All About Fabric Choices

Each fabric type has its own pros and cons.  The pros are why I have each type on my website!  But the fabric options can be confusing to new parents and babywearers, so I hope the information below will help you figure out which type is best for your sling.

All SweetPea Ring Slings are double layered, with two different fabrics use, one on each side.  This creates my proprietary Eclipse sling shoulder, which allows the sling to be 100% visually reversible.   The shoulder, which I developed while wearing my own six children, is a mix  between a gathered and a pleated and is truly one of a kind. 

Your sling has two layers and I have several fabric types available as options.  Below you can find more information, pros and cons, for each fabric type.  If you need more help deciding, you can always send me a message!

This information is based on my own experiences while making SweetPea ring slings for the past 11 years, and after wearing my own six children.  It is purely opinion based and  pertains to the fabrics used for the SweetPea Ring Sling brand. 
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Strong, Supportive
Great for heavier babies and toddlers.  The fabric is stronger and helps distribute the weight of the baby better, across your shoulder and back.
Hot Weather Friendly
Lighter weight, breathable, better in humid, hot climates. 
Easy to Care For
Machine washable, easy to clean. 

Long lasting

All of my slings are built to last and are guaranteed for a year.  All fabrics wear out over time, through regular use and cleaning.  But these fabrics are built to last and have been proven to  last through multiple children.

Prettier
More colors and print options available.  If you want your sling to be beautiful in addition to functional, these fabrics offer more options.
Soft
Soft right out of the package.  Great for newborns or those with sensitive skin.

Cotton

The cotton that I use is strong and lasts for years.  It holds up the best of all my fabric types, wash after wash.  Moms have told me that they're still using 10-year-old cotton slings for each new baby because the slings are still holding strong (even though I try to convince them to buy something new - ha!).
  
Cotton is the most affordable option for ring slings because it is so widely available. Its wide diversity of colors and prints makes it the easiest and most fun to use in creating original, trendy ring slings that are never boring! 
  
The downfall of cotton is that it's thicker and can be hotter than other fabrics.  But this also means it provides stronger support for heavier babies.  These slings are machine washable and can be put in the dryer.  Just iron after washing to re-press the edges (rails) to make threading and adjusting easier.  

The two layers of cotton can be harder to adjust for new wearers, but this can be eased by following my threading instructions and having the sling pretty tight to you before putting the baby in.  That way you won't have to slide the fabric through the rings much at all to tighten the sling.  
All of my slings are double layered, so I use specific rings to ease this friction (of fabric vs rings and adjusting).

Linen

The linen I use is lighter in weight than the cotton. That makes it cooler in the summer.  Linen is commonly used for summer clothing items like shorts and shirts because of its cooler, airy qualities.  This is a good fabric option for anyone who lives in a very humid area or has a baby who tends to get hot and sweaty.  Linen is also strong and supportive for heavier babies and toddlers.

But it does wear out faster than cotton, particularly as it goes through the washing machine and dryer cycles.  You can prolong the life of your linen sling by washing and hang drying it instead.  Use an iron to re-press the edges. Another downfall of linen is that it wrinkles easily.  So if a linen sling is just thrown in your diaper bag or the backseat of your car, it will wrinkle a lot more than a cotton sling would.

Some manufacturers who sell linen that is very rough say that you need to "break it in."  This is not true of SweetPea Ring Slings.  All of my sling fabrics are carefully chosen and SOFT from the first use.  I don't think you should have to "break in" or wait to use your item.
 
SweetPea Ring Slings do not have any top-stitching on the outside of the slings where the baby sits.  
In my experience, this top-stitching can dig into a baby's chunky legs causing discomfort and marks.  
My slings do not have this issue.  I designed my slings this way after wearing my own chunky babies!

Silk

Silk is also lightweight, and it's great in the summer or the winter!  It's a natural fiber that adjusts to heat or cold, making it appropriate for all climates.

Silk is widely known as the most luxurious fabric on the planet.  It is beautiful.  Most silk has at least two different colors in the weave.  It shimmers and shines and changes colors as you move. 

Silk is also very strong and super supportive for heavier babies.  It was my top choice for my own heavier toddlers. 

Silk should be washed less often to preserve its luster.  You should also hang dry it to keep the fibers from breaking down.  You can machine wash and even dry if you must, but it will just cause your sling to wear out faster.  So it's recommended that you spot clean your silk sling whenever possible.  

But it's so beautiful!  If you can splurge when choosing a fabric, this is your pick!  I often fashion silk slings to match bridesmaids' dresses or for special occasions.
 
Because there are so many pros and cons to each type, I developed the "Premium Slings," first for myself, so that I could have the cute cotton print on one side and the benefits of another fabric on the other side!  I think it's a good compromise for all.
 

Water Sling Fabric

The fabric that I use for water slings is perfect for ... water!  It's lightweight and has little holes in it that allow it to dry much faster than other fabrics. 

Unlike other brands, my water slings are also double layered, which means they are more supportive too.  Most brands recommend that you ONLY wear your sling in the water, but my water slings can be used walking to and from the beach, at the pool or beach to walk around and get your baby to sleep, or even on really hot days when you need something more airy.  

I don't recommend water slings as everyday slings because they aren't as supportive as cotton, linen, or silk, so your shoulder and back will get tired faster.  But they are perfect for the job they are designed for.  

I love wearing my water sling and baby to the beach, so that my hands are free to carry a bunch of other things.  The fabric, when dry, is also PERFECT for wiping sand off of faces and hands.  It's very sand resistant!  

Because I specially choose the fabrics that I use for water slings, there aren't as many color choices as with the other fabrics.  But your water sling can be hung out with your towels or washed and dried in your machines.  Just watch out for Velcro.  It snags the water sling fabric!  If we were at the beach for a week, I would use the water sling during the day and then another sling at night while the water sling dried.