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What Blend of Fibres Are Right for My Woven Wrap?

July 02, 2016

When you fall down the rabbit hole, you can start to realise that there’s a lot more to woven wraps than you first thought! Not only are there different sizes, patterns, and thicknesses, but you can also buy them in many, many combinations of fibres.

New wrappers can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the options out there, and wonder what’s right for them. But even most experienced wrappers haven’t tried every possible fibre and blend, and are still on the hunt for that perfect mix of fibres, weave, and other design features that make up their perfect wrap.

***Warning: Geekery to the MAX in this post!!!***

Over the past few months, I’ve spent some time researching (and trying) a number of different fibres and blends to try and pinpoint the differences, wrapping qualities, and other possible benefits. Rather than keeping all the info to myself, I thought I’d share it here!

Why does the fibre matter?

Wrapping qualities, or the strengths and weaknesses of a wrap, are determined by the weave/pattern, thickness, and the fibres that make up the wrap. As you get into wrapping, you’ll notice a preference for certain wrapping qualities, such as:

  • Thin
  • Thick
  • Cushy
  • Moldable
  • Drapey
  • Blankety
  • Stretchy
  • Textured
  • Grippy
  • Strong
  • Firm
  • Bounce
  • Glide
  • Warmth
  • Breathability

Knowing which fibres work well together to produce your favourite wrapping qualities will help you choose the right wrap for you and your baby. Other than wrapping qualities, different fibres also have different care requirements and can result in different aesthetics.

What Are The Main Fibres and Their Qualities?

Quite honestly, there are probably hundreds of different fibres and blends that could be used in a woven wrap, many of which are yet to be explored. It is an exciting time to be a babywearer and wrapper! I’ll list just some of the main ones and their unique wrapping qualities to help you decide which fibres might be a good choice for your next woven.

100% cotton

  • Very easy care
  • Versatile – often used with other fibres in a blend
  • Wrapping qualities vary greatly depending on the weave/thickness, but are generally soft, suitable for new wrappers and newborns, breathable, and easy to wrap with.

Linen Blend

  • Easy care – may require breaking in and the occasional steam iron to avoid permacreasing
  • Wrapping qualities vary depending on the weave/thickness, but are generally solid (not so much stretch), extremely strong, breathable/cool, and supportive. Thinner linen wraps may feel diggy on the shoulders with big babies in single layer carries.
  • Linen is often recommended for big babies due to its strength, but a fully broken in linen wrap can also be perfect for newborns.

Hemp Blend

  • Easy care – may require breaking in and the occasional steam iron to avoid permacreasing.
  • Wrapping qualities vary, but are generally suitable for all ages once broken in and soft, reasonably cushy, strong, grippy, and supportive, and has thermoregulation properties.

Wool Blend

  • Higher care – requires handwashing and flat-drying to avoid felting. Some wool is “superwash” and can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle.
  • Wrapping qualities will depend on the weave and blend, but are generally cushy, supportive, bouncy, and warm.
  • Wool can sometimes be scratchy, but this will vary from brand to brand.
  • Because of its softness and cush, wool is suitable for both newborns and big babies through to toddlers.

Bamboo Blend

  • Medium care – may require handwashing and flat-drying depending on the blend.
  • Wrapping qualities include softness, moldability, drape, bounce, and thermoregulation properties. Generally suited to newborns and smaller babies, as bamboo wraps can often dig in single layer carries for bigger wrappees.

Silk Blend

  • Higher care – handwashing required.
  • Wrapping qualities include strength, glide, softness, warmth, and thermoregulation properties. Holds heat close to the body, but wicks moisture, so good for both summer and winter.
  • Silk is perfect for newborns, though high silk blends may be diggy in single layer carries for bigger babies.

Tencel Blend

  • Easy care – little to no breaking in or ironing required.
  • Tencel is a fibre created from wood pulp. It is very soft, strong, drapes well, and resists wrinkling.
  • Wrapping qualities include glide, softness, shine, and cush. Generally a more slippery blend to wrap with, particularly if the wrap design lacks texture/grip. Cool and lightweight, so excellent for warmer months.
  • Tencel is ideal for newborns due to its softness, but its glide makes it the perfect multilayer carrying wrap for bigger babies.

Repreve Blend

  • Easy care – minimal breaking in and no ironing needed.
  • Wrapping qualities are similar to wool – cushy, bouncy, and suitable for all ages. Repreve is made from recycled plastic and does have a slight “plastic” feel to it, but this isn’t as unpleasant as it might sound!
  • Repreve is great for all sized wrappees.

Seacell

  • Easy care
  • Is cool to the touch, shimmery, and smooth. Has some cush and bounce. Is an ideal summer blend and good for sensitive skin.
  • Honestly, I haven’t tried Seacell yet, but I imagine that it would be ideal for all ages. I’ll update this when I get the chance to try it!

 

What Blend Should You Choose?

Now that you have the facts on what each blend wraps like and their different care requirements, you should be able to narrow it down. Or not! Your choice will also depend on a few other factors, including:

  • Your budget (some blends are more expensive than others)
  • Your wrappee’s age (some blends are more suited to younger/older babies)
  • Your favourite carries (some blends will shine in multi-layer carries, some hold knots better than others, etc.)
  • Availability (you might have to hunt for awhile to find less common blends or to find a design you like).

woven wrap babywearing blends infographic

A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way…

As always, I like to remind you to just go for it! Don’t agonise over textiles and blends to the point where you don’t end up getting your wrap at all. Yes, all the information can seem overwhelming, but at the end of the day, your wrap is probably going to do the job (help you snuggle your baby!) and that’s all that matters.

It can be fun to geek out over different blends and wrapping qualities, and some of us (guilty!) like to try a bit of everything just because. But that doesn’t mean that you have to.

But on the flip side of things, if you want to and are able to try different blends, go for it! Remember, your babies won’t stay small forever… so if you’re curious about any of the fibres and blends I’ve mentioned above, don’t sit around wondering! Keep an eye out for new releases, bargains in the secondhand market, or even someone (generously) sending their wrap travelling. Whether you have the budget to buy new or not, you can find a way to TRY ALL THE WRAPS (AND BLENDS!).

 

Happy wrapping!

<3

 

Copyright Brooke Maree © 2017

Being a copycat or blatantly stealing is never cool. There is a fine line between inspiration and stealing, so please be respectful, honest, and full of integrity when sharing this piece of writing or using its information. Many hours of work, planning, and editing goes into our pieces to ensure the highest quality first-hand information. Any of our work that is plagiarised will be found and could constitute a copyright infringement and legal action. That being said, you are ALWAYS welcome to share our content, as long as you attribute and link back to the source. xxx





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