Monday, June 2, 2014

A Tale of Two Fabrics

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the perfect baby carrier for you.  Once you realize that you want a ring sling, you would think that your decision making day are over.  You have worked your way through all of the pros and cons of each different carrier styles and decided that you wanted a carrier that was exceptionally versatile, easy to put on, grows with your baby, fits all body types and is easy to breastfeed in. Did I miss anything?  Sadly there are still decisions to be made.  I always tell people that figuring out that you need a Snuggy Baby carrier is the easy part.  Now you comes the hard part...choosing which one. Choosing the right baby carrier is a very individualized and personal decision.  Probably the number one question that I get asked is, "What is the difference between your cotton and linen slings? and which one is right for me".

Linen Sling vs Cotton Sling
Linen vs. Cotton
To determine which sling is right for you, first you need to decide what is most important to you and what are you looking to accomplish with your sling.  Are you looking for the most supportive carrier that makes carrying your 3 year old easy,  or do you live somewhere where the summers make you melt if you even think about leaving the air conditioning and you just want to stay as cool as possible.  Are you new to babywearing and want something that is easy to learn on, or are you an experienced babywearer who is willing to work with a sling to break it in?

Snuggy Baby Green Ombre Prestige Ring Sling
Prestige Ring Sling - cotton
 Cotton is a great comfortable fabric.  Probably 90% or more of the clothes in your closet are made out of cotton.  This is because it is comfortable and easy to care for.  The same properties hold true with a cotton ring sling.  My cotton slings are soft an comfortable and you can wash them with all of your cotton clothes in your regular laundry.  Snuggy Baby's cotton slings are also made with a double layer fabric so they are very supportive. Also the double layer of fabric provides some natural cushioning in the shoulder which helps make the sling even more comfortable during extended babywearing sessions.   The downside to cotton (because everything is life has a downside) is that because it is a double layer sling, there is a lot of fabric that goes through the rings.  This can make the sling more difficult to adjust until it is broken in.  Once it is broken in, the fabric glides easily through the rings, but learning to use a new cotton sling can take a bit more patience.

Snuggy Baby Fantasy Forest Linen Banded Ring Sling
Linen Banded Ring Sling - Linen
Linen is a cool fabric.  If you have linen clothes in your closet, I can pretty much guarantee it is part of your summer wardrobe.  I have never even heard of a linen sweater.  This is because linen is a great fabric that helps keep you cool.  Again, the same thing holds true for your baby carrier as it does for your clothing.  If  you are looking for the coolest option...If your number one concern is not melting as soon as you step out of the air conditioning (with or without your sling) then I would recommend that you look at a linen sling.  The other benefit to linen is that it is a single layer sling which will make it easier to adjust.  This makes it a great starter sling for a new babywearer.  The downside to linen is that you want to be more careful when you wash it.  You would wash your linen sling like you would your sweaters.  If you bought your sling to use in the summer, you are probably not doing too many loads of sweaters, but you still want to take a little extra care with your linen sling.  You can machine wash linen, but use cold water and a delicate cycle and line dry.  Also, because it is a single layer of fabric, it is not quite as supportive as the cotton sling.

"Does this mean that you HAVE to have a linen sling if you want to wear your baby in the summer?"  Absolutely not.  You are still very comfortable wearing your cotton clothing all summer long, right?  the same thing is true for your sling.  While the linen is slightly cooler, the cotton sling will still be comfortable.

"I only ever plan to have one baby carrier.  Should I forget about linen because it won't be supportive enough when my baby is older?"   Again the answer is no.  While the cotton sling is the most supportive option, Our linen slings are made with a very supportive fabric that is heavier than other linen slings so that it can be very supportive even with older babies.    

 So in a nutshell, your cotton sling is the most supportive, but can be harder to learn to use.  The linen sling is your coolest option and easier to learn to use, but not as supportive for larger babies.   So which is most important to you:  Support or cool?   If they are equally important to you, then it may just come down to the overall look of the carrier.  Do you want more of a print, or a solid sling?  Our cotton slings have an all over print while our linen slings have a solid body with a print accent.

So now that you have decided between cotton and linen, you have one final decision too make... which print do you want.  Thankfully we have lots to choose from, so hopefully you can find THE one that speaks, begging to be part of your family and help you keep your loved one close.  

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