DIY & Hacks

Fabric PSA: Choosing Safe Fabrics for Carriers.

By Leslie Kung

Gauze should only be used as a wrap, and there IS gauze that is too thin to wrap with–if you can rip right through it by poking a finger through, or pinching two spots and pulling apart, it’s only good for Halloween costumes. Look for more substantial 100% cotton gauze. Do not use gauze for weight bearing seams. Some people have done double layer gauze RS’s but I personally would not. Do not use flannel for wrapping OR weight bearing seams. Flannel is only good as a decorative accent. DO NOT use muslin for BWing purposes. It is too delicate a material to hold up to sewn seams, and it’s too flat and thin to serve well as a wrap, not to mention possible tear risk. Bed sheet material has high thread count, so it is flat (doesn’t mold well around your bodies) AND it has a tendency to tear and wear out.

Use bed sheets for simple knotted Rebozo sling, or slip knot Rebozo (great for emergency BWing). Quilter’s cotton is the thin cotton that is printed on one side. DO NOT use this as mei tai or SSC base material in the straps or body. Use it only as an accent. If you want to, you can do a double layered quilter’s cotton ring sling, but you must check it over for wear and tear more often than other types of slings, AND it can be a pain to adjust through the rings with the doubled fabric (size large slingrings, definitely).

Cotton tablecloths and curtain panels can be used for ring slings and shorty wraps and SSCs/MTs. Check fabric content, and make sure it’s thick enough. Sheer curtains are probably not your best bet.

The following are tried and true wrap materials:
Osnaburg, denim, linen, linen/cotton blends, denim, gauze, cotton jersey (for stretchy wraps only), poly athletic mesh (for water wraps, but the firm type, not the super stretchy), monk’s cloth (very thick). Polyester, rayon and other synthetics are OK in less than 40% blends WITH a natural fiber. A lot of people prefer avoiding synthetics altogether, with the exception of water wraps.

The following are tried and true ring sling materials:

Osnaburg, denim, linen, linen/cotton blends, denim, poly athletic mesh (for water slings, but the firm type, not the super stretchy), poplin, DOUBLE layered quilter’s cotton (but check it regularly for wear and tear). Polyester, rayon and other synthetics are OK in less than 40% blends WITH a natural fiber. A lot of people prefer avoiding synthetics altogether, with the exception of water slings. (It should be noted that materials unsuited to weight bearing seams CAN be used as rebozo slings, or with sling rings as a “no sew ring sling.” Look both terms up to explore those options.)

Fabrics tried and true for Asian style carriers, mei tais, buckle carriers, etc:
Twill, canvas, denim, duck, and generally the same list as what will make a good wrap due to the wrap conversion mei tai trend of the recent years.


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