Category Archives: Workshop

Commissioning a Pre-order

We are asked all the time “How do I get my dream wrap made?” One of the fun parts of the job here at Oscha is collaborating with groups from around the world who want to commission a customised order. We love the creativity and new ideas our amazing pre-order groups bring, and how they enter into the joy of innovating alongside us.
Read our FAQ below and then its time to get designing!

The French Pre-order Group’s vivid Alto Bergamote

I’m interested in commissioning a custom order, how do I go about it?

First, you need to have a Facebook group of at least 700 members who are interested too. Maybe you’re already chatting to them about the Oscha’s they love and the colourways, patterns and products that excite them. Then you’ll need to send us an email so we can send you more information & an application form where you can tell us about your group’s ideas.

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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.

hannahamndkirathe-team

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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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.

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* 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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Making the Oscha Cairis

Making the Cairis – Style & comfort through simplicity

Each of our carriers has a slightly different focus – the Coorie embodies elegance and intricate tailoring, the Cairis is stylishly simple and easy to use. With both of them my focus has been on making an extremely comfortable waistband and trying to create the snug, supported feeling of being in a woven wrap.

The baby Cairis (meaning ‘to care for’ in traditional, colloquial Scots) is suitable from the newborn stage, it is accessible for new babywearers, and has a pretty, streamlined aesthetic, making it a pleasure to use. It is essentially a half-buckle but with a few very unique elements that make it quite special.

The really exciting new feature of the Cairis has to be our Strata-linea® waistband (patent pending). After much dreaming, puzzling, trial and error we came up with something that is simple, yet super effective.  A padded ‘tongue’ extends the waist band – it sits behind the buckle and goes round the waist to protects the wearer from digging  caused by narrow areas of pressure on a waistband.

waist-2

The Strata-linea® waist band provides streamlined comfort.

Not only does the Strata-linea® waistband feel extremely comfortable, it also looks pretty, and, with the reduced digging, it creates a pleasing silhouette for the wearer. I’m so excited to finally bring out this new development as it was what I was always searching for when trying out so many carriers (really a lot!) with my children. We have used a lightweight, safety tested, YKK buckle and co-ordinate the webbing to keep the styled look throughout.

We carefully considered how to streamline the Cairis to showcase the beauty of the woven fabric and to offer a baby carrier that is simple to use and light-weight. We made the Cairis fully reversible and avoided using any stiff foam so that you can easily roll the waist to make the body panel exactly the right height for your baby. This allows the carrier to grow with your child.

We also created two accessories that further expand the time you can use the carrier with your child – the hood and the body panel cinch. The cinch can be tied around the body of the carrier and pushed down towards the waist band. Used in combination with rolling the waist, this makes the body panel the right height and width for newborn and very young babies.

The Hood can be attached with poppers and the cynch makes the front pannel smaller.

The Cairis has a curved headrest which provides essential head support for infants and until your child is around 4-6 months. When you find your child has grown too tall for the headrest to provide support when they fall asleep, the hood can be used. We have made the hood detachable so that it does not get in the way when you are putting on the carrier and also when you don’t need it. It is simple to attach and easily adjustable, with poppers and rouches to create support where it is needed.

The carrier features unique Oscha ‘Flare’ straps; padded shoulder straps that fan out from a central join – we’re pleased with this feature, it is simple and effective yet looks very pretty and neatly displays the reverse of the fabric when the straps are spread. Flare straps provide cushioning over your shoulders but allow you to spread the fabric out under your child to increase support if desired.

straps

Images showing the flared straps.

The features we’ve included in the baby Cairis make it perfect for its intended age range (from newborn up to 2 years, 7lbs – 25lbs). We are also currently developing a toddler version with elements that will make it ideal for children of that age and we hope that this will be available to purchase within the next few months.

The baby Cairis has been safety tested to BS EN 13209-2:2005 & ASTM:F2236-14.

I am proud to introduce the Oscha Cairis to our carrier range, and can’t wait to see it coming to life in a wide selection of our patterns and colourways over the coming months. We have some reviews to share with you over the next few days and maybe even a give away ahead of the launch next week. I hope you will love it as much as we do!

virginie

Virginie wears the Cairis with Alma on their trip to Thailand.

Oscha Carrier Design & Development

It’s exciting times here at Oscha as our carrier development reaches it’s final stages and we prepare for the launch! In the pipeline for nearly 3 years, here Zoe talks about the inspiration and development behind our three bespoke carrier designs, beginning with the Coorie.

Andrea-top-image

Andrea working on the finishing touches of the Coorie design.

I began my baby carrying days mostly using soft structured carriers, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to wrap when it seemed like so much more hassle! However, eventually, after I had twins, I really got into wraps. I appreciated the perfectly snug, tailored fit you could achieve as well as the support; both of which were essential for my little premature babies with low muscle tone. I loved how there was nothing stiff to dig in and all parts of the wrap looked pretty, elegant even, front or back, with swishy tails hanging off to the side. I also loved the fact that, even in a simple ruck, there was no digging into my abdomen. These issues were something I’d just taken for granted with SSCs and didn’t know that there could be alternatives.

There’s no denying that SSCs can be very handy and wrapping isn’t for everyone, there were lots of times when I would opt to use one. So I started to think about how to solve the issues I was finding: combining the ease and function of an SSC with the beauty and softness of a wrap, and especially preventing digging in at the waist.

Design-Image

It’s been a long journey, with lots of very helpful testers along the way! Susan Ansell, of Show Me Slings was the first to spend a lot of time with me, talking through her experiences as a Sling Consultant in Edinburgh, the pros and cons of the different carriers she offered. I visited our local sling meet and a few of lovely ladies there tried carriers on and took them away for further testing. Rosie of Sheffield Sling Surgery has been absolutely invaluable, with a pool of slinging parents visiting every week, she’s provided masses of feedback on our various prototypes.

There’s been a number of sleepless nights whilst I tried to puzzle out how to make the features work and I’ve worked closely with our in-house tailor and designer, Andrea, over the last 2 and a half years, with countless prototypes! We’ve ended up with 3 different carriers, each of them with slightly different features, but each offering the beauty of a wrap, the ease of a carrier and an elegant waist band.

The Oscha Coorie
The first to launch is the ‘Coorie’. We began with the idea that we wanted to form a waistband without any padding, using only the width of the fabric so that it would mould like a wrap and have elegant swishy tails. We re-purposed our Highland Pleat ring sling shoulder style to gather in the waist at the back but still allow for adjustability and moulding to the wearers waist. The pleats then flare out to form a broad band that is threaded through the rings. This means that the waist is encircled by a wide, mouldable, naturally padded band of fabric, ensuring that the child’s weight is distributed broadly and any digging or discomfort from narrow waistband areas are prevented.

Waist.colour

“I LOVE the waist, best waist ever. It looks beautiful in this width and with the pleating. I love the sling ring finish as it really works well with the whole elegant aesthetic. I thought it was very figure flattering too.” – Nicola K

The sling ring closing system means that the waist is also highly adjustable, not just along the length, but also across the width. We did concede to one small area of padding! Just under the rings, to make sure there was no pressure.

“The waist was also really comfortable and took a lot of the weight of my carryee’s. I love how the width meant that I could start with the waist band right around the top of my hips and have it really stay there. The width of the wrap material with the sling rings felt very secure. I carried Ted who is a very solid, dense 1yr old but also carried my long 3.5 year old in it too. Jazzy told me that she was very comfortable.” Nicola K

Padding-and-ButtonsThe carrier body is shaped to provide an excellent seat for your child and comes with leg padding to prevent digging. The hood rolls away and is secured by two cute fabric covered buttons. The rolled hood also offers extra padding and neck support.

“I really love the ring waist, it is wide but not bulky and this makes it very supportive.  It moulds around my hips and waist really well, and I like that the padding extends under the rings so they don’t dig in at all.  I find the carrier comfortable and supportive for my toddler and preschooler, and I like that the straps are long enough to Tie Tibetan, or bring back around to the back to tie under the child’s bum when used in a back carry  .  It is also a very attractive carrier which is always a bonus!”Leigh E

The Oscha Highland Pleat Shoulder Straps mirror the elegant pleatwork of the waistband, and we have added a small amount of padding to offer extra cushioning for carrying heavier children. The straps then flare out so they can be spread to give enhanced support where it is needed most.

Straps Manufacturing

“The Coorie is very comfortable … In terms of comfort and style it is a true success!” – Virginie M

Coorie

The Coorie will be available on our website later this week in baby and toddler sizes. We’ll share more information about our other 2 carriers soon.

Ring Sling Conversion Service

We offer an in house conversion service for any Oscha sling.
If you are looking for a shorter wrap, a ring sling or a toy wrap to be made from your favourite Oscha we can help. The quality of our conversions are guaranteed as they are crafted in-house by our specially trained seamstresses who make all of our products, including the
 original Oscha Highland Pleat shoulder style.

Oscha highland pleat ring sling being sewn in house by Sandra.

Oscha highland pleat ring sling being sewn in house by Sandra.

Our ring slings have been carefully developed by Zoe who used them with her own children and have since been tried and tested by our customers over the past four years.

The price list is as follows:
Wrap piece to ring sling or ring sling to other shoulder style:  £30
(You will need a wrap piece of about 2m for a ring sling conversion.)
Hemming into a Wrap: £15
Hemming into a shawl: £12
Hemming into a Scarf: £8
Pair of Sling Rings: £6

Please Note; Shipping costs are not included.

If you wish to send in your Oscha Sling for a conversion, please email info@oschaslings.com to receive an order form and double check that your specifications are possible. Once approved you can send it to us at:

FAO Customer Service,
Oscha Slings
24/4 Dryden Road,
Loanhead
Scotland
EH20 9HX

Oscha Handwoven – Exploring the Craft

Cally Booker, handweaver, shares what weaving means to her and talks about her new experience of weaving cloth for baby slings.

Image of Leaves Iridescence, handwoven baby wrap by Cally Booker

Leaves Iridescence, handwoven baby wrap by Cally Booker

Last year we began to work with Cally Booker, a very experienced handweaver who brings incredible skill, knowledge and creativity to her craft. Each season Cally has woven a new pattern for us, developing colourways that match the energy of the season. Each time Cally weaves only enough fabric for about 3 Boutique slings.

Cally lives in the east coast of Scotland and also teaches classes in hand weaving from her studio. We have been enjoying working together to develop fabric suitable for baby wraps. There is something special about carrying your child in unique, lovingly woven fabric. From the initial stages of the design and throughout the process of weaving the warp and weft together, Cally will put her heart and soul into the cloth,

‘During the process of warping and weaving, every individual thread passes through my fingers. It still seems extraordinary to me that I can take yarn between my fingers and turn it into cloth’.

warping-up

This image shows the warping up process of the yarn onto the loom before the weaving of the cloth begins. This warp is the Folklorico colourway.

Where did you train?

I studied handwoven textile design at Bradford College from 2005-2007.

How many years have you been weaving?

I first started weaving quite by accident 11 years ago. I fell in love with the craft and went straight back to school to study while still working full time in a challenging job. It was a rather crazy time.

Where do you begin to look for inspiration?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. It might be a word, an image, a concept, a yarn that starts the ideas flowing, but once I am in the grip of an idea I can become quite obsessed with it until I have seen the work to completion.

Does your design develop as you begin to weave, do you produce many samples before coming up with a final design?

Sampling is my middle name. Although I sketch out my ideas on paper and then design weaving drafts on my computer, it is only when I am at the loom that they really come to life for me. The process of sampling often yields surprises and takes the work in a different direction from my carefully worked out plan!

Is there anything particularly challenging about weaving fabric for baby slings?

For me the biggest challenge is the constraint imposed by my loom. I have to use my wide countermarche loom to achieve the dimensions needed, but it has only 8 shafts. I have to work hard on the design to get the most out of those 8 shafts.

How long does it take to weave a metre of your fabric?

It takes about 2 hours to weave a meter, but the really slow part is making a 20 metre warp of 1500 ends and getting it onto the loom in the first place! This process is extremely variable and the threading (bringing the warp ends through the heddles) often takes a full day to complete. However, it is also my favorite part, so I am not complaining.

Maypole handwoven wrap in progress on the loom.

Maypole handwoven wrap in progress on the loom.

 What do you feel you personally bring to the world of handwoven wraps?

I think that what most people notice first in my work is my slightly unconventional colour sense. It’s a sense that works well for fabric which moves and curves like a wrap does, so I guess that is what I am bringing.

The most recent handwoven wraps crafted for us by Cally is ‘Leaves Iridescence’ shown below. Cally has given us some insight into the weave structure and the process.

Detail image of the weave structure in Leaves Iridescence.

Detail image of the weave structure in Leaves Iridescence.

‘The secret behind the interactions of colour and pattern in this fabric is a technique called ‘echo weave’. In this structure two layers of warp are threaded together, one ‘echoing’ the other. These two warps are bound together with a single weft, and the three yarns blend together in different proportions as the pattern progresses: the results are often surprising, even to the weaver!’
‘The two warp layers mean that this is a dense cloth, so a relatively fine yarn is needed to keep it from becoming too heavy. I use an organic 16/2 cotton, which is lovely to work with.
The basic structure underlying this weave is a twill, which gives the fabric its beautiful drape, but I’m drawn to large scale patterns so I use networked threadings to make each design as bold as my loom will allow. For me as a handweaver, much of the pleasure – and the challenge! – comes from getting as much ‘pattern power’ as I can from simple 8-shaft loom.’

The first Oscha Handwoven by Cally was ‘Maypole Spring’, which was released in Spring 2014. Taking inspiration from the winding and shaping of ribbons, the colours reflect the light and liveliness of spring.

Image of Finished handwoven Maypole Spring Baby Wrap

Finished handwoven Maypole Spring Baby Wrap

‘Folklorico’ was Callys second Oscha hand woven and was Inspired by the Mexican Baile ‘Folklorico’, the pattern is a simple scallop-shape which progresses across the width of the cloth to give it a sense of movement. The vivid colours and shaping thus reflect the lively dancers skirts.

Finished Folklorico Jalisco handwoven baby wrap.

Finished Folklorico Jalisco handwoven baby wrap.

Each season, since spring 2014, we have presented a new creation from Cally, with between 2 and 4 limited edition wraps being available on each occasion, making for a very special, treasured piece. Keep your eyes peeled for the next hand crafted gem on the way.

You can view Cally’s blog and Twitter feed here:

Blog: callybooker.co.uk
Twitter feed: @bonnyclaith

 

To see the full range and more images of Cally’s creations, visit our website here.

The Oscha Gift Shop open in time for Christmas!

Image of Oscha products wrapped in retro brown paper

The Oscha Gift Shop

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift this festive season or a little memento for you and your child, we have the answer with our newly launched My Oscha range. Designed and beautifully hand crafted, in house, from our treasure trove of Oscha materials. We have enjoyed unearthing patterns and colour ways from times gone by! Take your pick from the ‘sweetie shop shelves’ of cosy hot water bottle covers, jacquard woven key rings and little Christmas tree hearts. Not to mention our array of scarves and shawls to tempt you! Visit our Gift Guide.

 

Roses Aphrodite Hot Water Bottle Cover Image

Roses Aphrodite Hot Water Bottle Cover

The Oscha Hot Water Bottle Cover adds a touch of class to help keep you warm this winter. Made with our finest jacquard woven sling fabrics and lovingly hand crafted in-house, these Covers are specially contoured to fit a 2 litre hot water bottle. Fully lined with satin weave cotton, they feature a pull tie, rose bud top and little Oscha tag. They come gift wrapped in Oscha stamped, retro brown packaging paper with a swing tag for you to fill in.  Shop Hot Water Bottle Covers.

 

Oscha Jacquard Key Rings

Oscha Jacquard Key Rings

 

Carry your own Oscha keepsake around with you! This handy keyring features a piece of beautiful Oscha jacquard fabric. It is stylish as well as functional; easy to find in your bag, you can also loop it around your wrist and have your hands free.  They come wrapped in tissue paper sealed with our Oscha sticker. Shop Key Rings.

 

Oscha Handmade Hearts Image

Oscha Handmade Hearts

 

Handmade Hearts are a festive decoration to add a touch of rustic charm to your tree this year. These unique, quirky hearts come in packs of 3, each containing a random assortment in different Oscha patterns and colours.

Image of Oscha Tartan Scarf

Oscha Tartan Scarf

 

 

 

 

Scarves & Shawls From softest organic Pima cotton to cosy lambswool in our range of beautiful patterns and colours – give your loved one this elegant & practical gift this season. Scarves & shawls come packaged in our ethical Oscha cloth tote bags and bound with twine. Shop Scarves Shop Shawls

 

 

Image of Oscha toy slings

Oscha Toy Slings in Starry Night Nebula and Lady Birds Paris

 

Made from our finest sling fabric and cut for use by children, these toy slings allow your little one to imitate Mummy & Daddy by carrying their favourite toy around with them. They make a lovely addition to the nursery for inspired creative play, you will be amazed to see what little minds invent for their use! Shop Toy Slings