BabyWearing Basics: Carrier Fabrics

Narrowed down on category of the carrier-you want to purchase i.e. Buckle-less or Buckled? Check

Chose the type of carrier you want to go ahead with? Check 

But just when you’re about to place your order, you’ll notice that there are a tons of options in each category, each priced differently!

Is it just the colour or the print/weave which is different or are they functionally disparate too?

If you’re stuck, I’ve got the answers to all the queries that you may have! 🙂

Firstly, in all the categories, the basic structure and the function of all the carriers remain the same, regardless of the price! They’re priced differently due to the fabrics used.

If you’re unable to decide the kind of fabric you should go ahead with, then here’s what you can do. Decide your carrier on basis of:

  • Climate of Your City

If you’re put up in a hot and humid city, choose a carrier which is thinner and moisture absorbent. If I had to explain in short- choose linen, handwoven cotton, Ikat cotton or just woven cotton (Placed in the decreasing order of thinness- based on what I observed). But if you’re put up in a colder region, I’d suggest choosing jacquard which is thicker.

Now, this is only for those who want an elaborate explanation-

If you’re inquisitive to know the extent of  thinness or thickness of the one you’ve chosen, search for the same fabric in wraps category (applicable on handwoven, linen and jacquards only) and look for the term- GSM which means Grams per Square Meter. It’s basically a parameter to gauge the thickness of fabrics, especially wraps.

You can use this as a reference to understand what I’m talking about: 

Image courtesy: www.sheenslings.com

Less than 180 gsm = really thin

180 – 220 gsm = thin

220 – 260 gsm = medium

260 – 300 gsm = thick

greater than 300 gsm = really thick

This will help you understand how thick thr fabric of your carrier is and will prevent you from buying something that you might regret later.

  • Budget

BabyWearing can be an investment for many. If you check the website of these carriers, you’ll notice that there’s a myriad of options available at various prices.

Now the question is- What are the different types of fabrics used and why is there a massive price difference between them?

The prices of these carriers are set based on the quality of fabrics used and the extent of effort that goes in manufacturing these fabrics. 

For instance, linen and handwoven cotton are expensive because they’re not easy to produce. However, machine woven cotton is easy to manufacture, hence it’s relatively inexpensive.

Like I mentioned earlier, regardless of the cost, their functionality remains the same.

Here’s an elaborate explanation of the types of fabrics you’ll usually find:

1. Linen


Linen is one of the most toughest to produce and hence it’s one of the most expensive fabrics available in the fabric world.. This is the reason why linen carriers are generally priced way higher than other carriers. Moreover, it is known to have anti bacterial properties and can absorb moisture, which makes them one of the best options for Indian summers, or generally speaking, Indian weather.

The only downside is that it’s only produced in solid colours. So, if you’re looking for a prints or designs, this may not be your pick.

2. Handwoven Cotton

Handwoven cottons, like linens, are difficult to produce. They’re weaved manually by artisans and take a lot of time and effort to manufacture, hence are slightly expensive. However, they’re available in stunning weaves and give a very classy look when used. Since they’re weaved by hand, they’re great flexibility and mouldability. If you check the list of full buckles made with handwoven cotton, you’ll notice that there are two options- one in the mid-range and one, high-range. This difference in the price is because of the amount of fabric used in the carrier- which is in BabyWearing terminology called- Full conversion and semi conversion.


Understanding Full Conversion and Semi Convesion Carriers
:

Now, the thing with handwovens made from wraps, and hence are categorised in two types. The Full conversion one has only handwoven cotton used- in the body, waist strap, shoulder straps etc. But, semi conversion carriers have handwoven used only in the visible part of the body while the waist strap, shoulder strap and the main body which is towards the inner side is made of machine woven cotton. 


Semi conversion carrier are a great option for those who want the rich look of the handwoven weaves but don’t want to burn a hole in their pocket.

3. Jacquard 

Jacquard fabric requires a different loom which helps in manufacturing complex patterns and weaves. This is why, you’ll see a variety of designs and colour combinations in the jacquard category. It’s usually the thickest of all fabrics and this property helps in making carriers more firm and strong. 

4. Ikat cotton
Ikat is basically a dyeing technique where the yarns are tied or bundled in the design  intended and then dyed so that a beautiful pattern is obtained. This process is also time consuming as the fabric may have to go through several rounds of dyeing to reach the desired level of colour fastens and pattern. Which is why, Ikat cotton is sightly more expensive than the basic cotton variant.


5. Cotton/ Machine woven cotton or Printed Cotton 

Woven cotton or machine woven cotton is the easiest to produce and hence is the most inexpensive variant. It’s not very thick nor very thin, making it a great option of Indian weather. It is firm yet mouldable and is comfortable to use too. In short, it’s a great budget friendly variant for begginers.

I hope this article helps you make the right choice! Hope you enjoyed this series 

Thank you for all your love!

Happy BabyWearing to you!

Love, 

Elina 

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