Pawleys Island get machine assistance with a few production processes, such as rope-making and wood cutting, to capture the precision required. But once it’s time to weave and then assemble a hammock or one of our hammock-inspired swings or rockers, it’s all hands, and only hands! At Pawleys Island, we don’t view the human part of the process merely as important; we regard it as essential. Handcrafting is who we are.
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The Original Hammock Shop, begun in 1935 by Cap’n Josh’s immediate family to better market the hammocks they were already selling, is still going strong today along the main road through Pawleys Island, South Carolina. When the shop first opened, it was among the only businesses in the sleepy Southern seaside town. The rope bodies of many Original Pawleys Island Hammocks available there are still woven right onsite; however, before one of our hammocks is complete, it must also be fitted with spreader bars (today we use lovely varnished white oak), a hand-woven clew knot (the attractive rope triangle at both ends of most hammocks) with a spray of harness ropes, and weather-tough hanging chains and O-rings (ours are among the heaviest, and safest, in the industry). Each hammock must then pass a final physical inspection at our coastal Carolina workshop to ensure strength and quality.
And that’s as it should be. Because if today’s Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammocks didn’t live up to Cap’n Josh’s own incomparable tradition, we’d be losing a lot more sleep than our ferry-boating founder ever did before inventing the modern relaxation standard more than 120 years ago.