There is nobody who loves a nice budget Handwoven, like I love a nice budget Handwoven. I have largely avoided the custom Handwoven craze, the stockings, the resale value, all of that noise. I certainly can appreciate a beautiful Handwoven when it passes through here, but my heart definitely goes out to those Handwoven wraps that remain accessible to the everyday wrappers out there – especially those that come with an important message behind them. When Kush Textiles asked to send me some of their Handwoven wraps to try out, how could I refuse?
In the tradition of some of my favorite Handwoven wrap brands, Kush Textiles is woven by artisan weavers in Guatemala. When I say “artisan weavers”, I mean Mayan women in the town of Cajola. Kush Textiles works with an organization, Para Adelante that focuses on advancing the opportunities of the women in the community of weavers that these woven wraps come from. When you purchase a woven from Kush Textiles, you are not only getting the opportunity to experience the extravagance of a handwoven that has been produced in limited quantities, you are also contributing to the community that this woven wrap came from. Kush Textiles is proud to be a part of building and maintaining the elementary school in the village that these wovens came from, as well as offering scholarships for women in the community to earn a higher education through a college degree or technical program. My interest in artisan handwoven wraps, is mainly driven by my desire to support the industries that have been creating fabric with which to wear our babies for generations now – yet are largely missing out on the market value that many Western weavers have been basking in. It is this awareness that puts brands like Kush Textiles firmly on my radar.
I have had the pleasure of testing not one, but two of the woven wraps that Kush Textiles is offering to the masses: The Duchess, and a Diamond Weave Garnet & Gold tester. They both were so different from each other, it is worth it to tell you about them both separately.
The Diamond Weave was the first to visit me. It stayed for over a month, so I had a long time to get a feel for it. Weighing in at around 318 g/m2, this medium-thick wrap had all kinds of support for a toddler. As you would expect from a handwoven, the weave was very loose, giving it a lot of bounce. Despite the fact that this wrap was blankety thick, it still had a very airy quality to it. The weave was loose enough to let air through, contributing to the kush and the infallible support that the wrap offered. It was heavy in hand though, so despite being airy – it would not be my first choice for a summer-weight woven wrap. The softness and moldability makes it completely acceptable for a squish wrap, despite the thickness.
Duchess was a totally different experience. It did not have the same “bounce” that the Diamond Weave had. It was a rock-solid handwoven, with tons of toddler support, but very little give. Weighing in at 364 g/m2, this handwoven rests comfortably in the “thick” category. In carries like the Double Hammock, I found that it was difficult to get a nice tight carry – as it had little stretch built in to the weave. But when it came to a ruck, this woven wrap killed it with the kush factor. I could wear my 30 lb. toddler with little to no movement over an hours’ time. I found that it was essential to get a nice tight carry with this wrap though, unlike the Diamond Weave which gave you some room for error.
Neither of the wovens had a texture I would describe as particularly grippy. It had just the right amount of staying power. The passes would slide with little to no effort, but the thickness would keep them in place once they were there. With both wovens, I was able to utilize some knotless finishes – with zero movement in any direction. Good thing too, because the knot on one of these beauties needs its own hashtag…
I am beyond thrilled to have gotten to visit with these beautiful handwovens. I know that the $435 price tag on a 3.5 meter woven may seem out of the “budget” range for some people. For me personally, this price is in line with the value that we *should* be placing on artisan weavers and the generations of experience that they are bringing to the table. It is time that we start compensating artisan weavers equally across the board, regardless of the country from which they originate. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it is one I feel strongly about.
Thank you Kush Textiles for the work that you are doing to bring these weavers into the light, and for dedicating yourselves to the principles of Fair Trade that should be standard anyway. To say I am looking forward to what the future holds for your company, would be an understatement. ❤