Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures

Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures

The basic process of weaving is fairly similar for all types of cloth,  however there are lots of variables in the weaving process that can be changed to create massive differences in how cloth feels and behaves, and one of those is weave structure. We’ve spent a long time perfecting our special ‘recipes’ for weaving our wraps, and have developed 3 weave structures, called Alchemy, Elements and Synergy. Each has been designed especially for safe comfortable babywearing, but have different wrapping properties to suit your preferences and wrapping style.

Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures
Weft face (left) and warp face (right) of an Alchemy weave wrap

Alchemy Weave

In Alchemy cloth, the pattern is made up from either the warp threads or weft threads showing on the face of the cloth. 

This means that the underside of the cloth is the reverse of what shows on the ‘right’ face. A yellow star on a blue background on the  right’ side of the cloth will show as a blue star on a yellow background on the opposite side of the cloth. (example pic).

This cloth is woven with a naturally longer ‘float’. This affects both the feels and the appearance of the cloth. The individual yarn colours have a clarity and vibrancy especially the warp as the warp and weft intersect less frequently, so the colours don’t blend together visually as much as they would with a tighter weave. The warp face especially will have a stronger depth of colour. 

In terms of the woven design, the longer float is like painting with a larger brush, so the details are  slightly less crisply defined (which works well with the hand-drawn nature of our patterns).

Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures
The same coloured weft woven on 3 different coloured warps (Alchemy weave)

The longer float means that the yarns aren’t pinned down tightly and the cloth has more movement to it. This creates a looser, floppy feel to the cloth. It allows it to mould to your shape without leaving pockets of slack cloth, and you can tighten specific,  individual sections of the wrap with ease. Yarns have more room to fluff up and retain their natural texture.
This cloth needs less ‘breaking in’ than a tighter weave, fibres often feel softer to the touch.

Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures
Warp Face of Elements Weave (left) and Alchemy Weave (right)

Elements Weave

Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures
Elements Weave

This weave has the same structure as the Alchemy above, but a shorter float. This creates a slightly denser cloth, so it will have a slightly higher GSM. The warp and weft colours blend together more than in Alchemy cloth, so that the intensity of the weft colour is softened. Threads are pinned down to create a tighter texture with more grip,and the details of the design show through more crisply. A greater surrounding area of cloth will be affected as you tighten, with each thread influencing the others around it more as they are more closely linked. This cloth is slightly stiffer to start off with and takes a little more breaking in than Alchemy, but should still be easy to use straight from new.

Synergy Weave

Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures
Synergy Weave: The same wefts woven on a mustard coloured warp (left) and purple coloured warp (right)

The cloth is woven on the same warp threads that we use for the Alchemy and Elements weave, but it is structured very differently. With the others, the warp is exposed so that it is visible and is therefore visually integral to the design. The Alchemy and Elements weaves are quite ‘binary’ in nature, you can always see both weft and warp yarn.

With double cloth like the synergy weave, there are two distinct groups of wefts, plus the warp. The warp runs through the centre of the cloth and the wefts encase it on either side. The warp is hidden for the most part, and doesn’t play a role in creating the design, it just shines through the cloth slightly, ‘tinting’ the weft colour. The two wefts then interlace in the same binary way that the warp and weft did with Alchemy and elements weave, so that one is visible on the top face of the cloth whilst the other is hidden on the reverse. So a red square on a blue background becomes a blue square on a red background when you flip the cloth over. The two wefts don’t affect each other in terms of colour, only the hidden warp lends its hue to them. With the other weaves, the warp and weft affect each other quite significantly, so the same weft woven on two different coloured warps can appear to be completely different colours. The colour change is far more subtle with double cloth. The structure of the weave also allows for a crisper finish of design and a much shorter float length than even the Elements weave.

Brushed Cotton Blankets

Our blankets use the same weave structure as the synergy cloth, and are woven on the same looms (using the full width of the loom for each blanket).

Once the blanket cloth has been woven it undergoes a brushing process. This brushing lifts some of the fibres out of the weft yarns and blends them together, This creates a soft, fluffy feel and makes the yarn appear to be a solid block of colour rather than lots of individual threads!
You can read more about our blankets.

2 thoughts on “Alchemy, Elements and Synergy: our 3 Weave Structures

  1. Angela says:

    Great post! Thank you for all the information and geeky photos. I love they as a company you are so willing (keen) to share your knowledge and experience with us!

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