A baby wrap is a long strip of fabric you use to secure your baby to your body. Baby wraps allow you to "wear" your baby, giving you mobility while securely carrying her either in front or, when she gets a bit older, on your back. Your fabric choice should take into account your child's weight.
There are primarily two types of fabric used to make baby wraps: stretchy fabrics and woven fabrics.
A stretchy wrap makes a cosy baby carrier and is a good material for wrapping a newborn. Stretch fabrics include cotton jersey (like T-shirt material) or jersey knit. For children weighing more than 6.8 Kilogram, use a baby wrap made of a sturdier, woven fabric.
If you are making your own baby wrap, you won't need to sew anything when using a stretch fabric. Most jersey fabric does not fray, and it will roll up on the edges, hiding the unfinished edge. It is easy to launder and is not as apt to shrink or wrinkle as woven fabrics may.
You can use woven fabrics for newborns, but they also provide excellent support for older babies, toddlers or preschoolers carried rucksack-style on your back. Woven fabrics ideally are a breathable cotton or cotton blend that have a small amount of "give." An excellent choice is a sturdy cotton knit called French Terry, which is 95 per cent cotton with 5 per cent spandex. Choose fabric that is soft and lightweight. When held up to the light, you should be able to see the light through the weave. Make sure the fabric is hemmed (folded under and sewn), or serged (finished with thread only), to prevent unravelling. Any fabric that is more than 50 per cent cotton will have some shrinkage and will wrinkle.
Buying Versus Making Your Baby Wrap
You can find fabric for making a baby wrap at your local fabric store, and you can make one at a fraction of the cost of a store-bought wrap. Often you can find bolts of material wide enough to make two or even three baby wraps, so you'll always have a spare while one is in the wash.
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