Sunday, November 4, 2007

The strength of fabric

After months of searching for the appropriate fabrics and after about 30 slings sewn.. I am ready to sew and sell!

Just some interesting things I discovered with fabrics... they can all be 100% cotton but depending on how they are woven and/or dyed, the strength and ability to hold is quite different. Just think of 100% cotton t-shirt and 100% cotton bedsheet...

Of those I've tried.. stretch cotton (97% cotton and 3% lycra)... this is what Littlepods sell. It is actually quite good, giving just enough stretch to be comfy and at the same time giving the breathability of cotton fabric... it's not easy to find, though and of those I've managed to find.. they are only available in solid colours... which are not very attractive to me...

I've also tried the t-shirt material... did not think of trying it initially as I'd imagine that it will be too stretchy.. which turned out to be true. DH was shopping with me at the textile shop and he was attracted to the pattern and the softness of it... thus, encouraging me to try it out... it was really good initially... but, after about 10 minutes... Arthur is literally weighing me down... too much stretch

Polyester... Cooling option but too slippery.

Cotton satin... quite ok.. but, still not better than 100% cotton in terms of comfort.

Mixed cotton (also called TC cotton).. this is the one which is easiest and cheapest to source in Malaysia. I was even told that a lot of sling vendors uses this type of fabric for their slings... I must admit that I am definitely tempted to use this, too as there are many choices and easy to source.. but, in the end, I've decided, no... not breathable enough.

Why try so many different ones out? Well, again... what I am trying to do is to encourage babywearing.. how can that be so if people are not comfortable using the sling?

The point of the title..., if you find a strong enough fabric, the sling need not be two sided... shown here is one of the first slings that I tried out.. great fabric.. 100% cotton from Ikea.. (was also tempted to sew and sell out of these fabrics but on many advises from friends... people just won't like walking into Ikea with that sling... point taken)... it was one of the first I tried to sew... obviously, you can see that I screwed up at the seams... I decided to use it anyway.. was thinking it will not last... but, cos it is the first one I tried out.. pity to take it off... surprisingly, it holds just as well and because it is only one layer... it's superb in terms of breathability.. so comfy for those pasar malam trips with Arthur... have now been using it for almost 6 months.. and it's still working fine after more than 20 washes... still pity to take it off... probably use some more... but, will make sure to be extra careful with it... might just buy more fabric from Ikea to sew for myself...

mid Autumn Festival 2007

You shouldn't keep using your sling if it is already frayed like this, though... will have a post soon on safe babywearing...

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