Woven Wraps - the why, what and how!
Woven wraps are really versatile, they truly are a "birth until preschool" baby carrying option. You can use one wrap to carry your baby in a whole range of carries - front, hip, and back carries. It can take longer to use a woven wrap than a buckle carrier. But once you've taken the time to learn some basic carries, you have a parenting tool you can take anywhere and use anytime. Woven wraps double up as picnic blankets, throws, and for making dens too!
What's a woven wrap?
A woven wrap is a long piece of woven cloth. The fabric is specially made and safety tested so that you can wrap it around yourself and your baby to carry your child. Woven wraps are made on a loom, with a warp and a weft. They come in a myriad of colours and patterns, and there are lots of blends of fibres used too.
Our favourite blends are:
100% cotton - versatile, soft, sturdy, easy to care for. Cotton wraps can be affordable like our Yaro and Little Frog ranges. Or they can be more luxurious like the Aroha collection.
Linen and cotton - linen is produced from the flax plant. The linen adds support without extra weight to the woven cloth. Linen wraps are thinner and lightweight, but still very strong. They take longer to soften than a cotton wrap.
Hemp - hemp wraps take a long time to break in. They can withstand heat and washing, and are really sturdy. Once you've broken your hemp wrap in, they're blankety-soft.
How do I use a woven wrap?
You may have noticed that woven wraps come in a range of sizes, from size 2 right through to size 9. These sizes relate to the length of the woven wrap. Size 2 is 2.6 metres long, size 6 is 4.6 metres long.
This is a helpful size guide here. Most people will use a size 6 to start with. If you're petite, a size 5 is a good starter size, and if you're taller or broader across the chest and back, then a size 7 will give you the extra fabric you need.
Our favourite carry to start out with is a Front Wrap Cross Carry. It's great for newborn babies, and you can comfortably carry an older baby or a toddler in a FWCC too. South East Slings has a helpful video tutorial here.
Woven wraps are also ideal for back carries, although there's a steeper learning curve than using a buckle carrier. Many people prefer to use a shorter wrap for simple back carries.