Category Archives: Blends & Yarns

*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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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

We have sourced the most luxurious cotton for a new series of Boutique woven wraps.

 

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Hand picked and cultivated exclusively in the British West Indies, Sea Island cotton has unique qualities due to its long fibers which give a wonderful silken sheen and outstanding strength. Certified by The West Indian Sea Island Cotton Association, each sling will come with a hologram logo, guaranteeing the quality of this rare material. Blended with hemp, organic cotton, wild silk or cashmere weft yarns, look out for some Oscha Classics popping up soon.

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.