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Hatteras FAQ


 

What are the advantages/disadvantages to a Hatteras quick-dry fabric hammock or quilted fabric hammock compared to one of your rope hammocks?

There’s nothing better or worse about fabric vs. rope; it really comes down to your own personal needs, and personal preference.

  • Fabric: The rich, colorful designs of our fabric hammocks offer tremendous possibilities for embellishing the looks of some chosen corner of your yard, especially when paired with one of our award-winning Roman Arc Cypress Hammock Stands. Fabric hammocks, with their inherently more-restricted airflow, are particularly appropriate if you’re planning to use your hammock beyond the warm days of summer. Our Hatteras Quick-Dry Comfort Hammocks are woven from a single layer of soft, fast-drying, all-weather fabric, making them highly suitable for damper climates, and a great addition to poolside, lakeside or seaside. Our Hatteras Large Quilted Hammocks, woven from two layers of cotton-soft all-weather fabric, with a center of plush polyester fiberfill batting, are heavier and thicker, with a pillowy surface.
  • Rope: With their double-latch weave resembling lattice, our rope hammocks allow airflow far beyond what’s possible even with a single-layer fabric hammock, making them potentially cooler to recline in. When hand-woven from such quality synthetic materials as soft-spun polyester or our own DuraCord®, rope hammocks now have the potential to last indefinitely, and with minimal care, unlike with cotton rope, once the hammock-rope standard.

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Which is better, polyester or DuraCord® rope?

With the durability and softness now available in synthetic rope fibers, both our soft-spun polyester and DuraCord are terrific options. Polyester comes only in handsome bright-white and DuraCord in several colors, so it’s really a question of personal preference and anticipated level and type of use.

  • Polyester – Polyester rope used to be exceedingly uncomfortable against the skin, a situation only magnified as the rope weathered. However, the new-generation soft-spun polyester we use at Hatteras is far, far removed from that scratchy rope of old, all while retaining heightened durability. Rot-, mold- and mildew-resistant, the threads of our own polyester rope are soft-spun from innumerable tiny synthetic fibers, to create a feel remarkably similar to cotton. We offer polyester rope only in bright-white, since polyester fiber is simply not capable of holding color well.
  • DuraCord® – Under similar conditions, DuraCord will normally last longer than polyester. Our Lexus of synthetic ropes, DuraCord takes the advanced weatherability and cottony feel of our soft-spun polyester and then goes one better. With DuraCord, rope in vibrant colors is finally possible, without the heartache of your favorite relaxation haven fading into blandness after a few seasons of intense weather and sun exposure. Solution-dyed, so the color is sealed into the fiber even as it’s being made, DuraCord is the most fade-resistant rope (and outdoor-fabric) material made today, immune even to the paling effects of bleach. Virtually nonabsorbent and remarkably quick-drying, our primo synthetic not only holds up exceptionally well to heavy wear, but as with our soft-spun polyester, resists staining, rotting, mold and mildew.

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How much space do I need for hanging my hammock?

The ideal distance for hanging a hammock typically averages out to roughly 2 feet greater than the hammock’s total length from ring to ring. It’s best to plan on needing about 15 feet of open space to hang your hammock, though in reality, the actual distance tends to vary anywhere from 13-16 feet. A good rule of thumb: The closer you set your hanging points, the greater the curve, or arc, your hammock will have once it’s hung.

The Right Height & Distance for Hanging Your Hammock

  Distance Between Trees or Posts
Hammock* 10' 11' 12' 13' 14' 15'
  Height of Tree Hooks (in inches)
9' 48 48 48 48 48 48
10' 54 48 48 48 48 48
11' 66 54 48 48 48 48
12' 84 72 60 48 48 48
13' 96 84 72 60 48 48
14' 108 96 84 72 60 48

Heights appearing in shaded areas are not recommended and may give
your hammock such a pronounced arc as to be uncomfortable.

* Distance measured from ring to ring when hammock is laid flat on the floor.
Please Note: A new hammock may be up to 2 feet shorter than its
specifications, to allow for its ropes' natural tendency to stretch the first few
times the hammock is used.

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What’s the weight capacity of a Hatteras Hammock?

All of our hammocks are designed to hold up to 450 pounds. (For our hammock swings, hammock stands and swing stands, the weight capacity varies by product, from 350-600 pounds. To find out those specific weight limits, please consult individual product details at this site, or the original instruction sheet that accompanied your Hatteras Hammocks product when you first bought it. Many Hatteras instruction sheets are also available here.)

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Can I leave my hammock or hammock swing out in the rain?

Even with a quality synthetic material like our soft-spun polyester rope or DuraCord fabric or rope, the less long-term weather exposure, the longer the product will ultimately last. That said, you hardly need to race out and take down your hammock or hammock swing every time you get a little rain! However, during lengthy periods of rain or stretches of extreme weather when you obviously aren’t going to be outside enjoying your highly crafted relaxation station, bringing it indoors will only stand to lengthen its useful life.

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Should I store my hammock or hammock swing when I’m not using it for long periods, or can I leave it outside year-round?

We hear all the time, especially with our DuraCord fabric and rope, how people leave their hammocks and hammock swings out all year long with no major ill effects, even in areas prone to nasty winter weather. So you may be able to get away with this for a while; however, we recommend a slightly more conservative approach overall! During periods of bad weather, particularly in places where winters are lengthy and harsh, storing your Hatteras product somewhere indoors where it’s dry, as well as safe from chewing animals and harsh chemicals, is the simplest way to guarantee the longest possible life of advanced backyard relaxation for you and your family.

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How long can I expect my hammock to last?

If it’s a Hatteras Hammock, we guarantee that you’ll automatically be getting a lot more useful life out of it than you would with most other brands. But putting a specific time on this is tough. Care and maintenance of a hammock, along with the materials from which it is crafted and the climate conditions where you live, all tremendously affect how long it will ultimately last. Because it’s constructed of materials designed to yield a longer life, your Hatteras Hammock may last indefinitely if routinely cleaned and cared for, and also taken down and stored during the outdoor-unfriendly winter months and other protracted periods of bad weather.

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Are there any specific things I can do to help my hammock last longer?

Yes. A little care will take your Hatteras Hammock a long way!

  • Weather exposure is a key factor in the useful life of a hammock, so be aware of how the climate in your own area may adversely affect the materials from which your Hatteras product is made.
  • The best single step you can take for long hammock life is to bring your hammock inside during extended periods of bad weather or lengthy periods when the hammock is going unused. If you experience routine severe weather or really low winter temperatures and lots of snow/ice, we also recommend storing your hammock inside for the season, since you’re obviously unlikely to be using it anyway!
  • Even with polyester and DuraCord®, both of which discourage microbial and fungal growth, mold and mildew can still grow on organic material lodged in the hammock rope or fabric fibers. This not only can get unsightly, but it can eventually start compromising the integrity of the hammock itself. So keep your hammock clean and free of debris such as leaves, sticks, pinecones, grass clippings, etc.
  • Dog owners should hang, and store, their hammocks somewhere Rover can’t easily reach, since man’s best friend, particularly when still a frisky puppy, may often regard a hammock as a fantastic chew toy!
  • Avoid storing your hammock near strong chemicals, including pesticides, which can have a corrosive effect on rope, fabric and even metal.

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How do I care for the fabric in my fabric hammock?

As a general rule, don’t allow yard debris such as leaves, sticks, pinecones, grass clippings, etc., to accumulate in your hammock. Beyond that, periodic washing of the fabric is your best bet. We do not, however, recommend that you attempt to take your hammock apart to clean it, or ever machine-wash or machine-dry the fabric.

  • Hatteras quick-dry fabrics – Lay the hammock flat on a clean deck or concrete surface, soaking the fabric thoroughly with a hose. Scrub the fabric gently with a soft-bristled brush and a mild soapy-water solution, rinsing thoroughly with the hose. Hang your hammock back up to let it air-dry before using again. For more intensive cleaning, try a cleaning solution that’s one part bleach to four parts soapy water. Particularly if using a bleach solution, keep it away from the spreader bars as much as possible.
  • Hatteras quilted fabrics – Light spot-cleaning is generally best. Cleaning too vigorously can cause the polyester fiberfill batting to bunch up, and it’s not always easy to work it to back to its original shape. If you have to resort to more intensive cleaning, lay the hammock flat on a clean deck or concrete surface, then carefully wash with a mild soap-and-water solution and a soft-bristled scrub brush, rinsing thoroughly with a hose. Flip the hammock and clean the reverse side if needed. Hang your hammock back up to let it air-dry before using again. For cleaning problem areas, a store-bought spot-remover is fine to use, following its package instructions.

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How much will my rope hammock stretch?

Your Hatteras rope hammock may stretch anywhere from 1-2 feet, depending on the particular type of all-weather rope from which it’s woven.

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How do I care for my hammock rope?

The same general rule applies as with our fabric hammocks: Don’t allow yard debris such as leaves, sticks, pinecones, etc., to accumulate in your rope hammock. Periodic washing is also highly advised. A kiddie wading pool works very well for this, since you can hang the hammock spreader bars over the edge of the pool; you want to keep the spreader bars and metal hardware out of the water as much as possible. For best results, let the rope soak in the pool with the cleaning solution for about an hour before you start scrubbing.

  • Polyester rope – Scrub the hammock rope gently with a soft-bristled brush in a mild, soapy-water solution; use a solution that’s one part bleach to four parts soapy water for more intensive cleaning. Next, lay the hammock flat on a clean deck or concrete surface and rinse the rope thoroughly with a hose. Allow the hammock to dry before reusing it.
  • DuraCord® rope – Follow the directions for cleaning polyester rope, though instead of a brush for scrubbing, take a handful of rope in each hand and rub the pieces together; use a soft-bristled scrub brush to work on any stains.

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Is it normal for the rope ends on my hammock to fray?

Yes, and it’s nothing to worry about! The effect, called “tasseling,” is a very typical feature of the classic American rope-hammock. Tasseling in no way affects rope durability since the bowline knots our weavers use actually continue to tighten as weight is applied to them, preventing any fraying from progressing past the knot itself. To aid our weavers in their work, we seal the polyester and DuraCord® rope ends with a hot knife; however, normal hammock use will free the ends over time, with tasseling the natural outcome. You’ll find the effect happening at different times with different pieces of rope.

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How do I care for my hammock pillow?

In general, light spot cleaning is best, and you should never machine-wash or machine-dry. Overly vigorous cleaning can cause the polyester fiberfill batting to bunch up, and it may be difficult to then work it back to its original shape. When not using your pillow for long periods of time, or during stretches of bad weather, storing it in a dry place will help preserve its useful life, including the life of the Velcro bands used for securing the pillow to your hammock.

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How do I hang my hammock?

For die-hard traditionalists, the only way to go is to sling their hammocks between two shady trees. Not all yards allow for this, of course, and there are a number of other effective hanging possibilities:

  • Between a tree and a post set in concrete
  • Between a tree and a building
  • Between a building and a post set in concrete
  • Between two posts, both set in concrete
  • Between two buildings
  • On a porch or deck (permanent structures only)
  • On a factory-built stand

If you decide against using a stand, the following tips will aid you in successful permanent hammock installation:

  • You’ll want a hanging space that’s between 18-24 inches greater than the total length of your hammock when measured from ring to ring. A good rule of thumb: The closer you set your hanging points, the more curved your hammock is going to be.
  • Choose wood for installing your hanging hooks that’s at least 6 inches in diameter, and strong. Hardwoods such as oak, hickory, etc., will support you and your hammock far better than will softwoods like willow, palm and beech.
  • You’ll want your hanging hooks to be set about 4 feet up from ground-level. (To determine exact height, check “The Right Height & Distance for Hanging Your Hammock” chart, above.)
  • To install hanging hooks in a tree or other wooden surface, drill a 1/8 inch-3/16 inch pilot hole (the smaller the better). After starting the hook in the hole by hand, grip the hook eye with a wrench or thread the hook eye with a screwdriver to twist all the way in. Stop when the eye makes contact with wood; twisting past that point can damage the metal and ultimately weaken support.
  • To now actually hang your hammock, hook each of its chains onto one of your newly installed hammock hooks, using the chain links to adjust height and tautness. Don’t worry if the hammock seems a bit tight and difficult to lie in right after you first hang it; after some use, it will loosen and stretch to its full length. As your hammock stretches, you’ll probably need to shorten or lengthen its chains to get your desired hanging height. It’s typical to have to tweak the height a couple of times.

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Will I hurt my trees if I hang my hammock with tree hooks?

Installing tree hooks shouldn’t affect the health of your trees, though if you ever plan to remove the hooks, be aware that they’ll leave behind permanent holes. All-weather tree straps present a simple alternative, since no drilling is necessary, and tree straps also allow for easily changing hammock height, or even hammock location, at any time.

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How do I install posts if I decide to use them for hanging my hammock?

  1. First, look for a spot where the soil is dense and compact. If the soil is loose instead, it may not offer adequate support for your hammock post(s).
  2. To determine the distance you’ll need between your post(s) or other hanging point(s), add 24 inches to your hammock’s overall length (measured from ring to ring when the hammock is spread flat on the ground).
  3. For each post you’re installing, dig a hole a minimum of 18 inches in diameter and 26 inches deep. Purchase enough unmixed concrete to fill the hole(s). If you need help with how to use the concrete, check with your local hardware store or lawn-and-garden center.
  4. Before putting any pole(s) into the ground, install its hanging hook(s) first. For each hook, drill a 1/8 inch-3/16 inch pilot hole (the smaller the better) about 4 feet up from the ground. (To determine exact height, check “The Right Height & Distance for Hanging Your Hammock” chart, above.) After starting the hook in the hole by hand, grip the hook eye with a wrench or thread the hook eye with a screwdriver to twist all the way in. Stop when the eye makes contact with wood; twisting past that point can damage the metal and ultimately weaken support.
  5. Place your post(s) in the ground at a vertical angle, filling the hole(s) the rest of the way with concrete mixed according to package directions. Allow the concrete to set overnight before hanging your hammock from the post(s).

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When I get in my rope hammock now, it has me practically lying on the ground. What do I need to do to get it hanging higher again?

It’s natural for hammock ropes to stretch over time. To compensate for this increased arc, try adjusting the hanging chains at the end of your hammock. Unfortunately, if your hammock is a bit older, the chains may already have been shortened as much as possible, a sign the rope may actually be nearing the end of its useful life. If the rope doesn’t appear frayed or weak, however, you can also try adjusting hanging distance or changing hanging height, if your circumstances allow for this. (To determine ideal hanging distance or hanging height, check “The Right Height & Distance for Hanging Your Hammock” chart, above.)

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My stand has a little bit of a wobble; should I be concerned?

No, a little wobble is actually to be expected! We manufacture our stands this way to allow for the natural swaying motion that’s part of the joy of any quality hammock or swing.

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How do I hang my swing?

If you decide not to use a swing stand for hanging your Hatteras single cushioned swing or double swing, then you’ll want to spend a little time choosing an appropriate permanent location. Whether you opt to hang your swing inside or on a porch, a good rule of thumb is to suspend it from a wooden beam measuring at least 4 inches by 4 inches. Note that your hanging surface for a Hatteras Hammocks Cushioned Double Swing needs to be able to support at least 600 pounds.

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If I’m hanging my swing on a porch, how far away from the walls should the swing be?

We recommend keeping at least 3 feet of space between your swing and any wall or other structure. Also, you’ll want to leave enough room in front and behind your swing, to allow for all that lovely back-and-forth motion!

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What’s the best way to care for the oak wood on my Hatteras Cushioned Double Swing?

Depending on climate conditions where you live, you should get several seasons out of the original finish, since we hand-dip all of our double swings’ wooden parts multiple times in marine-grade varnish. However, regular weather exposure will eventually start wearing away the finish, and once you begin to see any flaking, it’s time to tackle some refinishing. Waiting too long can lead to permanent wood damage.

In refinishing, you want to keep the varnish off the swing fabric. We don’t recommend taking the swing apart to refinish the wood, but instead carefully wrapping the exposed cushions in a protective covering. Some varnishes may cause thin plastic to deteriorate, so a heavy canvas drop-cloth or similar covering is strongly recommended.

Begin by sanding the wood with 120-grit sandpaper, wiping away the dust with a slightly damp cloth. For the actual refinishing, any shade of polyurethane marine-grade varnish should be fine; we originally applied high-gloss in honey-gold color, available at any hardware store. We used three coats, though two should be enough for periodic upkeep. Apply the varnish thoroughly with a good-quality narrow brush, then let air-dry for 24 hours. For the second coat, lightly re-sand with 220-grit sandpaper, wipe away the dust and then reapply your varnish, allowing 24 hours to dry before using your swing again.

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Hatteras products made with cumaru wood have no varnish on them. Can I apply a finish of my own?

You don’t have to, but you certainly can if you want! Cumaru will hold varnish just fine, but the South American hardwood is so naturally tough, and when left unfinished, ages to a lovely silver-gray, that we treat ours only with a mild conditioning oil. If you decide to apply varnish to the spreader bar of a Hatteras Hammock or Hatteras Single Cushioned Swing, take particular care in protecting any adjacent rope; wrapping the rope in quality painter’s tape is advisable. We normally recommend 24 hours for drying after refinishing, but cumaru is remarkable in part for being so hard and nonabsorbent, so it may take a while longer for the varnish to completely set.

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How do I care for the cypress wood of my Roman Arc hammock stand or swing stand?

Especially if you live in a climate prone to wet or extreme weather, a little routine maintenance once or even twice a year will do wonders for the life of your Roman Arc hammock stand or swing stand. Begin by sanding the wood with 120-grit sandpaper, wiping away the dust with a slightly damp cloth. Instead of finishing with a heavy varnish, however, we recommend treating the wood with boiled linseed oil. We originally applied a marine-grade varnish (high-gloss in honey-gold color), and such a heavy varnish may last longer without need for touching up or totally refinishing; however, linseed oil is particularly nourishing to cypress wood, and offers superior long-term protection.

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What can I do to prolong the life of my steel hammock stand?

Our highest-quality Cape Shield® Powder Coat, applied to all of our stand poles, should provide excellent rust and weather protection indefinitely to the underlying steel if care is routinely taken to avoid nicking or otherwise marring the finish. Routinely cleaning any build-up of organic debris from the stand with a damp cloth will also greatly help protect surface integrity. Over time, however, touching up the finish may yet become necessary. Since our stands are powder-coated, there’s no specific touch-up paint available. For small blemishes, you should be able to match stand color pretty closely to a rust-resistant metallic paint at your local hardware store. In the event you need to completely refinish your stand, lightly sand the poles with a heavy grit sandpaper, wipe away the surface dust and then apply your choice of rust-resistant outdoor spray paint.

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What safety precautions should I take when using my hammock?

There are several good safety rules to always follow:

  • DO NOT exceed your hammock’s stated weight limit.
  • ALWAYS place your weight in the center of your hammock, not on either edge.
  • DO NOT allow young children to use your hammock without adult supervision, and absolutely DO NOT place infants in the hammock.
  • DO NOT allow children to jump up and down in a hammock or use it like a playground swing. This not only is dangerous, but it puts excessive wear and tear on the hammock and its hanging hardware.
  • DO NOT let hammock chains become twisted and DO NOT flip your hammock over while it’s hung; both severely compromise chain strength.
  • ALWAYS inspect your hammock before getting into it – squirrels, mice, birds and bugs sometimes use hammock-rope fibers to build nests and to live in, and weakened rope may give way under pressure.

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