AT A GLANCE
Brand / weave:
Didymos / flames
60% cotton, 40% tussah schappe silk
394cm long, 66cm wide, 218gsm (measurements taken from the Gold Silk Flames wrap)
Lightweight, strong, nubby, solid, mouldable
The fabric lies on your hands: just enough weight to make its presence known. You move your hands and the fabric glides across them; a gentle whisper moving softly. You hold your child close to you and gather, pull, and tie. The fabric is crisp in your hands. It holds closely to you, an extension of your arms around your child.
My reviews are not normally marked by lyricism. I tend towards a more practical look at the wrapping and aesthetic qualities of a sling. These Didymos Flames are so elegant that they call for a touch of something a bit different – something a little less concrete, to capture their beauty and the feeling they evoke.
There’s no denying these slings are something a bit special. Tussah Schappe silk is a fibre Didymos have never used before. Didymos describe Schappe as “a very appealing silk yarn with fine, natural slubs and nubs and a naturally golden tone that is rare and difficult to find, and giving the fabric a unique character and structure and a very subtle shine”.
The colour of the silk is just lovely – a warm, truly golden colour. In muted light, the silk threads lie quiescent with a soft sheen – but take them into bright sunlight and they literally gleam, as though Didy have chosen to weave with real gold (I wonder what the washing instructions for that would be?!). The silk peppers the slings with lovely, tactile nubs. Both the slings feel very luxurious and elegant. Silver Flames, with its blue-grey colour, has a more striking look. Gold Flames is subtly radiant, incredibly classy and very possibly the most perfect occasion wrap I’ve ever handled.
Both Flames are wonderfully lightweight, something you notice immediately when you handle them. At 218 gsm they would definitely be considered fairly thin (although that doesn’t imply a lack of support – more on that later!). The weave is neither very tight nor very loose, but it felt cool whilst wearing. If you live in a warm country, or regularly travel on hot public transport, put these slings at the top of your wishlist – they handle the heat fantastically.
The slings felt a little starchy initially. The first wash helped, but it’s with a little breaking in that they’ve started to reveal their true mouldability, drape and softness. Those wonderful silk nubs felt the tiniest bit rough at first, but now are soft bumps of extra texture, and so pleasing to handle. Both as an RS and as a wrap these really mould to you and your child like a second skin. Unlike some other very mouldable slings, these Flames don’t have a lot of accompanying stretch or bounce – there’s the tiniest bit of give in the weave. This solidity, combined with the silk strength, makes these incredibly supportive wraps. Once tightened, everything holds firmly and comfortably in place. There’s next to no cush, but surprisingly this hasn’t resulted in any digging, even in a sloppy carry. I normally hesitate a little to carry my preschooler in a lightweight sling, but he has been delightfully comfy in these Flames.
Those silk nubs are really the only textured part of the sling, so it’s not particularly grippy. I used Gold Flames in a reinforced ruck many times, and never struggled to tighten the second pass. However, something about those silk nubs seems to provide the perfect amount of grip in the RS – once tightened, the fabric just does not move through the rings! This means you can tighten the RS very precisely, and it will then hold its own very nicely against a squirmy, leg-straightening toddler.
And here’s where I need to step aside again from the the matter-of-fact wrapping quality analysis. These are great wraps, but a run-down of their wrapping qualities isn’t really enough here. Because there’s something somehow….charming about them. They’re beguiling; they draw you in and invite you to admire them. I don’t know how Didymos have done it, but honestly? I think there’s a tiny but of magic woven into these wraps.