28 Mar

The Best of TBW: The Wonderful World of Woven Wraps

Imagine learning to use a woven wrap without YouTube video tutorials, without a local group to get you started, or without a local educator to provide one on one instruction. I know it sounds impossible – but in the early days on TBW, the babywearing community was doing just that. We were finding a love for wrapping, and boy, oh boy, did we find it. Choosing and Using Wraps, Chatter – Wrappers Paradise, and Handwoven Geekery – the most active forums – have been the heart of TBW for many years. Collectively, these three forums contain over one-hundred thirty-two thousand threads and that number grows daily.

In this installment of The Best of TBW, we will talk about wrapping threads. The wrapping rabbit hole is a deep one on TBW with tons of history and information. But let’s start at the beginning with the oldest wrapping thread on TBW. There isn’t really much that’s remarkable about this thread, except that it is indeed the oldest. It was posted December 5, 2003, a little over two weeks after the initial launch of TBW. It’s a simple question about tying a wrap, and the answers are just as simple – a humble beginning for what has become a fairly complex series of positions, carries, variations, and finishes.

Practicing a Carry of The Week in 2009

The next thread on the list is actually a series of threads. In the winter of 2007, a simple concept was born, and quickly took the shape of the Carry of the Week Series. It has now run for more than seven years and covers seventeen sessions on TBW. This is the place where many of us old timers learned to wrap, perfected our carries, and experimented with variations. Many of you might see this tradition living on in “Carry of the Week” or “Carry of the Day” series in local babywearing groups. It’s a highly effective way to learn to wrap.

There are tons of wrapping resources, but I have a couple of favorites to share. The first is The Wrappers Visual Glossary. The second is The Wrapping Cheat Sheet. These threads together lay out the elements of wrapping and break carries down into steps. If a wrapper is familiar with these elements, they can put them together into a freeform carry, which is a fun way to experiment with wrapping.

Wraps are woven textiles: some are woven by machine and some are handwoven by artisans, but one thing they all have in common is that they are all unique. A great thread to learn about what is normal and what isn’t is:  A guide to knowing what is normal for wrap conditions and characteristics. When you have the inevitable pull or broken thread, knowing how to fix it is a basic skill every wrapper should have. The IBC2014 Woven Repairs Workshop is a collection of links and information about making simple repairs.

Some rainbow wrap geekery

The geekery runs deep on TBW and Wrappers Paradise contains a lot of very specialized information. Ever wondered when and why we started to weigh wraps? We have a thread for that. Ever wondered what wraps exist in a certain color? We have a thread for that too.  How about the basics (and not so basics) about woven weaves? Check these out!  Wrap Weave 101, and Wrap Weave 301.

The wrap forums are also home to many social threads. What did you wear today? (WDYWT) where you can check in and say hi, track your wraps monthly thread, where you can list your stash and track your usage. You can also squeeee about fluffy mail, Talk your friends out of their ISO’s, ride the wagon, or find support while you destash. If you want to just jump in and ask a question or chat about your wrapping experiences, please do! You are among like-minded wrap friends here – and there is no such thing as a dumb question or topic.

I often get into the wrap forums and think to myself, will I ever get to a place where I have read every thread in here? The answer is no, probably not. But I will keep trying because they will always be one of my favorite places in the babywearing community.

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