Woven Wraps Compared to Stretchy Wraps
The world of Woven Wraps; to some it can be daunting to enter, however, often when they do, they never go back. Aside from the fact that wraps are the most versatile babywearing option, convenient for breastfeeding and infinitely adjustable, wrap wearers are often drawn into the magic that different fibres and yarns can bring into their world. The first place to start for many who are looking for a wrap is to decide whether a woven or stretchy wrap will best meet their needs. The following is a summary outlining the main differences.
Woven Wraps vs. Stretchy Wraps
Both woven and stretchy wraps are long pieces of fabric (ranging anywhere from 2-5+ meters) that are used to carry a baby. As the name implies, stretchy wraps have a lot of stretch to them. Most are made of cotton jersey. Woven wraps, however, have less stretch, and are made from a larger variety of fibres and blends ranging from cotton, wool, silk, cashmere and many more. Woven wraps are purposely woven on a loom by hand or machine. They have no stretch length and width but do have diagonal stretch which make them mold beautifully around babies while still giving the needed support for safe back carries and heavier children.
Stretchy Wraps Explained
Stretchy wraps are mainly popular as an introduction to wrapping and are often used for the newborn phase when support is not an issue. Stretchy wraps can be less intimidating to new parents compared to woven wraps because they can be tied on first, before the baby is placed into the carrier. Stretchy wraps are best for front carries. They can also be used for hip carries, however should not be used for back carries. The main disadvantage of a stretchy wrap is that the stretch of the fabric means they are not always supportive enough to carry heavier babies comfortably, meaning they have a limited lifespan. Stretchy wraps are usually one-size-fits-all and are generally offered in plain colors.
The Advantages of Woven Wraps
Woven wraps are the sturdiest and most diverse category of wraps. They come in a variety of lengths and can be used for front, hip, and back carries; and single and multi-layer carries. The beautiful designs and fabrics used in many wraps make them an aesthetically pleasing style of baby carrier. In addition, the nature of the woven fabric reduces the likelihood of pressure points and strain on the wearer.
Due to the different types of blends and weaving patterns used, there are more choices in terms of the thickness of the wraps. One can comfortably expect to use a quality, medium-weight woven wrap for years and with multiple children, some of the Artipoppe wraps can last a lifetime if cared for properly. With less stretch, and more structure, woven carriers are a great option for older babies, for parents who are looking to carry a baby on their backs or for those looking for a carrier solution from newborn through toddlerhood.
Woven wraps are specially woven to have exceptional performance as baby carriers, offering strength, breathability, just the right amount of diagonal stretch, and the right texture for holding the baby securely. They are individually adjustable and if used properly, a wrap will always support your child in the correct, safe “frog” position, regardless of being worn in front, back, or on your hip. Due to their versatility, woven wraps have a higher learning curve, however, with a little patience and perseverance, it is easy to fall in love with this simple carrier and all it can do.
Woven Wraps: A Stretchy Wrap Comparison
Ease of Use: Stretchy wraps can be pre-tied, before the baby is in, which makes it seen as easier to use than woven wraps. Woven wraps are more versatile, in terms of the number of carries possible, therefore making the learning curve steeper.
Support and Comfort: Stetchy wraps are generally only comfortable during the first months of infancy, afterwards the fabric can start digging into your shoulders. Tying a stretchy wrap tighter will help compensate for a heavier child, but only to a certain degree. A woven wrap, on the other hand, is made from sturdier fabric and can offer outstanding comfort in comparison. Also, the nature of the woven fabric reduces the likelihood of pressure points and strain on the wearer.
Material: Stretchy wraps are usually made of cotton. Woven wraps come in a plethora of fibres and blends.
Versatility: Stretchy wraps are for the first few months of infancy and for only front and hip carries. Woven wraps are the only type of carrier that will allow a parent to carry a baby in all three positions (front, hip and back), both safely and comfortably. While stretchy wraps tend to come in a one-size-fits-all format, woven wraps are often sized, which give more options depending on body size and the types of carries one would like to use, as certain carries require more fabric than others.
Longevity: If you are sure that you will only carry your baby for the first months and do not want to save the wrap for your next child, then a stretchy wrap is a good option. A woven wrap is better if one is looking for a longer-lasting product and would like to wear their child from infancy through toddlerhood and save the wrap for their next child.
Why are Woven Wraps Preferred?
While stretchy wraps can be a great introduction to babywearing, many believe if that introduction can be made with a woven wrap and the bit of extra effort made to learn how to use it, the woven wrap, just like the tortoise, will slowly and steadily win the babywearing race due to its comfort, versatility and beauty.
A woven wrap is the sturdiest and the most versatile in the baby carrier world and and is ideal for those who want to get the most mileage out of their carrier; it can be used from the day your baby is born, until they outgrow being worn.
For some, woven wraps become the most fashionable accompaniments to motherhood, giving confidence when heading out in the world. They keep your baby snuggled up to you beautifully, they distribute the weight evenly across your hips and shoulders and they are great for nursing in. Babywearing has many advantages and anyone can master the art of wrapping, all one needs is patience, a pinch of determination and practice.