Weaving baby wraps – a discussion

In my venture into the world of handwoven baby wraps, I have become a member of various Facebook groups, some for weavers, some for baby wrappers and some for both. This has given me a fascinating insight into some of the views held by a number of handwoven baby wrappers and also by some weavers (lots of ‘somes’ there).
It has been quite a learning curve! Buying a handwoven baby wrap is a considerable financial investment, and if someone is buying a custom wrap it often has significant emotional meaning too. It can be very difficult to secure a slot for a custom wrap with some people never managing to find a weaver with the capacity to work with them. Obviously, there is only so long to be able to ‘wear’ your baby and custom lists can stretch into years.
Holding in mind that the communication regarding a custom wrap is also via Facebook messages and email, you can imagine some of the issues encountered.
Now I have been very fortunate because the customs I have woven have been for wonderful women who have been happy to give me the freedom to interpret their wishes in the best way I can and have been very kind and generous in their feedback.
However, reading a few of the posts on Facebook strikes terror into my fragile weaving soul as there are a few, and they are most definitely in the very very small minority, who seem to have unrealistically high expectations of their weaver. For that reason, largely because I don’t want my love affair with weaving baby wraps to end, I have decided to stop making custom wraps once I have completed the ones on my waiting list at present. I will continue to make what are called ‘semi-customs’, which can vary from someone choosing the length and weft colour to providing an inspiration picture for me to work from.
I’ve loved the relationship that develops from working on a custom wrap and seeing the photos of the wrap in use is the best feeling in the world. I know my limitations though and after years of working with the public I know the difference, for me, between knowing that a criticism isn’t personal and feeling that.
Baby wraps are expensive – I sell a size 5 wrap for about £250; but take into account the yarn for each costs about £65 (for baby wraps, high quality yarn is essential; they need to be sturdy and hold the weight of a toddler and the dyes need to be child safe), that the average wrap takes upwards of five days to make and then there is the original investment in a loom (the cost of a small car), it is not hard to see that weaving will not a millionaire make.
Weavers, especially me, aren’t business people generally either. While I have an idea of what I would expect when buying something and how I expect other businesses to treat me; running order lists, social media sites, an Etsy shop, registering with HMRC, liaising with potential customers, ordering stuff in wholesale quantities etc etc does not come naturally!
Most weavers are doing all of this on top of working in a ‘normal’ job and/or raising a family so it’s easy to see how some communications can appear ‘unbusiness-like’ or get missed. Happily this hasn’t happened to me…yet. Hence my decision. I reserve the right to change my mind!
Ok, now for a little of this week’s weaving, the most recent custom wrap :-)

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2 thoughts on “Weaving baby wraps – a discussion

  1. mosaicthinking

    People, eh? After weddings, first babies are probably right up there on the list of emotionally charged events. Love your latest wrap. Its beautiful. Semi-custom is a brilliant approach.

    Reply

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