‘OMG help! I’ve caught my wrap with my ring and there’s a huge pull! Please tell me it’s not ruined!’
I see these posts a lot. People panic when a thread pulls, breaks or shifts as they have no idea what the actual problem is so can’t imagine how simple it usually is to fix. Totally understandable, we pay a lot of money for these and have very strong emotional attachment to them as well, but also totally avoidable. Fixing a pull really is simple. Solving a broken thread is almost as simple. Thread shifting just needs shifting back again… I’ve given loving fix-up attention to a lot of wraps. They get sent to me often as I’m totally happy to help. Confidence is just about knowledge and practice.
Why do wraps pull? Warp threads run the entire length of the wrap. If they are snagged there is a lot of thread there to potentially pull out of the weave. This is when you get really long pulls and a taut thread running the length of the wrap. Weft threads are naturally tighter as they run rail to rail, and are therefore harder to pull. The best way to avoid them? Use your wraps! More use = a tighter, stronger weave. Also make sure you wash your wrap before first use unless it’s specifically sold as a ‘finished’ product. The first wash helps fibres knit together and plumps and settles the threads. If you use a woven wrap in loom state you are risking thread shifting, where patches of thread shift out of place and leave gaps in the weave (you heard me, holes in your wrap!). Other prevention techniques are pretty obvious, avoid wrapping while wearing jewellery that can snag, be careful where you put it etc., but giving your beauty the attention it deserves will go far.
The first step when fixing any pull is to manipulate the wrap around the pull. Often with a small pull you can work it back into the weave with a bit of gentle tugging! Hold the wrap either side of the pull and work it in circles while pulling outwards, gently trying to manipulate the thread. This should reduce any tension and may even mean you don’t need to get the needle out 😉 Fixing a small pull (less than an inch or so long) involves using a needle to guide the thread back into the weave. If you identify where the thread lies in the weave you can pull the slack through gradually until you have a series of tiny bumps that will flatten themselves as the wrap is used as normal (I tend to wash wraps after fixing any issues to tighten up the threads again). Long pulls can be worked back in the same way, but if you’ve still got a lengthy pull after a good wiggle to relieve the tension it’s worth giving it the snip. If you snip it in the centre of the pull you can weave each end of the thread back into the wrap in the direction it was initially travelling. The two ends will cross each other and the friction will hold it in place. The same guidance applies for single broken threads. There is a great visual guide here http://firespiralblog.co.uk/mending-a-long-pulled-warp-thread/, and trust me, it’s simpler and easier than it sounds!
Ultimately, we trust this woven fabric to be strong and durable enough to carry our babies, so trust that you can’t hurt it and its strong enough to take a few pulls and snapped threads if they do happen. Don’t be fooled by softness and beauty into thinking they are delicate and will fall apart in your hands. Check your wraps over regularly, fix pulls while they’re small, wash them sensibly. Most importantly, use them to create memories that will last a lifetime.