Woven Wings Blue Sapphire Geo

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Woven Wings  / Geo
Fibre:
54% ethical merino, 46% Egyptian cotton
Measurements:
494cm long,  63cm wide, 205 gsm
Key words:
Thin, soft, mouldable, smooth

 

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I was recently lucky to host a travelling Woven Wings Geo tester wrap. Nicknamed Blue Sapphire, the reason for this moniker was immediately apparent when I opened the package and first saw the wrap. WW produce a glorious range of designs and colours. Some are wonderfully subtle (Labyrinth tester, anyone?) and some are fantastically bold. Blue Sapphire’s striking looks set it down firmly in the latter category. The blue is remarkably saturated and vibrant – it’s actually hard to capture on camera just how saturated it is. It has nice variation depending on the lighting, shifting from a darker blue with rich depth in darker/indoor situations, to a super-vibrant (almost electric!) hue when outdoors. The black forms a good, strong counterpoint to the blue. Overall this colourway is really striking and feels modern, almost edgy. I had a number of people admire it during its stay with me.
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The next thing I noticed about the wrap was its weight. So, let’s talk about GSM, baby. There’s no getting away from it: at 205gsm, this is a thin wrap. This is a weight I’m accustomed to seeing from Didy, not Woven Wings – which are almost universally mid-to-heavyweight. For me, it was a pleasant surprise. I love a thin wrap, and this was really enjoyable with my new 6 week old. The weight makes Blue Sapphire really mouldable, and I enjoyed that the passes didn’t bunch up to feel thick and overwhelming with my tiny baby.

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Thin wraps aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, particularly when it comes to toddlers, but I love the snug precision you can achieve with them. Whilst I feel that Blue Sapphire’s slimline nature could pose some support problems for older toddlers, I have no problem recommending it in multilayer carries for bigger babies and younger toddlers (I’d probably only use single layer carries with a younger baby). The high merino content adds such lovely support and just a little bit of cush on the shoulders, meaning that my 2.5 year old was perfectly comfy in a Double Hammock. Obviously, if you are wrapping a bigger baby or a toddler, this is the kind of wrap you will need to tighten carefully (it isn’t going to be forgiving of sloppy wrap jobs!). But the joy of it being a thin wrap is that it’s so easy to achieve that precision.

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With such a high merino content, I was curious to discover just how many traditionally ‘woolie’ wrapping qualities Blue Sapphire would have. First up: itch and scratch. I’m moderately wool-sensitive and have had a range of experiences with wool blend wraps. I’ve had luxurious cashmere which made me scratch all day, and good old sheep’s wool which felt like fluffy clouds. Blue Sapphire did pretty well; after around 30 minutes of wearing I could feel a small itch, but it was slight enough not to bother me. It was not even a tiny bit scratchy, in fact it was tremendously soft. I didn’t have the slightest qualm about putting it right next to my newborn’s skin.

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I experienced a little woolie bounce and movement when using Blue Sapphire, but somewhat less than I expected. I think this may be because the weave itself is quite solid. I felt it had the potential to sit quite firm and flat on the shoulders, but thanks to the merino it actually had a nice bit of cush. The Geo weave in Blue Sapphire also didn’t have much texture. This made it a very smooth wrap which was an absolute breeze to tighten. Making the second DH pass was easy and straightforward, with the wrap gliding over itself with very little resistance. However, this smoothness also transitioned at times into slipperiness. I found I needed to tie off very firmly to avoid wrap jobs slipping and sagging a little (until I worked this out, I did a fair bit of retightening). The slipperiness also translated into Blue Sapphire being slightly pull prone. Although I didn’t baby the wrap, I wasn’t rough with it, either – and by the end of its visit it had acquired a few little pulls I needed to fix.

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The merino gives Blue Sapphire a lovely, cosy feel. I felt it coped well with moderate heat; during our recent warm summer weather I’ve used it towards the end of the day and found it pleasant and breathable. However, I wouldn’t choose it in really hot weather or in the heat of the day – I tried this once and did get quite warm. It’s worth noting that this may be down to personal preference, rather than the wrap – I know some people enjoy wool in the heat because it wicks away moisture and can be temperature regulating.

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I really enjoyed Blue Sapphire’s visit. It’s a wrap which is easy to work with, was a delight with my newborn and was still comfy with my toddler (who declared it ‘soft’). I do wonder whether it would be possible to introduce more texture, just to give it a little bit of extra grip. However, overall this is a great wrap. I really enjoyed experiencing what Woven Wings can do with this sort of GSM and would love to see more wraps of this weight from them. Thin doesn’t have to mean unsupportive – Blue Sapphire is a wonderful example of how a thinner wrap can both snuggle a newborn and cope with the heft of toddler. Here’s to Team Thin!

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Didymos Cashmere Silk Ellipsen

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Ellipsen
Fibre:
50% cotton, 30% silk, 20% cashmere
Measurements:
396cm long, 68.5 cm wide, 135 gsm
Key words:
Thin, soft, glide, sheen

 

Cashmere Silk Ellipsen (CSE) is perhaps the least well known of Didymos’ mulberry silk blend natty wraps, but is still HSA and difficult to track down.

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CSE is 50% cotton, 30% silk and 20% cashmere. And yes, this blend feels just as luxurious as it sounds. Like NSN (Natural Silk Nino), NSM (Natural Silk Mille) and NSI (Natural Silk Indio), CSE is unusual in that it is woven with all of its fibres in both the warp *and* the weft. This gives CSE an incredible softness. Picking up this wrap is like handling spun air; it is soft, bouncy clouds of near-weightless elegance.

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Once you’ve stopped stroking it, the next thing you’re likely to notice about CSE is the weight. This is a seriously thin wrap, weighing in at a nearly unbelievable 135 GSM. Whatever you do, don’t hold it up to the light. CSE is like gauze and will terrify you. You’ll think that this fabric can’t support a fieldmouse, let alone your baby. And you’ll be wrong.

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CSE is thin, it’s true, and is definitely a wrap for a small baby (older babies and toddlers need not apply). But within this category, CSE is a superb wrap. The silk and cashmere add support and strength to a wrap which, in just cotton, would be way (way!) too thin. In this blend, the weight of CSE is lovely, particularly if you’re having a summer squish. The thinness of the wrap makes it incredibly mouldable; you can achieve such wonderfully snug, precise wrap jobs with it. Wrapping with it is a unique experience – it almost wafts around you.

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Didymos’ Ellipsen weave is fairly smooth and flat, and combined with the silk content this gives CSE lots of glide. This makes it oh-so-easy to tighten, but verges on the edge of slipperiness – I found I needed to tie off firmly with very tight knots. I found that this tendency towards slipperiness also made CSE somewhat pull prone. CSE has a little bounce from its cashmere, but not much – it sits fairly flat and firm on the shoulders.

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In terms of its looks, CSE is effortlessly classy and elegant. It made me feel put together on days when, juggling a new squish and a toddler, just presentable would have been a big win. CSE’s Ellipsen pattern is very subtle. It’s cream rather than white – a lovely warm toned natty. The mulberry silk gives it a beautiful sheen, adding extra depth to the natty colouring (the sheen does not photograph well but is lovely in person).

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Overall, CSE would be wonderful for special occasions, but is so soft you may well want to use it everyday with your tiny, delicate squish. It’s not a wrap you’re likely to use beyond the first few months, and even for newborns it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. But if smooth, thin, moldable, supersoft wraps are your thing, you might just want to try to track down CSE for your squish and experience this stunning wrap for yourself.

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