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 Make a No-Sew Wrap Minimize
Use either medium-weight fleece or cotton knit with edges that curl up when stretched.
Start with a strip of fabric that is 60 inches wide and 5 yards (15 feet) long. Remember that cotton cloth shrinks when washed, sometimes it shrinks a lot. So you may want to wash it before cutting. Cut into strips that are at least 20 inches wide and 5 yards long.
Stripes that are 30 inches wide will also work. Okay, even 45 inches wide will work, but might be a bit bulkly unless your cloth is very lightweight.
Give away two wraps. Keep one for yourself!
ALL cotton JERSEY is cotton knit.
Some cotton knit is also cotton jersey.
And both jersey and non-jersey work just fine.
Lightweight cotton weaves such a gauze can work well, too, but would need to be hemmed or serged to prevent fraying. Polar fleece can work, but will be too hot except in winter or indoors.

    

 Sew a Wrap Minimize
Sewing a wrap is a simple matter. The complicated part is choosing just ONE cloth to buy at the fabric store. If you figure that one out, let me know. Fabric choices for sewn wraps are the same as for no-sew wraps with one exception. Since you will be sewing (or serging) the edges, you can choose woven cloth that has unfinished selvages, fleeces that don't necessarily curl when cut, and cotton knits that don't necessarily curl when cut. PLEASE read the instructions for No-Sew Wraps before proceeding.

Okay, after you have chosen your cloth, you cut it to the right dimensions. Typically 20 to 35 inches wide and at least 5 yards long. *

Now, you serge all the way around the four sides. If you don't have a serger, you can hem all the way around the four sides. Some moms have had success going to a sewing machine store and borrowing the serger for 5 minutes, maybe for free, maybe for $2- $5. Also, you could go to a tailor or the dry cleaners and they might hem it or serge it for an affordable price.

I strongly recommend against buying 2.5 yards, cutting it in half and stitching it together to make 5 yards. This is not only a pain in the toukas, it also gives you a seam to worry about -- a weight-bearing seam, no less. If you MUST do this, then be sure to use a French Seam.

Remember, you can always make a no-sew wrap.


* If you are plus sized you may want to start at 6 yards, use it for a while, trim off 6 inches at a time, and stop when it gets to a size that works for you.

    

 Make a No-Sew Woven Wrap Minimize
Head to your local fabric store, or the fabric section of a department store. :o) Ask for help if you need it. You need three to five yards (9 to 15 feet) of cloth that meets these criteria:
  1. Cotton or mostly cotton (You may also like a very lightweight linen or a very lightweight hemp)
  2. Breathable, flexible, soft
  3. Washable
  4. Is at least 20 inches wide (for a lightweight gauze, 45 inches is fine!) The thinner the cloth, the wider it should be if you plant to do the Strap carry or the Rucksack -- that extra width translates to shoulder padding.
  5. Does not have a "wrong" side
  6. Has a little diagonal "give"
  7. Is neither slippery nor stretchy
  8. Has a finished selvage
Look for cotton "gauzes", crinkle cotton, and cotton "weaves". By "gauze", I don't mean the stuff you wrap around an injured ankle. Gauze is fabric-store lingo for somewhat loosely woven cloth -- not extremely loosely woven bandage material! These plain gauzes are perfect for everyday use around the house. Not too gorgeous, maybe, but easily washed and dried, very easy to find and very comfortable. Is crinkle cotton the same as gauze?
Some gauzes are also crinkles. Most crinkles are also gauzes. I specifically use the term crinkle cotton for cotton gauzes which are wrinkled in long longitudinal lines. This makes a lovely drapey effect when worn as a wrap.

Note that this white gauze is loosely woven enough that you can see the ceiling lights through it. Also, it's 100% cotton and breathable.
The selvage, however, is not finished. Remember, when choosing your fabric, be sure that the side edge, the selvage, is finished. If it isn't, you'll have to serge or hem the entire length of the cloth, both sides. Or, you could leave it messy. That's fine by me if it's fine by you.
On this cloth, not only is the selvage frayed, but the cloth also has a "wrong side". This happens when the design of the cloth is stamped onto one side. This is fine if you don't mind. If you want a wrap that does not have a "wrong" side, look for solid colors or stripes/plaids of different colored threads woven together.
This is an example of a finished selvage. This is a loose, soft, cotton weave of different colored threads. It has no wrong side.
When held up to the light, you can see right through it. It will work just fine.
How much cloth should you buy?
A longer cloth can be used for a greater variety of positions. A shorter cloth is easier to work with. My personal favorite is 4 yards long (12 feet) and 28 inches wide. With that length, I can do any carry I want, but still not have too much cloth left over. It may help you to know that I am a women's size 10. My husband cannot do the front wrap cross or the back wrap cross with that length of cloth. He's a little bigger than I am.

    

 Woven, Knit or Fleece? Minimize
Fleece is warmer but bulkier, and is slightly stretchy. It makes a good winter wrap for wearing outdoors.

Cotton knit is stretchy (depending on how much Lycra, it could be very stretchy) and therefore may not be as cooperative for long-term carrying of a heavier baby. So, very stretchy knits work best when reserved for small babies. Cotton knit with a just a little stretch can be excellent for carrying a baby of any size.

Woven wraps have the most stability and are the easiest to use, especially with a bigger baby or a back carry.

    

 Making "Hammock" Ends on Simple Baby Wrap Minimize
So you bought a pretty cloth and you want to use it right away? But you don't have time to sew the cut ends because you have a BABY to take care of? No problem! Got five minutes and two rubbers bands? Here's an easy a way to stop the ends of the material from fraying without having to sew!


Stretch out the cloth completely flat. Fold the frayed outside edges in toward the center.
Repeat as many times as necessary until the folded fabric is two or three fingers wide.
Wrap a very strong rubber band around the folded edge. Wrap it as many times as you can. The rubber band should be on there super tight. After a run through the washer, it should be very difficult for an adult to remove and nearly impossible for a child to remove. However, always keep a close eye on any child young enough to think that a rubber band is a good thing to put in a mouth. Use scissors to cut off any long loose threads.
Go to the other end of the cloth, and fold it also. Be sure to fold it up towards the center, in the same direction as for the first end of the wrap.
Once you have folded and secured both ends of the cloth with rubber bands, turn each fold inside-out. Now use this cloth just exactly however you like, and no one will ever know you cheated and didn't sew the ends. Unless you tell them. Or they visit this website. Your secret is safe with us. :o)
Wash the bands?
No need to remove the rubber bands. They should be on there so tight that it would hard to get them off even if you tried. I've had the same rubber bands on one wrap for thirteen years -- and it has gotten a lot of use in those 13 years.
Nevertheless -- always check anything you use with your baby -- before you use it on your baby -- everytime. This is true with carseats, baby bath tubs, and any baby carrier, as well as 1001 other baby products.

An Added Bonus, Accidently Discovered...
The bulk on the ends of the Mamatoto Hammock makes it easier to tuck the ends through the shoulder straps for the Tibetan Carry shown here.

    

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 You are a Master Babywearer Minimize
In China, it is said that "A master is anyone who knows more than you do." So, you are all master babywearers compared with most of the moms in the world. You do NOT need to know everything there is to know about babywearing -- if you know even ONE carry with even ONE type of carrier, you are in possession of knowledge other moms desperately want -- even if they do not yet know they want it. ;-D Therefore, you should all feel confident enough to teach others! So, pick a public place, pick a day of the week, and start sharing your skills with other families! Then, list yourself here.

      

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