Thin or thick? Eight myths and facts about the gsm of the wraps
Are thin wraps for babies only? Is a thicker wrap a bad choice for hot days? Are thick “blankets” really self-wrapping and forgiving mistakes? The gsm of the wrap has become a modern babywearing fetish – and although it’s very important, there’re many misunderstandings around it. Let’s go through some of the truths and myths regarding the gsm of a fabric.
Thin wraps are for small babies only
False: thin wraps are easier to tie with newborns and smaller babies but they can be used safely and comfortably with older children too. The fact is that thinner fabric isn’t cushy on your shoulders and you can feel it more and more when your child gets heavier. But if you tight the wrap properly and remove all the slack there shouldn’t be any problems while carrying toddlers (especially when a wrap has a grippy structure which prevents from digging). It’s all about your preferences: some people prefer thinner wraps (even with big children), some – don’t.
Thicker wraps are better for toddlers
True: thin wraps are easier to tie with newborns and smaller babies and it’s more difficult (but not impossible) to give a small baby a good position in a thick wrap. Thicker wraps are usually cushier than the thinner ones so they may give better support for heavier babies. But again - it’s all about your preferences: some people prefer thicker wraps (even with small children), some – don’t.
Thick ‘blanket’ is easier to tighten
False: in fact, thicker wraps are more difficult to tighten properly because the thicker a wrap is, the more force it requires to be tightened properly and to tie a perfect knot. That’s why very thick ‘blankets’ (with the gsm above 300 g/m2) are not recommended for new babywearers.
Thick ‘blanket’ will forgive all the mistakes
False: although it may sometimes seem easier to tighten a thick wrap because it stays in place even if you won’t tighten it precisely ‘strand by strand’, it still – like every wrap – needs to be tightened correctly in order to work well and give the baby and you the best position.
Thin wraps are perfect for the hot weather
True: the more fabric you have on yourself, the hotter you feel.
You shouldn’t use thicker wraps in the hot weather
False: it’s not only the gsm that decides about it. The wrap can be quite thick but still airy (and in consequence nice to use in the hot weather) thanks to the loose weave (like in the LittleLove series) and/or the blend with linen, silk or bamboo. If a wrap is densely woven and thick in the same time – it’ll probably work better on colder days.
High GSM means thick wrap
False: even thought high gsm and thickness of the wrap often go hand in hand and the high gsm wrap is heavy, it doesn't have to be thick - it depends on the blend and weave. Sometimes a "thicker" or "medium" wrap - is lightweight and vice versa - a "thin" wrap turns out to be heavy because of density.
A thick wrap is fluffy on shoulders
It depends on the weave and blend. "Double weave" wraps, even medium gsm will be more fluffy on shoulders than dense and heavy wrap. Additionally wool blend is softer than, for example, linen.