Wrapping Qualities: Linen, Hemp and Flax
This selection of yarns bring a host of wonderful wrapping qualities to our slings. Linen, hemp and flax are all hardy plants, which produce strong and sturdy fibres which are perfect for babywearing. Linen and hemp, in particular, are among the most common yarns we use when weaving our fabrics. These yarns can have a reputation for being ‘beastly’ or difficult to break in, but our unique Soft Touch Finishing technique means that our linen, hemp and flax slings come ready softened with just a little love needed to get them to their softest state.
Native to the UK and Europe we love to utilise the plant-based yarns which would traditionally have been spun and woven locally. Learn more about this history of linen in Scotland.
✔ Cooling for summer
✔ Supportive all year-round
Read on to learn more about the different linen, hemp and flax we use.
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.
Linen is a natural, eco-friendly yarn which gives wonderful support, while being lovely and breathable making it perfect for keeping you and your little one comfy in changeable weather.
This strong and breathable yarn can absorb moisture without holding bacteria, meaning it needs to be washed less often than cottons, and its moisture-wicking and temperature regulating properties make it perfect for year-round carrying. A favourite among babywearers, we have a number of different linen varieties which we use which offer a variety of wrapping qualities.
It grows naturally in northern Europe, which is where all of our linen is harvested from. A sustainable plant it grows easily without the need for much fertiliser, making it a great candidate for organic farming. Linen uses very little water in its production and some studies have suggested that it uses 0.2% of the water cotton uses to make the same product. This sustainable plant has many uses aside from making yarns, meaning nothing is wasted with various oils made from the remaining parts of the plant.
Wetspun yarns offer a smooth and shiny finish, which we love as they add a lovely shimmer to our fabrics while adding an amazing strength and durability.
Linen was traditionally spun wet with the spinner keeping a container of water by their side into which they regularly dipped their fingers to smooth the fibre. Nowadays linen can be wetspun, semi-wet or dry spun.
Harvested and spun in Europe this yarn is produced with little waste, even the dust from the factory is recycled into briquettes for heating!
Fine Scottish Wetspun Linen
Spun in Scotland, this fine version of our wetspun linen weft brings the strength associated with linen, but being a thinner yarn, makes fabrics which are more mouldable. This yarn is perfect for new wrappers and those with small babies. As little ones grow you may find you need more layers in your carry to get increased support. Fine linen is ideal for carrying in warmer climates.
Thick Wetspun Linen
This thick version of our wetspun yarn is well-loved for its toddler-carrying qualities. This thick yarn gives unparalleled support and will soften with wear to become buttery soft. When fully broken in this yarn is suitable from newborn right through to pre-schooler age.
We often use organic cottolin as an alternative to cotton for the base (or warp) of our fabrics, although it is also a great option for a soft organic weft. Organic cottolin is a blended cotton and linen yarn which offers the support of linen with all the softness and mouldability of cotton. Produced ethically this yarn is grown with care and without chemicals keeping the land, and farmers, healthy.
Look out for low percentage organic linen in the composition to identify cottolin slings.
Strong and sustainable hemp yarns are perfect for use with bigger kids, however they will soften quickly to become lovely to use with smaller babies. Hemp is a great choice for a sustainable baby sling which is suitable for year round use.
Hemp yarns are also an ancient fibre which is grown on almost every continent. It has many wonderful properties, many of which are similar to linen, such as its moisture-wicking and supportive qualities – in fact, hemp is considered to be the strongest natural fiber. Hemp also has the advantage of having a touch of UV protection, making it a wonderful choice for summer carrying. Its temperature regulating qualities means hemp fabrics will keep you cool in the summer and cosy in the winter.
Hemp is very gentle on the earth, returning 60-70% of the nutrients it takes from the soil. In addition to this, it requires about 50% less water than cotton to produce, and this rises to 75% when you take processing the fibre into account.
Open-spun European Flax
This strong and breathable yarn can absorb moisture without holding bacteria, meaning it needs to be washed less often than cottons, and its moisture-wicking and temperature regulating properties make it perfect for year-round carrying. Soft enough for little ones and strong enough to support heavy toddlers, fabrics made with flax will easily last you through your whole babywearing journey.
Made from the same plant as linen, our European flax is sourced from Belgium and France. This uniform yarn has a smooth surface, made using a special process where the twist is inserted as the yarn is spun. Spinning the yarn in this way is more economical than normal methods – reducing energy consumption – making it an even more eco-friendly yarn.
Fabrics spun in this way have a unique fleecy texture, bringing a little of the volume and texture of wool with none of the prickle making this a great vegan alternative to wool.
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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