woven wrap

Peace and Harmony at Christmas ...

This time of year has me a bit paralysed, even more than usual. Despite wanting to make the perfect wreath, create the most perfect Christmas table, I honestly know it's just never going to happen - too many projects, too many children, too many chaotic thoughts whizzing round in my head.

Add into that snippets of world news stories that freeze me further with their unspeakable atrocity and, frankly, I'm just happy to be alive and able to hug my children.

And, with that, I wish you the most wonderful Christmas, however imperfect, but hope it's full of lots of love and hugs <3

Peace and Harmony, complete with really imperfect pictures (!) Friday 23rd December at 14:00 GMT 

- Ali x

When you have a Dream...

Last month was a bit crazy. I decided to put together a Kickstarter campaign to help me keep my woven wrap business alive. Doing it was a great deal harder than saying I was going to do it... I was literally riddled with fear at the idea of 'putting myself out there', which prompted no end of procrastination. In fact, admitting defeat and hiding away for the rest of my life seemed a much better option. 

What drove me to come out of my hiding place and get on with it, was thinking about what I'd actually achieved over the last couple of years, much gratitude towards the wonderful folks who have supported me throughout my journey so far, and the unshakeable sense that what I am doing is far greater than I am or could ever be. It's about the dreams we all have, about the things we want to do with our lives but maybe feel we can't, or don't deserve to. It's about the spirit we are born with, a potential that we have every right to realise.

So, thanks (many, many thanks!) to the kind and generous people who supported my Kickstarter campaign, I am able to keep going with my own dream, but I urge you all to follow yours too...

Dream and Spirit releasing in my shop Friday 22 April at 20:00 BST  

(With grateful thanks to Lorette for letting me take pictures of her and her baby, Alice)



Theft vs Integrity ...

This is a heartfelt outcry about copying, about design stealing, about lack of vision, lack of creativity. You know, theft. Because that's what copying someone's design(s) really is. Whatever the industry, whatever the product... Stealing is just that - stealing. But I never thought it would happen in the industry I now call home! Surely we are an industry where empathy and integrity are as interwoven into the fabric of our community as the yarns in our wraps, yes?? 

Many moons ago, I started (with much trepidation) a little online shop called Maverick Baby. Tentatively, and over time, I contacted Easycare, Didymos and Girasol to ask if I may stock their woven wraps. To my delight and wonder, they agreed. To say I was bowled over would be an understatement. For starters, Didymos and Girasol were the remarkable makers of the very first two woven wraps I ever owned (and still do - they are my legacy wraps); it felt incredible - to think that the journey of enveloping my daughter in fabrics so precious had brought me to the point of bringing even more folks into the world of a tradition so relatively new to western culture and yet so valuable to our society... Never mind my online shop, I felt so part of such an incredibly supportive baby carrying community; one which loved, cared for and carried not only our babies, but us as mothers as well...

That journey took me further than I could ever have imagined. It's thanks to companies like Didymos and Girasol, to whom I am ever indebted, that I became a photographer; my creative vision was seen and supported in an industry where hearts were always in the right place and, most importantly, those hearts showed purpose and empathy.

Girasol Ardent


Fast forward to the beginning of 2016 and, holy moly, how things have been tarnished - by one company - seemingly overnight. Remembering a culture of mutual respect and co-operation, I now am horrified to discover a violation of these previously-held industry-wide values - perpetrated by a Russian company (purporting to be Italian and which shall remain nameless - I'm definitely not going to give them any press!), but which is causing a big ole outcry within the babywearing community, and for good reason - it's stealing designs from a 30+ year old woven wrap company, Girasol; a company with heritage, with values, whose beautiful woven wraps, produced in the traditional slow manufactured way, support the skills of local artisans in Guatemala - it's a company long-admired in the babywearing industry.

You might be able to reproduce someone's designs, but you can never reproduce the heritage, the values, the story that come with the originals. Reproducing someone's designs is cheap; cheap because you don't have to take the time and energy to come up with your own, but also cheap because that's how people think who are just in something for the money; they don't care about integrity, about their customers or their customers' stories; it's all about bottom line. I'm cross, can you tell?? I feel violated. And if I feel violated, I can only imagine what the Girasol wrap designers must feel. Theft may bring fleeting glory and profit, but story, values and heritage? Well, they will always win our hearts in the end...





The Life and Soul...

Towards the end of September, my youngest children and I ventured up to Wales for The Good Life Experience, a small but perfectly formed festival held at the Hawarden Estate by the fine and kind people at Pedlars along with Cerys Matthews and Steve Abbott. One year previously, I had done the same. It's where I launched my very first woven wraps - Studio and Voyage - and thus holds great meaning for me. 

The festival is about everything I love - freedom for children to run, play and learn in the outdoors, going back to basics with cooking, carving and whittling wood, great music and equally great kindred souls with whom to share it all. 

And so to two new woven wraps...

Good Life has a pop of bright blue and a pop of red with understated dark navy and grey, all finished off with a striking golden yellow rail. It's in honour of the aforementioned festival that propelled me out there into the world; in honour of a life that's simple and kind and lived slowly. 


Soul also has a pop of bright blue, but is married with gentle greens and pale blue tied in with a subdued charcoal. It's in honour of living a soulful life full of purpose and meaning and of the little souls we carry in our wraps...

Here's to living a life that is good - maybe even great! - but always with our little ones, our life and soul...

Good Life and Soul, two new woven wraps releasing at shop.alidover.com on Sunday 12 October at 20:30 BST 

- Ali x

Thoughts from a kind customer...

There is nothing more heartwarming - this is why I do what I do - words and photo by Rachel Todd - thank you Rachel xx

"When the postman unexpectedly rang my doorbell this morning, I couldn't have been more delighted with the super speedy delivery of my beautiful Breeze wrap. Almost exactly a year since Studio arrived on our doorstep I was so pleased to see that all the lovely personal details, the brown paper and twine, the handwritten labels and receipts, the sheer love and time and attention packaged up with the wrap, was just the same as I remembered. And I can't believe it but I think I love the colours even more than Studio!!! I know I'm late to the Breeze party, sorry, I took a break from the crazy wrap world for a while, but this wrap sums up all the things I most love and missed about it! That sharing of love from one parent who has held their baby close to their heart, to another. Thank you so much Ali!! ❤"



"Our life is frittered away by detail...

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify!

Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose."

   --  Henry David Thoreau

I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to find ways to simplify my life, to slow down and ease the stresses of modern daily living. There is so much thrown at us every minute, every day; such demands on our time and our energy that we can get bogged down in the minutiae of life leaving very little 'us' left to engage in why we might be here in the first place. 

In the same vein, when I began thinking about the stripes for my woven wraps, I put much thought into how to make the designs as uncomplicated as possible to help those new to wrapping - so they could hopefully spend less time trying to work out how to wrap and more time carrying. Recently, it occurred to me that the many different sizes traditionally available might be a barrier to potential new wrappers (I certainly remember being bamboozled by them all) and I wondered if there were some way to simplify this too.

So, from this next collection, I'd like to offer just three sizes: Short (3m), Medium (4m) and Long (5m).

But realising that this won't suit everyone, and to ease the transition, there will be five slots available at shop.alidover.com (at 8.30pm BST on Wednesday 15th July) for bespoke sizes. These will be made to order and despatched ahead of the general release.

Which leads me onto the designs themselves and their names, quite simply: Pure - the colours of nature across the hills as far as our eye can see. And Breeze - that simple, delicious feeling of warm summer winds and the sand between our toes...

Release date TBC ;)

Do you have any thoughts or comments? I'd love to read them!

- Ali


Gift of Faith...

Uncovering names for my woven wraps is a fun part of the process of seeing the designs come to life. Inspiration for the names can come prior to and thus be instrumental in the colourways that I choose; or they can come to me after I see the fabric woven. Sometimes I need some help - the colours have been an instinctive choice, but the names remain a mere jumble of letters in the sky. However they come to be, those names always provide a connection to something much bigger than the wraps themselves,  a fact never truer than for this third collection...

'Gift' is a bold and contemporary wrap in shades of turquoise and purple; so named by, and in honour of, my dear friend Lorette who is due to birth her baby later this month. It is also in honour of all our babies, who bring us such unimaginable gifts every day of their lives.

'Faith' is a soft, muted collection of blues and greens... Sometimes, the gift of motherhood proves much more elusive. Not long ago I was contacted by a wonderful lady full of joy at the imminent birth of the baby she was due to adopt. She and her husband were within days of flying out to see their adoptive child when the process fell through. It made me reflect deeply on how strong the urge to become a mother can be - overwhelmingly so at times. I wish this lady - and all those of us for whom motherhood has yet to find a place called home - the faith to believe in miracles, however small...

Gift and Faith - two new wraps releasing on Friday 8 May at 8.30pm BST

- Ali


Lucy's cosy cushion...

One of the hardest things about putting my heart and soul into designing the colourways for my woven wraps is knowing that, without a very small little in my brood, my chance of actually using them for their main purpose is rather slim. But knowing that a woven wrap is so much more than a tool for carrying a baby gives me and my children the opportunity to connect closely with my creations in other ways. 


Here, I turned the middle three stripes of a Boheme wrap scrap into a cushion cover - the colours mingle perfectly with the vintage Liberty fabric of the childrens's window blind and cushion, as well as Cold at Night's blanket. And, according to Lucy it's so soft, it's just like cuddling a teddy. That's plenty good enough to keep my heart happy... :)


Bringing an idea to life

Four years ago almost to the day, I had an idea, an idea that wouldn't go away... An idea that was borne from a life-long love of textiles, of style, of iconic stripes, of freedom - and a newfound love of carrying my young children close, of parenting epiphanies, of necessity...

And here I am, four years later, bringing that idea to life with a range of modern and enduring woven wraps in uncomplicated designs, with drape and soft texture to form gently around you and your child...

The folklore of Ali Dover Wovens is one of the great outdoors. It is a love of good literature, good food and great friendships. It is the whistling wind and the crashing waves; a great roaring fire and wood piles. It is stripped back floorboards, and a history revealed through chipping paint. It is cosy knitwear and the joy of the morning frost; the celebration of a free unfettered lifestyle -  creative, and entrepreneurial in spirit and mind, in sync with the seasons, yet timeless. It is seeing life as a work in progress, mucking in, growing and giving back...


My first collection reflects aspects of this journey, with honest earthy colour ways and an enticing aesthetic.


Elements - the petrol hues were inspired by the land, sky, wind and rain. It offers depth and mystery, yet a sense of calm and surety. Grounded by a true green the blue takes flight with our senses and allows us to dream.


Studio - with an enchanting palette inspired by an artist in her studio. With a splash of yellow, maybe dappled sunshine on canvas, smudged charcoal, and the soft hue of pink petals in a vase as she is inspired to create. It is at once whimsical and soft, yet vibrant and unashamed. 


Voyage - the inspiration came from a journey across the ocean. Travel and adventure, the undone charm and honesty of sea-salted hair, and sun kissed skin.


Heathers - with its mineral purple hues and earthy tones this wrap pays homage to the Yorkshire moorland. Wild and unrestrained, luxurious in its minimalism.

- Ali xx