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Woven Wrap Information

Woven Wrap Information

An increasingly popular way to carry your baby is using a woven wrap, In Europe now, woven wraps are as popular as soft structured carriers such as Tula and ergobaby.

The Sleep Store has a fantastic range of beautiful wraps from leading brands, so here's some information to help you choose the right wrap, learn how to use it and why a wrap might be the best option for you...

Why choose a woven wrap?

Woven Wraps are a traditional way to carry your baby. A bit like the enjoyment some parents get from traditional swaddling, there is satisfaction in a woven wrap done well.

Wraps are very versatile, There are more than a dozen ways you can tie a woven wrap, from a simple front wrap cross carry to more complex double hammock back carries and many many more. Of all the carriers available, a woven wrap offers the most options.

A woven wrap can be used from newborn to toddler and beyond. Some are lighter and thinner, and perhaps better suited to babies rather than preschoolers, but most wraps can be used for a very wide age range, which means you get good value for your wrap, even if they may seem pricey when you first start looking at wraps.

Woven wraps are absolutely beautiful! Many parents choose a woven wrap for the look of the fabric or are attracted to the range of options wraps offer compared to more boring soft structured carriers.

Woven wraps are comfortable!

Wraps, like a comfortable soft structured carrier or stretchy wrap, enable you to get on with your day. They enable you to cuddle your baby or toddler close when they need it, or when you want to give them lots of cuddles as you get dinner ready, play with your other children , deal with the washing, do some work, help baby get to sleep, take the other children to school, kindy or Playcentre...


How to tie a woven wrap

But I don't know how to use a woven wrap - It looks complicated!

Using a woven wrap makes you instantly part of a passionate community of babywearers...people who love to wrap, also love to discuss wrapping, share ideas and knowledge and provide support to people new to using a woven wrap. So if you like the idea of using a woven wrap but aren't sure where to start, there is plenty of support available both online, in person and through many fantastic You Tube videos.


What size wrap will I need?

The size of the wrap depends on both your body size, height and the wrapping technique you are using. Plus carrying a toddler requires a little more fabric than a small baby.

Our basic guidelines are:

Size 6 is recommended as a good place to start - you can do a range of techniques with this size and it fits the majority of body sizes.

If you are very slim, choose a size 5 instead of 6.

if you are a plus size, then you might find a size 7 gives you more options.

Then for more experienced wrappers, 'shorties; such as sizes 2, 3 or 4 are useful for quicker wraps or cooler options with less fabric.


Our thanks for Oscha for their size information, as follows:

Your choice of wrap will depend on the type of carries you intend/prefer to use and your size and height.

A size 6 wrap is a good choice for a general use sling, which is suitable for most sizes and carries. If you have very long tails in certain carries just wrap them around your body again and tie off.

If you are buying a wrap to share and are unsure which size to buy, it is generally recommended to buy with the main user in mind. If you are carrying a toddler as opposed to a baby, you may need a slightly longer sling.

The list below shows the length of each size of wrap (this relates to Oscha wraps but all brands are similar in lengths/sizes).

Size 2 - 2.7m
Size 3 - 3.2m
Size 4 - 3.7m
Size 5 - 4.2m
Size 6 - 4.7m
Size 7 - 5.2m

The information above is Oscha's guide to sling sizes needed for various carries based on feedback from babywearers.

Fabric Choices

There are a number of options for fabric, with experienced woven wrap users having a strong preference!

Our range is focused on 100% cotton wraps, as these are more affordable and offer starting woven wrap users an excellent place to start.

Hemp is considered very strong and durable, perfect for carrying heavy toddlers.

Silk adds a lovely sheen and are thin but very strong.

Cashmere, merino or wool blends are snuggly.

Consider how often you want to wash your woven wrap when choosing the fabric. Cotton is easy care and can usually be machine washed, where as some blends will require hand washing.

Choose cotton if you have a spilly baby!!

Breaking in Wraps

We are frequently asked about breaking in woven wraps and whether a particular wrap needs breaking in.

While we are knowledgeable about babywearing in general, we are not experts in every fabric, every blend and how quickly a particular wrap will soften up to what you like! And woven wraps are like so many things with baby wearing, different wrappers like different things!

We do know that some wraps are soft out of the box and some are feel stiffer. Some Yaro wraps such as Yolka can be very soft straight out of the box, and our gorgeous Diva Essenza wraps are always lovely immediately.

However I was delighted to read the post below from one of NZ's expert babywearers, Annabel Harris, explaining that most wraps don't actually need any breaking in. And that user experience is much more a factor in how a wrap behaves.

Annabel is a highly experienced wrapper, a weaver of beautiful hand-wovens and owner of WeTwo.

Here's Annabel's post below:


"...most wraps don't actually need any breaking in and user experience is much more a factor in how a wrap behaves"

Annabel Harris

Do wraps really need breaking in?

"I've been thinking about this a bit lately. There's a lot of talk about this, but IMO it's not all that important.

My first, 100% cotton, wrap arrived brand new. It felt like cardboard to me and I really hammered it to get it soft. I couldn't get passes to move into place like I wanted. I was frustrated. But now, I would happily use that wrap after first wash and wouldn't bother beating it like I did. I was a new wrapper then and I didn't yet have any skills.

Some fibers and weaves really do need breaking in - I'm thinking of beastly hemp or linen and Pavo Parterre. But they are very rare. Many wraps do wrap a little better - they might be a bit cushier or more mouldable - but they are perfectly fine and comfy to use after the first wash.

The vast majority are awesome after one wash and dry and breaking in just improves the softness. When you start wrapping it can feel like the wrap is really hard to work with - this is mostly a matter of experience. Wrapping is very much a learned skill and takes quite some time to learn. In general, thick wraps are not the new wrapper's friend.

I've had a lot of wraps pass through my hands - machine woven, hand woven, brand new, lightly used and very broken in, and in many different fibres. Almost all of them have been great brand new (particular Pavos are the exception here.) Some wraps don't change appreciably with breaking in.

Breaking in a wrap actually breaks down the fibres and removes some of their strength integrity. The more broken in a wrap is the shorter its remaining life span. It's a double edged sword.

So, my point is that most wraps don't *need* breaking in. Sure, they might soften, but they won't acquire some special self-wrapping qualities. Don't get hung up on thinking your wrap needs more work. It probably doesn't, especially if it's a 100% cotton low-mid range machine woven".

Many thanks to Annabel for sharing her expertise with us.


If you do have questions about different blends or wrap brands, the real experts are those that wrap with them on a daily basis. You can connect with regular babywearers on many Facebook groups, such as NZ Babywearing Marketplace or the BWBSS Support page. Plus all babywearing brands have their own Facebook groups filled with enthusiasts.