What does braiding a woven wrap mean?
Braiding a woven wrap is creating a chain of loops, each one pulled through the next, using only the cloth itself.
It serves to make a long wrap much smaller and more compact- great for carrying with you when not in use, or popping at the bottom of a bag..
We like to braid a wrap into a loop, then hang it over the strap of our babywearing bag when we’re out and about. This is particularly handy when you child gets older and might not need to be carried for a full trip out, but you need the security of bringing a wrap with you ‘just in case’.
It also helps to soften up a stiff wrap and can be part of the breaking in process for wraps that aren’t easy to use from new. If you’re a Firespiral fan then you’ll know that our wraps don’t tend to need breaking in like other brands can!
You can even braid wraps as a way to hang/store them, although be wary of doing this with crease prone wraps such as linen or some hemp wefts.
A braided wrap, knotted round your waist can make an excellent hip seat! Even nearly 6 yr old Nina (the ‘nose picking baby’ from the youtube video below) was easily supported by this. It would have been very handy last year when she broke her leg and I struggled to carry her for a couple of months…
How to Braid a Woven Wrap
1. Drape the wrap over the wrist of hand A and hold the short tail of the wrap in hand B. The long tail should be on the inside of your arm.
2. Keeping the short tail pulled taut, reach over with hand A and grasp the long tail firmly.
3. Hand B leaves go of the short tail and secures the loop round your wrist. At the same time, Hand A pulls the long tail through the loop, creating a new loop!
4. Pop hand A back through the new loop, take the long tail up to it so that you can grasp it again with hand A.
5. Use hand B to grasp the loop again, while hand A pulls a new loop of wrap through the old one.
6. Continue along the length of the wrap. When you’re finished, you can feed the first bit of tail from the start, through the final loop to create a hoop and secure it!
The braid will easily come apart again if you pull on the tail where the braid ended. When you want to unravel your wrap, simply hold the braided wrap in one hand and pull that tail with the other. All the loops will pop apart. If you try to pull from the opposite end, the wrap will not unravel at all, and you would need to ‘pick apart’ each looped knot.