Didymos Prima Monochrome Hemp

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Prima

Fibre:
75% cotton, 25% hemp

Measurements:
438cm long, 67cm wide, 232 gsm

Key words:
Classy, airy, tough, mouldable

 

 

How can I break thee in? Let me count the ways…

That’s an appropriate beginning really – for, though it may not sound like it, this is the start of a love story.

 

 

When Monochrome first arrived, that’s not what I thought I’d be saying. It was nice enough to look at, but as soon as I touched it – wow, you know it’s a hemp blend. It was stiff and rough – oh, so rough. After a wash, tumble dry and steam iron, Monochrome was ready to wrap with – but nowhere near broken in.

Before you click away or write off this wrap as something you’d never want – hang in there! Remember, this is a love story…

Monochrome isn’t unpleasant to wrap with when it’s not broken in – it’s pliable enough and you can certainly get a comfy wrap job. It’s just…not special, not inspiring. But the key with hemp, I’ve learned is time. It’s patience.

 

 

Monochrome lost its stiffness reasonably quickly, becoming decently mouldable within a week, and nicely drape-y within 2 weeks. Where this wrap is stubborn is in its softness. If you’ve ever owned a really broken in hemp wrap, you know that they can be just wonderful – buttery soft and delicious. It’s a good job I knew this, because Monochrome hangs on to its hemp roughness like it’s a liferaft.

 

 

But you know what? I’m stubborn too. I wasn’t about to let a wrap beat me. So, I wrapped with it. I slept with it. I played tug o’ war with it. I tumbled it on cold. And finally, one day, I grabbed it to throw my son onto my back for the nursery run – and there it was. The softness. And right then, I started to fall for this wrap.

 

 

The hemp buttery-ness is worth waiting for. It’s soft, and delightful to handle. The drape is wonderful and the mouldability is, too – snug wrap jobs are a breeze with Monochrome.

 

 

And talking of a breeze, Monochrome is so nicely airy. This is really an inherent characteristic of the Prima weave, and I love it. Combined with its 232 gsm, I think Monochrome is going to be superb through the warmer spring and summer months.

 

 

The 25% hemp in this blend is just what’s needed to give that 232gsm weight an extra ‘oomph’ of support. Whilst I wouldn’t reach for it with my preschooler, I enjoyed this in both single and multilayer carries with my toddler. The support is of the firmer, flatter variety, but at no point did I find Monochrome diggy (even before it was properly broken in). It’s got plenty of glide, so – believe it or not – once it’s broken in, this is an easygoing wrap which doesn’t make you work for a decent wrap job. It also feels tough, hardwearing. I haven’t been afraid to work Monochrome hard or drag it through the mud, and it’s stood up to everything I’ve thrown at it. It’s just so dependable and reliable (I’ve yet to get a bad or uncomfortable wrap job with it).

 

 

 

And finally, there’s Monochrome’s aesthetic. True black, crisp white – this high contrast Prima manages to be both striking and classy. It’s easy to feel elegant in Monochrome and it would be a great black-tie event option. Yet it also goes with everything in my wardrobe and doesn’t look out of place with a tee and leggings (my standard daily look).

Monochrome, as it turns out, is a darn good wrap.

 

 

And so, as my frustration with Monochrome (why won’t you BREAK IN??) turned to love, it feels appropriate to end with lines from another love poem. This one, by E.E.Cummings, has always seemed rather appropriate for babywearing.

 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear…)

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life:which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

Prima Monochrome Hemp is available to purchase here: https://www.didymos.com/en/Babywearing/DIDYMOS-Baby-Wrap-Sling/Prima/Baby-Wrap-Sling-Prima-Monochrome-Hemp.html

 

Miloves Slings Rosette Midnight Pearl

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Miloves Slings / Rosette

Fibre:
100% combed cotton

Measurements:
490cm long , 67cm wide, approx. 293gsm

Key words:
Glide, soft, classy

For years I’ve admired the style of Audrey Hepburn. Classy, elegant and stylish – and yet still a little bit bold, not playing it too safe. In my opinion, it’s a winning combination, but one which it’s hard to capture.

Yet that’s what Miloves Slings seems to have done with Rosette Midnight Pearl. The colour choice is bold: a true white with only the slightest cool, greyish cast added by the black weft. The white side catches any natural light really nicely, and towards the end of the day you can get some lovely colours showing on it, reflected from the sun. The monochrome palette produces a striking look for both sides of the wrap. Yet the design – swooping dots forming a large stylized flower – softens the look, adding that Hepburn sense of elegance. To me the design is reminiscent of drapes of pearls. It is, without doubt, a very classy sling.

In case you were worrying that Midnight Pearl is only about the looks – fear not, the classiness is carried through into its wrapping qualities. It’s a luxuriously soft wrap (the white side particularly so; it almost has a nap to it and invites you to stroke it). As you handle it, you’ll likely notice its beautiful drape – that wonderful balance of thickness and mouldability which seems to make Midnight Pearl fall nicely however it’s placed.

I know (through my own, frustrated experience!) that elegance isn’t always an easy thing to achieve, but thankfully Midnight Pearl won’t make you fight for a nice wrap job. This wrap has a whole heap of glide, making second passes absolutely no issue whatsoever. I was delighted to find I could get pretty much a perfect chest pass in a DH with no effort. This much glide means I did find I had to pin Midnight Pearl’s tails tightly between my legs when wrapping to avoid slippage – however, once tied off, it stayed put. The glide makes it simple to get tight, precise, second-skin type wrap jobs. It also makes it easy to tie off with a tight, comfortable knot (this may seem like a small thing, but no-one likes battling with a knot when they’ve finally finished their wrap job!).

Midnight Pearl has a little bit of give but isn’t notably stretchy. It’s comfortable on the shoulders, but not markedly cushy. If you like a very stretchy or cushy wrap, this probably isn’t the one for you. However, Midnight Pearl is a great all rounder. The weave is quite tight and doesn’t seem particularly prone to pulls. As mentioned above, it’s got lovely drape, and is malleable and mouldable – and this makes it really easy to work with.

At 293gsm, Midnight Pearl has enough heft and support to comfortably carry my toddler. I found I preferred multi-layer carries with his weight, but single layer carries weren’t uncomfortable. Yet despite tipping the scales at the heavier end of medium weight, I wouldn’t have any hesitation over using this wrap with a small baby. Its glide and mouldability are characteristics which lend themselves well to squish wrapping. And of course, there’s the comforting, reassuring softness, which makes Midnight Pearl very appealing as a wrap to use with a smaller baby.

Rosette Midnight Pearl really is a lovely wrap. A good all-rounder, it can carry both your baby and your toddler. It can travel with you through your everyday life, but then be dressed up for a smart event. And it does it all with class. Did I swoosh around pretending to be Audrey Hepburn in this wrap? I couldn’t possibly comment. But the fact that I’d even consider doing so – in my pyjamas and just-out-of-bed rumpled hair – says a lot.

At the time of writing, Rosette Midnight Pearl is still in stock! If you fancy grabbing one for yourself, you can find it in the Miloves Slings online shop.

Happy Fluffy Anna

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
HappyFluffy / handwoven

Fibre:
100% cotton

Measurements:
370cm long (plus 6cm fringes), 69.5cm wide, approx. 226gsm

Key words:
Thin, airy, mouldable, vibrant

 

 

You may recall that I recently tested another of HappyFluffy’s wraps, Diamond Coal. Proving that HappyFluffy can boast variety in its wrap offerings, Anna is substantially different to Coal – always a nice experience!

 

 

Anna is a handwoven, with a very pretty weave – pleasantly detailed and intricate. The weave pattern provides nice visual texture and is a good counterpoint to the simple stripe colour pattern. The striking black fringing adds extra elegance and I found myself opting for carries to show this off! Anna’s colours are perfect for this time of year – a rich plum and royal blue, with the black warp adding extra tonal depth. It’s a strong, beautifully vibrant set of colours.

 

 

 

By contrast, the wrapping qualities are very gentle, well suited to newborns and smaller babies. Anna is nicely soft, moderately thin, and mouldable. The weave is very airy, something which I think is a real benefit when wrapping newborns who can overheat so easily. It’s got a fair amount of stretch (although I didn’t notice much bounce). Despite the textured look of the weave, Anna is actually pretty smooth and has a lot of glide.

 

 

 

The drawbacks? Well, Anna is definitely more of a baby than a toddler wrap. I could get away with my young toddler’s weight in multi-layer carries, but it wouldn’t be my first choice, and in a few months more I suspect it might feel a little diggy. The glide translated into slipperiness at times for me, and I found this also meant Anna was also somewhat pull prone (I tended to be cautious wrapping with it outside).

 

 

 

But not every wrap is going to walk that delicate line which makes them suitable for toddlers and babies alike – and Anna is a great wrap for small babies. My lovely model adored using this wrap with her tiny little one, finding it soft, comfortable and easy to use. If you’re in the market for a beautiful, soft squish wrap, Anna is worth considering!

 

Happy Fluffy Diamond Coal

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Happy Fluffy / Diamond

Fibre:
100% linen

Measurements:
542cm long, 73.5cm wide, 289gsm

Key words:
Glide / slippery, supportive, firm, cool

 

 

Exotic blends are pretty commonplace in the babywearing world these days. Baby camel hair, lyocell, banana viscose – where these once would have drawn comment, these fibres are no longer surprising.

However, the blend of this Happy Fluffy tester is still  unusual enough to be intriguing – 100% linen. In a marketplace dominated by cotton blends, all-linen wraps are still few and far between. I had no idea what to expect from Diamond Coal!

 

 

 

I enjoyed Coal’s aesthetic. The weave is simple but elegant. From afar, the pattern appears to be large diamonds, but up close the diamonds contain detailing looking rather like fletching on an arrow. It’s appealing and proof that a weave doesn’t have to be busy or complex to be attractive.

 

 

The colours are similarly simple – dark anthracite on one face, and a light silvery grey on the other. Colours like this are always pleasantly easy to wear (no need to consider whether they’ll clash with your outfit). However, Coal’s biggest aesthetic draw is in its wonderful sheen. Linen is well known for this, and Coal’s 100% blend really showcases linen’s signature sheen. The anthracite side has a subtle sheen, but the silvery side positively glows in the sunshine. It’s beautiful and I loved it. Also typical for linen are nubs and slubs – Coal has a fair few of these, adding some character to the straightforward weave.

It’s worth noting that Coal has blunt tapers. I had ample length with this size 7 tester, but if you find yourself regularly tying in the tails for a particular size, you might want to consider sizing up with Coal.

 

 

So what about the wrapping qualities? As you might expect for all linen, this is an incredibly supportive wrap. Front, back, hip – Coal carried the weight of my toddler with ease no matter which carry I tried. It’s also very solid, with little to no stretch/bounce. On the shoulders it feels very firm and flat with no cush. With decent tightening it’s comfortable, but I suspect that sloppier carries might feel a little unforgiving or diggy.

 

 

The weave is very low texture, and combined with the linen this makes Coal a wrap with a huge amount of glide. I enjoyed the ease of making second passes with Coal, but I did find that the glide had a tendency to tip over into slipperiness. I found precise wrap jobs and tight knots to be very important for a comfortable carry – any tiny bit of slack quickly worked its way through the wrap job.

 

 

Coal is a brilliant wrap for warm weather, thanks to both weave and fibre choices. The weave is fairly airy, encouraging a little airflow (and in warm weather, every little helps!). The linen is cool to the touch and seems to remain that way when wrapped, something which is truly unusual.

 

 

Coal came to me well broken in and beautifully soft. I love the softness of broken in linen – it’s not fuzzy or smooshy, as cotton can be, but supple and silky. Coal also had truly beautiful drape and movement (it was so lovely I found myself regularly playing with the tails), making it feel elegant.

 

 

Coal is a great wrap. With fairly specific wrapping qualities, it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but those that like firm, supportive wraps with glide will really enjoy it. Sporting both a lack of bulk and superb support, this is a wrap which I have no hesitation in recommending for both newborns and toddlers.

 

Didymos Lisca Minos

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Lisca

Fibre:
100% cotton

Measurements:
489cm long, 66cm wide, 232gsm

Key words:
Soft, thin, stretchy, bouncy, snuggly

I’m a longtime fan of Didymos’ lisca weave, but have only owned ‘thick’ versions (250+gsm), so I was excited to try a thinner lisca.

 

 

The colourway of is Minos really striking and grabs your attention immediately. From further away Minos appears a dark, saturated aubergine. However, close up it becomes apparent that there are 3 different colour threads – black, blue and pink. The blue and pink threads are very vibrant (almost electric) in their colour, and they really pop against the black warp. This makes Minos fascinating to look at, and gives it an edgy, almost urban feel.

 

 

Like all liscas, Minos is gorgeously soft from the get-go. One wash and steam iron leaves you with an already cuddly, snuggly wrap. Although they may not feel like they need it, liscas do break in – to be even softer. If I’m using the word ‘soft’ a lot, it’s because this is really a key characteristic of liscas, and Minos is no exception. You’re basically using the kind of soft blanket you want to wrap yourself in when in need of comfort.

 

 

 

Liscas are also well known for their stretch and bounce. When wrapping with Minos, I noticed the stretch less than with thicker liscas (although it’s still there). Once I tied off the carry though, the signature bounce was definitely there. I love this aspect of the lisca weave and find it to be very forgiving – the wrap really moves with you, reacting to you and working with you whilst you’re carrying your child.

 

 

As you might expect for a thin, soft wrap, Minos is fantastically mouldable. You’ll be able to see in these photos how Minos hugs every curve of our bodies, perfectly outlining my baby’s arm. This wrap is also easy to work with and a breeze to tighten. All of this makes achieving precise, neat wrap jobs really straightforward.

 

 

Precision wrap jobs are, if you’re carrying a toddler (and to some extent a bigger baby), really the key to enjoying Minos. If you normally like thick wraps and are not accustomed to neat, tight wrap jobs, Minos is probably not the wrap for you. But if you’re happy to work on that precision and use a multi-layer carry, this thin wrap can still be comfy even with your toddler. I wrapped my 3 year old on both my front and my back and got him comfy both times (and surprisingly enjoyed a Front Cross Carry more than a Double Hammock). In a DH, Minos slid into place easily and made a great, snug chest pass. However, the wrap felt flat and firm on my shoulders, with absolutely no cush – I missed the lisca bounce. In a FCC, Minos had a tiny bit more cush on the shoulders and I felt the nice movement of the weave a little more. If you know you like thin wraps you may enjoy Minos with your toddler, but I would recommend only multi-layer carries (and would advise you choose a bigger size which will allow you to do carries like DH and distribute your child’s weight in a few different areas).

 

 

For babies Minos is a fantastic wrap. I think it would particularly shine with newborns and small babies. It won’t swamp tiny legs, the airy weave is breathable, the cuddly softness is just right for cocooning little babies, and of course the easycare cotton is no problem to wash and dry – so it doesn’t matter how many times your baby spits up on it. Minos is great with older babies too. My son is a large 7 month old now, and although by this stage I prefer Minos in multi-layer carries, I was very comfortable and found the wrap supportive (I used it in a Front Cross Carry for over 2 hours with no adjusting).

 

 

Two drawbacks to liscas in general are worth noting here – as this is a loose, airy weave, it does acquire pulls a little more easily. I find them very easy to fix, so they’re never a problem for me, but if you’re averse to pull fixing you may want to consider this. Liscas also look the same on both faces/sides of the wrap, making it harder to tell if you’ve twisted a pass – something which may be a consideration for new wrappers.

 

 

Minos is part of Didymons’ standard line, so has the benefit of being always available and easy to get hold of. Minos is proof that choosing a standard line wrap doesn’t mean compromising on looks or wrapping qualities: its dark yet vibrant colour (great for hiding the dirt) and easycare all-cotton blend make this a practical choice, and its soft snuggliness makes it wrap you’ll want to use again and again.

 

 

You can find Minos here: https://www.didymos.com/en/Babywearing/DIDYMOS-Baby-Wrap-Sling/Lisca/Baby-Wrap-Sling-Lisca-Minos.html or at many Didymos stockists.

 

Accidental Loveliness

I recently took a stash shot featuring the indios I currently own. It was a nice shot.

DSC_0311-2

 

Then I set up a few of the indios for a taper comparison shot, since one has deeper tapers than unsual. (I really love geekery details like this!)

 

DSC_0448

 

I was all set to bundle the wraps up and take them back into my house, when my eye was caught by the ‘messy’ edge of the wraps. I’d lined up the tapers oh-so-neatly, but behind that I’d pushed the wraps around any-old-how, letting them fold and drape towards the ground.

 

And actually, it was really gorgeous. One of the things I love most about wraps is the way they move and drape. I never seem to capture this quality in flat shots of wraps. Any yet here, without any effort at all, was exactly that beautiful quality: the wraps doing just what wraps do. Muddly, puddly deliciousness.

 

DSC_0430-2

 

My lesson from this? Things don’t need to be neat to be beautiful. And I should always remember to look twice – sometimes beauty is where we least expect it to be.