Introducing ABW Handwoven Wraps
by Lisa Carter
We have some exciting news! But first, a bit of background: if you've read the About Us section, you'll know that I never set out to start a woven wrap company. It's been a journey that began when I wanted to weave myself a wrap since I couldn't afford the higher prices of the gorgeous handwovens. So I took a weaving class, wove a wrap, experienced the huge amount of work that goes into weaving and was then inspired to find a way to offer something similar at a more affordable price. The only reason for telling you this is so that you'll trust me when I tell you that I know how much work goes into measuring a warp, warping the loom, and then weaving enough yardage for a wrap! It is hours and hours of hard work before you can even throw that shuttle for the first time, and bending over that back beam to thread those heddles can definitely take a toll on one's back. Handwoven wraps are worth every penny of their higher prices because of the amount of work that the weaver puts into every inch of cloth. And while I'm so proud of what we've been able to accomplish with both our Signature and Simplicity machine woven lines, there are certainly some limitations when compared with what's possible when working directly with a weaver on a custom handwoven.
Since first starting this company last fall, I hoped to eventually be able to work with handweavers by providing all of the overhead support. Things like liability insurance and CPSC compliance add a lot of overhead cost, and those costs will only go up once additional testing requirements become mandatory later this year. So I am thrilled to announce that Emily Wood is the first weaver we will be collaborating with! She has been weaving since she was in high school, and has been working with me on the mending/finishing of the Signature Line for the past 9 months. This first handwoven run will be a bit of a trial run, and if everything goes well she will open up some custom slots so you can work with her to create your own custom design. Obviously because of all of the work involved, the price per wrap will be higher than our machine woven lines, but the lower overhead costs will help keep the price a bit more affordable.
For this first handwoven run, Emily will be weaving this gorgeous gradient of fall colors.
The digital mock-up shows how the colors will be pinstriped but it does distort the colors a bit.
The photograph above shows the true colors better.
The entire 20 yard warp will be woven with a brick red weft in a pebble weave structure, and once the wraps are completed they will be sold by draw. Expected completion is the end of October 2016.
Image shows digital mock-up of warp colors with the brick red weft in the pebble weave.
Image shows digital mock-up of warp/weft with close up of the pebble weave structure.
For this first run, the fiber content will be 75% cotton / 25% linen, and Emily will be using the same Maurice Brassard yarn that is used for all Signature Line runs so they’ll be soft and supportive right off the loom. Pricing will be $90 per meter and available sizes will be determined after weaving has been completed. If you’ve been wishing for a bit more wrap width, you’ll be happy to hear that these handwoven wraps will be several inches wider than Signature Line wraps!
Now you may have seen in the chatter group that I was planning to run that design for the Simplicity Line after Midnight Sky. Due to both scheduling delays and some yarn minimum requirements, we won’t be able to run that this fall, so it seemed the perfect design for this first new collaboration! Emily will be doing some weft sampling on the warp, and the current plan is to run a similar color scheme next fall for the Signature Line with a different weave structure and different weft colors. Even though the same warp colors will be used, the difference in width, weave structure and weft colors will be sure to differentiate the handwoven from the machine woven and prevent any confusion.
As a somewhat related side note, the amount of work that weavers put into their work is one reason why I personally am opposed to the practice of flipping or reselling ABW wraps for more than their retail value. Our machine woven wraps are an awesome option for someone on a limited budget. But if you have a flexible budget and can spend $400-$700 on a wrap, then I would definitely encourage you to support a weaver rather than pay an inflated price for one of our machine woven wraps.
As always, if you love the colors from any ABW colorway and would like to use those same colors on your own custom handwoven, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most weavers work with Maurice Brassard colors, and I can tell you the exact names of the colors that I've used. My only request is that you only use that information for your own personal use, and if/when you were to sell your custom that you not use the ABW name or colorway name in advertising your wrap to sell. (For example, don't advertise it as "used the same colors as Apple Blossom Wovens Morning Glory".)
Alright, stepping off my soap box now! I hope you'll join me in welcoming Emily to this new position with Apple Blossom Wovens, and in appreciating all of the talented weavers who work so hard to create gorgeous wraps with which we snuggle our babies!
- Apple Blossom Wovens