I have been incredibly blessed to host a 2012 Racing Stripe Pamir dyed by Turquoise Fields. (Sadly, Turquoise Fields is no longer offering custom dye jobs.) I thought for sure I would never get my hands on a Pamir! While Mr. P was with me I decided (with the help of another weaver) to really study the weave structure. I’m sure I am not the only babywearer who enjoys a bit of fiber geekery. We broke out a textile pick glass and took some insane macros.
Here’s one of the infamous racing stripes:
Picks per inch/Inch (PPI or p.p.i.) is the number of weft threads per inch of woven fabric. A pick is a single weft thread, hence the term. In general, the higher the picks per inch, the finer the fabric is.
Ends per inch (EPI or e.p.i.) is the number of warp threads per inch of woven fabric. In general, the higher the ends per inch, the finer the fabric is.
This Pamir is around 36 PPI and 120 EPI. It is warp faced dominant and very fine (I’m talking around 30/2). The weft is around 20/2 or 16/2 double ply (I think). The racing stripes are created by using thicker weft fiber than the general weft. Some say that the stripe pattern impacts the way the wrap wears – thick stripes go under the bum for extra support. Aesthetically, I am drawn to the racing stripes as I need a bit of flair.
It is woven in a dense plain weave. It is light in hand but extremely sturdy. With the fiber so fine it is truly a wonder how uniformly it is woven- it is almost unfathomable that it was done by hand let alone on an ancient 100 year old counter balance loom. How do you do it Maria? You must have amazing rhythm when it comes to throwing the shuttle.
I feel the density of the weave makes this very resistant to pulls. Some say Pamir is a “beater” wrap or workhorse. I about fainted when I first heard that, as I typically think of a beater/workhorse as a cheap easy care wrap that I do not mind getting dirty – not a $1,000-$3,000 natty wrap. Many rave that the undyed fibers used in the natty form have amazing wrap qualities that can hold the sloppiest of wrap jobs. And many lovers of Pamir even claim their natty/undyed wraps (natty as in natural, not Natibaby) are the true workhorses and they treat their dyed Ps with more care. For example, a dear friend in the wrap community participated in a color run, where they throw powder made from cornstarch, baking soda, and FD and C dye in her natty P, and he came out of the wash unscathed.
Unbelievable, right? Here’s proof!
She says this, “They are all woven natty. They are released via auction a couple times a year, and each year is woven a bit differently.
Pamir is very light and thin in hand, but has some of the most amazing wrapping qualities.
My favorite years feel like that ace bandage, hugging wrap that support from newborn to toddler.
They are the only wrap that I can nurse a 40-lb toddler in a FWCC and walk around at an arts fest without being uncomfortable.”
I also hear he can beat any parking lot dust he meets.
Still not convinced? “Thin in hand” “Ace bandagey” “Folds small” “Extremely supportive” “Fuss free” “Effortless and comfortable””Light” “Perfect amount of stretch” “The going to sleep wrap”
But what does high silk and low silk mean? For this, I turned to the owner of Black Rose, as her Pamir stash is dreamy. “The high silks peeped there heads back in 2012 if my memory serves me right. They are 60% bourette silk and 40% egyptian cotton and low has 8%. The silk adds a bit of grippiness and through the years the GSMs ranged ever so slightly changing the WQs a bit. This year the Spring 2016 auction only had 8% silks and one high silk and they are being reported as being the spongiest of all the years so it seems they’ve been getting thicker since the first release of silks.”
Black Rose is 24.5 inches stih (soft tape in hand) in width.
It features lovely long tapers. The taper depth is 20 inches with a 60 degree angle. Being a fluffy mom, I appreciate a good taper as I can tie with the tippy tails on a shorter wrap. But how do you measure the depth of angle of a taper? Some use a Vernier bevel protractor. Since I did not have $300 to drop on one, I turned to Sleeping Baby Productions for a good explanation. “”Depth of taper” refers to the difference between the long and short sides of the wrap, on one end of the wrap. The sling length is calculated from the center of the taper, so with deeply-tapered wraps, a medium (75″) sling could have a short edge that’s 63″ long and a long edge that’s 87″ long. Please keep this in mind if you’re using a wrap with very deep tapers, as it’s best for the taper *not* to end up in the rings. In the image below, you can see how the remaining wrap piece is cut. So if you have a 470cm wrap and I cut it to make a size small sling (using 206cm, measured from the center of the taper), the remaining shorty will be less than 264cm because of the taper depth. The taper depths of various major wrap brands are listed below. For reference, Ellaroos are straight across with fringe and Easycares are straight across, for a 0″ taper; BBSlens and Natibaby wraps have a 4-5″ taper; Oscha tends to be between 4-6″; Hoppediz are about 5″; Didymos are between 7-10″ depending on the weave; Girasols and Dolcinos are generally 8″; Storchenweige, Pavo, and Lenny Lamb wraps are 10″; Kokadis are 16-18″; Ellevills are upwards of 24″.
Ever wonder why the hem on the Pamir remains natty? Why, it’s because polyester thread is used. Polyester is strong and will not shrink. However, dye that works on cotton and other natural fibers will not work on polyester.
Wondering how to get your hands on one? A great starting place is the Facebook group, For the love of Mr. P. It is a closed group, but if you are friends with a member they can add you. Also, follow Vatanai on Facebook, as they will post when the next batch of auctions are on their Facebook page. You have to keep your eyes peeled as their last post in February just said “Hello to all, amazing unicorn is coming again…”
Well, I must admit I do not want to send this on and would love for Black Rose to be mine. Now, I cannot wait to try other years as well as the high and low silks. Feel free to send yours my way and I will love and geek out like no other.