Tag Archives: jacquard woven fabric

Katican – A New Design By Ali Yee

Ali Yee first contacted Oscha in an effort to raise money for Habitat for Humanity in 2014 after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philipinnes. We were delighted to work together and create the beautiful Visayas sling as a charity wrap. Since then we have been keen to explore a new pattern with Ali, based on her intricate & bold tattoo-style artwork. Ali is half Filipino and is a member of Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon, a modern day tribe which celebrates the renaissance of traditional Filipino tribal tattoos. Using her art as a mode of storytelling and as an exploration of her heritage she brings her new pattern Katican to life.

 

Katican Chorus was inspired by a trip Ali took to the Philippines in 2009 with her family, she visited the towns where her father and step-mother grew up and enjoyed piecing together aspects of her cultural heritage. She visited during a time of much celebration where her step-grandmother was the Hermana Mayor, or sponsor, of the Feast of the Holy Rosary. This included an amazing, colourful procession, dance performances and a huge feast, all of which made up the Fiesta.

“After the Fiesta, we took a boat to Tubaobao island and Pearl Island, also known as Katican.  Pearl Island is a marine life sanctuary with lots of giant clams and is a great spot for beach combing sea shells and coral. “

Collage-Ali-Yee-Philippines.2.blog

Images from Ali’s trip showing a beautiful images of Calicoan Island, Katican Island & Tubaobao

Continue reading

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?
Continue reading

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.
top-image.2

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.”

Continue reading

*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.

oscha-slings-baby-wrap-kasumi-orabel-blog

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.”
Continue reading

*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.
Continue reading

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.

Loveknot-action

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.

Continue reading

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.

Developing the Machair Collection

This summer we are re-visting the Machair Collection and adding two fresh, light multicolour warps inspired by the wildflowers and beaches of these rare, fertile foreshores, which burst into colour each year on North and Western coasts of Scotland & Ireland.

Machair-Collection-top

The two gradation warps pick up on some of the original colours used for the Collection from 2012, (see the earlier collection here) to help create impressions of the machair scenery: Sandy shores and blue seas flowing into light summer skies whilst rare flora and an abundance of blooms emerge to form windswept meadows. Soft pinks and purples mimic luminous hues that blend in the evening sky. Along with some new 2 colour slings, you will also see some classic colourways in fresh patterns.

We are pleased to once again be weaving with our classic cotton/linen warp yarn, which offers a very mouldable, lightweight and supportive wrap in a 20% linen blend.  We are also now using a 2 ply, organic yarn, which gives extra strength and allows you to rest assured that your little one is being wrapped in an ethical cloth without any nasties.

Machair-Images

The Machair warp is shown on the left and the Beach warp is on the right.

This cotton/linen warp has been combined with various weft yarns to offer you some interesting summer blends, for instance combed cotton/linen/wild silk, linen/hemp/combed cotton, and a high % linen wrap by adding in a 100% linen weft to the blended warp. The Collection also features an exploration of original patterns in re-worked and developed form; Tsurusora, Lèana, Cirrus and Nimbus.

Our first images come from the Shetland coast featuring our beautiful model, Hazel, who is due in a couple of weeks (Congratulations Hazel!). We hope that through the colours, imagery and blends of the Collection you can immerse yourself in this unique Celtic habitat – smell the sea air, hear the gulls, feel the soft blooms and grasses brushing past and glow in the fresh summer breeze!

 

 

Sea Island Cotton

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

 

JK-Zen

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.

Research Into The Benefits of Babywearing

Zoe and Vicki recently attended the Flemish Babywearing Conference in Antwerp and were fascinated to hear about current research exploring the benefits of babywearing. Here they share a personal view of what resonated for them.

head-image-2

 

When you’re working every day designing and making baby wraps it’s great to take time out to be reminded of the difference that baby wearing can make for babies, their parents and carers. After attending this two day conference and hearing about the growing evidence base demonstrating the benefits of baby wearing we returned with a renewed enthusiasm for the work we do. Here’s a brief foray into some of the things we learned.

Professor Reinhard Graf, an Orthopaedic Consultant from Austria was first up. Ebullient in his bow tie, he talked passionately about hip development of new born babies and what can cause developmental dislocation of the hips, otherwise known as hip dysplasia.

Many communities swaddle babies tightly from birth so the baby can be kept warm and safe, as well as easily transported over long distances and difficult terrain. Unfortunately tightly swaddling babies and wrapping them on carrier boards can lead to developmental dislocation of the hips. Essentially, it’s not healthy for babies to be forced into extending their legs for long periods of time; they need to be carried in a more natural position, with their knees tucked up. Reinhard told us that where communities had moved away from tight swaddling, to allow the baby to be carried with bent legs then the incidence of hip dysplasia reduced dramatically. Baby wearing, where the baby is correctly positioned to support flexion of the hips, can help both in preventing and addressing developmental dislocation of the hips.

m-shape

Showing the flexed ‘M’ shape of the babies hips and knees when carried in a woven wrap.

Both with animals and humans the baby naturally clings onto the parent with their legs bent and apart and so resting on the mother’s hip. Dr Evelin Kirkillonis talked of three different sub-categories of mammals differentiating between altricial such as cats and rats which need care and attention after birth for a period of time, precocial such as horses, elephants which are born, licked clean, nudged to stand up and off they go to find some food and finally the parent-clinging. Human babies, like apes and kangaroos, are ‘clinging young’ as Evelin called it, and need the closeness to the mother/parents for secure attachment as well as for food and safety.

Touch between parent and child, another key aspect of wrapping, also helps the production of oxytocin. This really does seem to be the wonder hormone, stimulating good cell growth, inhibiting cancer growing cells and killing cells that are not functional. It’s produced everywhere in the body; heart, cells, gastro-intestinal tract, skin, brain leading to a connective web, all influencing one another as Professor Kerstin Unvas-Moberg, who has published a number of books on oxytocin, told us.

As well as being key in the production of breast milk, when oxytocin is released it reduces anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, pain and leads to weight loss in men. It increases social interaction, curiosity, growth and restoration, wound healing and weight gain in women (oh well, nothing’s perfect).

Skin to skin contact is key in the release of oxytocin and creating attachment between parents and baby. So it’s critical that parents have the opportunity to touch as soon as possible after the baby’s born, and of course baby wearing creates close up touch between child and parent.

touch

Babies carried close enjoy plenty of instinctive, positive touch.

The importance of skin to skin was also the theme of the presentation given by Tina Hoffmann. She talked movingly of a project, which Didymos were involved in, to design a wrap for carrying premature babies.  This was a subject close to our hearts as Zoe’s twins were premature. It certainly would have been great to have the enlightened team of midwife and consultant, whom Tina worked with around instead of the general ignorance of and resistance to kangaroo care we encountered. However, things have moved on in six years and there is more awareness of the benefits of kangaroo care now.

The wraps Didymos designed hold the baby securely against the parent so they can relax and even lie back and drift off without fear of baby slipping. They are soft yet stretchy allowing easy access for the nurses in case they need to quickly remove the baby and are simple, so tubes won’t get entangled.  Tina said they found fathers initially reluctant to wear their babies but having been persuaded once they were invariably keen to continue.

In between workshops we enjoyed catching up with babywearing consultants and healthcare professions attending the conference, and hanging out with our friends at Connecta, as well as meeting people from other wrap companies. We, somehow, still found time to explore the beautiful old town centre in Antwerp, window shop for jewellery and stock up on Belgian chocolate.

All in all it was a great two days and we’d like to thank the conference organisers for a seamless event and all the speakers, most of whom were presenting in English, which was not their first language – much respect.