Girasol Nightfall Cuervo

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Girasol / double weft toddler twill

Fibre:
100% cotton

Measurements:
485cm long, 72cm wide, 291gsm

Key words:
Robust, supportive, comfy, vibrant

 

 

Let’s talk about friends.

Friends, like wraps, come in all different kinds. There’s the been-around-forever, reliable, call on them first in an emergency ones (Firespiral Barnacle Seafoam RS in my stash).

There’s the ones you don’t hang out with often, but whenever you do, you have a great time (this one’s my light blue wool Prima).

Then there’s the ones which are a less perfect fit for you than they were originally, but your shared history keeps you together (first wrap, anyone?).

And there’s the kind of friend who is just…instantly comfortable. They slot into your life as though they’ve been there all along.

This is Nightfall Cuervo.

 

 

Nightfall had an unceremonious introduction to my life: washed and chucked in the dryer the day before our family vacation, remembered at the last moment and stuffed around other luggage. Its first outing wasn’t special either – a quick and sloppy wrap job borne of necessity.

And yet, I barely remembered it was a new wrap. Nightfall didn’t demand my attention or require lots of effort – it just did the job, uncomplainingly, like it had been helping me soothe my toddler for months.

 

 

Straight of the box, Nightfall was a little stiff (although not intimidating). It softened up very nicely indeed with the first wash and tumble dry – it was immediately appealing to hold, with a nice heft and movement to the fabric. That’s not to say that Nightfall requires no breaking in, but it doesn’t need much, and the breaking in is pretty quick.

My immediate experience of this wrap was that it’s just so darn COMFY. It’s got great support for all-cotton, the thickness lends it a little cush, and it’s got enough mouldability to encourage good wrap jobs. It’s got that cosy, somehow comforting feel you get with some cotton wraps.

 

 

Nightfall has more grip than I expected to encounter from the feel of the weave, but it’s by no means a member of the velcro club. Second passes take a little work (I needed an elbow for the first few Double Hammocks, but it had more glide once broken in) but the grip does a great job at keeping wrap jobs snug once you’ve tied off. It’s not the airiest wrap and I wouldn’t reach for it on really hot days, but it’s fine in warm weather.

 

 

This is a fairly solid wrap, with only a little bit of give to the weave. On the whole it doesn’t feel too flat on the shoulders, saved by the cush afforded it by the thickness. The solidity did mean that before Nightfall was broken in it could occasionally be a little uncomfortable if I didn’t tighten evenly. However, once broken in I didn’t experience this any more (and during the breaking in process tightening evenly isn’t a battle).

 

 

 

Nightfall’s passes are just a little too thick and bulky to be ideal for a newborn. You can work around this with a Lexi twist, but if you don’t want to do this I’d suggest waiting until your baby is a few months old (perhaps 3 months, unless your little one is particularly small), so the passes don’t overwhelm their legs. Once you’re past these early days though – well, the world’s your oyster, so to speak. Nightfall has handled both my 22 month old and my 4 year old with absolutely no problems (in fact my toddler slept on my front in Nightfall through a 90 minute cliff walk!) – I’m always impressed when an all-cotton wrap can do this. My 4 year old was as comfy on my back as he ever is in a wrap, and he declared Nightfall to be very comfy and “definitely good for 4 year olds”(!). I found the width nicely generous for covering his tall, preschooler back.

 

 

It’s also extremely robust and sturdy. Need a picnic blanket? Nightfall has you covered. Forced to wrap in a muddy field or by thornbushes? Nightfall can handle it. I don’t baby my wraps, but do tend to be a little cautious with them at times. I felt no need to do that with Nightfall. If I was running from the zombie apocalypse, this is the sort of wrap I’d want with me.

 

 

But of course, those are the wrapping qualities.

Nightfall’s aesthetic…well, in terms of this, Nightfall isn’t comfortably familiar. No, Nightfall is like the friend whose style you always admire, the friend who’s cool without trying.

Just look at this colour grad. Think it looks good? It’s better in person. The colours are stunning: opulent and rich with wonderful depth. I love the way the colours play off against each other as they mix in different wrap jobs. I’ve also loved being able to choose a different look depending on which rail I choose to be my top rail (I’m pretty firmly #teamyellow, although I have ventured to the dark side a few times).

 

 

This grad is excellent for new wrappers learning to tighten, or more experienced wrappers learning new carries. Although the colours all compliment each other very nicely, they’re also distinct – it’s so quick to figure out where you need to tug to remove that pocket of slack. And despite the vibrancy of the colours, Nightfall actually hides mud and dirt pretty effectively. You’ll find a few small nubs and irregularities here and there, as with all Girasols: I think these give the wrap some extra character, and are a nice reminder that Giras are handwoven.

 

 

Comfy, hardwearing and hardworking and just plain joyful to look at: Nightfall has a lot to recommend it…and I think we’ll rather miss it.

Nightfall Cuervo is an exclusive for the Baby Carrier Boutique in Canada (but luckily for you, they ship worldwide). You can get your hands on your own zombie-apocalypse-defying wrap here. And if you think Nightfall Cuervo just won’t flatter your skintone as you run for shelter, check out the different wefts available.

 

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

 

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.

 

Didymos Silva

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Silva

Fibre:
78% cotton, 12% linen, 10% silk

Measurements:
488cm long , 67cm wide, 324gsm

Key words:
Cushy, supportive

 

 

EEEEE!

You’ll have to forgive me. I know, opening a review with a squeal is not ideal. But I have been so excited to get the chance to review this wrap! Didymos has previewed/teased Silva a number of times, and each time I have been intrigued by it. So, let’s find out: has Silva lived up to my expectations?

 

 

When you first handle this wrap, you don’t think of it as heavyweight. It has a gauzy texture and feels bouncy, full of air – voluminous, but not heavy. So I was surprised to find that this weighs in at a pretty hefty 324gsm. The secret behind this magic trick? Double weave, a technique which creates two independent layers of fabric regularly joined together via the pattern.

 

 

Double weave can, if desired, produce a completely different colourway on each side (or ‘face’) of the wrap (Didymos’ Fiorentino is a good example of this). With Silva, Didymos have opted for a more subtle approach. At first glance, you might assume that this wrap has just two colours – cream and green. However, a closer examination reveals that there are actually two different shades of green. One face of the wrap has warm-toned green silk, and the other has slightly darker, cooler-toned green linen. Both shades are stunning, and compliment each other wonderfully well. Rather than competing with each other, the two greens work harmoniously together to add depth to the overall colourway. I have to say, I like it very much indeed.

 

 

This leaf design is new for Didymos, and the wrap’s name – Silva – is inspired by it (Silva is Latin for ‘forest’ or ‘woodland’). The design, particularly in this gentle colourway, isn’t bold or attention-grabbing. Rather, it’s elegant. It’s refined. If wraps were used by the characters of Jane Austen novels, they might look something like this. I can imagine Jane Bingley fashioning it into a classic FWCC as she heads out to make her afternoon social calls.

 

 

Even in loom state Silva is smooshy in hand, and after a wash it fluffs up even more. As you might expect from this description, Silva is a cushy wrap. A very cushy wrap. The shoulder-feel is delightfully comfy. There’s a little bit of bounce and movement in the weave too, and this adds to the pleasantly cushioned feel – there’s nothing flat or hard about Silva. As it breaks in I also expect it to get deliciously soft!

 

 

The gauze-like weave feels quite textured in hand, so I wondered whether it might be very grippy. However, Silva actually has wonderful glide and is very easy to tighten. So often, heavy-weight wraps can be a little intimidating for new wrappers. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Silva to beginners – it’s lovely to work with. Along with the glide, Silva is surprisingly mouldable, easily giving me a very snug chest pass in a Double Hammock. This is a quality which I love, but tend to associate with thinner wraps, so finding it in a thick wrap is wonderful.

 

 

These qualities all make Silva a wonderfully comfortable and supportive wrap to use. I tried it in a Front Cross Carry, ruck, Double Hammock and no-sew ring sling with both my 20 month old toddler and 4 year preschooler – and it was comfortable every single time. Yes, every single time. This makes Silva one of the most versatile wraps I’ve ever tried.

 

 

In multilayer carries I barely noticed my toddler’s weight, but I would have no hesitation using Silva in single layer carries with him. When wrapping my preschooler I (unsurprisingly) preferred multi-layer carries, but I was also very impressed with the level of comfort achieved in single layer carries. Shorty or base size – this is a wrap which really will shine in every length. Silva’s combination of cush and mouldability even make it a great ring sling.

 

 

Though it may not feel heavy, Silva is still a thick wrap and produces a fairly bulky knot. This didn’t bother me but is something to keep in mind, particularly if you’re used to thinner wraps. I do feel that the overall bulk is not quite ideal for a newborn, as the bunched passes may overwhelm very tiny legs. Unlike other thick wraps, however, the mouldability is so good that I think Silva would be a good option for a small baby, as well as a superb choice for toddlers and preschoolers.

 

 

Here in the UK we’ve been waiting and waiting for spring to arrive, and I’m still not sure we’re quite there yet. But Silva’s gentle colouring makes me think of the first fresh leaves on the trees, and its fluffy lightness has a delicacy which reminds me of the apple blossom we pass on the way to my son’s nursery. Yes, it’s still chilly here, and it snowed this past weekend. But with Silva, I feel like I’m already holding my own little piece of spring.

 

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!

 

Liora Rae Wovens Bloom

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Liora Rae Wovens / Bloom

Fibre:
24% Egyptian cotton, 76% combed cotton

Measurements:
396cm long, 67cm wide, 289gsm

Key words:
Stretch, bounce, recoil, cush, supportive

 

I should start off with a warning. If you’re looking for a measured review, with staid language and a modest description of this wrap’s qualities, step away now. This review is not that.

Because I’m a tiny bit in love with Bloom.

 

 

I knew this was something special as soon as I pulled the wrap from its bag. Bloom has a texture unlike anything I’ve felt before. I spent a few days puzzling over its unplaceable familiarity before I realised that it reminds me of expensive tea towels…! That may not sound like a good thing, but trust me, it is. The texture is like a micro waffle, and is not rough but somehow a little coarse. It’s surprisingly pleasant in hand (I’m texture sensitive and loathe highly textured wraps), feeling reassuringly sturdy.

 

 

The other dominant in-hand feel is pure, glorious SMOOSH. I could squish Bloom in my hands all day long. In fact, I loved carries with some extra tail, because it allowed me to walk around squishing and testing the satisfyingly springy smoosh factor again and again. Did I look somewhat odd, as though I was trying to juice fabric? Probably, but I enjoyed it so much I just couldn’t help myself.

 

 

Once I’d assessed Bloom’s in-hand feel, I shook it out so I could take in the design. I normally hate large, frothy florals – they’re about as far away as you can get from my preferred geometric designs, and they almost make my skin crawl. I’m aware that’s something of an extreme reaction (!) but I’m owning up to it so you can understand why it’s unusual that I fell for Bloom. I expected the floral element of this wrap to feel pretty chintzy, but it really doesn’t. It’s oversized, and the detailing this allows for makes it look almost like a botanical illustration (which I just adore). The juxtaposition against, and interplay with the large diamond/chevron background is fascinating.

 

 

These colours are some of my favourites, so there was no chance I wasn’t going to love them. The light sage/mint and heather grey are soft, cool and complement each other beautifully. The colours have a tendency to look a little washed out in photos, rather than conveying the subtle, refined softness you experience in person. The touch of white picks out detailing, adding extra tonal depth and interest. As a finishing flourish to this lovely colourway, I found that in sunlight it has a slightly luminous quality. It’s truly, truly lovely.

 

 

Let’s step back into my journey to total adoration with Bloom. Thus far, this wrap had intrigued and then beguiled me with its in-hand feel, and seduced me with its looks. I was already feeling enthusiastic, but Bloom was about to seal the deal.

I wrapped with it.

Guys, this wrap is the stuff of my dreams. It’s got incredible stretch and recoil. I’ve previously described the bounce of thick Didymos Liscas as being like shock absorbers. Bloom is like Liscas on steroids. It really hugs you; the recovery from its stretch lends it wonderful movement without the wrap sagging one bit. If you’re ever wondering what true bounce with great recoil is, try this wrap. It exemplifies those qualities so perfectly that I could almost explode with excitement as I try to explain it to you. As I wore it, I kept picturing my son’s ball on an elastic string, which boingingings back perfectly each time it’s bounced. The bounce/recoil of Bloom is so good that it almost feels engineered.

 

 

 

The support of Bloom is pretty darn fantastic, too. I found it perfectly comfy in single layer carries, and in multi layer carries my toddler became blissfully weightless. That smoosh I couldn’t stop squishing makes for a wonderful shoulder feel. Never once did I feel a hint of digginess. In fact, the combination of support, smoosh and bounce make Bloom a fabulously forgiving wrap which handles sloppy wrap jobs gracefully.

 

 

Despite its slightly coarse texture, Bloom isn’t an overly grippy wrap. It walks the line between grip and glide rather expertly, finding a sweet spot between the two which makes second passes no worry, but holds wrap jobs and slipknots nicely in place.

 

 

To top it all off, Bloom is wonderful, easy-care cotton. As it’s not the tightest of weaves (it did acquire a few pulls during my week with it), I perhaps wouldn’t quite class it as a beater – but it’s great to know that any stains acquired will be easy to launder.

 

 

Now I’ve waxed lyrical, you probably want to hear about Bloom’s downsides. Well, whilst not dense, it’s not a thin or notably airy wrap – you might not reach for it immediately in hot weather. It’s a little pull prone. But its biggest drawback is that it might just make any other wraps you own seem redundant.

One and done? Shockingly, for this wrap collector, that suddenly seems possible…

 

Lovaloom Petalon Elin

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Lovaloom / Petalon

Fibre:
61% Pima cotton, 33% bourette silk, 6% seacell

Measurements:
491cm long, 66cm wide, 341gsm

Key words:
Thick, supportive, grippy

 

 

Trying a new wrap brand is always exciting. I’ve been watching Lovaloom’s releases for a while now, and enjoying their aesthetic – so I jumped at the opportunity to experience one of their wraps in person.

 

 

The Petalon weave is a stylized flower petal pattern with plenty of movement in it. To me, it’s also slightly reminiscent of baroque patterns. The scale is nicely considered: small enough that the pattern is beautifully on show, but large enough not to overwhelm with detail. It’s a really elegant design, and easy to wear with almost any outfit. I enjoy the detailing of “Lovaloom” being written along the hemmed rails – the font is elegant and it’s a lovely touch. Elin does have the giant care tags which so many wraps are required to have now, but you can easily roll it up and stitch it discreetly out of the way if it bothers you.

 

 

The colour of Elin is truly gorgeous. The natty colour is just the right creamy shade to offset the wonderfully fresh and vibrant purple. There are beautiful little blue-purple and magenta slubby nubs in the purple, creating a stunning speckled effect. The nubs add a lot of texture, but even without them Elin is a textured wrap. You can trace the petal patterns with your fingers, feeling the bumps and indentations. Overall, it really is a beautiful wrap – I’ve had a number of people comment on its striking looks whilst I was wearing it.

 

 

Elin doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its wrapping qualities, matching its beauty with solid support and softness. The blend of Pima cotton (softer than standard cotton thanks to its extra long staples), silk and seacell is deliciously strokeable. It’s one of the best wraps I’ve tried in terms of support – it’s got no issues hauling heavy loads (I’ve carried my 3 year old on my front with wonderful ease in Elin). The wrap’s support is complemented by some great cush, particularly noticeable on the shoulders in back carries.

 

 

The trade-off for this level of support is a thick wrap with a tight weave, making it fairly dense. This isn’t inherently a bad thing (although I tend to prefer thinner wraps myself), but does mean it’s not terribly breathable. I imagine this might be a warm wrap to wear in hot weather, leaving you reaching for an alternative in the summer months.

 

 

Elin is a moderately grippy wrap. Making a second pass in a Double Hammock takes a little work (as does tying a knot), but once completed, carries stay put. I generally dislike grippy wraps but wasn’t too put off by Elin, and if grip is a quality you like I think you’ll really enjoy this wrap. Elin is fairly solid but has a little stretch when wrapping, which translates to a little bit of movement once you tie off. This extra give-and-take is definitely a nice touch to balance out the solidity, and contributes to Elin’s nice cush. Despite its grip and solidity, Elin is a fairly easy wrap to work with – and it makes lovely shoulder pleats!

 

 

Overall, Petalon Elin is a great wrap. Due to its thickness, solidity and grip, I think it works best for older babies, and really shines with toddlers. If you like Elin’s wrapping qualities then you could use it with a younger baby, although I’d recommend waiting a few months to ensure the bulk of the wrap doesn’t overwhelm tiny legs. Combining comfort and practicality with striking, head-turning looks, Elin is a thoroughly enjoyable wrap.

 

Have you tried any Lovaloom wraps? How to they compare to Elin’s wrapping qualities? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 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 Ada Natur

 

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Ada

Fibre:
68% cotton, 25% hemp, 7% tussah silk

Measurements:
479cm long, 67cm wide, 275gsm

Key words:
Supportive, textured, elegant, sheen, soft

 

 

Natties! Ah, possibly one of the most divisive colourways in the babywearing world. Some love them, some are terrified of them. I used to fall in the latter camp (the mud! The tomato sauce! The horror!) but having taking the plunge with a Natural Silk Prima, I have happily decamped to join the natty lovers. I adore the subtle elegance, the effortless goes-with-all-outfits style (and it turns out they’re not the stain attracting nightmares I envisaged).

 

 

Ada Natur embodies many of the qualities I love most about natties. The light cream colour is warm and flattering. The weave brings wonderful texture and elegant detail. And it has such wonderful, beautiful lustre. Natur really glows in sunlight – particularly in the late afternoon sun, when it seems to reflect the golden rose tones of the sky.

 

 

This is a new blend for Didymos, and I have to say I think it’s very successful. It’s not a high silk content, but is nevertheless enough to add an extra softness and sheen to the initially coarse hemp. It helps Ada Natur to feel more luxurious even in loom state. I find hemp can be quite variable in quality, but I love this hemp – the yarn is consistent in width with very, very few nubs. The hemp also complements the silk really well; they are similar in tone and both have wonderful lustre.

 

 

In loom state, although beautiful (with the sheen immediately evident) Ada Natur is somewhat rough and stiff. I believe this down to a combination of the hemp, and the fairly textured nature of the Ada weave. After handwashing and ironing the wrap had softened only a little. However, with use (and some ring dragging – I’m impatient with the breaking in process!) Ada Natur has quickly started to transform. It feels almost as though the hemp wants to break in. At the time of writing, the wrap is already nicely soft and floppy, but I can feel it has even further to go. Once this is fully broken in, I expect it to be gloriously soft!

 

 

 

Compared to the original Ada, Natur is thicker and more solid – I definitely notice less stretch and give when wrapping. It initially also felt much more textured and grippy, but this is easing as the hemp breaks in. Once fully broken in I expect Natur to be comparable to the original Ada in both texture and grip.

 

 

 

The hemp and the silk both make this a wonderfully supportive wrap. I’ve worn my 3 year old in a Double Hammock for over an hour in complete comfort. I think this would make a fabulous shorty for bigger babies and young toddlers (I’d probably stick to multi-layer carries for older toddlers and pre-schoolers and I like a longer wrap for this). In a longer length, the world’s your oyster – I think it will be a fabulous all-rounder. If you’re thinking of using it with a very young baby/newborn, I’d recommend making sure it is well broken in first. I feel it’s too stiff and rough when new to be an ideal wrap for really tiny babies.

 

 

 

Natur will handle most weather pretty well. Weighing in at 275gsm, it isn’t going to be the coolest wrap for truly hot weather, but the airiness of the Ada weave will help to bring some breathability in those circumstances. In any other weather, I think Natur will perform very nicely.

 

 

If you’re willing to take the natty plunge (and honestly, you should), Ada Natur is a wonderful wrap. Sturdy, supportive, yet beautifully elegant with luxurious lustre – Natur is an everyday, special occasion, little baby snuggling, toddler hauling workhorse.