AT A GLANCE
Brand / weave:
Didymos / Garten im Herbst
60% cotton, 40% wool
453cm long, 70cm wide, 284gsm
444cm long, 70cm wide, 292gsm
Supportive, solid, robust
Woven exclusively for Natürlich Wachsen, Garten im Herbst (“Garden in Autumn”) intrigued me as soon as I saw it. It reminds me a little of Didymos’ existing bird weave, Vogels, but the addition of branches with angular foliage and the different style of birds makes for a more quirky design. This is one of those patterns which really comes to life when wrapped; the branches lie beautifully, and the lifelike birds sit elegantly amongst them. I hadn’t expected Garten to feel classy, but it really does.
The contrasting colours of Garten give you two wonderful wearing options. The lighter side is best described as a champagne colour: creamy, rich, and with a wonderful sheen which totally surprised me. The sheen meant I definitely preferred wearing Garten champagne side out – it felt elegant and somehow quite luxurious. By contrast, the brown side is chocolately and warm. The brown fibres make up the wool content of this wrap, meaning that when worn brown side out Garten also has a more textured appearance. As most of the wool fibres are situated on one side of the wrap, Garten is an interesting option for anyone who loves the wrapping qualities of wool but is sensitive to this fibre. By wearing the creamy cotton side closest to your skin, you can minimise contact with the wool fibres.
At 292 gsm, this wrap offers wonderful support for bigger babies and toddlers. I’ve used it with both a small-ish 6 month old and and 24lb 21 month old, and loved it with both of them. My 6 month old niece felt truly weightless, even in a hasty, sloppily-executed Front Wrap Cross Carry. I most enjoyed Garten with my 21 month old in a Double Hammock. The weave is solid (so it really is fabulous for support), but the wool adds a little elasticity and bounce, making this very comfortable on the shoulders. The balance of grip vs. glide is definitely more towards glide with this wrap, but I never experienced problems with slippage once I’d tied off – wrap jobs remained comfortably in place.
The drawbacks of Garten? I wouldn’t use it with a little baby, as I feel the weight and general solidity of the wrap could overwhelm tiny limbs (it should be fine from around 4-6 months, depending on the size of your baby). Wool as a fibre can be fantastic year-round, but I have to say that I wouldn’t reach for Garten in the warm summer months – the weave is tight enough that I feel it wouldn’t breathe sufficiently for me. However, it would do well in any other season, and the tight weave does mean that it feels extremely sturdy and robust (pulls are not going to happen easily).
Being a sturdy wool blend, this does need some breaking in. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft it was after its first wash (it had remarkably little wool prickle), but it was definitely still rather stiff. Aside from plenty of use, I like to break in my wraps by sitting and sleeping on them. After just a week I noticed a big different in Garten, as it started to become more malleable and easier to tighten. I sold Garten before it was fully broken in, but by the time it left it was already pleasant to use, and I imagine that with some more work it would become very floppy.
Garten is a wonderful wrap which deserves a little more love and attention than it currently gets. If you like thinner, newborn-friendly, airy or stretchy wraps, this may not be for you. However, if robust-yet-elegant, supportive, solid and cosy wraps are right up your street, Garten could be a great match for you.
At the time of writing, Garten im Herbst is still in stock – if you’re tempted, take a look!