I am getting to know Steph at Snugiwraps well these days – some of the work coming out of her sewing machine is impressive and library customers appreciate the opportunity for low cost slings that are better than the average “eBay cheapie”, both in terms of fabric quality and lifespan.
I was the first to try out the new prototype WrapTai – a mei tai made from simple, affordable wrap fabric (Colimacon et Cie Miel et Malice) with a soft cotton fabric panel at the front. This is designed to be used from 6months to 2 years. The concave design of the body panel and lack of structured waistband will allow it to be used with smaller children if needed, by wearing the mei tai apron-style with a deep pocket of fabric for baby’s bottom to sit below the waistband. This particular wraptai is pink wrap fabric with a very cute owl print. It was already soft and floppy when it arrived, and was very attractive to look at laid out flat and when worn.
The stitching is careful, with barely a wobble. There is decent sinkage of the waistband and shoulder straps as you can see in the pictures below. Steph tells me the internal structure of the carrier is sound. Every edge is overlocked, and she is using multiple rows of triple stitching and a row of bartack stitching to evenly distribute the weight. The sinkage of the straps certainly feels more than adequate and the multiple stitching makes the ends inside the carrier feel very robust.
The waist is unstructured, in the sense that there is no padded section, with the wide wrap straps coming off the side to be tied around the waist. It is tied on apron style so baby’s bottom rests in the pouch that is formed when the panel is brought up and smoothed up the back. The wrap straps don’t dig as they are soft and floppy, with a good amount of grip from the wrap fabric, the knot is easy to make and quite small.
The shoulder straps are the same fabric as the waistband and the inside panel, and flare out from the simple symmetrical pleating very easily. The straps are wide so there is excellent weight distribution across the upper back from the spread straps (a style of mei tai carrier that is very popular as it can feel reminiscent of wrapping, without quite as much process involved), and the straps can also be spread across baby’s bottom for extra support if required. There is little slipping of the straps once tied snugly.
There are three layers to the panel; one of wrap, one of canvas, and one of the cotton fabric, which is bright and cheerful, soft and pleasant to use. It isn’t stiff at all and moulds very nicely around the baby, even from first use.
This model has no hood.The whole carrier is very attractive, and comfortable to use. I used it with my small three year old and she was very happy – she loves bouncing and spinning in carriers and this was up to the job of keeping her comfortable and secure. It was is very comfortable indeed in a front carry, and also comfy for a back carry (I think wrap conversion Mei Tais work very well for higher back carries because of the mouldability of the fabric and the straps) and this fits the bill. The panel is decorative and does not interfere with the function of the carrier as a wrap conversion, and definitely adds personality and the option of customisation is always welcome!
Customers have enjoyed it enormously too.. I was sorry to post it on!
This is now travelling the country around various sling libraries and feedback seems to be very encouraging.. Steph is going to be selling these about the £80 mark which is an excellent price for a wrap conversion – due to the comfort of the wrap straps, conversions are often very much in demand with waiting lists and prices can be high, so this customisable, affordable WrapTai will be a hit, I am sure. I very much looking forwards to having one of my own in the sling library for people to try themselves.