The HammockSource honors longtime weaver
In observance of National Hammock Day, July 22
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, 6/21/2011 10:28:00 AM
GREENVILLE, N.C. — Hammock weaving is a skill, with steps anyone can learn. Highly skilled hammock weaving is, however, an art, and one with more than a century of tradition behind it. It's all about the rhythm and the feel.
As another National Hammock Day approaches July 22, The HammockSource is proud to boast that its weaving team includes Lenwood Haddock, who has been weaving for them for nearly 25 years. Haddock also will demonstrate his weaving skills in September during the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago.
Watching Haddock at work can be hypnotic. His right hand dances through the air, making rapid small loops with a big wooden needle wound with rope, his left hand running along the last row he's woven, pulling and tightening, pulling and tightening.
"If I slow down too much, I'm liable to hit myself in the head," he said, joking. Haddock also happens to be blind, completely, the result of a hunting accident back in 1973. He was then just 18 years old. "My whole working career has been blind," he said.
Haddock didn't actually start weaving until he was 31. "The first hammock I wove took me all day," he recalls.
He now weaves between 12-18 hammock beds a day, averaging roughly 90-120 per week. That brings his career total, broadly speaking, to upwards of 125,000 hammocks.
Even good weavers let a missed stitch get by now and then, which is partly why The HammockSource employs hammock inspectors. Yet, Haddock has never turned in a finished hammock body with so much as a single missed stitch. How does he manage that?
It's all feel, literally. Haddock's left thumb physically touches every rope loop he weaves through. "I'm not sure how sighted people do it," he admits.
More than once, people watching Haddock at work and unaware of the skilled weaver's blindness, have commented, "I bet you can do that with your eyes closed."
Haddock's response? "I sure can!"
To learn more about Lenwood Haddock or the rich tradition of handmaking hammocks, contact Frank Rabey at 800-334-1078, ext. 241, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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