Category Archives: In The Weave

The Elemental Collection: Traditional Scottish Textiles

As the Elemental Collection celebrates the harsh diversity of the Scottish elements we take inspiration from the traditional textile techniques that have graced the protective layers worn by generations of families in Scotland for three intricate new designs and a gorgeous new Sea Island Cotton warp.

Lace and knitwear are inextricably linked with their Scottish origins, so when examining traditional textile techniques our gaze naturally fell on these heritage crafts. From this inspiration grew Croft, Sono and Lace: three new designs created for the Elemental Collection.

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Linen – A Surprisingly Scottish Story

The first of our series of yarn blog posts focuses on linen, which turns out to have had a significant part to play in the history of Scottish industry.

It’s always surprising how we learn new things. Here I am out for a walk, thinking of nothing much but how cold I am, and the next thing is I’m having a lesson in the making of linen.

I’m walking across a field, feet mud suckered, wind-blasted by the gale whipping off the North Sea when suddenly I’m teetering on the lip of a waterlogged hole.
‘It’s an old retting pit,’ shouts the local farmer.
‘What on earth is a retting pit?’ I yell back, as a splatter of rain stings my face. He starts to explain but I’m chittering with cold.
‘Awa ye go hame lass,’ he calls and I retreat gratefully, leaving the farmer checking over his sheep, to an internet search accompanied by a steaming mug of hot chocolate – the cold slowly dissipating from my bones.

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Retting flax

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Spinning Out About The Spinning Wheel

We’ve been preparing a series of blog posts looking into the origins & production of our yarns, but first we’re getting back to the basics as we send Vicki off to learn how to spin fibre into yarn by hand.
Vicki at the Spinning Wheel

Vicki at the Spinning Wheel

A spinning wheel has always had something romantic about it for me, maybe from a childhood peppered with fairytales; Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold & Sleeping Beauty lured into pricking her finger on the wheel, so when I saw a Beginners Spinning Class advertised locally I was instantly hooked.

Two hours into the two day class and I’m not so sure. Certainly the setting has a touch of the fairytale about it, as we work in what was once the wedding room of the local Council offices, bathed in the warm glow of a real coal fire.

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Oscha On Tour

Over the last few months we have taken Oscha on tour, attending many Sling Shows in order to meet our wonderful customers. We have loved getting out and about in Scotland and reveling in the joy of babywearing. Here’s some snippets to share with all you far flung wrappers and educators to give you a wee taste of our tour.
Aberdeen Sling Meet:

Early on a gloriously sunny morning Hannah and Kira found themselves travelling up the East Coast by train for a fun sling meet in Aberdeen organised by Jess Hippey of Close & Calm.

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Not only was there lots of opportunity for trying wraps and carriers, getting advice and adjustments, there were homemade cakes and cookies provided too (Aberdeen photos courtesy of laughsandlenses.com)

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First Look: 100% Superwash Wool MacQueen of Skye Tartan

We asked Diana Warner, one of our beautiful models, to let us know her thoughts about our new MacQueen of Skye Tartan. Woven using a brand new 100% Superwash wool weave we were keen to see what she thought about this new innovation in all wool wraps.

I’m not sure where to begin. First I guess I need to say that I am head over heels IN LOVE with this wrap …

MacQueen of Skye Tartan baby wrap

 

It was instant. When this package arrived I was very excited to see the new colour way of Tartan in person. Before it was sent to me I was told the blend would be 100% wool so I was a little nervous that I would not have time to break it in properly. This wrap needs absolutely ZERO breaking in. I’m not joking. I received MacQueen of Skye and Menzies tartan (100% organic combed cotton) on the same day and MacQueen was SOFTER straight out of the bag. Don’t get me wrong Menzies softens nicely but this was a surprising find.

The break in period for MacQueen is about 6 seconds.

The colours are as such: the perfect cool red, deep midnight black, fresh crisp white. All of the colours contrast and compliment each other in such a way that this wrap is visually stunning, and welcoming.

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Scottish Baby Sling Stories – Using the Plaid

Vicki delves into historic Scotland to find out more about the age old tradition of carrying children in slings! She meets our new designer Evonne’s granny and great aunt over a cuppa to hear about their personal experience in using the ‘Plaid’.

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When our new designer Evonne told her granny about the products Oscha makes, her granny said,
        ‘Oh, I know all about that, your great granny carried me in the plaid.’
Intrigued, I drove westwards on Scotland’s hottest day of the year (temperature reached a miraculous 27C!), navigating the tangle of motorways which slice up Glasgow, and out the other side to Dalry, once a thriving textile town, where the last mill closed only a few months ago, to find out more.
Evonne’s granny, May (Mary), and her sister Fay, greeted me with tea in china cups, lots of cake and a fascinating glimpse into 1930’s and 40’s Scotland.

Their mother had nine children and they lived in a two-roomed tenement flat with no running water or electricity. ‘We had to carry buckets of clean water up a flight of stairs and the dirty water back down again,’

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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!

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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.

Coorie on Tourie & New System to Purchase

In preparation of our new listing system for selling our Coories, we decided to send it on tour! See below for some feedback from the families who had a go, and read on to find out what’s new and how you can purchase one of your own.
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Marcella
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What’s New?

We’ve made a few tweaks to the Coorie body panel after receiving feedback from customers.
Previous Dimensions:
Baby Panel: 38cm (15″) wide (at base) x 41cm (16″) high.
Toddler Panel: 50cm (19.5″) wide (at base) x 42cm (16.5″) high.

New Dimensions:
Baby Panel: 44cm (17.5″) wide (at base) x 28cm (15″) high.
Toddler Panel: 49.5cm (19.5″) wide x 43cm (17″) high.

We’ve replaced the buttons for the hood with a simple tie so that you can still roll it up, creating that stylish look and holding it in place with ease.

How To Buy:

1. The Coorie will be made to order from specific Oscha fabric which will be previewed on Facebook before the ‘slots’ become available.

2. We will state how many slots will be available (approx. 2- 6 for each style) and time of the listing, so that you can purchase your slot on the website when they go live.

3. Prices: Baby £268 | Toddler £279

4. We will aim to ship orders within 2 weeks of the purchase date.

5. Our aim is to have approximately 2 listings each month with different Oscha fabric.

As always, our Coorie carriers will be handmade in our workshop in Scotland by our team of highly skilled seamstresses.

What’s Coming Up?
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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* 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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