Care Instructions for Woven Wraps
While these instructions can seem overwhelming to someone learning about woven wraps, they eventually become second nature. Many people find wrap care such as hand washing and ironing to become surprisingly relaxing and even therapeutic. These beautiful textiles keep our sweet babies close and deserve some special attention. If however, you find yourself tense and in need of comic relief after reading through your wrap’s sometimes daunting list of care instructions, we recommend you peruse this:
We feel that all woven wraps be washed prior to their first use. While some Didymos might come ready-to-wear out of the box, you’ll find the first use much more enjoyable after a wash and dry. This will also help set the weave, which is especially important with airier weaves. Some wraps will even arrive slightly longer to allow for shrinkage.
Wash wraps using the temperature of water recommended by the care tag. Only use liquid laundry detergent as powder detergents can cause damage the fibres of your wrap. The detergent you select needs to be free of optical brighteners, bleach, and softening agents.
Use a low scent or no scent detergent:
Nature Clean Liquid, Seventh Generation Liquid, Ecos Free and Clear and Ecover (US).
For wool, alpaca, and cashmere, you must use Eucalan and handwash only.
If you don’t have any of these on hand, use a cup of plain vinegar. Vinegar may also be used in the rinse cycle for cotton, hemp, and linen - it acts as a natural softener and prevents detergent build-up.
Didymos recommends the use of a water softener if you have very hard water.
It is important not to overload your machine. You’ll want to allow plenty of water so your wrap can move freely. Refer to your care tag, but generally speaking, you can spin dry cotton on low. DO NOT spin dry wool, cashmere, alpaca, or silk. It is recommended those materials be hand washed (see further special care instructions).
Never dry a wrap at high heat. 100% cotton wraps can be dried on low or air. Make sure not to use a dryer sheet, untreated wool dryer balls can be used to help soften a wrap. We think that all wraps should be air dried. You can use a drying rack, shower rod or a door that's been draped with a towel.
We bought an iron after we got into babywearing. Sometimes, there's CBC Ideas on the radio, a glass of wine, and a wrap to iron. And it's bliss.
Things change after you have kids.
Ironing is part of the recommended care of most wraps. especially wraps made from blends of hemp and linen, which are prone to “perma-creases” in the fabric. So, we suggest steam ironing (with the exception of silk which can't have water sprayed on it wither). Have your iron set to steam, use a spray bottle of water to dampen the wrap, or iron before the wrap has fully dried.
Linen and Hemp
Linen and hemp wraps will often arrive more stiff than a cotton wrap. A wash, air dry and steam iron will help considerably to “break” the wrap in. Using the wrap is the very best way to break it! Ironing often, at least after every wash is the best way to keep the wrap in good condition.
Wool can felt and become unsafe for use if not cared for properly. Wool should be hand washed at 30°C with wool wash, like Eucalan. Use very little friction when washing, just try to let it be and enjoy it's bath. Then, the wrap should be gently pressed of excess water, then take it out and lay it flat on towels. Roll it up in the towels. Next, step on the roll carefully to remove as much water as possible, then unroll and lay flat to dry on top of more towels, or spread out on a dryer rack so that the weight is supported equally throughout the length of the wrap. Absolutely NO drying in a dryer. Please don't even look at the dryer while holding a wool wrap.
Silk should be handwashed with very cool water, max. 30°C. Silk should be laid flat to dry and not be exposed to sun during the drying period because it can fade.