Didymos Crepelino Azur

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / crêpe

Fibre:
100% linen

Measurements:
451cm long, 67cm wide, 236gsm

Key words:
Thin, firm, solid, supportive

 

 

An open apology to all babywearers in sunny, hot climes: I’m sorry, but I just didn’t realise. I didn’t know that a baby could stick quite so disgustingly thoroughly to your back. I didn’t appreciate just how suffocating swathing yourself in a base size wrap for a Double Hammock could feel.

You see, the UK is…not exactly renowned for its summers. I mean, most years we do get one. Sort of. The temperature definitely rises, and we even get the odd week (or two in a row, in a lucky year) of blazing sunshine, cloudless-blue sky days. This year is different. This year the grass has turned to straw and the paddling pool is getting properly used. I’ve even had to buy a second bottle of suncream.

And of course, I’m still wrapping. But gosh, it’s hot. And STICKY. Although this is the best summer the UK’s had in years, it’s still not the hot humidity many of you experience on a daily basis. But, finally, I have a little taste of what it’s like for you. So I’m starting to understand just what a difference a wrap can make.

Luckily, Didymos has your back. This summer they’re bringing out a new line of 100% linen wraps. Previewed a while ago on Instagram, these have been generating a lot of chatter and interest. Linen has a reputation for being cool in warm weather, and supportive – but also for being diggy. So how does an all-linen wrap measure up?

 

 

Let’s start with the most important area, the wrapping qualities. I’ll say straight up that I really, really like Crepelino Azur. It’s got a ton of support, yet is thin and breathable. The linen is predictably firm and solid, but holds up surprisingly well to a sloppy wrap job. In fact, the only time I’ve found it diggy is when I’ve over tightened (something I can fall foul of, as I like very snug wrap jobs). I imagine a really sloppy wrap job would probably dig too, but as long as you’ve put some effort into tightening it’s surprisingly forgiving.

 

 

My toddler is 2 now, and fairly average for his age. I’ve been blown away by the sheer comfort of this wrap. From the in-hand feel (slightly rough and definitely thin) I expected to need precision wrapping, but this is such a supportive and surprisingly easygoing wrap that I’m being a little more careless in my wrapping. The crêpe weave is airy enough to be nicely breathable and the linen is wonderfully cool – in our hot summer, I’m wrapping with very little other than Azur. I rate this in any size for a baby. For a toddler, I’d prefer multilayer carries but if you don’t mind paying some attention to your tightening single layer carries are do-able.

 

 

I haven’t found it difficult to make second passes, but there’s enough grip that I notice it when making a knot. Slipknots in particular really stay put once tightened. It’s also nicely grippy through rings in a no sew RS; in fact I think it would be a really spectacular summer RS (provided you don’t mind a firm shoulder feel). Straight out of the wash Azur has quite a rough texture; this diminishes somewhat with a steam iron, and I expect it to lessen further once it’s fully broken in.

 

 

And speaking of breaking in, I’m sure you want to know how Azur is faring. Linen is, after all, generally acknowledged to be one of the harder fibres to break in, and these Crepelinos don’t even have any cotton to help them on their way. Well, it’s a tale of two halves. Azur is not quick to break in. It’s much softer that when I first got my hands on it, but it’s still not fully broken in. I think it will be just LOVELY when I get there with it…but it’s not there yet. That said, Azur is not a beast and it’s not at all difficult to wrap with or unpleasant to handle. Even in loom state Azur was easy to work with – I’d even use it with a small baby! So, don’t expect Crepelinos to break in quickly, but don’t be put off either – they’re nice to use straight away, and are only going to get more lovely the longer you use them. The all-linen blend also makes them feel reassuringly sturdy, and the Crepelino weave doesn’t seem pull prone.

 

 

Finally, of course, there’s Azur’s aesthetic. The Crepelino weave has a subtle pattern, but I really like it. Up close, it produces almost a speckled effect – very gentle and pretty. The linen has great shine, even after washing (I love looking at it in the sun). Being linen it does, of course, crease up easily – if you want to avoid permacreasing you’ll need to iron a little more regularly. You needn’t fear the lighter colours, either – it’s easy to wash and care for.

 

 

Crepelino Azur isn’t at all what I expected from the Instagram previews – it’s so much better. It’s pretty, and supportive, and sturdy, and so breathable. If you love thick and cushy or stretchy then this may not be for you, but otherwise it’s a near ideal summer wrap.

Didymos has released Crepelino in a range of deliciously enticing colours (some are still available here), and there are more all-linen weaves to come – so hot-climate babywearing friends, keep an eye on their site!

 

 

Marisso Caver Sky Blue

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Marisso / Caver

Fibre:
59% Egyptian cotton, 41% combed cotton

Measurements:
478cm long , 65.5cm wide, 322gsm

Key words:
Soft, supportive, workhorse

 

 

I’m thinking of a spring day. The air still isn’t all that warm, but the sun is warm enough that you can lie on the grass outside. You put your head down on the grass, and as you breathe in its fresh scent, you look straight up at the sky. It’s not the brilliant blue of summer – no, it’s that light, slightly hazy springtime blue. Fluffy, insubstantial clouds are gently drifting around, and contrails are fuzzing out to soft edges. Are you with me? Can you see it too?

 

 

 

Because that’s what this wrap looks like. That spring-fresh blue, with soft white mixed in. Sky Blue isn’t just a name for this wrap – it’s an entirely appropriate description. The soothing colourway is well paired with the design – gently curving lines make up a large design reminiscent of leaves or feathers. The design feels deliberately nebulous, leaving you space to interpret the lines for yourself (much like spotting shapes in clouds).

 

 

With its soft aesthetic, you might expect Caver Sky Blue’s wrapping qualities to follow suit. Certainly, it’s gorgeously soft – so soft, in fact, that it has an almost silky quality to it. However, that’s where the similarity ends. Because Sky Blue is a wonderfully unexpected workhorse.

 

 

 

Heavy in hand, with lovely drape, Caver Sky Blue has a moderately dense weave. It doesn’t feel like it will acquire pulls easily – it’s sturdy, robust. This does mean it’s not the most breathable wrap (I doubt I’d use it on hot days), but the trade off for this is a brilliant level of support. My toddler was so comfortable in Sky Blue. Front, back, single layer, multi-layer – every variation I tried, my toddler’s weight was well handled and my shoulders were happy.

 

 

Sky Blue has a nice little bit of stretch which made it very comfortable to wear. If I wasn’t careful when tightening my preschooler it could sometimes slip over from stretch into sag, but not many wrappers will be challenging Sky Blue with a 4 year old! Despite the silky softness of the cotton, the pattern provided a good bit of grip – overall, I found this to be very nicely balanced on the midpoint of glide/grip.

 

 

Caver Sky Blue is a really lovely wrap. If you’re looking for a bigger baby/toddler toting workhorse which still pulls off a gentle aesthetic, this could just be the all-rounder you’re looking for.

 

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!

 

 Didymos Facett Tethys

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Facett

Fibre:
100% cotton

Measurements:
499cm long, 67.5cm wide, 207gsm

Key words:
Soft, waffle, glide, thin

 

 

I’ve been curious about the Facett weave for a while, so I’m delighted I’ve had the chance to try one for myself. The first thing I noticed about Tethys – the moment I touched the wrap in the box, in fact – is that it was soft. Really soft. I was amazed that this was a loom state wrap! A wash and iron left it even softer still. This has to be one of the biggest advantages of Tethys, making it a very appealing option for new wrappers (or wrappers with little time or patience for breaking in).

 

 

Also immediately apparent in loom state was the lovely waffle texture of Tethys. This is unlike any other Didymos wrap I’ve handled and is really appealing! It feels comfortable and somehow a little comforting, too. The waffle texture flattened out somewhat after ironing, so if you love it as much as I do, you might want to skip that step (unless your wrap has creases you need to remove).

 

 

Despite the lovely waffle effect, this is actually a pretty low texture wrap with a lot of glide. I found this to be fantastic for carries requiring second passes, although I did have to tie a firm knot to avoid my wrap job slipping.

 

 

 

Tethys is a thin wrap, although (as with many Didymos thin cotton wraps) that doesn’t make it uncomfortable. It’s very mouldable – along with the glide afforded it by the low texture, this makes it easy to work with and to achieve precise, tight wrap jobs. My baby is now nearly 1 year old, and I found it fantastically comfortable with him in multi layer carries. I would probably only recommend this for single layer carries with a younger baby – although I can still get my 1 year old comfy, I prefer a little extra cush or bounce for single layer carries these days.

 

 

 

With my 3.5 year old, Tethys was comfortable in a multi-layer carry for a short period of time. As he never wants to be carried for long these days, this wrap could work for us – but if your older toddler/preschooler prefers to be up for longer, I might recommend something a little more substantial than Tethys.

 

 

 

Tethys’ weave is neither notably tight nor notably airy, and as such isn’t particularly pull prone. It has a tiny bit of stretch/bounce – just enough to give it a little bit of forgiving movement when wrapped. These qualities, combined with its easycare all-cotton blend, make it a good all-rounder. The only thing holding it back from being absolutely ideal for learning to wrap is that the two faces of the wrap are pretty similar, making it more difficult to notice if you have accidentally twisted a pass. However, the rails are differeniated, ameliorating this problem somewhat.

 

 

 

I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the colour of Tethys, as I’m not always a fan of grads along the weft. I was pleased to find I actually enjoy it when wrapped. The emerald, petrol and light green colours are well chosen and compliment each other. The black warp is striking and brings out the diamond weave (and is a practical choice for anyone worried about stains!).

 

 

I love using Tethys and would happily add it to my stash as an experienced wrapper, but I feel it truly shines as a beginner wrap. It’s so amazingly soft and easy to tighten, and robust enough to reassure cautious babywearers. If you’re just starting out and are wondering which wrap to get, Tethys is one to add to your shortlist!

 

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.

 

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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.