New eBook of Baby Wrap Designs
I don’t remember exactly when I became aware of the resurgence of baby wearing in the United States. I think perhaps it was around my mid-twenties when friends began having children and more than a few were photographed using baby wraps to hold keep their babies close while also keeping their hands free. I do remember thinking that it just made sense—women around the world throughout history have used baby wraps and other textile carriers for their babies, so why did it take so long for them to be “back in style?” I’m sure my mother would have loved to have been able to carry my little brother in a baby wrap while chasing after toddler-me.
While I could write pages on why baby wraps were not A Thing in the US for so many years, I won’t. (It’s a story familiar to anyone who loves and supports traditional textiles from around the world—at some point it was decided–probably by the Illuminati or some other secret organization–that wraps were not “proper” and were looked down upon.) I’m mucIh happier to celebrate the fact that they are very much back in view. Not only have these wraps given women (and men!) more freedom while caring for children, they’ve also had the added benefit of making more people aware of the beauty and value of handweaving. Many people who might not be exposed to handweaving elsewhere are now learning more about it as they seek out artisans and purchase beautiful—and durable–one-of-a-kind wraps.
Speaking from my own experience, many of my friends who have invested in handwoven wraps have become more interested not just in handwoven cloth, but also in weaving. It always brings joy to my heart to have a friend ask to know more about my loom or to see if she can commission some towels for her kitchen.
I mention all of this to explain why as a person with no children I love and support baby wearers and baby wrap weavers, and why I’m so excited about our newest original eBook of baby wrap patterns, sponsored by Halcyon Yarn, Yarn Barn of Kansas, and Lunatic Fringe Yarns. This eBook contains twelve beautiful patterns for baby wraps. There are patterns for 4-shaft and 8-shaft looms, and even one for 24-shafts (for those of you who have the equipment and are so inclined). All of the wraps are designed by experienced and talented weavers to be durable, easily washable, and with minimal floats. The designs run the gamut from bright rainbows to more subdued palettes (and plenty in between). Included in the eBook are designs by well-known baby wrap designers and weavers including Esther Budd of Woven Rainbows and Katie Forrest of Emmie Wraps, as well as Handwoven regulars Susan Horton and Carl Friedlander (a proud baby wearing grandfather) just to name a few.
Not only do these designs make for lovely wraps, but would also make beautiful other things as well. I could easily see myself taking a few of these drafts and modifying them to make beautiful rainbow shawls or sturdy and elegant table linens—it should go without saying that they would also make excellent baby blankets!
For those folks new to baby wrap weaving, there is an article about safety from Linnea Catalan, Executive Director of the Baby Carrier Alliance and information on where weavers can go to learn more about weaving and wrapping safety including babywearinginternational.org and babycarrierindustryalliance.org. Of course, one of the best places to learn about weaving wraps are other baby wrap weavers. If you’re interested in weaving baby wraps we strongly encourage you to find experienced weavers who can advise and mentor you, whether in-person or online, and to do plenty research before weaving. (Also, make sure to put enough warp on your loom to sample so you can cut off some of the cloth, test it, and adjust the sett if needed.)
I do hope you all enjoy this beautiful eBook of patterns.