Your Guide to Hammock Fabrics

When it comes to buying a hammock, choosing the right fabric is crucial. Different fabrics have different strengths and weaknesses, and selecting the wrong one could result in a hammock that’s uncomfortable, impractical, or prone to damage.

Here’s what you need to know about the most common hammock fabrics:


Rope hammocks are made of cotton or polyester ropes and have spreader bars on each end. These traditional hammocks have a classic nautical, tropical look.


  • Breathable and perfect for a cool breeze on a hot summer day.
  • Polyester ropes are more durable and weather-resistant.


  • Cotton ropes absorb moisture, so they don’t dry quickly and are more prone to mildew.
  • Ropes are not the most comfortable for sleeping in, making them more suitable for lounging.
  • The holes are unsafe for children to use since their hands and feet can easily get caught in the hammock.


Cotton is the most traditional material for building hammocks, either in rope or fabric. This soft material makes hammock-lounging perfect for anyone, anywhere.


  • Cotton is fairly lightweight, especially without spreader bars, making these hammocks portable.
  • Cotton fabric hammocks are very comfortable and ideal for sleeping in.


  • Cotton ropes are not as durable as other materials and are more likely to fray or get damaged by sharp objects.


Quilted hammocks are made of two layers of fabric with filling, such as polyester material or olefin fibres, for comfortable cushioning. These come in a variety of colours and patterns and are often reversible, so you can switch up the look of your hammock.


  • Very comfortable and supportive due to the added cushion of the quilted material.
  • Ideal for cooler climates, like in Canada.
  • Fairly durable, weather-resistant, and fast-drying.


  • Not great for warmer climates due to the added insulation of the quilt.
  • Not very breathable.
  • These hammocks usually have spreader bars, so they’re not easy to pack for camping or hiking.


Also known as poolside hammocks, these pool-party-friendly hammocks are made with a durable fabric that dries quickly and won’t fade in the sunlight.


  • Water resistant, fast drying, and resistant to mold and mildew, so ideal for use by pools and bodies of water.
  • Very durable and fade-resistant.
  • Low-maintenance and easy to clean.


  • Usually requires a spreader bar making them cumbersome for packing.
  • Not as comfortable as other hammock fabric types.

Quick-dry hammocks are easy to clean with warm water and liquid soap. Avoid using bleach as it can damage your hammock.


Most nylon hammocks are used for camping and hiking due to their convenient features.


  • Extremely lightweight and easy to pack.
  • Quick-drying and resistant to rot, mould, and mildew.
  • Very durable.


  • Not as supportive as other materials.


Made from cotton, these authentic, long-lasting Colombian hammocks are tightly-woven to offer maximum comfort and relaxation. You won’t be disappointed with this hammock style.


  • High-quality fabrics make this hammock one of the most durable.
  • Tightly-woven for maximum comfort.
  • Easy to hang and maintain.
  • Can be packed easily and used for hiking and camping.


  • Not as breathable as other hammock fabric types.


Mayan hammocks are made of thin cotton or nylon woven string for both flexibility and support. These hammocks do not have spreader bars.


  • Are very comfortable for sleeping in, as they are meant to cocoon around you.
  • Ideal for use in Canada’s hot summers.
  • Fairly fast-drying, especially with nylon, which is also mildew- and mould-resistant.
  • Lightweight and easy to pack for camping.


  • Loosely-woven string makes for a breezy hammock that is not ideal for cooler climates.
  • Less durable since sharp objects or natural wear-and-tear can damage strings.
  • Cotton string is not as weather-resistant so should be brought indoors when not in use.
Hammock Cotton Oceanica


Since individual strings can be easily broken, you must take care when wearing anything that will snag and break the strings. This includes zippers, buttons, buckles, belt loops, jewellery and anything else that could cause damage to the material.

If you pull a thread, ease it into the weave and shake the hammock to even it out. If you break a thread, tie the two ends together. If multiple strings are broken, close the hole with a looping stitch made of string.

It’s also important to avoid tangling the suspension strings. When moving a Mayan hammock, always hold both end loops together with one hand to prevent tangles.

When storing these hammocks, hang both end loops on a single hook or nail in dry, safe place, such as a closet.

Avoid leaving your hammock outside at all times. The sun’s UV rays will fade the material, so aim to hang both cotton and nylon hammocks in the shade.

Cotton strings will get damaged and develop mildew if left to soak in the rain. If your cotton hammock does get soaked, let it dry out well using a stick to keep it open.

To wash Mayan hammocks, use pieces of cord to tie each arm of the hammock at equal intervals. This will prevent tangling the strings.

Wash by hand in cool water with mild detergent. Dry quickly after washing by hanging the hammock and placing a stick or broom crosswise in the hammock to keep it open.

*Do not fold and store hammocks when wet and avoid storing them in damp places.


Brazilian hammocks are made of thick, colourful, woven cotton fabric gathered at each end with crocheted lace. Brazilian hammocks also do not have spreader bars. These warm hammocks are perfect for lounging outside on a cool summer night.


  • Often used as beds, these hammocks are extremely comfortable, especially for sleeping in.
  • Perfect for any climate (even chilly days).
  • Durable.


  • Are not as fast drying as other hammocks.
Authentic Brazilian Luxury Hammock in Costa Product Image


Nicaraguan hammocks are made from cotton or nylon woven string. They’re thick like Mayan hammocks, except they are more tightly-woven.


  • Are very comfortable.
  • Ideal for any climate.


  • They don’t dry quickly, so these hammocks shouldn’t be left outdoors.


Maintaining the cleanliness of your hammock is crucial in preventing unwanted stains, unpleasant odors, insect infestations, and mildew growth. While most hammocks are designed to be mildew-resistant, it is still essential to keep them clean to prolong their lifespan.

To ensure that your hammock remains in good condition, you should follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. If machine washing is suitable for your hammock, remove any detachable spreader bars, tie the end strings, and place it inside a pillowcase. Wash it in cold water using a mild detergent on the gentle cycle, and avoid using bleach. Afterward, hang it outside to air dry. If your hammock doesn’t have spreader bars, use a stick or broom to hold it open.

For hand washing, place the hammock inside a pillowcase before submerging it in a tub filled with cool water and mild soap or detergent. Scrub, swish, and squeeze the hammock to ensure that water passes through it. Refill the tub and continue washing until the water remains clear. Rinse the hammock, hang it to air dry, and avoid using bleach.

If your hammock has non-removable spreader bars, lay it flat on a clean surface and clean it using a hose with high water pressure. Scrub both sides with a cloth or sponge and mild detergent or soap, focusing on problematic areas such as stains and mildew. Rinse thoroughly with a hose and hang to air dry.

Once your hammock is clean and completely dry, store it in a weather-tight tote or breathable storage bag in a dry indoor location.

In conclusion, maintaining a hammock requires careful consideration and effort. By following the tips and guidelines in this hammock cleaning guide, you can keep your hammock in excellent condition and enjoy a relaxing experience for a longer time. Moreover, use the hammock buying guide to select the perfect fabric type and style that suits your relaxation needs.

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