Net Making.

Net Making is one of the oldest known crafts that has been practised by mankind.
Almost unchanged for thousands of years peoples of every country in this known world have relied on netting for everything from catching fish, to hammocks for sleeping in, to bags and carriers of all sorts for lugging around and storing their possessions.

See also Net Making Tools (p1)
See also Net Making Tools (p2)
See also A Stacked Interlaced Mesh Bend & Variation.

Here you can see just a tiny selection of some of the objects possible.


An 18th Century boiling bag.
Or at least my best "educated" guess at one would look like or be made from, as little to no information exists.
Made with Flax Twine.
Artistic licence applied for ;-)

The bottom of the 18th Century boiling bag.



A Hand Braided Net Hammock.


A Hybrid of the Mayan style Hammock.These Hammocks have been designed to work in the same way as a woven Mayan hammock, the shape and size of this netted hybrid are almost identical to the woven Mayan hammock I sleep in.

The bed of this hammock is a little more than twice the width of the first prototype and as such has over twice as many Brazos or clew lines, these changes make this hammock extremely comfortable and capable of holding up to five people.
I have spent several restful nights in this version and it is of comparable comfort to my woven Mayan hammock.
These pictures show two of my friends enjoying the hammock.


Above: you can see the many Brazos or clew lines connected to the mesh bed of the hammock.
 There are over 200 lines at each end of the hammock.
I could lay there staring at this view all day long ;-)


 Hybrid Netted Mayan hammock.
Prototype 1.


I have Susan Patron of the IGKT PAB, and Lincoln a character from Susan’s latest book “Lucky Breaks” to thank for giving me the push I needed to make this idea a reality.
In the book Lincoln makes a hammock which plays a very important role in the story, and I was privileged to have been asked to help with information regarding the making of the net hammock for the book.
Whilst reading a preview copy of “Lucky Breaks” I felt the need to make this hammock; “Lincoln’s Hammock” as I call it, once finished I sent it as a surprise present to Susan and made her cry (again) ;-)


Above: is the Woven Mayan hammock that I sleep in, this is designed to hold up to 5 people, and is so comfortable that I took a electric saw to my bed a few years ago, best thing I ever did ;-)


A Hand Braided Cast Net.
 

The main body of the net is hand braided in 0.33mm, 19lb monofilament Nylon line.
The centre and bottom edge of the net are hand braided in 0.44mm, 32lb monofilament Nylon line.
There are over 29,000 knots in the finished net.
The 24 brail lines are made from 0.70mm, 60lb monofilament Nylon line.
The lead line is 6mm Polypropylene line, has 118 1oz lead weights on it, is 13m (43ft) in length and hand braided to the perimeter of the net.
The hand line is 9mm hollow braided Polypropylene about 30ft long with a wrist loop spliced in one end, the other end is spliced to a swivel connected to the brail lines.
The horn in the centre of the net is turned from Nylatron and has Stainless Steel brail separators mounted inside, the horn is attached to the net with #18 Bonded Nylon twine.
The actual spread diameter of the net is just over 3.65m (12ft)
 





A Hand Braided Hoop Net.


This net is designed for catching Catfish in rivers, the tail end (closed end) of the net is anchored upstream with the open end facing downstream, the current should be enough to keep the net open without an anchor on the downstream end, in the picture you can see that I have added a rope yoke to anchor the downstream end for use in very slow flowing rivers.
Bait is placed in the small bait bag at the tail of the net and the current carries a bait trail for the Catfish to follow upstream and into the net, as the Catfish makes it way through the net it passes through two throats (funnels) which decrease in size towards the rear of the net, these throats make it easy for the Catfish to enter but very difficult for it to find a way to get out.
After the net is lifted from the water by the Fisherman the catch is released via a drawstring opening in the tail of the net.
The main body of the net is hand braided in Nylon Seine twine.
Length of the finished net is about 9 feet and the diameter of the largest hoop is 2 feet.
There are seven fibreglass hoops in the net decreasing in size from 2 feet to about 15 inches, these are tied in at every mesh around the circumference of the net with Nylon Seine twine
The anchor and yoke ropes about 10mm diameter Polysteel and are seized and whipped with Nylon Seine twine.
The two throats are hand braided into the net and the openings attached with Nylon Seine twine.
Not shown in the picture are two steel anchors and the marker float and float line.

Miscellaneous Net Projects.

A Garden Lantern.


A hand braided net covering of tarred Nylon; seized over an old coffee jar, and supported by a spliced lanyard of heavier twine; with a section of square knotting finished off with a round seizing making up the hanging loop. The jar is 100mm diameter by 150mm high, and the lid is a Clay Pigeon; found whilst out in the hills.


Bottle coverings or carriers.





Bags for the beach, shopping or storage.



A Hammock For Knotty Bear Junior.



Unique Present Wrappings.




Net Purse for Ditty Bag.



A square mesh hold down net for a Pick Up.


Net Making Stand.


This netting stand is based on a design used by net makers on the island of Vinalhaven in Maine, U.S.A and is described in the book “Down East Netting” by Barbara M. Morton.
The stand is used for braiding (or knitting) small net items such as Lobster trap heads (entrances) and bait bags to go inside the traps.
The small box at the bottom of this stand has weights in it to stop the stand from being pulled over whilst pulling the knots tight, the top box is for holding spare needles and mesh sticks (Gauges).
The netter or group of netters would sit by the stand and work from a hook or in this case a steel rod at the top of the stand.





Below: The nettingstand in use.
Giving a Net Making work shop in Fareham 2007.