by Melissa Lefkowicz-Lacirignola
Volunteer Babywearing Educator
Weaving Process Overview
The weaving process starts at the mill. Woven wraps can be hand-woven on a loom, as well as woven by more complex machines. Either way, the basics are the same.
Woven wraps consist of threads that run the length of the wrap (the warp), and threads that are woven in and out of the warp threads (widthwise – or the weft) to create the simple piece of cloth or fabric. That fabric or cloth is then cut into specific lengths and then becomes the woven wraps that we use to snuggle our little ones while babywearing.
The overall look and characteristics of the fabric depends on how the weft threads are woven through the warp threads. Warp threads are loaded into a machine or a loom, and then weft threads pass over and under to create the weave. The weave can be tightly woven, creating a denser feel for the resulting product. Alternatively, using less weft threads per inch will result in a more airy feeling product. The appearance of a wrap can range from simple solid-color cross-twills (over one thread under the next in alternating rows) to complex jacquard patterns.
There are knit or jersey wraps that are designed to stretch in all directions, but woven wraps differ in that they do not stretch lengthwise or widthwise, but have more of a diagonal stretch. That allows it to still wrap snuggly and securely, while remaining supportive and strong.
Coming next… fibers, blends, and brands!!!