Uh oh. If you’ve ended up at this article, I’m sorry. Hopefully you’re just doing some research “just in case”, but otherwise, one of your precious woven wraps is in need of some TLC.
Don’t worry. It happens. And pat yourself on the back, because baby wraps are meant to be USED! So yours is obviously getting lots of love and use.
Unfortunately, along the way, mishaps can occur. It’s all good though! 9 times out of 10, you can fix your wrap pretty quickly and go back to using it to carry your baby. It all depends on what’s gone wrong.
Here are the most common woven wrap fabric* problems and how to fix them!
* If you don’t use woven wraps, you might still have a carrier made from woven fabric, like a ring sling, or converted onbuhimo, structured carrier, or meh dai. Or even a wrap scrap bag! So these tips are for you too.
A pull is a loop of thread that comes away from your wrap, but is still in one piece and attached. Pulls can form really easily, especially in pull prone wraps. Certain fibres can be slipperier and more pull-prone, and certain weaves can catch easier than others. With a little patience and a steady hand, you can fix just about any pull in a wrap. It is important to fix pulls as soon as you can to ensure that your wrap doesn’t get more damaged, as pulls can more easily lead to a broken thread and further issues.
Simply find the length of thread that is part of your pull, and start to work it back through the fabric, bit by bit. When your pull is barely noticeable, put it in for a wash so that the fibres fluff up and mesh back together.
To avoid pulls in future, be wary of jewellery, rough or long fingernails, wooden fences, Velcro, keys, and other potentially pointy/sharp objects.
Broken threads are usually pulls that get caught on something (but you didn’t realise until too late!). If you have just one or two broken threads in the one place, it’s not too big of a deal. You can fix these by knotting them off and weaving the loose ends back in with a blunt needle.
If you have more broken threads in the wrap, this can cause a hole to appear and is a bit more of an issue (see below for more info on holes).
Thread shifting is when multiple rows of fibres are pushed in the weave from their original location. This can cause a weak spot in the wrap. To fix thread shifting, you need a blunt needle. Start at the row of thread on the outside, and move it, bit by bit, back to where it belongs. Gradually work your way across, doing the same for each thread until complete. Then put your wrap in for a wash to help fluff up and mesh the fibres back in place.
A hole can occur when multiple threads break in one spot. Holes (even fairly small ones) compromise the safety of your wrap and aren’t possible to repair. If you are fortunate enough to have a hole towards the tail end, you could rehem your wrap and shorten it. If you can salvage a two metre piece, you can at least convert your wrap into a ring sling, and then use any leftover scrap for another project. Your pretty wrap will live on in other forms, even though it is no longer safe for babywearing.
Don’t use any standard commercial stain removing products – these are not good for woven wrap fibres! Depending on the type of stain, it is a good idea to gently handwash with cold water in the stained area to try and loosen the stain. You can rub a small amount of dishwashing detergent into the stain with your finger to help wash the stain out. Rinse. If the stain remains, try washing in cool water in your washing machine with an optical brightener free liquid detergent, or as you would normally wash your wrap. If the stain remains after washing and drying, consider leaving your wrap in the sun for an hour or so to try and fade it (unless the wrap is a delicate fibre blend – hot sun should be avoided if this is the case).
If your wrap is permanently stained… embrace it. It’s a baby product and meant to be used! Sometimes, this will give you the permission you needed to really use it everywhere without worrying too much about stains! Baby needs food while in wrap? No problem. Rainy day? Muddy ground? Who cares! :-)
Some woven wraps can start to fray at the hems or the hems can come undone. No worries – this is an easy fix! Simply re-hem! If fraying has occurred, you’ll need to overlock or zigzag any raw edges. You shouldn’t lose more than a centimetre or so of wrap fabric, which won’t have much effect on your ability to wrap, unless you wrap is already extra-narrow.
Permacreasing is where the fabric forms a crease or fold along one area that can’t be completely ironed out. As the name suggests, these are permanent! The best thing you can do is avoid them altogether. If your wrap can be ironed, consider ironing it regularly to allow it to “rest” between uses without any creases from when you were wearing it. Also, consider storing it in a way that prevents creases – hanging is often a good option. If storing long term, it is recommended that you roll the wrap (similar to how you buy fabric by the metre at the shops). If you’re being super careful, consider wrapping using a variety of carries, as this will change the place you fold and tie the wrap each time. Permacreasing isn’t terrible, but it can make your wrap more prone to thread shifting and general wear, so be sure to monitor the area.
Happy babywearing! :-)
P.S. Found this info handy? Please feel free to share or save it for future reference! :-)
P.P.S. If you’re here because you’re curious about woven wraps or are looking for another possible baby carrier, please go ahead and take a look at our range here. Oh, and we have AfterPay! :-D
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