When people think of ways to relax and enjoy a lazy day, the hammock is perhaps one of the first things they imagine. Hammocks often are part of the entire imagined scenerio that includes beach vacations or a long, lazy day spent on the patio deck reading a book or drinking a cool drink while the sun is shining softly through sunglasses. These days, there is no other relaxation alternative that is most common to many home decks and yards that can compete with the price and comfort of a good hammock. The history of hammocks, however, is largely unknown.

Most Americans credit Columbus for having discovered the hammock, but they have been in use since about 1,000 AD, many years before Columbus. There is strong belief that it was the Mayan civilization that could be credited for having invented the hammock. Another popular theory is that the hammock was created in Haiti.

Regardless of where the hammock traces its roots, knowledge of what it was and how to use it spread like wildfire among the Native Americans. Those moved to warmer climes found the hammock as perfect sleeping arrangements because they could set it up as easily as they could carry it with them. At the time, hammocks were made from hide or fibre.

After that, hammocks were adapted for use in ships, because it allowed for a convenient means to extend the comfort of sleeping accommodations on a ship compared to traditional bed arrangements. In fact, hammocks became staple parts of ship sleeping quarters for years to come.

In recent years, hammocks have increasingly meant “comfort” rather than the working, portable bed that it had been in previous centuries. However, the rudimentary design of hammocks did not change at all over time.

Hammocks available in stores today are made from treated, weather-resistant canvas. There are also hand-woven Brazilian hammocks made from cotton fibres.

In the past, hammocks were crafted without stabilizing rods on each end, making the hammock move and fold up around the body like a stocking. In recent times, hammocks on retail have stabilizers that spread the cloth wider, making the hammock resemble a hanging bed than the conventional hammock. There are variations, like hammock chairs, where people can sit as the hammock chair swings from the ceiling.

Those who want to have their own hammocks in their homes have a variety of choices to choose from, from what type of standees it will use, to the fabric that will make up the hammock itself. The shopping around for it will be fun, but getting to use a comfortable hammock at home or when outdoor will be far more rewarding. The relaxation from just lying there after a long day is inevitable, especially with how comfortable modern hammocks have become.

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