of other rope hammocks on the market.
They use only highly nonabsorbent all-weather fabric that’s resistant to rot, mold, mildew, fading and staining.
- White oak: They use gorgeous Southern hardwood for the hammock spreader bars, swings and rockers.
- Superior drilling: They use a specially designed countersink drill for the rope holes in their hammock spreaders. Their drill holes also start wide, but then transition smoothly, with no hard angles, so the ropes passing through aren’t constantly wearing against sharp edges.
- A lasting glow: The wood pieces are repeatedly hand-dipped in marine-grade varnish, for a warming honey glow that doubles as solid protection against the elements.
The greatest stress on a hammock or swing falls on its hanging chains and rings. That’s why Pawleys uses zinc-plated hanging chains and other steel hardware that are among the heaviest in the industry. They are able to withstand greater sudden tension and more normal wear-and-tear.
Stop in and try one out for yourself at either one of our Pettis Pools & Patio locations. If you happen to find them so comfortable you doze off, don’t worry, we’ll wake you up before closing time!