I choose the fabrics I stock carefully, based on 20 years of caring for babies and sewing ring slings. I believe any ring sling should be soft, long-wearing, and easy to care for. So you won't find fussy silks or hand-wash-only slings here -- all of these fabrics are made to stand up to your everyday life with kids, and can be washed with your regular laundry.
How to choose? I consider three main factors when making a recommendation:
French twill is a fantastic, inexpensive sling, getting you a lot of wear for your money. While it's a lightweight sling, it'll last for years of normal use, and gets
even softer with time. (I have a customer who uses her sling for demos in a hospital, and they refer to it as the "butter sling" because it's so soft.) I often receive photos from caregivers who are using their French twill
sling on their third or fourth baby, and find it just as soft and secure as when they first bought it. I really think you can't go wrong with this one -- it's a perfect first sling, easy to adjust and care for, and also a thoughtful
gift for a new caregiver.
I do my best to keep prices affordable on all the fabrics I offer, while maintaining the highest standard of quality. My goal is to provide slings that are inexpensive, but never cheaply made.
French twill is a lighter weight than some cotton slings on the market, which makes it lovely for warm weather and chilly temperatures alike.
However, linen is really the go-to for hot and humid climates; it's long been known for its cooling properties, wicking moisture away from your skin more quickly than cotton does. It's also just as snuggly in the winter as any cotton, without overheating your or your baby.
If you find yourself at the pool, beach, or splash pad often, a water sling is a fantastic addition to your carrier wardrobe.
Love the look of the Tekhni exclusives? Not to worry -- though they are thicker than anything else I carry, the specialty Repreve® fibers function a lot like wool, which is surprisingly cool in the summertime.
Some types of fabric are inherently more supportive than others. Generally speaking, a fabric is most comfortable for babywearing if it has a relatively low thread count (high thread counts are great for sheets, but bad for slings!),
and if the threads are on the thicker side. Purpose-woven wraps, like Tekhni, tend to have thick threads that are more widely-spaced, which gives them an elasticity, without
stretching, that makes them comfortable and supportive. The French twill is wonderful for newborns and smaller babies; it does have a higher thread count than
the other fabrics I have on hand, but that's not really a consideration until you get to about 18-20lbs. Linen is more supportive, partially because of the fiber,
and works well to at least 28lbs, although you may need to limit carry times if you are just buying a sling at that weight and not using it from birth.