Wrapping Qualities: Tencel, Bamboo and Viscose Slub
Tencel, bamboo and viscose slub are all varieties of viscose yarns. These yarns all offer wonderful wrapping qualities. They are moisture-wicking and breathable, and their antimicrobial properties mean they need to be washed less frequently making them perfect for babywearing. Most viscose fabrics be will very soft, will have a lovely, malleable drape and will tend to have a rich lustre and shine. They are usually very easy to wrap with, making them a great choice for beginners and for wrapping small babies.
Generally regarded as a semi-natural yarn, viscose fibres are made from natural plant matter (in most cases wood pulp) which is then chemically treated to be formed into usable yarns. We endeavour to use viscose yarns made with a closed-loop system where chemicals are captured and reused. In addition to this, all our yarns are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified which means no harmful chemicals are ever present in our fabrics.
As viscose yarns come from renewable plant sources they are regarded as a sustainable yarn, and when responsibly sourced can be a great vegan alternative to traditional animal fibres such as silk or wool.
✔ Moisture-wicking and antimicrobial
✔ Mouldable and soft
✔ Smooth and shiny
Read on to learn more about Tencel, bamboo and viscose slub.
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
A Note on GSM
Viscose yarns tend to be fine but heavy. This means that while they will have high GSM they will wrap like a much thinner sling.
Top Tip: For viscose yarns you can generally take about 30 GSM off the total in order to gauge wrapping qualities.
Shimmery Tencel brings softness and drape to our fabrics and, whilst it might have a high GSM, it will wrap like a much thinner sling. It is lovely for small babies as it is smooth and soft yet it also offers support for bigger kids and a touch of cushioning for the shoulders. As with most viscose yarns, Tencel is moisture-wicking and breathable. It is less susceptible to bacterias which causes unpleasant smells, which means it can be worn for longer without needing to be washed.
Tencel is a branded version of a Lyocell yarn, by using this specific type of viscose yarn the ethical credentials of these fabrics are assured. Made using wood pulp harvested solely from sustainable and managed sources, Tencel is made using a closed loop system and produced using renewable energy. This means that while chemicals are used in its manufacturing process, more than 99% of these chemicals are captured and recycled to make more yarns.
Biodegradable Tencel requires less water and energy than cotton to produce, making it a great ethical alternative to other natural yarns.
Those wrapping bigger toddlers and preschoolers may need to use multi-layer carries or look out for blends where Tencel is alternated with a more grippy yarn like linen or cotton. Tencel is ideal for carrying delicate newborns, as the lovely glide it offers will reduce tugging across your little one when wrapping.
Pure Bamboo and Bamboo Viscose
Pure bamboo and bamboo viscose yarns are simply viscose yarns which have been solely made from bamboo plants, rather than a mixture of sources. Bamboo fabrics are soft right from the bag, needing very little breaking in - making these slings a great choice for new wrappers. Like other viscose yarns bamboo yarns are temperature regulating and moisture wicking, making them a create choice for year-round wear.
In terms of wrapping qualities the main differences between pure bamboo and bamboo viscose is thickness. Pure bamboo is blended with cotton to produce a thicker, more cushioned yarn, while bamboo viscose is a 100% bamboo fibre yarn which is finer, making fabrics with more malleability and a little less cush for the shoulders.
Pure bamboo/cotton is a thick yarn, so wraps made with pure bamboo tend to be chunkier in hand and cushier than our bamboo viscose wraps. Pure bamboo is generally recommended as an all-rounder which gives wonderful support for bigger kids.
Bamboo viscose is smoother and shinier than pure bamboo, and being a finer yarn makes slings which are softer and more malleable. Bamboo’s breathable properties along with this finer yarn makes these fabrics great for summer wearing and their malleability means they are lovely for wrapping newborns. Babywearers carrying bigger kids will need to use multi-layer carries, or should look out for the doubled version of this yarn - it will be noted in the listing if the sling uses the thicker version.
Viscose slub is a thick and variegated fiber which we use in a blend with linen for a yarn which has quickly become a favourite with those carrying toddlers. This is a great vegan alternative to wool.
Chunky and textured, this yarn offers wonderful cushioning on the shoulders while the nubs and slubs contribute to a good balance of grip and glide. The thickness of this yarn means it will feel raised against the thinner yarns used in the background, making these fabrics lovely and tactile. The addition of linen brings strong support to this yarn, adding an extra level of durability to these slings.
These grippy fabrics have just a little stretch, which makes them a great option for wriggly toddlers. Those wrapping newborns may find this fabric a little thick to work with, but from young toddlerhood onwards this is a great option for wrappers.
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.
New to Babywearing? Check out our FREE online courses!