The release of Sparkleberry marks the anniversary of one of the first wraps we considered a possibility among our many trials and errors, Garden Nuptial. It was thick, luxurious, and cozy, but ultimately prohibitively expensive and too much of a departure from the norm for a debut release (of course, we choose to launch with something even weirder—Parterre, but anyway) . . .
Jennifer has been using our Garden Nuptial sample almost everyday for a year, she even brought it with her on our retreat last month to snuggle with in front of the fire and it has softened to the most irresistible piece of cloth imaginable. It is still thick of course, but it is no longer so heavy and unwieldily. It is cushy, supportive, unique, and has maintained its sheen through a year of washing, wearing, and unnecessary roughness.
Based on several other reviews of Garden Nuptial we decided we should offer a very small selection of similarly constructed wraps under Pavo Guild. Sparkleberry will only appeal to a limited number of babywearers and the price is still high, requiring us to limit the run accordingly.
We will follow the release with a draw for a full set of Sparkleberries on our Facebook page in order to continue the fun!
As always with Guild, these wraps would not be possible without the genius of Bethanne Knudson and the entire crew at The Oriole Mill and Sew Co. Our unending thanks!
Jennifer and I are so happy to share with you the work of Vandeloo Woven through Pavo Textiles. We greatly respect talented creator Jamie Vandeloo's work and aesthetic and are proud and honored to have her high quality and carefully considered wraps available through our site.
When Jamie first began to weave I saw immediately that something extraordinary was taking place: she synthesizes color like no other, stays true to herself, is a perfectionist to a fault, and puts her heart and soul into every wrap she weaves. Not content to stick with one idea she is constantly pushing herself to learn new techniques, try different structures, and experiment with yarn.
Jamie caught my eye immediately when I first got involved in the baby wearing community. She always had the wraps I most coveted, she won all the design contests, and she had an eloquent unthreatening way of bringing you around to her point of view even in the most contentious arguments. She was quick to try and teach new carries, was honest and ruthless in her reviews of wraps, and quickly built a trustworthy reputation based on her sincerity and candor.
Jamie and I got to know each other finally by working on an Oscha design competition together, I admired her integrity and her unique way of looking at problems—she approached things from a different angle and I was impressed with her creative mind. Jamie's entry Braid was chosen by Oscha who saw its potential and now it is a classic design in their line.
We are excited to offer such an accomplished designer alongside Pavo Textiles usual offerings and cannot wait to see what more she has in store for us.
Jamie is gifted and strong, Vandeloo Woven will exceed our expectations.
Plus, there's that hair.
We are happy to finally have our summery stripes ready to go! We named them San Diego as a nod to our West Coast roots and for the wonderful mamas in the San Diego area babywearing community.
You will find Form by Pavo very different for our original Guild line, we use short staple cotton that is more affordable and as a result the hand is much drier and has an earthy organic feeling. We are loving these wraps on the beach, at the park, and just out and about. You can leave one in the car, keep one in the diaper bag, and lend them to your friends!
What people are saying about San Diego
Our first official Pavo Guild with The Oriole Mill wrap Etini Magnolia is available now on our site.
The detailed, intimate floral design that is Etini evokes the lush tropical florals found in the post-Impressioninst work of Gauguin. Although influenced by the Impressionist's use of negative space and the interplay of light, Gauguin stretched Impressionism beyond its boundaries, engaging the viewer to reconsider how line and colour came together to create space and form. Etini is nature re-imagined. It is the raw beauty of Gauguin's tropics brought to life through the intricacies of weaving.
We hope you like it!
When we sat down to formulate our business plan for Pavo Textiles, one of our initial goals was to locate a reliable mill in the United States working with natural fibers and a transparent manufacturing process. If we did not find the right mill for our venture Pavo would remain an intangible concept. File under: Dreams
Our intent was to find a mill in the United States, but we cast our net wide, looking at mills from all over the world in order to compare price, skill, sourcing, and technique. The more time we invested in our search, the more it became clear to us that we absolutely needed to find a mill domestically. The number of textile mills in the United States had been quickly dwindling and when those mills closed, decades of knowledge and expertise were quietly being lost to the dust of history. From 1997 to 2010, over 1200 textiles mills closed, with most weaving equipment in those mills being shipped overseas to be used in mills producing cheap textiles, destined for import to the United States. Between 2004 and 2009, almost forty percent of the jobs in the textile industry were lost with such jobs being outsourced to cheaper labor in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
We were firm in our conviction to produce American-made textiles and we renewed our search with gusto. Our initial efforts were disappointing; there were a limited number of mills who could produce to the quality and specifications we required and those that were able to do so were decidedly wary of working with an unknown entity, which is what Pavo was at the time.
In our search one mill we heard about over and over again was The Oriole Mill; they came highly recommended by our contacts in the industry, and were spoken of with a hushed, reverent awe.
The Oriole Mill was founded in 2006 by Stephan Michelson and Bethanne Knudson as the textile industry in the United States was quickly transitioning production to cheaper overseas facilities and leaving laid-off workers and deserted towns in its wake. While other mills were closing their doors, Oriole was setting up shop. To say that this was a bold, risky, daring move is most certainly an understatement. In the face of a flagging industry focused on cheap disposable goods The Oriole Mill is deeply committed to weaving high quality textiles made with the finest natural fibers and have made a reputation for being innovative, independent, and luxurious. Their ideology embodied everything we wanted to be able to say and do with our textiles. Oriole seemed like a natural fit for Pavo since we shared many of the same convictions: the desire to create heirloom quality products, fair wages, the use of natural fiber, superior design, unsurpassed technical skill, and a deep and abiding commitment to high quality American made products. We wanted in.
For us, it was a match made in heaven. So we called. We emailed. We called again. It took months before anyone at The Oriole Mill would even talk to us. In hindsight, it is not surprising; they are a small artisan mill with exclusive clientele and they offer a unique service no longer found in the States and we were a buzzing fly with an unknown end product.
By the time we met Bethanne and Stephan they had taken on rock-star status, but were even more impressive in person. Bethanne is a passionate artist and educator. She has the energy of a lightening bolt in both body and mind. She is a masterful technician and designs the cloth from the fiber to the loom, taking into consideration the innate structure of the fabric and what it can support. Bethanne reminds us of Michelangelo, who was able to see the form of the figure within the stone before the first cut.
Our relationship began with reworking Oriole's English Sonnet design to suit the desired (and required) characteristics of a woven wrap, and, at Bethanne's suggestion, developing Penumbra as a parallel release to create the beginnings of two distinct collections for Pavo Textiles: En Plein Air and Effets de Soir.
After ten months of working with The Oriole Mill we are thrilled to announce our exclusive partnership and co-branding under the label
named for our mutual desire to thrive while producing luscious textiles in a constantly shifting market and to also capture the synchronicity of the birds in both our brand names. The Oriole Mill produces home furnishings that complement Pavo Textiles’s collections, and Pavo Textiles will work with The Oriole Mill to extend our product line and continue our commitment to producing strong, safe, beautiful woven baby wraps. We plan to innovate and overlap as much as possible, incorporating our collective designs with the traits appropriate to woven wraps to bring you the finest textiles made in the United States.
Pavo Guild will distinguish itself from Pavo Form in that it will be made from the finest most luxurious fiber on the market, and will be woven exclusively under the partnership of The Oriole Mill.
In addition to The Oriole Mill we are also deeply indebted to Libby O'Bryan of the adjacent Sew Co, who is responsible for our fine finishing and the development of our final product. She spent hours of her life aligning the border of Parterre, and adjusted our raw size chart to allow for little to no waste in the cutting room. She asked all the right questions and had all the right answers as we fumbled through the explanation and demonstration of our woven wraps. The combined forces of The Oriole Mill and Sew Co listened intently as we explained our product—its need to be weight bearing, what safety standards it must pass, how it should feel to parent and baby—and they are continuing to listen and innovate as we grow in our relationship.
Pavo Textiles is incredibly lucky and infinitely grateful to be working with both The Oriole Mill and Sew Co. as we begin our exclusive collaboration into woven wraps and beyond.
Authentic, simple, elegant, luxurious.
These are the principles that inform the Pavo aesthetic. Working with several different mills and designers over the last year we have seen our concepts evolve and divide. While all are true to the spirit of Pavo Textiles, we saw a need to introduce a new narrative; one that will live alongside our original artisanal line.
We wanted to offer wraps that would be playful and fun: the type of wrap you take to an afternoon at the beach or on a relaxed early evening walk to the park. We wanted these wraps to be the ones that your littles reached for first when making a wrap fort or for swinging in a hammock. We wanted them to be reliable, lighthearted, classic, and effortless. A storyline to encourage spontaneity in your routine.
With our carefully coloured stripes and fanciful hearts, we have put together the beginning of a collection that will define our new line: Pavo Form. Woven with natural fibers, a brighter palette, and conversational motifs, the textiles in this collection have a more casual look and feel, with the same craftsmanship you have grown to expect from us. Pavo Form is a relaxed and playful Pavo. It is the perfect exemplification of the form and substance that drive Pavo Textiles.
And, as always, made in the United States.
Pavo Form will complement Pavo Textile's artisanal line, the soon to be re-branded Pavo Guild, and will be making its debut near the end of August 2013
Natural Otomi samples
Zebra may not just be my favorite Pavo wrap, it may be my favorite wrap ever. It starts off smooth, soft, and slinky, and washes up to reveal texture and full body. Zebra is 100% cotton (long staple Egyptian and American), mercerized for strength and sheen, and was woven in just three colourways for us: Magenta, Chocolate, and Granite. Zebra has a silvery frosty appearance, like the grass at dawn or a sage leaf, because of the way the warp subdues the fill.
Zebra is soft enough for newborns, both newborn babies and a newborn wrappers.
The pattern is a classic and ubiquitous zebra skin in a small repeat and we have included a subtle teaching rail to aid you in any new wrapping territory you may be experimenting with.
We are thrilled to be able to offer you Zebra in Magenta and Chocolate and hope you appreciate it as much as we do! We are developing two other animal skins, but Zebra in Magenta and Chocolate remain just a sample run while we hear your feedback.
A penumbra is a partial shadow. During an eclipse, the penumbra is the area between full shadow and full illumination. It is the in-between area where light and dark meet and shadows come out to play. The whimsical looping of black and white in Penumbra Shadow reminds us that nothing can ever truly be seen in black and white; there is always a little grey area in between.
Penumbra was born from one of Pavo Textile's first samples, Procresco. Developed by our artisan mill, it is a playful energetic design woven from all local materials. It is considered fiber forward, a designation reserved for textiles sourced, woven, and finished in the United States.
After Shadow and Lunar we are channeling the '80s again with Penumbra and a hot pink fill we call Syzygy, we think it is really fun and happy. Bright lights big city and all that (actually, that was really depressing). Everything aligned and Syzygy was born. 100% cotton 280g/m2.
You may recognize Sara, and her little darling, from the babywearing community on our Instruction page. Sara and her photographer sister, of Beth Aubrey Photography, offered to help Pavo with the shooting of the wraps and with putting together the FWCC sequence. We are so grateful to this talented trio!
Today will never happen again—today we received the first delivery of wraps to Pavo East (Jennifer and I are splitting distribution). I ran out and told Aaron, our delivery man, all about our venture and he shares our excitement, well either that or he was scared of my maniacal glee. J$ and I vacillate between thrilled and terrified, we wake up in the night in different time zones and know the other is up suffering la folie circulaire as well. I suppose that is normal for any start up. We only hope you and your babies love and treasure the wraps we have created with our manufacturing partners as much as our families do.
I am so thankful for our patient and understanding mill and for our incredibly talented seamstress, who worked long intense hours on the puzzle of cutting Parterre and placing the borders precisely on each wrap, figuring out how many wraps per roll we could get with the least amount of waste, and nimbly making changes as inevitable shortages arose.
Right now we are doing quality control and meeting regulation requirements, we will announce on our Facebook page once the store goes live.
The first release is appropriately neutral to represent the early spring landscape before it bursts with colour in just a few short weeks.
Parterre is the name of the design we are using for our current samples, it describes the romantic fluid floral elements, but also the rigidity of the repeat, which is walled in by a border at the middle of the wrap to mark the center for ease of use. It is the first in our En Plein Air series, the story of a painter traveling the world for inspiration with her baby held close, working al fresco, studying botany and colour theory. She may become a landscape architect, she may become a scientist, we will follow her journey and delight in her discoveries.
Out for review in Parterre we have Cobalt, Moraine, Sylvan, and Acanthus. According to our tester pool of the four the Acanthus sample is the lightest weight and has a desirable bandage-like feel when wrapped, while Cobalt, Moraine, and Sylvan have a greater learning curve to acclimate to the unique density and texture.
Parterre is a heavy dense wrap, it breaks in slowly to become soft and moldable, it is an ideal wrap for older babies and heavy toddlers. For younger babies we would rather recommend Parterre Acanthus or Procresco, also 100% cotton, but soft out of the bag, and easier to manipulate with its narrower width and drapey hand.
Our third round of samples arrived this week and we are both elated!
These wraps are on a lighter-weight warp than Garden Nuptial and therefore are a bit less cumbersome to wrap with. The density is quite high though, making this 100% cotton wrap extremely supportive.
The Cobalt colourway we are calling Co 27 for the atomic element, it is the silvery blue of long winter shadows on snow. Cobalt blue was always one of six colours I had in my limited palette when I was studying painting, it has such purity and mixes very clean. Old Holland Cobalt Blue is packed with pigment, the tube is weighty in hand, like a stone from the seashore.
In November we sent out samples for critique to some well respected and experienced babywearers, we were so happy to have a wrap worthy of review and couldn't wait for their feedback. We knew we liked it, that is why we released it into the wilds, but we needed to hear something more than our own excitement ringing in our ears.
For us Procresco embodies the spirit of Pavo, it is woven in a small improbable mill run by passionate owners who believe in superior quality, integrity and a fair wage above all else. Procresco is made from materials sourced, spun, and woven in the United States, making it fiber forward and unique in the babywrap market. It is even finished close to the mill making its fiber-miles, as we call them, tiny in comparison to say textiles in the apparel industry which travel the globe in various stages of production. In loom-state it is soft and supple in hand, with no goop or residue from production since slashing is not necessary with the type of fiber used and the attention given to the tension at the creel for the warp.
I will let my better half, J$, talk to you about the design and the concept behind Procresco, she is the scholar, the writer, and the funny one to boot. For now, the testers speak.
Gorgeous true black threads and silvery white ones make this wrap striking out of the box. The pattern has a lovely amount of grip without being overly so, due to the fiber choice and the distribution of the design against the background. In hand, the wrap is silky-fluffy soft; medium thickness, not at all overwhelming, with a lovely cush and drape that carry over to being worn.
My initial thought when wrapping my 4.5 month old was that it was unlike any other woven wrap I have tried. It bears similarities to wraps made by other manufacturers, of course, but it is uniquely itself--uniquely Pavo. It wraps lightly and yet maintained cush without being dense. It is supremely comfortable. It has just that touch of bounce that acts as a shock absorber while wearing, yet it did not sag. It is exquisitely beautiful and soft, well suited to beginners and experts alike. If this is but a preview of what Pavo has to offer, we in the baby wearing world are in for a marvelous treat!
We still aren't back wrapping much so I didn't get to really test it that way, unfortunately. She's currently 14-15 pound so not a really heavy subject, but I get the sense that it would be comfortable for me with a bigger kid. It fits my wrapping aesthetic nicely, though graphically it isn't a pattern I normally gravitate toward. The tactile quality of the threads and the density are just lovely.
I want to start by saying I am so eternally grateful that you have given me this opportunity to see, touch, try and yes, fall in love with this beautiful piece of art. You told me earlier about the "Fiber Forward" aspect of this wrap and let me just tell you, it's amazing, the shine, it just glistens in any type of light and the contrast helps this. The softness of it is beyond wonderful for a brand new wrap, there is no break in process and if there is, it will be very minimum with these fibers. The thickness is dead, spot on, not overly thick where its un-managable and not super thin where it will not be a great wrap for all ages. The texture is also perfect, enough for it to grip and hold your carries.
Let me tell you about what and how we have worn this beauty so far. A quick trip up to cuddle in a Ruck TT. It felt soft and wrapped great for that short amount of time. Let's move forward to Saturday one of our crazy days, we went to a craft show at a local high school and walked around for about two hours where E rested nicely and also fell asleep in a Double Hammock. The wrapping qualities of this fits great with its look. It has the perfect amount of stretch to it but no sagging. It is thick and dense which makes it great for carrying a toddler (E is three-years-old and around 35 pounds) and yes he did feel weightless in the two hours that he was up there. The cush of it felt amazing on my shoulders and there was no digging either.
After the craft show we went for a walk through the park to enjoy some of the fall's sights, sounds, and smells. Again, we were there for about two-and-a-half hours with E up most of the time for our walk, then a quick stop at the play ground until E fell in the mud and we had to call it a day. This time I did a Back Wrap Cross Carry with Ruck straps. No digging, no sagging, no re-adjusting needed, it was secure and very comfortable. I am very pleased with this wrap and yes if given the chance I would certainly purchase it for either E or an upcoming squishy.
Our charming middle markers have arrived for approval, the next step is to send them out to the mill to be added to the wraps. Little things like this cement our identity and allow us to see the big picture with more clarity. I hold one between my fingers like a good luck charm.
It is true the one of the best things about textiles is the diversity in woven fabrics, from sheer gauze to heavy brocade, and as our deeply knowledgeable mill owner was telling us, that even when all things are equal—same warp, same weft, same input on the loom, the humidity and temperature in the room can alter the piece of cloth. Nothing is ever the same twice.
Right now we are working with our mill to develop wraps that perform with the traits we most value, a certain drape, a range of usable weights, moldablity, strength, and ease of use. It is one of the most difficult parts of the business, but it can also be the most fun.
Here is an example of my camera shy five-year-old catching a ride in a recent prototype, for example. From here we will give feedback to the mill and make minor changes until we feel it is ready for critique from a larger audience. I hope you enjoy some insight into the process!
J$ and I spent a long lazy late nights weekend by the fire at a cosy country house discussing the imminent launch of Pavo Textiles, our hopes and dreams, and the feasibility of manufacturing in the United States. We gathered inspiration from the surrounding landscape, a library of textile reference books, and each other. We arrived home renewed and strengthened in our mission to bring quality jacquard woven goods to the baby wearing market. We can't wait to show you what is in development!
As we grow our business we are continuously looking for inspiration both in the artworld and the marketplace, but also more significantly among the leaders in eco and social responsible manufacturing.
One of our favorite designers Alabama Chanin today shared in her blog the new book by Kate Fletcher and Lynda Grose, Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change. In it Alabama Chanin is sited as an example of a business that supports a local economy and builds relationships with the consumer the producer and the community—everything we want to be.
Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change is at the top of our night table book stack for information on nurturing Pavo Textiles into an inspiration in its own right.
. . . with a shared love of textiles—vintage and international, contemporary and innovative— combined with a love of wearing our babies. A perfect marriage of two passions grew to form the soul of Pavo Textiles.
What you see here today is only a beginning, we are working behind the scenes diligently and with fervor.
Over the next few months we will introduce you to the fruits of our labors; finding the perfect mill, finishing in the United States, meeting safety requirements, matching yarn-dyes, developing weave-structures and designs. Welcome, we are looking forward to showing you our first collection of wraps, and hope you enjoy the process as much as we do!