Wrapping Qualities: Cotton
Cotton is the most common yarn we use here at Oscha, the majority of the bases of our fabrics will be made of 100% cotton or a cotton/linen blend.
The reason we love to use cotton is that it offers wonderful wrapping qualities from newborn to toddlerhood. Cotton is soft and strong, making it perfect for baby carriers, it offers a little cushioning for the shoulders without being overly bulky and is lovely and breathable. Plus, it is easy-care so can be washed in the machine!
✔ Soft & Strong
Read on to learn more about the different cottons we use.
Why Use Organic?
99% of the cotton we use is organic, and we are working to make this 100%. Using organic cotton is important to us because we care about the impact our products have on the environment, as well as on the farmers working to harvest cotton buds.
In organic production systems, the farmers use local resources often produced on the farm (compost, manure, natural pesticides), meaning the exposure to dangerous chemicals is reduced for the farmers, weavers, knitters, dyers, printers and everybody else involved at all stages of manufacturing. Organic farms focus on maintaining the biodiversity and health of their land, making farming in this way a much more sustainable process than simply using harsh chemicals to increase yields.
Why Use Different Cottons?
Not all cottons are the same, the ‘staple’, or length of fibre, ranges across varieties and can produce different textures and wrapping qualities. A long-staple yarn will usually be soft and shimmery as well as a little more durable, while a short-staple cotton will have a little more texture to it.
Remember, you can check the percentage of a certain yarn in your sling on the listings page, the higher the percentage the more prominent the following qualities will be.
BCI Organic Cotton
This is the cotton we use most frequently, this long-staple cotton yarn a little more textured than its extra-long-staple cousins, but the variety we use is uncommonly durable. In fact, our weavers have often comment on the strength of the cotton we use, as it produces far fewer breakages during the weaving process than is common for cotton yarns! This makes our BCI organic cotton wraps strong and durable – perfect for carrying your little one.
By using BCI cotton we ensure that our cotton meets the Better Cotton Initiative’s high standards of environmental, economic and social responsibility.
Sea Island Cotton (SIC)
The most luxurious of all the cottons we use, sought-after Sea Island Cotton is hand-picked in the British West Indies. Sea Island Cotton’s unique extra-long fibres give a wonderful silken sheen and outstanding strength.
This is an extremely rare cotton, which is why our Sea Island Cotton comes with a hologram marker on the label to identify it as genuine SIC. Slings woven with this yarn will be soft and mouldable as well as having a rich cush for the shoulders, making this the perfect cotton for carrying bigger kids. While this yarn is often used in lower percentages in our fabrics, be sure to look out for special occasions when we run a Sea Island Cotton warp for a truly decadent cotton sling.
Britspun® Supima Cotton
Another extra-long-staple cotton, this Britspun® yarn is a wonderful compromise between our standard BCI organic cotton and the luxurious Sea Island Cotton. Shimmery, soft and durable this cotton also offers rich, cushy support, but with a lower price tag than rare Sea Island Cotton. Plus it’s spun just a couple of hundred miles down the road in Manchester!
English Fine Cottons is proud to be able to trace its cotton from seed to yarn, and their Supima cotton comes directly from the Californian farms of one of the world’s foremost growers, J G Boswell. Every bale of raw cotton received from Boswell’s comes with its own unique number. This allows them to trace the bale back to the day it was harvested and find out the very field, and even which part of the field, it came from – guaranteeing real consistency in their cotton’s main characteristics, colour and length.
Ice cotton is a specially spun Supima cotton designed to stay cool to the touch without the use of any nasty chemicals. Slings woven with this yarn will keep you cool and comfy in hot weather, perfect for those in warmer climates
Due to its distinctive texture, Ice cotton offers a lovely grip when carrying which makes it ideal for wrapping wee wrigglers. Mouldable with just a little cush, Ice cotton is perfect for those wrapping in warmer climates.
Don’t forget, wrapping quality isn’t all about the yarns!
Weave technique can also play a big part in how a sling feels. If you are looking for something with a little more support for bigger kids, look out for the term ‘hybrid’ or ‘weft facing weaves’ in our descriptions. This means the fabric will be more densely woven and more supportive.
Terms like ‘pocket’ or ‘quilted’ weave, mean that this fabric is woven with two layers. This gives the ultimate cushy feel and a wonderful support.
You can learn more about pocket and quilt weaves here.
‘Open’ weaves, indicate that a fabric will feel more fluid and malleable in hand, so will be lovely for wrapping with newborns.
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