Woven Wrap Fiber Spotlight: Linen

This series highlights the special qualities of different fibers that are used in woven wraps. Please keep in mind that fiber content is only one quality that impacts how a wrap performs.  Brand, weave structure, and thickness also make a huge difference in a wrap’s qualities.  These posts give you information about specific qualities of a fiber.

Sakura Bloom linen ring sling

Linen is cool and airy.

Linen is a favorite fiber for hot weather!  Linen wraps have a very cool and airy quality.  Even multiple passes of a linen wrap feel cooler than other wraps.  If you are frustrated by feeling hot in a woven wrap, try some linen and feel the breeze. 

Linen is supportive.

Linen fibers are very strong and supportive.  They don’t sag with heavier children.  Linen can be a wonderful choice for a person’s only wrap, because they are soft and easy to care for when you have a tiny baby, but still supportive with heavier toddlers. 

Linen is solid and sturdy.

Linen tends to feel very solid when wrapped.  It doesn’t stretch, sag, or bounce.  People love how secure it feels, even in a thin wrap. 

Linen is easy to care for.

Linen is easy to machine wash and dry.  There aren’t many special rules to follow, so you don’t need to worry about ruining a linen wrap with one mistake. 

Pink Nova Karma Calypso

Linen breaks in soft.

Broken in linen becomes extremely soft and smooth.  It is a completely different feeling when new and when broken in.  A well broken in and cared for linen wrap can be luxuriously soft and strong.

Linen has some problems.

Linen can take some work to break in.  A new linen ring sling or wrap feels stiff, crunchy, and is difficult to adjust.  It can take quite a bit of work to get it soft.  Many people prefer to buy used linen in order to skip the breaking in period. 

The texture of linen bothers some people.  If you are touch adverse to linen, it will feel scratchy and irritating, even when broken in.  I recommend trying on a borrowed linen carrier before investing in your own! 
Didymos Bubbles (red) and Natibaby Linen Bamboo blend

As linen is used, it can get permanent creases (known as perma creasing) that cause it to always look wrinkled.  Perma creasing happens from being stored while wrinkled, over drying, or even just regular use.  Steam ironing regularly and being careful to smooth wraps while you fold can lessen the perma creasing, but most linen will have some creasing anyway.

Linen can feel “diggy,” meaning that it digs in to the shoulders of the wearer.  Some people don’t like the feeling of linen because it presses uncomfortably on their shoulders.  A carefully tightened wrap job can solve this issue. 

Linen can be damaged if it is improperly cared for over time.  Avoid powder detergents, which can enter the hollow linen fibers and damage them while washing.  And avoid over drying, which can cause the fibers to become brittle and weak.  

Natibaby Africa Cherry Sky

Washing Linen Wraps

Linen wraps are easy to care for.  You can wash it in your machine with a liquid detergent.  Make sure your detergent doesn’t have optical brighteners or fabric softeners.  Simply wash on cold on the delicate cycle, then hang to dry.  Avoid overdrying linen, which can cause the fibers to become brittle and weak.  Once the wrap is dry, you can steam iron it on the linen setting.  Steam ironing helps to prevent perma creasing and helps to soften the linen. 

Have you ever tried a linen wrap?  Did you like it?  Share your experiences here!


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About BWI of Phoenix

The Phoenix, AZ chapter of Babywearing International meets several times a month at various locations throughout the Valley. There is a lending library from which members can check out different styles and brands of carriers. Visitors to the meeting are welcome to try on and receive instruction on those carriers from our Volunteer Babywearing Educators. BWI Phoenix strives to educate and encourage parents and caregivers in carrying their babies and children. Each of the volunteers believes that babywearing promotes bonding, learning and growing together. You can join BWIP at any meeting for just $30/year (tax-deductible) and take advantage of member benefits, which include being able to borrow any carrier in our library for up to a month at a time.

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