This is the first post and I will make sure I keep it short. I am sat here just three days away from The Wrap Show planning on what I will be bringing along. I won’t be exhibiting, and the whole event is largely going to be a social affair (I hear there is proseccco in the evening… yippee!) – and hopefully I will be able to restrain myself from spending too much on all the wonderful items which will be available. I do however, plan on bringing along examples of the first two colourways of Chrysler; Marina and Heather, which will be released later this month so do feel free to come say hello and have a fondle of my wraps.
Thinking back to about a year ago when the idea of creating my own wrap company first occurred I can’t quite believe that within a couple of days I will have the first batch of wraps arriving at my doorstep. I have to admit, the journey so far has been a little scary, as anyone putting their creations out to the public will understand, but mostly it has been really exhilarating. Some people have asked me how I find the time to set up Rowan Bay alongside juggling a full-time job and two children and the answer is – because I love it. It’s really that simple. I don’t mind spending my evenings sat drawing designs, choosing yarn colours, making websites and putting together the new booklet because Rowan Bay comes from the heart and doing all these things gives me an outlet for being creative in a way I perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to otherwise.
Anyway, that’s enough from me for now, and I’m looking forward to meeting some of you on Saturday!
“One piece of clothing can release 700,000 fibers in a single wash” Greenpeace 2017
At Rowan Bay we have committed to not using any synthetic fibers in our woven wraps, any plastic in our packaging and to always use recycled paper. Looking after the planet for our little people to enjoy and their little people after them is really important to us. But why no synthetic fibers? Surely using polyester reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizers in cotton and other plant-based fibers to be used? Yes, but synthetic fibers use around three times more CO2 to produce than cotton does (and we’ll only use organic cotton from now on too!).
We’re living in an age of a plastic pollution crisis. It is estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. That’s an astonishing amount of waste which is just floating around slowly breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces but never really disappearing. Plastics including the microfibers which are washed out of our clothes, can be found in the waters around the remotest of islands and in the bodies of far too many marine creatures – from the smallest to the biggest and everything in between with the potential to have a devastating effect on the food chain.
The research into this area is still ongoing, but includes looking at waste operators and the appliance industry to try and prevent microfibers entering the water cycle including a bag to wash your clothes in which catches the fibers. However we feel the easiest way is to avoid synthetics all together – and so we will never weave with synthetic fibers and will continually to find the most luxurious and environmentally friendly and ethical fibers out there to make our woven wraps from. We’ll do the hard work so you don’t have to and you can enjoy more precious cuddles with your little people.
x L x
Here’s a sneak peek of our natural linen and Egyptian combed cotton Sorbus tester which is travelling around the world at the moment. If you would like to find out more, head over to our Facebook chatter group – Rowan Bay Rabble
Everybody loves Tussah silk, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. I believe that it is possibly the most beautiful fiber I have seen used in baby wraps (and other textiles!). I just love the natural irregular nubs and slubs and the scruffiness of the shorter fibers, but the wrap qualities were fantastic too. I am sure there are lots of excellent reviews out there on how this fiber works for carrying children if you haven’t yet had a go and would like to know more, so rather than talking about Tussah in babywearing, I am going to delve a little deeper and take a look at where it comes from and why at Rowan Bay we love this kind of silk over other finer silks.
All silks are made by silk ‘worms’, which are not worms at all but actually the larval stage (caterpillar) of moths. When the larvae are ready to pupate to metamorphose into a moth, they will spin a cocoon around themselves to protect the chrysalis. The cocoons are made up of a very fine fibre – silk. This one below is one I have from a Lunar moth Actias lunar. You can see the fibres in the close up.
Silk has been harvested from moths in Asia for thousands of years, and most silk is now harvested from the cocoons of the mulberry silk moth Bombyx mori which has been domesticated and is produced commercially in large quantities.Each cocoon can produce one continuous fiber of up to 1.5km long! An incredible feat and one of the reasons silk is very fine as the fibers are long and continuous – in fact, all luxury fibers all tend to be longer. To harvest the silk, the cocoons are first steamed or boiled to kill the larvae inside to prevent it making an exit hole and damaging the silk. The cocoon is then unwound, ready to be spun into a fine yarn.
Tussah silk is produced by moths from the Saturniidae family which contains the largest moths on the planet (the Atlas moths). Many saturnid moths produce silks, although not all are suitable to use in textiles such as the beautiful Lunar moth below.
It is the larvae of moths in the genus Antheraea which create what we know as Tussah.Tussah silk is described as being wild silk as it is often harvested from wild populations, sometimes with a little cultivation, and the great thing about the process is that the moths are allowed to emerge and are not killed. However, allowing the moth to emerge means there is an exit hole as in the cocoon above, damaging the fibers and making them shorter and therefore are not as fine, but this is also where Tussah gets it’s wonderful nubs and slubs from.
So you can see, because Tussah production avoids killing any moths, (as well as the sheer beauty of it) this is the silk for Rowan Bay – and not to mention there is a Tussah moth called Antheraea larissa 😉
We will be opening up the option to have custom wraps made in Tussah silk weft with an organic combed cotton warp. More details will be release later in the week, but if you are interested then get thinking of colour inspirations. Each colour will need a minimum of 8 wraps ordered so get your friends on board too!
Rowan Bay is seeking brand ambassadors around the globe to help promote Rowan Bay both as a brand and to showcase our products online and at local sling meets. We are seeking someone who is passionate about babywearing; in particularly Rowan Bay and our ethos, someone who has experience with a range of woven wraps and who has a proven online following already through a variety of social media platforms. Successful ambassadors will reach a wide audience and should be able to show the reach, and bring in new customers.
In return not only will you get to hear about upcoming releases and new products first, but we will offer discounts on our products and you will get to keep some of the wraps, although not always the one you will be promoting.
If you would like to apply for this, then please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon! If you have any questions, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Image – A black and white photo of a mother is standing on some stairs leaning against the railings wearing her daughter on her front in a Rowan Bay Chrysler wrap with a repeated pattern of chunky chevrons. The mother is kissing her daughter on her head]