Category Archives: News

Scottish Baby Boxes: How to use my new baby wrap?

We were so delighted when we heard the announcement that the Scottish Government were going to introduce baby boxes for all babies born in Scotland, based on a Finnish Project that’s been running since 1938. I remember researching the Finnish boxes[1] when I was pregnant with my children, thinking they were such a great idea and wishing we had similar here – and now we do!

The boxes contain over 40 different items that the government considers essential for new babies and for parents, and the box itself can be used with the mattress and sheets inside it to become a safe clean sleeping area for the baby.

Scottish Baby Box Announcement, courtesy of the Scottish Government

Whilst it’s a wonderful gesture to receive new items for your baby – the reason for the box and gifts goes much deeper than a simple gesture, as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “It’s a simple idea with a proven record in tackling deprivation, improving health and supporting parents”[2] All babies will now have a guaranteed safe sleeping area, clean clothes and basic essentials.

Imagine then the joy at Oscha HQ when we discovered that a baby carrier was going to be included too.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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