Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bamboo for bigger kids too!

When a new wrapper asks about bamboo they will generally be told ‘its lovely for squishes but won’t work for bigger kids’, in fact there’s many qualities in Oscha bamboo that make it ideal for carrying even pre-schoolers.

Yun Yi wearing her 3 and a half year old son in Zhuzi Ash.

Yun Yi wearing her three and a half year old son in Zhuzi Ash.

It is true that a thicker fabric especially one that is densely woven, will tend to perform better in a single layer carry, but there’s a point where your child gets so heavy that a single layer carry, except in the thickest of sturdy fabrics, is not going to cut it anymore. There’s a few wrappers out there with hardy shoulders who can manage, but for most, more than about half an hour with a 3 year old in a single layer carry will cause achy shoulders.

Image of Nina wearing Nouveau Nebula Baby Wrap (46% Bamboo, 54% Cotton)

Nouveau Nebula Baby Wrap (46% Bamboo, 54% Cotton)

 

At this point most people will need to use multi-layer carries for periods of long carrying anyway, and this is when bamboo really comes in to its own. Oscha bamboo is also very strong, we use a fine thread that is densely woven. Thin wraps that are densely woven can offer great support, it is those that have a looser weave that tend to sag (although this can be worth it when the weather is very hot to allow more air flow).

 

Oscha Bamboo is very soft and has an incredible glide, this means that a very snug wrap job can be achieved effortlessly; passes are easy to tighten and adjust. Some people complain that bamboo is too slippery, but to get a good wrap job in a complicated carry that requires a lot of tightening, like a double hammock or DRS2S it can be perfect. As it is not too thick it also adds to the ease of wrapping and makes it a good all year rounder. Personally I enjoyed using it as a summer-time wrap in Scotland too.

Ambit Natalis Solice Wrap, (46% Bamboo, 56% Cotton)

Ambit Natalis Solice Wrap, (46% Bamboo, 56% Cotton)

 

Ultimately its all down to personal preference, but from one person who carried 4 year old twins (one at a time!) for an hour’s walk each day in total comfort, and found Oscha bamboo a joy to wrap with, I can vouch for bamboo for big kids!

 

Bamboo also has other great qualities as a baby sling. It offers natural UV protection, is anti-bacterial, great for those with sensitive skin. Bamboo is naturally moisture wicking & breathable, and the fabric has a beautiful shimmer. 

 

Here is a review  from Yun of Zhuzi Ash, 46% Bamboo, 54% Combed Cotton. She talks about using this wrap with her two children, her daughter who is 12 months and her son of three and a half years.  To see the original review, click here.

 

I didn’t know what to expect when I received this wrap, but the rich evergreen and bright bamboo green colours and the intricate bamboo design blew me away. Then, I touched it….and it was so soft…yet it felt so strong…I could not wait to wrap with it.

 

Zhuzi Ash wrap (46% Bamboo, 56% Combed Cotton)

Zhuzi Ash wrap (46% Bamboo, 56% Combed Cotton)

One wash and this wrap became floppy as if it was pretending to be a wrap that had been with me forever. The texture is silky, smooth, and incredibly soft – did I say that yet? I mean, I could not get over the softness. It’s also narrower than some other Oscha wraps. I was concerned though, as a soft wrap like this could not be supportive could it?? But I read up on the qualities of bamboo, its sustainability, how strong, and versatile this plant fiber can be. But I had also read that people said it could be saggy. So up it went with my little 1 year old and it was perfect.

 

This is a soft and moldable wrap with a glide that some will call slippery but with deliberate wrapping you can get it to stick just perfectly so that it stays put and that’s when you realize how supportive and dense this wrap can feel. I had to lower my daughter so she could nurse and it still stayed in place but when I wanted to bring her back up I had to rewrap a bit more since I had lost the tension that had allowed it to feel so supportive. It seems to have a slight cush to it – maybe due to the textile weaving intricacy of the bamboo throughout the wrap?? Or is is the bamboo itself??

 

The big test came with my three and a half year old. At a bit over 30lbs, he needed precise wrapping to make sure that he didn’t make the wrap slip down but once again as long as I made sure to be deliberate and guide the rails into place, my big child did not sag or slip down. He was snug as a bug and the wrap remained supportive. Overall, for a small baby, wrapping this narrow, soft and slightly slippier wrap will be easy and on a larger child wrapping has to be deliberate and precise but all in all shows the stretch of bamboo and the versatility of it as an incredibly silky feeling wrap. The artistry of Oscha really shines in this wrap and I can’t wait to use it more since V gets to be a big sister this fall.

 

To view the full range of Oscha Bamboo wraps, click here.

Creating the Northern Isles Collection

Images of Okinami Orkney, inspired by the Scottish landscape at dawn.

Okinami Orkney, inspired by modern artworks depicting seascapes at dawn on the Northern Isles of Scotland.

I had returned to the family home, a log cabin in Fife, where Mike spends most of his time working on Oscha designs (amongst other things!). We had decided we wished to create a sunset fade of colours specifically for weaving with Okinami. We spent a long time playing about with colours and built a very bright sunset scene, but neither of us were feeling particularly satisfied about it. It felt too close to our Hawaii sunset warp, with a tropical look.

 

We both decided to take a break and accompany the rest of the family for a visit to the annual Pittenweem Arts Festival. This village in the East Neuk of Fife comes alive with the Scottish art scene for one week in August, when you can find tiny little pop-up galleries emerge everywhere, from resident’s front rooms and garages to tents in the gardens!

 

Whilst we wandered in and out of the tiny make-shift galleries, many filled with paintings of Scottish seascapes, and along the sea front which the village clings to, a new pallet of colours began to emerge. On our return we decided that it was at last time to begin the Northern Isles Collection, we used images of fine & modern artworks depicting seascapes, and more subtle yet radiant dawn light, in the Northern Isles to build a fade of colours that felt both more mature and interesting.

Okinami Orkney, showing the dawn warp colour way.

Okinami Orkney, showing the dawn warp.

The Northern Lights, or Merry Dancers warp came simply through the fun of playing with our new multi-colour warp technology. We hit on the lively range of colours and were reminded of the Northern Lights.

 

Shortly afterwards I went to a local Fèis, where young musicians from up North played and sang beautiful, traditional folk music, and there was a cèilidh. This brought to mind a competition entrant who had suggested a Collection theme to us – ‘the Merrie Dancers’ – which is the local term in Orkney and Shetland for the aurora borealis. I could immediately see a parallel between the music, dance and the movement of the local Gaelic music scene and the vivid lights in the night sky, which are so visible in the Northern Isles.

Image of Tjimkje playing the fiddle in the Eire Fairy Ring wrap.

Tjimkje playing the fiddle in an Eire Fairy Ring wrap. Bringing together the Northern Lights warp with folk music and dance.

Pulling these two warps together we felt we had a nice beginning to the new collection and in time we hope to come back, adding a Part 2, with more Shetland-inspired colours and designs.

 

To shop the collection, click here.

Optimal Positioning When Carrying Your Child

Babywearing International have developed clear and easy to follow guidelines on the best way to carry your child in a woven wrap or ringsling. There is a separate card to show the optimal positioning for each age group and then for each sling type. These positions show the most comfortable way for you and your child. To see the original source on the Babywearing International website- click here.

Virginie and her daughter demonstrating the optimum carrying position using an Oscha woven wrap in a front wrap cross carry.

Virginie and her daughter demonstrating the optimum carrying position using an Oscha woven wrap in a front wrap cross carry.

New born optimal positioning examples

 

Optimal Positioning Infant

optimal positioning instructions for carrying an infant

Optimal positioning for carrying a child n a woven wrap

Optimal positioning for carrying a child in a ring sling