The term "movable hammock" refers to the Mayan style hammock discovered by Columbus' men when they visited what was called the "New World." This hammock differs from many of the hammocks you see today in that it does not have the spreaders often used for making American hammocks. The movable hammock is instead made entirely from cotton or nylon rope and loosely woven to provide both strength and ventilation. Since the movable hammock has no wooden spreaders, they can be easily moved, and they take up very little space when not in use. This style of hammocks has been enjoyed for more than 1,000 years, beginning with early ones woven from tree bark in Central America.
While originally made of bark, the Mayans later used Sisal (an indigenous plant) because it was plentiful and easy to work with. The fibers could be easily softened for weaving and greater comfort. Today's movable hammocks are generally woven from cord or rope, usually nylon or cotton, although this development is more recent, having been used for the past 60 years.
Trade routes carried the use of hammocks around the globe, which resulted in a variety of materials being used, including cloth in Brazil and a variety of local materials in each region. Eventually even European sailors came to understand the advantage of movable hammocks. Strung between the rafters in a stuffy old-world ship, they provided comfort and ventilation. Eventually the space-saving qualities were recognized by the 19th century warden, who used the hammocks in cells where they could be taken down when additional space was needed. However, the use of hammocks was eventually stopped when the prisoners began attacking their wardens with them!
Until the late 1880's, hammocks were not popular in North America, primarily because the type commonly used included stretchers. This design made hammocks difficult to get into, requiring balance and agility to prevent flipping. When the movable hammock without spreaders arrived on the scene, they quickly became popular all around the world. Today, between one and two million movable hammocks are sold in North America every year. This relaxing, comfortable form of lounging indoors or outdoors has finally made its mark on society and with every passing year, it becomes even more popular for good reason! The cocoon-like feeling and evenly distributed support of the movable hammock have won the hearts of millions of people who have discovered the complete relaxation of this form-fitting lounger.