baby wraps are a rip-off

Though I do sometimes sell wrap style carriers, I refuse to put much of a mark up on such a simple product. I see no reason to pay a hundred or more dollars for, what is escentially, a length of fabric. And I see no reason to charge others a large additional fee for the 3 edges I have to finish.
Personally, I don’t generally sell stretchy wraps either because I find them to be an even bigger waste to consumers. Yes, they are lovely and cosy for a newer baby and are also simple to use, but their life span is so short and they’re HOT. Babies get too heavy for the stretchy fabric within months usually.
Why are woven wraps so pricey? Well, there are a few reasons… though I don’t agree with all of them, some have validity.
Type of fabric: most are cotton blends, and if the other fibre is linen, silk, or something else that’s high end this can make the fabric cost more per yard. Also many are imported, fancy prints/stripes, or made in house (hand-made domestic). These reasons are valid in the sense that if you or I go to a fabric store it could cost a fair amount to get the 6 yards needed; however, these companies buy in bulk. They’re getting a better deal than we are, so you can’t take the price you pay at face value when comparing buying a ready made product.
Safety is another reason for buying a costly wrap from a company rather than making one. And this is a silly reason. Any breathable fabric (put it over your face and see if you can breathe easily) can be safely used for a wrap, provided it is both strong enough for the weight and it’s being used properly. That’s the real key. Using any carrier improperly is what can result in injury.
Company costs and the baby industry are the two reasons that I really think drives up price though. Bigger companies, have bigger costs and they do get passed on to you. And, because it’s a baby product, people seem more willing to throw money away. The baby industry is like the wedding one- high mark ups because this is one of the most special events in a person’s life and they’ll splurge. Even more so if it is something that plays into the “hip mom”. Use a trendy fabric and you can suddenly add another $50 to the price.
Ok, so what do I suggest you do? Clearly, either make your own or find one that is a genuinely fair price. What do you think 6 yards of the fabric being used would cost you? Is it anywhere near $100? No? Then why should you pay that much for it. And remember fabric is generally twice the width that you need for a wrap, so you’d get two for that amount.
Even the un-crafty can make one. 5 to 6 yards of suitable fabric that’s cut to about 25 inches wide, and finish the edges with a simple double rolled edge. That’s three strait lines to stitch on the sewing machine.
Is that even too crafty for you? I can go one better then. Get a sari. Sari’s are 6.5 yards long and made of very breathable materials. They’re wider than needed, but because they are often made of such light fabric the extra layers are actually better. Then you just have to cut it to lenth and sew the two ends- take it to a dry cleaner if needed, it will cost you almost nothing. Sari’s are always on sale in Little India (Toronto) for $20 to $50. It may take a while to find one that doesn’t have scratchy appliqué or beading, and is not too silky, but with a cotton blend to it; however, they do exist. Often there are ones called Japanese Cotton Sari, and though stiff at first, a wash loosens them right up. They’re beautiful and airy. Plus, how lovely are the materials used for saris?
You’ll love carrying you babe in something you’ve chosen and made yourself. Plus with it being woven, it will potentially last till they’re a toddler. Remember, always check your carriers for wear.
Now get out there and enjoy the closeness of baby wearing!

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