Category Archives: Woven Wraps

Wool – The Wonder Yarn

This month we focus on wool in our ongoing series of yarn blogs. We’ll join Vicki as she chases the sheep out of her garden, whilst paying homage to these amazing animals and investigating the wonderful baby wrapping properties of wool.
Sheep on the Wander

I’m having a wee bit of a problem with wild life in my garden; for a change it’s not rabbits eating my petunias, nor crows dive bombing the windows – the sheep have broken through from the neighbouring field and they think my shrubs are delicious. To be honest it’s surprising we haven’t had a visit sooner, for apparently Scotland has more sheep than people living upon our fair land.

My neighbourly sheep

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Wovens from Middle-Earth: The Tales of Tolkien Woven by Oscha Slings

We are proud to present The Middle-Earth Collection, the official collection of baby wraps and ring slings inspired by the world of J.R.R Tolkien.

This collection is the result of a long-held desire here at Oscha to create a collection inspired by the world set out in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Drawing inspiration from the rich tales in the works of Tolkien, and with exclusive rights from Middle-earth Enterprises, we have created a series of gorgeous designs steeped in a mythology that has enthralled generations of children and adults.

With designs reflecting every detail of this world, from the geography of Middle-earth to individual characters, this Collection spans the breadth of this immersive tale.

We feel that the carefully crafted creation of this world naturally complements Oscha’s unique, timeless aesthetic. A shared dedication to creating a considered piece of art, along with a devotion to the minutiae of this folklore has allowed us to bring Middle-earth to life in an authentic and tasteful way: creating truly wearable art for our fans.

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Exciting Wool Warp Prototype

Zorro Breton is woven on an entirely wool warp which is a first for us! Over the past 5 years we have warped up with cotton or linen or a combination of both, the idea of a wool warp was intriguing and so we decided to give it a go! We love exploring new weave structures and pushing the boundaries around constructions for woven wraps. It’s something we take pride in and know our customers value too.
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Brittany, behind the blog ‘Twice Loved and Modern’, wears Zorro Breton

We chose our Zorro pattern with an ecru weft and navy warp as the prototype for this new blend. The final construction is 78% wool 11% cashmere and 11%silk and is two of a kind. We sent it to blogger, Brittany, of ‘Twice Loved and Modern’ to put it to the test!

Straight from the bag, Zorro Breton feels super soft and floppy. In Brittany’s words:

“It is INSANELY soft and INCREDIBLY fluid.  I mean whoa, it’s like butter!  I don’t think I’ve ever used the word fluid to describe a wrap before but that’s exactly what this is.  The silk content is so glide-y with the wool and cashmere offering a level of softness I’ve never experienced, the combination of the two is perfection.”

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Although this is our first wool warp, the process has opened up new opportunities for experimentation with wool yarns and combinations. The next new wooly blend we have weaving at the moment is 100% super-wash wool. We can’t wait ’till it comes off the loom, so that we can try it out!

Referring to the Zorro Breton, Brittany also says “It’s incredibly easy to use which makes it lovely for a beginner and equally attractive to an experienced wrapper.” She mentions that due to the glide, it’s easy to tie, but needs careful wrapping for heavier children. The softness lends itself perfectly for small babies and doesn’t feel particularly ‘wooly’ to the touch.

To read the full review, jump over to Brittany’s Blog here. It’s likely we will be creating more wraps in this blend for the winter as it’s been such a hit with Oscha staff and Brittany herself!

 

The Oscha Zorro Love group on Facebook received one item, which was sold by draw to purchase, and we will have another draw to purchase on our Facebook page this evening, with the winner announced tomorrow during Secret Stash Friday.

N.B There has been a spelling error on the tag, which you can see in some of Brittany’s images- both wraps made in this blend are named Zorro Breton.

Collaboration with Artist Elizabeth Close

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Anangu artist Elizabeth Close on a new design – Skipping Stones. Elizabeth creates contemporary & traditional Australian Aboriginal Art inspired by her surroundings and heritage. Elizabeth’s strong connections with the babywearing community has made this process and the final result even more touching for us. Read Zoe’s interview with Elizabeth below to hear more about how she became an artist, her influences and what inspired this particular pattern.
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Skipping stones has been woven on the ‘Surf’ Warp (from our Oceania collection) and will make at least one more appearance this year.

Firstly we’d like to say how delighted we are to have this opportunity to work with you after being such a fan of your artwork! Can you tell us a bit about how you became an artist?

Hi Zoe! It’s exciting for me too! Thanks so much for approaching me! I’m not wearing as much as I used to now that my smallest is an independent being that wants to walk and run, so it’s lovely to still be involved in the community I love so much. I do however have my third baby on the way, so I look forward to wearing my babies for years to come.

Motherhood

Elizabeths painting inspired by motherhood and an image of her carrying her child in an Oscha Woven wrap she designed for the Australian Babywearing Conference in 2015.

In some ways, I’ve always been an artist.  As I moved into high school, I didn’t enjoy art classes because I found it so constricting. They wanted me to learn about light and shade and study the work of other artists – and all I wanted to do was paint my own things in my own style! So I gave it up at year 10. I’ve always kind of dabbled in my own projects, and I continued to dabble as I became an adult, doing some works on canvas.

“My grandmother, my single most important link to my culture, used to teach me to paint and draw – she was very creative.”

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*New Blend* Machine-washable Wool

We enjoy developing and discovering new blends and fabric constructions for our customers and value sharing this process with a selection of babyweatring testers. The latest prototype to hit the road was Kasumi Orabel which is a new blend, for us, in machine-washable wool. We sent it to three testers in the USA.

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This wrap is woven on an organic cotton/linen warp and is made up of 45% extrafinewool, 20% organic linen, 35% organic combed cotton. The yarns are not treated with any harmful chemicals and, as with all of our fabrics, are in compliance with oeko-tex rules.

We asked Laketa from TandemTrouble, Bee from The Wild Bees and Samantha from Vegan Babymama to report back on what they thought about how it wraps and washes.

LaKeta, who has twin toddlers, commented on the washing process and feel of the wrap:
“It has been a pleasure to wear Orabel.  I have to admit to being skeptical on the machine washable wool but I believe this wrap made me a convert to super wash wool.  I was so nervous about felting, I have seen some truly horrible things happen to wool in machine wash.  Not only did it wash up very well, it had no felting and only mild, if any fuzzing. I think I see more fuzzing in Tencel than I did this wool.”
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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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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.

 

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.