Let's Talk DIY Wraps
In all of my years of teaching babywearing, one of the most popular questions I've been asked about are DIY carriers. People are looking for more budget friendly alternatives than a $200 wrap. While I do carry quality, lower cost wraps, I'd still rather see you make a safe wrap than putting your child at risk. While these options won't compare to an actual woven wrap, it is a great way to get started and see if wrapping is something that works for you.
The fabric you choose for your DIY wrap is very important. You want to find a woven fabric that isn't too thick & isn't too thin. It is too thick if it doesn't wrap easily around your arm. It is too thin if, when held to the light, you can see everything behind the fabric. Stay with natural fibers as synthetic fibers don't tend to breathe as well. And when you're wrapping a human on you, it does get a bit warm!
I suggest osnaburg. It comes in a natural and is 100% cotton. It can be dyed and softens up very nicely!
Here are some that I dyed myself.
I've seen some DIY osnaburg wraps pop up on babywearing swaps labeled as "osnaburg linen." That isn't a thing ;) Make sure you find out for sure what fabric the wrap is actually made from!
Linen & linen blends can be made into wraps also. Linen is known to be a bit airy and lighterweight. It drapes nicely and softens up nicely too. But again, just make sure it isn't too thin!
Crinkle gauze gets thrown into the mix a lot. The issue with gauze is that some are quite thin and don't offer the support needed and expected from wraps.
Some seersucker materials can work also. Again, you'll want to make sure it feels supportive, with no stretch. Here's one I made from a seersucker.
I've often seen people make wraps and then resell them on sites like ebay, etsy & hyenacart. They want to make money so they purchase the material and cut it in half. The issue with this is that it makes the wrap too narrow. I've seen some less than 20" wide. This isn't safe, especially for larger babies. I usually stay from 25"-27" in width, just like a standard wrap, but have seen others go up to 30" in width.
I believe that one of the greatest reasons people suggest making your own stretchy wrap is because the edges won't need to be finished. This is true, however a stretchy wrap won't last and is often difficult to get properly tightened. You will need to finish the edges of a non-stretchy wrap by either serging or hemming them. This will allow your wrap to be used and washed and used some more!