Ready to Wear Baby Slings
Learn about our finishing process and about breaking in a new sling.
You might have heard people talking about having to wash their woven wraps before using them and thought, ‘What? A brand new sling and I have to wash it before I can enjoy those new wrap snuggles!’ Well don’t panic, Oscha slings actually come ready to wear straight from the bag.
I really don’t need to wash my sling?
No! All fabric has to undergo a finishing process before it can be sewn and used, some companies can use nasty chemicals to speed up this process but here at Oscha we just use water and air to finish our slings.
After weaving, our fabrics are carefully washed and dried using a special method, not only to make sure any residue from weaving is removed but also to start the breaking in process. Our special Soft Touch finishing technique, unique to Oscha fabrics, is a closely guarded secret but it results in a super soft and malleable fabric that is almost fully broken in as soon as it arrives at your door.
It is this Soft Touch finishing process which means you can be sure there are no nasties on the fabric and allows you to snuggle up with your new sling as soon as it arrives with you.
What is breaking in a woven baby sling?
As wrap fabrics are generally woven using natural fibers and, as we don’t believe in using chemicals to coat the fibers in order to soften them, woven slings would traditionally need breaking in before they were in their final, and softest, state.
Breaking in refers to the process where babywearers would use various methods to soften their slings and make them easier to adjust, such as knotting, twisting, rubbing or simply repeatedly using them – think about breaking in a new pair of jeans.
Our Soft Touch technique starts the process of breaking in your new sling for you so you can avoid the first few rounds of washing and wearing your new carrier and skip right to having a lovely, mouldable sling. Oscha slings not only come ready to wear, but also come ready softened for comfort and ease of use.
Do I need to break in an Oscha baby sling?
Depending on the fabric used to make your carrier, it might benefit from a little love before it is as soft as it can possibly be. However, we are constantly working to improve our Soft Touch technique and we are confident all of our carriers will be lovely to use straight from the bag.
There are a few yarns, such as hemp or thick linen, which you will see softened even further as you use your carrier more and more. Fabrics which will benefit from a little breaking in will be marked as ‘needing a little love’ on the listings.
If you have a fabric which needs a little love then there are a few things you can do to speed up the process of getting your sling to its softest state, however if you would prefer not to do any of these your sling will soon become fully broken in simply through wear.
While Oscha slings do not need to be washed; washing and tumble drying (if suggested on the care instructions) can be a good way to get your sling to its final length in order to begin the breaking in process.
We cut our slings a little longer than their true length to allow for some shrinkage, it is normal to see your sling contract a little after washing. A hot iron on some fabrics such as hemp and linen can also help relax the yarns and get the sling to it’s true size, with other yarns just wearing the sling is enough.
Some people also like to wash their slings as washing can help woven fabric to ‘bloom’, where you will see an increase in the texture and definition of the pattern.
This is a process where you ‘braid’ the length of the fabric onto itself. This process mimics the ‘passes’ used when wrapping with a sling; it helps to finish breaking in and relaxes the fibres of the fabric.
Similar to braiding this is a process which uses the friction of the wrap itself to relax the fabric. To use this method you fold the sling in on itself to create a shape that looks a lot like a colourful doughnut.
Running through Rings
If you have a pair of sling rings, or a ring sling, you can run the fabric through the metal rings to create the friction needed to break down the yarns and make the sling lovely and soft.
This one is fun to do anyway! Tying the sling to two sturdy points, such as table legs, or tying over the top of the table top, will create a fun place space for your little ones and by playing on the sling-hammock they will help you to break in the fabric.