When Jill Koehler decided to pass on Köhlr Baby, I was thrilled to take on the challenge-- Teresa Broerken
And this how it all started....
“Evolution of Baby Sleepwear Propelled by Canadian Manufacturer – A Mix of Science and Inspired Design”
Article reprinted with permission by Ian Cunliffe, August 14th, 2006
Local Vancouver designer Jill Koehler had no idea back in the spring of 2002 that with the launch of her newly designed infant sleepwear that she would be turning traditional ideas about the construction of baby sleepwear quite literally inside out.
When Jill was first introduced to the baby sleeping bag concept by a friend who had bought a cotton baby sleep sack, Jill was more than a little intrigued.
‘I was immediately impressed with the general sleep sack concept’ recalls Jill. ‘The body holding contoured design was a big step up from the baby blankets that most of us in North America have traditionally been familiar with. And yet it was clear to me that the construction and design for standard baby sleeping bags that were beginning to become commercially available here in Canada had a lot of room left for improvement ’
The inspiration behind introducing athletic grade fleece and other top performing fabrics to infant sleepwear likely has a lot to do with Jill’s lifestyle. As a runner and outdoor enthusiast Jill knows with first hand experience how even subtle problems with fabric quality or moisture retention can lead to serious skin irritation and discomfort:
‘Ask any marathon runner and they’ll tell you that wearing a garment over the course of a few hours with even a slightly rough seam or tendency to hold moisture can lead to skin trouble’ says Jill. ‘And yet think how much more delicate a baby’s skin is than a grown adults. That’s why all of our infant sleep products use only top athletic grade fabrics that easily handle the drool and other baby liquids, helping to avoid rashing and discomfort.’
‘A lot of other manufacturers have started using fleece and similar fabrics’ acknowledges Jill. ‘But the big difference is the actual fabric grade- the standard commercial quality fleece that you are starting to find in these products just doesn’t come close to providing the level of comfort and skin care that comes with using high quality grade fabrics. We are also moving to eco fabrics such as recycled fleece and organic fibers’
Jill Koehler is a noted Vancouver designer and has been producing infant and baby sleepwear since 2002. Jill’s company Köhlr Baby is 100% wholly Canadian owned and operated …’a part of [our] philosophy is for our products to promote the interests of children in 3rd world countries, which means our products are made for children - not by children. Starting in 2008 Köhlr Baby will be using only environmentally-friendly fabrics including recycled fleece and hemp/organic cotton fabrics. They have received numerous media reviews for their integration of fabric technology and aesthetics in their product design, as well as recognition for the implementation of their industry leading ‘zero waste’ manufacturing policy.