Author Archives: Hannah Eccles

*NEW* Toddler Cairis

This week we are excited to launch our toddler sized Cairis. A development from the Baby Cairis it is specially designed to carry your bigger children. Suitable from approximately 2 – 5 years the Cairis will be comfortable for toddlers through to pre-school age.

SN-Amera Diana carrying her 3 year old daughter.

The special features of the toddler Cairis include:
– Padded waist band that goes all the way around your middle for increased lumber support, which adds structure to the carrier yet adapts to the wearer.
– Straps flare to 1/2 wrap width giving a wider area for support for bigger children (the Baby has a more gentle flare of 1/3 wrap width keeping the Carrier light and easy to use for smaller children)
– Leg padding for your the child’s comfort
– Seat darts provide a contoured shape for childs comfort and easy positioning

The Toddler Cairis contains some of our most successful features from the baby Cairis, which we have had great feedback on from our customers; such as our unique Strata-linea® Waistband (patent pending). This provides elegance & comfort by preventing webbing digging into your waist, as well as giving support.
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New: 100% Ice Cotton

We are excited to introduce a range of slings woven with Ice Cotton. Specially developed to give a “cool to the touch” feel, our new wraps are perfect for keeping you both fresh and comfortable in the heat, just in time for the summer months to come.
Read on for an insight into the fibres used and feedback from our trusted babywearing testers.
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Tessa wearing Roses Coral Ring Sling

Ice Cotton yarn is made from naturally grown and selected cotton, with no synthetic fibers, and is free from harmful chemicals.
The beauty of this unique “cooling” material is in the advanced spinning technology which uses very long and twisted fibres, making the fabric feel fresh and light. If you look closely at the individual yarns in the weave (image below), you will see the twisted fibres which give a raised texture, this produces a construction which is naturally airy and breathable.

Our Ice Cotton slings have been tested by several experienced babywearers since March last year (2015), here are some of their comments:

Keely, England
Testing 100% Ice Cotton wrap
How did you get on with your Ice Cotton tester?
‘I apparently have gone absolutely crazy for your ice cotton! It is amazing! We have worn with it every day, it’s one of the most comfortable wraps I’ve owned and wraps like a dream. I was concerned by how thin and gauze-like it felt at first, but it is so surprisingly supportive and the pattern makes it nice and grippy. It’s very comfy on my shoulders and thin enough to make a lovely neat knot. My nearly 2 year old has been up for several hours at a time in it and was weightless throughout. I will be very very sad to part with it!’

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Keely testing the Roses Coral with her daughter.

That’s great to hear! How would you feel about using it against bare skin and with a younger baby?
‘Straight out of the bag I had my doubts, but now it’s had a few washes and been well worn I think it will be fine. I’ve worn it on bare shoulders and it was lovely. I also borrowed a friend’s very dinky one month old to try with it and it was still perfect, she fell asleep in minutes and was clearly very comfortable in there!’

Julia, UK – on holiday in Thailand
Tested 100% Ice Cotton wrap
‘I was really excited to be able to test the ice cotton out in the heat of Thailand. Most days were over 32C and the humidity was still high in the region I was staying. As I reported a while back, my first try I managed a 2km walk in 35C humid heat, I was wearing two layers and Aria in one. The only place that either of us was sweating was where our bodies had been together, which is to be expected.  Even with wearing it in a DH, I didn’t feel overheated and more importantly, Aria didn’t either. In subsequent wears (I think one day it was up to 40C apart from feeling fatigue from the heat anyway), the wrap was still comfortable to wear. I also took a 50% linen (it was a thicker 50% linen – alto eventide) but I wore that once and then left it in the suitcase, the ice cotton was just more comfortable to wear. Careful tightening with this wrap is a must but despite a really bad wrap job, it felt amazing on my shoulders and fantastic in high temperatures.’

Karine, Singapore
Tested 100% Ice Cotton wrap
‘Upon receiving the wrap, it seems there isn’t a need to break it in like a typical hemp or linen blend. It is very thin and airy which makes it very cooling to wrap with. Slightly textured which creates a relatively good grip even with a half knot tie. Supportive and comfortable even after an hour of wrapping my 17 month old who weighs about 12kg. I’m looking forward to experiencing a blend of cotton and ice cotton. I will be excited to see more ice cotton wraps with colour gradients too!’
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The star-crossed lovers come together at last

In May 2012 we listed one of our early Collections – 3 different patterns all woven in ecru on a deep purple warp, we called the wraps and ring slings ‘Juliet’. Here we provide some insight into the Collection journey and development over the past four years, up to our current designs.
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Japanese Knot Juliet and Rei Romeo, 2013

Later the following year we decided to expand on the theme and created a ‘Romeo’ warp of deep, slate blue. We added in different colour weft yarns to each warp and named the new colourways according to Romeo & Juliet’s friends and family, anything on the Juliet warp would have a name relating to House Capulet, and anything from the Romeo warp relating to House Montague.
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New: LoveKnot Design

For a while now, we have been looking for an excuse to expand on our Celtic knot designs, and with the advent of the additions to our Romeo and Juliet collection this spring, we decided this was the perfect opportunity to design an Oscha love knot.

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Mike set to work on sketching out rough ideas from traditional Celtic knot motifs before translating them into silhouettes that would be suitable for weaving.

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New: Scottish Linen Review

Wrap: Oscha Slings Alto Mivida, size 7 and Eesti shoulder ring sling
Fiber: 50% organic combed cotton / 50% Scottish linen 233gsm
Wrapper/Reviewer: Anne Rush (started wrapping in August 2014)
Wrappee: 24.5lb. / 19m old

Alto-portrait

Aesthetics: At first I worried about the colour based solely upon the photos. It appeared somewhere between a pastel and a neutral pink. I trend more toward bold colors and especially dislike pinks due to an overbearing older brother insisting it was a “sissy” color growing up. Upon receiving the piece, I was relieved to discover the color – while still in the pink range – was more toward the darker range and almost a Georgia clay or pink limestone color. Upon consultation with friends – was dubbed an antique rose.

I had been warned by the previous owner that the clouds on Mivida were smaller than normal. I found this to be accurate and personally felt the smaller clouds particularly fit this colorway; the coloring lends itself to an image of a desert sky at sunset where the clouds are more sparse and less full.

Qualities: The first thing I noticed was Mivida’s thinness. Compared with my other Oscha linen blend wraps; I was also struck by Mivida’s softness. My only other Oscha 50% linen / 50% cotton that I have received new was Sekai Aozora. Compared to Aozora, Mivida seemed to break in significantly faster. In hand, Mivida had little to no “cush” when squeezed and very low diagonal stretch. This was on par with all the other 50% linen blends that I have tried. The clouds provided a very light amount of texture as one passed one’s hand over it – just enough to promise no slip while wrapping but still allow for a lovely glide while executing multi-pass carries.

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Mivida impressed me even more in wrapping qualities. My wrapping quality preferences are for wraps which are thin, soft, smooth or very low textured, with low to mid-stretch and good breathability while still providing excellent support. Mivida fired on almost all these qualities but for stretch – which no to low stretch tends to remain constant for 50% linen / 50% cotton across all the brands I have used so I associate with the blend itself, not with any failing in a wrap.

To assess Mivida’s wrapping qualities in relation to its differently source linen content, I specifically tested it alongside Oscha Sekai Aozora 7 (standard linen) and Oscha Strato Muscovado (wetspun linen). I tried to control as many variables as possible.

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Hip-Healthy Baby Slings

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges Oscha Woven Wraps, Ring Slings, Baby Cairis and Coorie as “hip-healthy” baby carriers (when used as directed). This means that our slings provide the correct support to your child’s hips, which encourages the normal hip joint development that is especially important during the child’s first 6 months.

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Woven Wrap, Ring Sling, Cairis, Corrie

Woven Wrap, Ring Sling, Cairis, Corrie

The IHDI has reviewed the Oscha products that are suitable for babies under 6 months as the risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation is greatest in the first few months of life.  By six months of age, most babies have nearly doubled in size, the hips are more developed and the ligaments are stronger, so are less susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.

IHDI supports proper babywearing with the hips in the M-position as a method to encourage healthy hip development. Our Coorie and Todder Cairis also hold the hips in this position as recommended by the IHDI but as these products are for use with older babies, they are not eligible to be tested for ‘hip healthy’ positioning.

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A little information about healthy hip positioning:

If you would like to read more about Hip Dysplasia and baby carriers, you may want to read Dr Rosie Knowles blog post about ‘Busting some Hip- Healthy Myths’. Rosie is a qualified GP and an experienced Sling Consultant. http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/healthy-hips-busting-some-myths/ she explores Hip Dysplasia in detail and recommends different styles of carriers for healthy hips.

You can explore the International Hip Dysplasia website to read more about hip healthy positioning and the research around preventing hip dysplasia here http://hipdysplasia.org/

Exclusively Boutique: Minerals Collection

The first boutique- only collection, Minerals features a silver fade woven in exquisite Sea Island cotton. The Collection includes a range of special luxury weft yarns, new blends and 100% Sea Island cotton slings, so you can enjoy the pure wrapping qualities of this rare material.
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Inspired by precious metals and gems, the Collection showcases sophisticated tonal highlights and bold colours alongside the utmost in understated and wearable luxury wraps. Giving you the opportunity to carry your most precious gem in comfort and style. Shop the Minerals collection here.

Sea Island Cotton Review

Review by Super Awesome Babywearing Collective
Re-blogged from Emily here: SAB Collective
Review of Japanese Knot Ooki Zen: 50% Sea Island Cotton, 50% Organic Combed Cotton
This wrap was released in June 2015 and was our very first Boutique piece woven with Sea Island Cotton. Now we have a new Boutique Collection, which showcases exclusive designs and blends including, for the first time, 100% Sea Island Cotton wraps. Keep a look out for reviews of these to come. You can view the boutique collection here.

SICtop2How do I love thee, let me count the ways… This is the absolute king of wraps for me. I’ve tried a lot, churned a lot, worn a lot in my 3.5 year wrapping journey and for me, this wrap really does it all. It’s solidly medium thickness in hand and fared well in both summer and winter weather. The support, cush and stretch mean an easy, tight, super comfy wrap job every time. I have a size 7, which is actually more wrap than I usually like to tangle with, but given how easy it is to wrap with, I’m just enjoying the nice long swishy tails! It’s just amazing — molds right to both me and baby (well, toddler at 18mo). Although I’ve seen others mention that it needed breaking in, I found it pretty soft from the get-go (although it has gotten even more so). If I put aside all sentiment for my other wraps and carriers, this could easily be my one-and-only from birth to toddler.

My only complaint is that it lulled me into thinking that all sea island cotton blends would be equally miraculous, so I overspent on another SIC wrap from another wildly popular maker and it was decidedly not love. It wasn’t even like… but that’s a lesson learned and another post for another day!

Read more about Oscha Sea Island cotton here.

Burns Poem Competition 2016 Inspiration

Some of you may remember our poem competition from last year in celebration of our favourite lyricist here in Scotland, Rabbie Burns! We asked you to write a poem inspired by your babywearing moments. It was such a success that we’ve decided to run it again this year.
You can find out how to enter on our Facebook Page here. If you would like some inspiration, you can see the winning poem from last year by Jillyan Graham and the wonderful runners up by Amy Quinn & Katie Gilbert below.

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2015 Winning Poem by Jilyan Graham
When daring toddlers find their feet,
And reminiscing parents begin tae greet,
As baby-wearing days are wearing late,
And folk begin tae accept their fate,
While we begin tae ditch the nappy,
An’ running a’roond makes the bairns happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The babies carried o’er burns and stiles,
Instead we think a boot oor hame,
And all the stramash o’ the wrapping game,
O’ those slings and wraps noo gathering dust,
O’ those times when in Oscha we did place oor trust.
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Cairis Review – Lauren and Simon

We sent one of our Cairis carriers to a family who were just beginning to explore babywearing with their first child. We asked Lauren how she got on trying it out with her son. They received one of the first completed carriers 7 months ago just as he was born.

What were your first impressions of the Oscha Cairis?
The fabric- quality and design- were absolutely beautiful, and the sling as whole, extremely attractive; it had a real ‘wow’ factor (subsequently reflected in the number of comments I received when I wore it out and about). The accompanying instructions were very clear

How easy did you find using it and putting it on at the beginning? Were you used to using any other baby slings or woven wraps?
I had never used a sling or woven wrap before and found the Cairis very easy to use. We followed the instructions step-by-step and had the carrier in use within five minutes.

You can see how easy it is to use the Cairis with a new born by viewing our instructional video.

Do you find it comfortable to wear for long periods?
It is very comfortable to wear. When my baby was very young I commonly wore it for up to 6 hours. I am quite petite and it adapted very well to my size. Likewise, my son was a particularly small baby, and I loved how the sling could be adapted for him.

When do you tend to wear your baby in the Cairis?
Around the house, out shopping, running errands (particularly when using public transport). When Owen was younger (and the weather was nicer) I used it out on long country walks.

Is it easy to transport when you are out and about and your child is being carried?
Yes- I use the bag that came with it. It folds down well so it very convenient to transport.

How happy do you think your child is in the sling? Is it a good height for them to see out?
He’s always been very happy in the sling. I regularly use it to comfort him when he’s distressed and almost instantly calms. It is a good height for him to see out.

Do you prefer to use it on your back, front or both?
I’ve only recently starting using it on the back, and I now prefer it as it’s easier to go about tasks, and now he’s heavier, it is more comfortable for longer periods.

How easy do you find adjusting the size when sharing it with your partner?
With a little bit of practise, very easy.

Over all, how happy are you with the appearance and functionality of the carrier?
Very happy. Given I had never used a sling before, I wanted something easy to use, and the Cairis was certainly that; I felt confident using it almost immediately. A real advantage for us was being able to adapt the sling, using the cinch, for when our son was first born; he was of a relatively low birth weight so he would have been too small for mainstream carriers. It was lovely wearing something so attractive, and I constantly received compliments on the carrier when using it.

Will you continue to use the Cairis?
Yes

Do you have any other comments?
Receiving the sling instantly changed the way I went about the day. My son loved being in the carrier, and I would wear it for large chunks of the day; I knew he was happy, and I could talk to him as I went about activities. Because it is so convenient to use, it made it so much easier for my husband and I to go out- using for example public transport or out on long walks in the countryside. He would either sleep, or watch what was going on around him.