No one likes to have the sheets pulled up over their eyes. Well, unless you’re my two year old, who loves to sink down to the foot of the bed and "hide" from Daddy. But most consumers don't. Period.
Recently, babywearers have begun asking questions about wrap design. Is it better if companies design their own patterns, or is it okay if they take standard lines from the mill and repurpose them for wraps?
As a manufacturer, I'm curious how the wrap world feels about this. A textile designer specializing in jacquard weaving can interpret a 2D rendering into 3D, and give great insight into the process. My graphic designers didn't design Herringbone, for example - a weave/pattern that's been around for centuries - but I commissioned the mill's design team to retrofit it for use in wraps. Originally the pattern ran width-wise, and the fabric weight has to also be adjusted.
I think there's room in the market and even within one company for combination of original, borrowed, and previously copyrighted designs. The sticking point for me, (as a consumer and collector), is disclosure. I want to know who designed the wrap design I love so much. For example, finding that a friend of mine designed Nati Clovers made me love it all the more! I've worked with mill designers, graphic designers, and surface/textile designers. Our creative director is the latter and also a wrapper herself, which I think helps! The alchemy is part of the fun indeed.
I asked some of my industry peers how they felt about the question.
"There are so many designs, preexisting and otherwise, that would look amazing on a wrap. As all of our designs are done by either Rhys, his brother Owen, or myself it is quite straightforward for us to share the origins of each design. Being artists ourselves it is important to us to give credit to the creator of each design. However, many industries that use textiles often don't disclose the original designer of each fabric they use and therefore we don't feel it is absolutely necessary." --Juliette Daum of Baie Slings
"We do all our own designing by hand and don't get them polished up by a textiles designer either- we like the primitive, hand drawn look (but we know that it isn't everyone's cup of tea). There are two areas at work here, artistry and creative design. Creative design makes nice textiles, but that touch of artistry makes the magic that carries some wraps beyond curtain fabric. In my arts degree I always remember my tutor saying that good artists learn the rules so that they can then work out the best ones to break. Having 'non' textile designers involved or controlling the process helps with that rule breaking." --Jennifer Kate Topping of Firespiral Slings
"Working alongside a fashion designer who understands scale, form, pattern and the human form is a lovely process that produces uber unique design that suits the product and the human form. This pattern is then translated by a professional woven textile designer at the mill, we ensure that we get the best aesthetic from the design and the ultimate weave for the wrap. This takes trial after trial, samples, test runs, colour blankets to get to perfection. I am sure you could just pick a pattern out of a book and copy it and it could make a brilliant wrap but you probably wouldn't boast about it, when you have spent 6 months developing a design you can't help but tell the story and gush about it's beauty! Also at the sling studio we enjoy the alchemy!" --Alicia Jeffrey of Sling Studio
Poe Wovens will include the origin of design with each release. Look for details in product descriptions.