PinkNova Polaris Morning Coffee

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
PinkNova  /  Polaris
Fibre:
53% bio cotton, 29% superfine wool, 18% cashmere
Measurements:
497cm long,  65cm wide, 299 gsm
Key words:
Thick, cosy, supportive


For many babywearers, autumn is when wool wraps really come into their own – so I was excited to try out Polaris Morning Coffee just as the colder weather was arriving. A holiday from a lovely friend, this was also my first experience of Pink Nova.

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My first impression of Morning Coffee was that it’s a lovely colour. It’s a true neutral brown: neither really warm nor really cool. The constrasting colour is somewhere inbetween cream and white, cool enough to form a nice, crisp contrast with the brown. The geometric design seems fairly plain when the wrap is flat or folded but becomes dynamic when wrapped; the strong lines become more fluid.

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Despite only being slightly broken in when it first arrived, Morning Coffee was not at all itchy (and I can be quite wool sensitive). During the course of its visit with me, it became much softer and floppier. I’m not sure this will ever be soft in a silky/smooth way, but it is very pleasantly snuggly. It has a lovely drape – I found I wanted to use carries which gave me long tails just so I could enjoy the drape properly! Morning Coffee wasn’t notably mouldable at first, but as it became more broken in this started to emerge as more of a highlight of the wrap, making it lovely to work with. A slightly unusual feature of the wrap is wider than usual seams – I actually really liked this; they were very comfortable and felt nice in hand when tightening.

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The Polaris weave is sturdy and solid. In this wool/cashmere blend, there was a nice bit of bounce and movement. I suspect that in other blends, the weave might be a little too solid for me. I found it to be pretty pull resistant. The weave gives a little grip, but that’s not a dominant feature – tightening, whilst not super smooth, was not difficult. It’s a fairly dense weave (not airy or breathable) and Morning Coffee is thick, so although I don’t have direct experience of this in the heat, I feel it’s better suited to the cooler months of the year.

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The thickness and solidity of Morning Coffee may not make it your first choice in warm weather, but as a trade-off you do get an excellent amount of support. I liked this with my big 4 month old, but it really shone with my toddler (who is fast approaching 3 years old). Carrying in a Double Hammock was superbly comfortable, for both him and I. The thickness of the wrap meant it felt nicely cushioned on my shoulders, and the wooly bounce acted as a great shock absorber. I even used Morning Coffee in a Front Cross Carry with my toddler a few times, and found it as comfy as any wrap I’ve tried (the wrap hugged my back particularly nicely). Morning Coffee wouldn’t personally be my choice for a newborn, but as long as it was well broken in you could make it work.

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I really enjoyed Morning Coffee, much more than I expected to. If you’re happy handling a thicker wool wrap in the warmer months, this could easily be a one-and-done wrap for you. If you’re hefting around a bigger baby or toddler, you’ll particularly appreciate the support of this wrap (I didn’t try a single layer carry with the toddler but my instinct is that the wrap could handle it). Morning Coffee is impressive, beautifully made, and has made me keen to try other Pink Nova wraps.

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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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