Do It Yourself Woven Wrap

23rd May, 2013 / Baby Wrap Tips / 22 Comments

Sarah DIY cotton wrap

Yes, you can make your own wrap!

I don’t have much experience of my own, but I collected some information on the subject to share for those who are looking into the possibility.

DIY wrap from Chelsea

Chelsea's 50/50 cotton linen blend from fabricland in Ontario. 5m 28in long and 28 inches wide with a 20 lb baby.

The fabric I see recommended most often for a DIY woven wrap project is Osnaburg.   I’m told that Osnaburg is almost always permanent press which is achieved through the use of formaldehyde.  Many people do not consider this dangerous for babies, but in case you want to avoid that, here is a link to a site that sells Osnaburg that is not PP.

Genna helpfully suggests, “Get an extra yard because it will shrink when you wash it the first time.”  That’s good to know up front, right?

Savannah says, “I found fabric.com osnaburg to be stiffer than stuff I got off of ebay.”  Putting your fabric through the washing machine several times should soften it up, as well as shrinking it down to size so that you know how much to cut.

Leslee says, “I used osnaburg from walmart and cut it about 32″ wide to allow for shrinking from dyeing and washing. I used tulip dyes (contacted company for safety) then sew it all around and I ironed on a middle marker.”

Some other fabric options are monk’s cloth and a 100% cotton jacquard weave tablecloth (both suggested by Sarah).  Prasti says, “I used cotton muslin for mine…and it has lasted through all 4 kids . I like it because the fabric is not too heavy or too light, and it’s usually priced at 4.99/yard so it’s pretty affordable.”

Sarah DIY cotton wrap

Sarah's DIY wrap with 100% cotton fabric

 

Sharon made her own DIY cotton gauze wrap. “I’d only recommend this for multilayer carries (FWCC and DH as examples) as the fabric is really thin. I also made this wrap much wider than a typical wrap (35 inches wide) to provide more support.”  As a note, the gauze you find in a fabric store is likely to be thinner than the bottom-weight gauze used in making Wrapsody Breeze wraps, which means your gauze wrap may be a little diggier and flimsier, best used, as Sharon says, in multi layer carries.  April adds, “I used 100% cotton gauze to make a wrap I didn’t mind using in the pool.”

If you do use your wrap for swimming, bear in mind that either chlorine or saltwater can begin to wear on the material after a while so keep an eye on the integrity of the fabric to make sure it is strong and safe each time you put it on.

And what about size?

The first rule to keep in mind is that it’s a lot easier to shorten it than lengthen it!  Start out long, wear it a bit, and then see how much extra you can cut off and still be able to do your favorite carries.

Most commercially bought stretchy wraps (like a Moby) are 5.5 meters.  This is one size fits all, and if you are making your own and are not plus sized, I would definitely suggest making it smaller.  However, you can start out long, try some carries, and then figure out exactly how much you want to cut off of each tail.

I don’t think stretchy carries should take any more fabric than carries in a woven, so you could probably use the below sizing for either type.  If your wrap is long, though, you’ll end up wrapping the excess around you and that gets warm in the Summer!

Woven wraps are generally sized.  4.6 meters fit most moms.  If you are particularly petite (under 130 lbs, and not too tall) you might be able to do all of the carries with a 4.2 meter wrap.  Some very small moms use 3.7 meters.  Again, if you’re making your own you can start using it and then shorten it to the perfect length.  If you are a larger mom, you might want to go with a large wrap which is 5.0 – 5.2 meters.  5.5 meters would be considered extra large.

I have a lot of sizing advice available on my website including different carries that you can do with different woven wrap lengths (note, these carries are only for woven wraps and may not be safe with stretchy wraps): https://wrapyourbaby.com/wovenwraplength.html

And here are pictures of differently sized moms doing different carries in different wrap lengths:  https://wrapyourbaby.com/wrapsizes.html

Tami DIY silk wrap

Tami made a wrap out of silk fabric her husband brought from India. (make sure whatever fabric you choose is suitable and safe--some silk may be too slippery)

 

 


22 Comments

  • Amanda July 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for all the good advice!!

    Reply

  • Sherri January 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Was checking out osnaburg fabric at Joann’s and the label said it was permanent press, which is achieved through the use of formaldehyde, FYI

    Reply

  • Sunel February 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    hi i would like to know if we can get instructions on how to wrap my baby like in the last picture on the back

    Reply

  • Christina March 29, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Nice blog! How can I tell if a fabric is safe or strong enough? Would a basic woven cotton (unbleached, 100% cotton) that is not too tightly woven be ok?

    Reply

    • Diana April 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      I’m sorry, I’m not an authority on fabrics or DIY wraps. Search for “Babywearing DIY Advice and Support” on Facebook and I bet they can point you in the right direction!

      Reply

  • Stacey May 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Where can I find osnaburg that is not permanent press? I checked Joann’s, Hobby Lobby and Walmart today and they only had permanent press.

    Reply

    • Diana May 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      I’m sorry, I’m not an authority on fabrics or DIY wraps. Search for “Babywearing DIY Advice and Support” on Facebook and I bet they can point you in the right direction!

      Reply

  • AmyKathryn May 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    The page you refer to “They also have a great method for finishing the ends without sewing.” seems to no longer have any articles about how to do anything…do you remember what the method was? I have some Osnaburg on the way and would love to not have to sew…

    Reply

    • Diana May 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It looks like the page no longer exists so I removed it from my article. From memory, they suggested using a rubberband looped several times around the end of the wrap until it is tight, then you turn that end inside out so you don’t see the rubberband and it looks like a cute rounded end to the wrap. I believe they said you could even put it through the washing machine. If the rubberband is tight, why not? I hope this helps, Amy!

      Reply

  • Visitor June 25, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this information and this whole website! And I’m sure there are many online fabric sources to choose from, but I can confirm that Fashion Fabrics Club currently carries (sfaik) plain Osnaburg. For a massive splurge, money-wise, Rawganique has organic linen and hemp. Sorry this sounds like a promotion — just trying to give back a little.

    Reply

  • Atlanta Birth Doula June 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks for the info. I just got my Osnaburg fabric from HobbyLobby at 40% off if anyone is shopping. They also sell tulip dye, so I was able to get 6yds of fabric plus dye for less than $30 shipped. 🙂 Happy wrapping!

    Reply

  • baby wearing mama January 10, 2015 at 1:44 am

    All osnaburg is permanent press whether or not it is labeled as such.

    Reply

    • Diana January 12, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks for the added information. I did some more digging because of your comment and came up with a site that sells the rarity that is non pp Osnaburg. I edited the blog post with this link.

      Reply

  • Patrizia November 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I’m looking to make my Organic Cotton Undyed Woven Wrap.
    I found this great website with so many options.
    Do you you have suggestions which one to pick?
    Thanks,
    Patrizia

    http://organiccottonplus.com/collections/wovens-undyedFabric and found this website.

    Reply

  • Patrizia November 13, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you Diana!

    Reply

  • Patrizia November 17, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I sent request to the group, but still I’m pending… do you know anybody that can accept me ; )
    Thanks!
    Patrizia

    Reply

  • Erika April 6, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for all the information. I’ve been thinking about making my own wrap for awhile and slowly gathering ideas. Something I’ve been wondering, though – what about using an old natural fiber duvet or bedspread? The problem I see with this is that you can’t get 4.6 contiguous meters of fabric, but if you were to make three equal length sections and triple reinforce the seams, do you think this would work?? OR would the seams midwrap make it unsafe? Mine is only 5 months now so seems like it would be OK for awhile but maybe once she hits toddlerhood, we’d want something continuously woven, one piece of fabric. I’d love your ideas on this. THanks!

    Reply

    • Diana April 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Erika, one thing I love about wraps is that there are no weight bearing seams to worry about. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be done safely, but I am not a seamstress and am reluctant to advise. I suggest joining the DIY group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/334070496681248/ and ask for their experiences or wisdom. Also discuss appropriate fabrics. Don’t forget you want something breathable!

      Reply

  • Wild World of Woven Wraps! - Wild World Mama October 19, 2016 at 3:26 am

    […] can do a DIY wrap out of Osnaburg fabric, information here. (Please make sure to do your research to make sure you are following safety guidelines). Sometimes […]

    Reply

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