Where are the Storchenwiege® baby slings produced and what types of fabric do we use to produce our top-quality baby slings?
In Europe, there are special requirements for the production of specially made baby slings; it is only when they are combined which ensures that we can produce a high-quality baby sling. The first requirement is that the source products (fibres and dyes) must be ecologically safe.
Our Storchenwiege® baby slings are made of 100% cotton. Practical tests with slings made with a 50% linen mix showed that they were not well suited for practical use, which is why all our slings are made of pure cotton.
Half-linen slings are not soft or supple enough and tend to form wrinkles when being used. In both thread systems, that is, in the warp and the weft (lengthwise and crosswise), we use highly stable cotton yarns. With our modern weaving technology, it is not necessary to "dress" the warp, i.e. slick down the fibres which stand out, smoothing out the thread of the warp with special starches - this is another way to avoid introducing any additives to the fabric. Thanks to the special way our fabric is produced, we achieve an excellent "inner stability", which has a very valuable effect on knot stability. This "inner stability" of the fabric also makes itself felt in a most positive manner when, for example, the sling still needs to support a baby's head stably, or when carrying larger children. Then, the special fabric construction makes the sling particularly comfortable to wear - wearers can really "feel it in their skin".
We produce all our slings in Germany as we want to make sure that the high requirements we set to our baby slings can really be checked. For this reason, we do not produce them in developing countries such as India, as there, we would not be able to check that the dyes and additives used are only safe and environmentally harmless. In some places, very questionable dyes are used, and, as generally known, child labour is practised to a great extent. Another reason we produce our slings in Germany is that here, we can produce them highly efficiently with ultra-modern technology, and thus safeguard jobs. In this way, we fulfil our corporate social responsibilities.
Our slings are woven using pre-dyed cotton threads in a linen-weaving mill in Upper Lusatia, Saxony: a very old, traditional stronghold of the textiles industry.
Our cotton threads are dyed at a dyeing works in Thuringia, whose entire range of products is continuously inspected to ensure they comply with ecological regulations; all products are all certified with the „Oeko-Tex Standard 100“ label. At this factory, it is a matter of course to use modern closed-cycle dyeing processes.
Using purely mechanical Sanforisation (shrinkage control) in the last stage of production, we pre-shrink the fabric of the sling, making it shorter and narrower. Shrinkage in itself is a normal process, but if this reduction in length and width is not taken into account during production there can be unpleasant surprises when fabrics are washed at home. We carry out the pre-shrinking in a purely mechanical manner, i.e. without using water, chemicals or other additives. By using this treatment, we can promise you that our slings will only shrink very slightly (by about 2%) when you wash them at home, and you can be certain that, after washing it, you will still be able to use the full length of cloth that you expected when you bought it. This convenient treatment saves you from unpleasant surprises!
Finally, our baby slings are also sewn together in Germany, thus safeguarding local seamstresses' jobs. We support a workshop for the disabled by giving them our leftover material.
What process do we use to weave the fabric?
Producing a good baby sling requires the selective use of special weaves and fabric constructions.
The fabric must be soft, and preferably elastic to a certain extent in both directions. It must guarantee that the knots will hold well (they must not slip even when placed under a heavy load) and that the sling will be very comfortable to wear.
This cannot be achieved only by choosing a special weave. As well as selecting the right weave, above all, producing the perfect fabric requires choosing the right thread thickness and number of threads in each direction. If this is not taken into account, even with the same weave, as well as very stable, thick fabric, fabrics can also be produced which are very weak and thin, and thus unsuitable for slings.
We use two different weaves for our baby sling:
Broken twill is the ideal weave for a good baby sling. Its is a shaft weave using four weaving shafts. All our striped patterns are made using this weave.
However, even using this weave, it only makes a really good baby sling if all the other conditions are also right: the type of thread (single-ply or multiple-ply yarns), the thickness of the thread and the number of threads in the warp (lengthwise) and weft (crosswise).
Using multiple-ply cotton yarns in the in the warp and the weft guarantees ideal elasticity, as multiple-ply cotton yarns are known to be more elastic than two single, unplied threads.
The broken twill weave is used very often to produce baby slings, but if the different factors have not been properly chosen, or if costs are cut when choosing the material, even this weave produces very unstable, thin slings, which are less suitable. The combination of factors we use to construct our material produces one of the best baby slings you will find on the market.
Braided or diamond twill:
Braided, or diamond twill is used for our unicolour slings in the Leo range. This is a weave which is somewhat more complicated to produce. It is also a shaft weave, but with ten shafts, which has proven particularly suitable for good baby slings in many ways.
When all the other factors are right (see above), baby slings using this weave boast wonderfully regular elasticity, and at the same time, the material is extremely stable. This is because the way the threads meet is ideal, and the fabric stretches neutrally, the same in both directions. But, once again, it is only the combination of all the important factors when constructing the material which ensures that we can produce truly excellent baby slings.
Sometimes, the Jacquard technique is also used for baby slings. This weaving technique was developed especially to produce images on materials and is the most difficult, complicated and also expensive weaving technique. The Jacquard technique is employed specifically to switch between different weaves, giving certain parts of the surface a different appearance; in combination, these create a picture on the material. By adding different dyes, this can produce very high-quality textile, such as patterned tablecloths and bedclothes, blankets and so on.
As it combines different weaves n the same surface, the Jacquard technique does not always guarantee that the material is sufficiently elastic. For this reason, slings produced using the Jacquard technique sometimes have irregular elasticity, which can make them less suitable for carrying a baby. The advantage is the picture on the material, but the features required for a good baby sling can not always be achieved using this weaving technique.
Jacquard baby slings are more expensive, due to the complicated weaving technique, without providing any more advantages other than the special look they can have. Our chosen aim is to achieve the best possible value for money, which is why we do not use this weaving technique as it is too expensive and only suitable to a limited extent.
Slings made of 100% certified organic cotton
Our new slings in the Louise Bio range are produced using 100% certified organic cotton. They are woven using the tried-and-tested broken twill weave and, like all Storchenwiege® products, stand out for their extremely good diagonal elasticity which allows them to support the child's body correctly and continually. The sling fits very well and hardly needs to be tightened at all, even with bigger children. Our new Storchenwiege® baby slings in organic cotton are also secure and comfortable to wear.
Printed with an attractive Celtic flower pattern, the new Storchenwiege® baby slings in the Louise Bio range are a real eye-catcher. The pattern spreads out towards one side so that you can see the difference between the two edges of the material and thus tie the sling very easily.
You can of course also purchase the new pattern as a Storchenwiege® RingSling.