Most of us have heard of the most popular options for babywearing: buckled carriers, Asian style carriers (e.g. mei dai’s), ring slings, and woven or stretchy wraps, but how many of us have come across the wonderful world of woven wrap conversions? Woven Wrap conversions are mei dais or buckled carriers constructed from woven wraps. It truly is the best of both worlds – the ease of a structured carrier combined with a supportive fabric designed and woven specifically for the purpose of babywearing.
There has been a resurgence in the popularity of babywearing and with it has come a blossoming of work at home mums capable of making beautiful custom carriers to your exact specifications.
Now instead of having to make do with a “one size fits all” option from one of the mainstream carrier makers. Your carrier is fully customisable. Options include baby, toddler and preschool sizes, different shoulder strap and waist styles, a range of sleep hoods, varying degrees and areas of padding, extras like toy loops and even unique pieces of applique or embroidery.
Although not yet mainstream, these mamas have attracted a passionate following. So much so, that although many have only been in business a short time they now have very long waiting lists or only release a limited number of sewing slots once a month. Some carriers, like those by Obimama and Ocah, have become extremely sought after and as such are often auctioned for eye-watering amounts of money.
Don’t despair though, as with a little luck, persistence, and judicious following of these mamas on Facebook, it is still possible to secure a custom slot and get your own gorgeous work of art. Some slots are offered up as a lottery, some slots are auctioned off and some are sold fastest finger first. There is also a thriving trade in preloved wrap conversions and it isn’t hard to get your hands on one if you frequent one of the many for sale or trade groups on Facebook (e.g. Slings and Things – FSOT and Advice).
A by no means exhaustive list are:
Cherry Berry Baby,
Monkey Mei Tai,
If you do decide to get a woven wrap conversion, please remember that the safety of your little one is the most important thing and should be considered far more important than the cost of the conversion. Make sure you research the reputation of the mama and the quality of the conversions by seeking out reviews on Facebook or Google. More and more people pop up every day offering conversions and you need to make sure you’ve chosen someone competent before you send off your precious wrap to be chopped.
Tips for ordering your dream woven wrap conversion
Do your homework
Research the company or WAHM in advance, look for feedback and others experiences. Questions to ask would be: How many carriers have the converted? Are they insured? Are they trained? What are others saying? Are they a member of BCIA or BABI? Can i see images of their other work?
What do you want?
Think about what it is exactly you want from a carrier? Is it comfort for you and your child? Prettiness? Do you want padding in specific places? Fancy hoods? Longer or shorter straps. This can help you convey your idea’s to the maker to ensure you get exactly what you want. Do you want it by a certain date? Some makers have long lists, so be prepared to wait with some of the more busy converters.
Read their small print
Make sure you have thoroughly read their terms. You will need to find out where you send your wrap if you are sending one? Do you pay upfront, in instalments or a a holding deposit with the rest being paid on completion. Is there a waiting list? Do they require a wrap that is new? Or do they ask the wrap is washed first? By reading this and thrashing out the details their will be no hidden surprises.
One thing we would always suggest is you pay by PayPal ‘goods and services’. This way if their are any issues you can get your money back.
Thanks to the following for images: Lorna Blanchard, Annabelle Barlow, Shelly Vipond, Amy Bower, Mel Frith
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