Pawleys Island Hammocks ~ The Story

The Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock came to life in the late 1800’s on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, in one of the oldest resorts along the South Carolina Low Country coast. Its creator, Captain Joshua Ward, was a riverboat pilot who barged rice and supplies between nearby Georgetown and Waverly Mills as well as other rice plantations not far from the island. His uncomfortable grass-filled mattresses on the boat were too hot in the summer, so he decided to make a cotton rope hammock for comfort and coolness. After trying several uncomfortable designs, Cap’n worked out a hammock design without knots but using a continuous latched weave and wooden spreaders.

That style and design is still used in present day hammocks, representing a tradition and life-style typical of southern plantation days over a century ago.

pawleys island hammocksToday, 'The Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammoc'k is woven exactly like it always has been for over 100 years using the highest quality materials available. Hammock varieties include the traditional all-cotton natural rope, recognized for its coolness and comfort, or the soft spun polyester rope.

The custom designed stretcher bars are cut from seasoned Carolina red oak, then steamed, bent, drilled, sanded, and varnished, all to impart a comfortable sway to the hammock and to spread the rope evenly for optimum stability.

As an onlooker in the weaving room, where the hammock is knitted, you will find yourself keeping time to the rhythmic motion of the skilled native craftsmen. As they work a needle of rope in and out of the hammock body, they create symmetric patterns and lend a touch of art to the unique and interesting craft.

Once the body is woven, the hammock is completed by connecting it to the strong, plaited ends strung through the oak stretcher bars and tied with nautical bowline knots to the body strands. Upon final inspection, each hammock is marked with the traditional metal tag to ensure its authenticity as an Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock.

Also read Care & Cleaning Tips for Hammocks