What is GSM? What does it have to do with woven wraps. I was asked to talk about GSM and woven wrap weight, which I do in the video just below.
I made this to complement the first lesson in my woven wrap training which I have made available for less than two weeks. So if you are seeing this in real time, and you didn’t see that lesson, go watch it right after this. I’ll give you all the information you need 🙂 If you haven’t received an email with the link, you can sign up here if you do it right now.
And I wanted to provide some more information, so here you go:
I don’t use GSM as a measurement when discussing thin and thick wraps.
I think it is overly technical and does not get to the core of what a parent needs to know when shopping for a wrap.
The real question is: will this wrap be easy to use?
And sometimes it is also: is this wrap good for using with a newborn or a toddler?
Because a thicker wrap is more supportive with heavy toddlers, but is more difficult to wrap around a tiny newborn.
And GSM is one way to look at the thickness of the wrap.
GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter. It is sometimes written gm2 or g/m2. M2 represents “meters squared” so it means exactly the same thing. If you measured the weight of your wrap in grams and then divided it by the number of square meters in your wrap, you would have the GSM of your wrap.
But it doesn’t give you the full picture. A wrap with a higher GSM is most likely to be both more supportive and more difficult to use as it can be tough to pull the slack out of a thicker fabric. A higher GSM wrap is also likelier to be stiff when brand new, and need a period of “breaking in.”
But one wrap with a GSM of 290 may be quite stiff while another wrap with a GSM of 290 may be much floppier and softer because it may have a more open weave. It may be made with different fibers which affects how the wrap feels and wears.
So while I am sharing here the numbers that one might consider indicative of a thin, medium, or thick wrap, I do so only because I hear from so many people that they were told to use GSM and therefore want to understand it better.
Basic GSM guidelines:
under 180 g/m2 – extremely thin wrap (ie Wrapsody, EllaRoo, etc)
180 – 220 g/m2 – thin wrap (Girasol standard weave is at the higher end of this)
220 – 270 g/m2 – medium wrap (ie Storchenwiege and many Lenny Lamb wraps)
above 270 g/m2 – thick wrap (ie Girasol double weft or toddler weave is a thick wrap)
But I will recommend that instead of judging a wrap by it’s GSM, you ask about whether the wrap is soft, floppy, thin, or easy to use. Or, if you want a particularly supportive wrap, ask about how supportive that wrap will be, how thick it is, whether it is stiff and how difficult it will be to break in.
In my store, I list these qualities for the wraps that I sell. I do often include a listing for GSM for those who come to my store already determined to find out the GSM in determining which wrap will suit them.
This is all too frequent as it is a common recommendation in wrapping groups and between friends. It has become popular as a gage of wrap qualities because a simple chart like the one above can be used as a reference.
So please heed my warning that GSM alone does not paint a full picture and let me know if you need any help finding a wrap that is right for you.