Wraps come in multiple sizes (from size 1 to size 9+).
Your base size is simply the size of wrap you need to tie a front wrap cross carry (fwcc) when carrying one baby.
Why do I need to know my base size?
Base size is a way of standardising the wrapping instructions.
You can tie your wrap in lots of different ways, and we call these ‘carries’. Each carry will need a wrap that is long or short enough to complete all the steps and fasten off around you. We all have different sized bodies and babies, so we might each need to use a different size wrap to complete the same carry. Once you’ve calculated your own base size, you’ll know which size of wrap you’ll need for any particular carry!
What is my base size and how do I work it out?
Your base size can change over time, although it is pretty much always a long wrap (sizes 5 – 8 +)
Factors that can affect your base size for any particular wrap are:
- Your dress/chest size and height. This includes the relative length of your torso, how broad your shoulders are etc
- The size of your child
- Your wrapping experience; a more practised wrapper may be able to remove more slack from the wrap and therefore use less length
- The thickness/grippiness; you may need a slightly longer wrap if it is very thick.
- Variations in standard sizing. Our wraps go up in size by 50cm increments (so a size 6 is 4.7m, size 7 is 5.2m etc). Some companies use uneven methods of sizing, so their size 6 may be longer or shorter than ours.
- Your personal preference: Some people prefer to have as little cloth to work with as possible, other people like long swishy tails left over.
The old standard was to use your clothing size to determine wrap size, but this can be really misleading because the two don’t directly correlate. It is probably, roughly true to say that a UK size 12 correlates to roughly a size 6 wrap, but simply scaling up or down from that point won’t give an accurate idea of base. We recommend using our base size calculator which uses aspects of your torso dimensions to determine your base size and gives a more accurate picture than your clothing size would.
Your base size is likely to be between a size 5 and a size 8, depending on your personal preferences. Generally it is easier to have a slightly longer wrap and use up that extra length somehow than it is to struggle to tie off a a wrap that’s a bit too short for you.
Borrowing a wrap from a sling library or friend is really helpful if that is an option for you.
Once you know your base size, you can use it to work out what length of wrap you would need for specific carries.
Carries will often be described as needing a ‘base-1’ wrap or a ‘base+2’ length wrap, rather than just saying ‘use a size 4’.
This allows you to personally calculate the wrap you’ll need to use. You may need a size 4 wrap for a ‘base-2 carry, whereas someone else might need a size 5 to do the exact same carry.
Find your base size on the chart below, then check what type of carries you are likely to be able to tie with the other sizes.
Resources like Wearing Wiki allow you to sort carries according to base size.
The Firespiral team all have different sizes of body, ages of child and styles of wrapping, yet these balance out for us all having a base size of 6!
At Firespiral we stock wraps in sizes 1-9 , but we can make longer sizes by request- just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’re looking for!