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Nets have been constructed by human beings since at least the
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
period for use in capturing or retaining things. Their open structure provide lightness and flexibility that allow them to be carried and manipulated with relative ease, making them valuable for methodical tasks such as hunting, fishing, sleeping, and carrying.


Definition

A net, in its primary meaning, comprises fibers knotted and twisted into a grid-like structure which blocks the passage of large items, while letting small items and fluids pass. It requires less material than something sheet-like, and provides a degree of
transparency Transparency, transparence or transparent most often refer to transparency and translucency, the physical property of allowing the transmission of light through a material. They may also refer to: Literal uses * Transparency (photography), a sti ...
, as well as flexibility and lightness.


History

The oldest nets found are from the
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
era, but nets may have existed in the Upper paleolithic era. Nets are typically made of perishable materials and leave little archeological record. Some nets are preserved in ice or bogs, and there are also clay impressions of nets.


Making and repairing nets

Originally, all nets were made by hand. Construction begins from a single point for round nets such as purse nets, net bags, or hair nets, but square nets are usually started from a headrope. A line is tied to the headrope at regular intervals, forming a series of loops. This can be done using slipped
overhand knot The overhand knot, also known as a knot and half knot, is one of the most fundamental knot A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, includin ...
s or other knots, such as
clove hitch The clove hitch is a type of knot A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, including hitches, bend Bend or bends may refer to: Materials * ...

clove hitch
es. Subsequent rows are then worked using
sheet bend The sheet bend (also known as becket bend, weaver's knot and weaver's hitch) is a bend Bend or bends may refer to: Materials * Bend, a curvature in a pipe, tube, or pipeline (see Bend radius) * Bend knot, a knot used to tie two ropes together; ...

sheet bend
s, as shown in the diagram, or another knot. Some nets, such as , may be looped rather than knotted. To avoid hauling a long length of loose twine through each knot, the twine is wound onto a netting shuttle or netting needle. This must be done correctly to prevent it twisting as it is used,Netting instructions
/ref> but makes net production much faster. A gauge – often a smooth stick – is used to keep the loops the same size and the mesh even. The first and last rows are generally made using a half-size gauge, so that the edges of the net will be smooth. There are also knot-free nets. Some nets are still shaped by their end users,Net making
(and repair) guide for commercial fishing nets.
although nets are now often knotted by machine. When a hole is ripped in a net, there are fewer holes in it than before the net was ripped. However, the
stress concentration A stress concentration (also called a stress raiser or a stress riser) is a location in an object where the stress is significantly greater than the surrounding region. Stress concentrations occur when there are irregularities in the geometry or ...
at the edges of the hole often causes it to tear further, making timely repairs important. Mending nets by hand is still an important skill for those who work with them.


Materials

Nets may be made using almost any sort of fiber. Traditional net materials varied with what was locally available; early European fishing nets were often made of linen, for instance. Longer-lasting synthetics are now fairly universal.
Nylon Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymerSynthetic polymers are human-made polymers, often derived from petroleum oil. From the utility point of view they can be classified into three main categories: thermoplastics, ela ...

Nylon
monofilament nets are transparent, and are therefore often used for fishing and trapping.


Structural properties

Nets, like fabric, stretch less along their constituent strands (the "bars" between knots) than diagonally across the gaps in the mesh. They are, so to speak, made . The choice of material used also affects the structural properties of the net. Nets are designed and constructed for their specific purpose by modifying the parameters of the weave and the material used. Safety nets, for example, must decelerate the person hitting them gradually, usually by having a concave-upwards
stress–strain curve In engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad rang ...
, where the amount of force required to stretch the net increases the further the net is stretched.


Uses


Transport

Examples include
cargo net A cargo net is a type of net Net or net may refer to: Mathematics and physics * Net (mathematics) In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures () ...
s and net bags. Some vegetables, like onions, are often shipped in nets.


Sports

Nets are used in sporting
goals A goal is an objective that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve. Goal may also refer to: Sport * Goal (sport), a method of scoring in many sports, or the physical structure or area where scoring occurs ** Goals, the Football_pitch#Go ...
and in games such as
soccer Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...

soccer
,
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, ...

basketball
,
bossaball is a team sport A team sport includes any sport where individuals are organized into opposing sports team, teams which compete to win. Team members act together towards a shared objective. This can be done in a number of ways such a ...
and
ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contact can be formed during deposition, by the intrusio ...

ice hockey
. A net separates opponents in various
net sports Net or net may refer to: Mathematics and physics * Net (mathematics), a filter-like topological generalization of a sequence * Net, a linear system of divisors of dimension 2 * Net (polyhedron), an arrangement of polygons that can be folded up ...

net sports
such as
volleyball Volleyball is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoym ...

volleyball
,
tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket th ...

tennis
,
badminton Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock Plastic shuttlecock A shuttlecock (also called a bird or birdie) is a high-drag projectile used in the sport of badminton Badminton is a racquet sport played ...

badminton
, and
table tennis Table tennis, also known as ping-pong and whiff-whaff, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball, also known as the ping-pong ball, back and forth across a table using small rackets. The game takes place on a hard table div ...

table tennis
, where the ball or shuttlecock must go over the net to remain in play. A net also may be used for safety during practice, as in
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...
.


Capturing animals

Nets for capturing animals include
fishing net A fishing net is a net Net or net may refer to: Mathematics and physics * Net (mathematics) In mathematics, more specifically in general topology and related branches, a net or Moore–Smith sequence is a generalization of the notion ...

fishing net
s,
butterfly net A butterfly net (sometimes called an aerial insect net) is one of several kinds of nets used to collect insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Euro ...
s,
bird netting Bird netting or anti-bird netting is a form of bird pest control Bird control is the generic name for methods to eliminate or deter pest birds from landing, roosting and nesting. Bird control is important because pest birds can create health-rela ...

bird netting
, and
trapping Animal trapping, or simply trapping, is the use of a device to remotely catch an animal. Animals may be trapped for a variety of purposes, including food, the fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition a ...

trapping
nets such as purse and long nets. Some, like
mist net Mist nets are used by hunters and poachers, but also by ornithologists and bat biologists to capture wild bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called M ...
s,
rocket net Rocket nets and cannon nets are types of animal trap Animal trapping, or simply trapping, is the use of a device to remotely catch an animal. Animals may be trapped for a variety of purposes, including food, the fur trade, hunting, pest contro ...
s, and
netgun A net gun is a non-lethal weapon Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than-lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device ...
s, are designed not to harm the animals caught. Camouflage nets may also be used.


Furnishings

Hammock A hammock (from Spanish , borrowed from Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba Cuba ( , ), off ...

Hammock
s,
safety net A safety net is a net Net or net may refer to: Mathematics and physics * Net (mathematics) In mathematics, more specifically in general topology and related branches, a net or Moore–Smith sequence is a generalization of the notion o ...
s, and
mosquito nets A mosquito net is a type of meshed curtain that is circumferentially draped over a bed or a sleeping area, to offer the sleeper Personal protective equipment, barrier protection against insect bites and stings, bites and stings from mosquitos, ...
are net-based. Some furniture includes a net stretched on a frame. Multihull boats may have net trampolines strung between their hulls.


Clothing

Hair nets, net lace, and net embroidery are sartorial nets.


Armed conflict

Anti-submarine net An anti-submarine net or anti-submarine boom is a boom (navigational barrier), boom placed across the mouth of a harbour or a strait for protection against submarines. Examples of anti-submarine nets *Anti-submarine boom (Lake Macquarie WWII), L ...
s and anti-torpedo nets can be laid by net-laying ships.


See also

Net (textile) Net or netting is any textile in which the yarns are fused, looped or knotted at their intersections, resulting in a fabric with open spaces between the yarns. Net has many uses, and comes in different varieties. Depending on the type of yarn or ...


References

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