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 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 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!

 

Wrapping Qualities Explained

 

Last weekend I had the privilege of helping to run a workshop with Tina Hoffman at at The Wrap Show. Together, we explored the language the babywearing community commonly uses to describe wrapping qualities, defining terms and discussing what they really mean.

 

Handling a variety of wraps which exemplified the different qualities was something the workshop attendees found very helpful. I’d love to offer that to everyone reading this post, but sadly, we can’t feel wraps through the internet…! So instead, here’s my best take on terms commonly used to describe wrapping qualities. I hope it’s helpful. If you have questions, or comments, please do let me know – the discussion during the workshop was so interesting and engaging. As a community, I feel it benefits both seasoned and new babywearers to think about the language we use to help us understand the wraps we use.

 

Tina also shared some really interesting insights into wrap fibres and fibre care, and how this can also impact on wrapping qualities – but I won’t attempt to summarise that here, as her expertise far outstrips mine!

 

Thick
Opposite of thin

Mainly used to describe the in-hand feel of a wrap. Feels substantial and heavyweight when holding it. Will produce a large knot. Often (but not always) has a high gsm.

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos November’s Mist, Natibaby Indigo Indivisibility Cloak

 

Thin
Opposite of thick

Mainly used to describe the in-hand feel of a wrap. Feels lightweight, sometimes even delicate when holding it. Will produce a small knot. Often (but not always) has a low gsm.

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Cashmere Silk Ellipsen, Oscha Paradise Erraid, Didymos Kupfer Graphit Prima

 

Airy
Opposite of dense

Loose, open weave which allows air to move easily through it. When held up to a light source, the openness of an airy weave is particularly obvious. Often (but not always) a thinner wrap, lightweight in hand.

Other words often used: breathable, cool

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Ada Ocean, Didymos Acqua Waves

 

Dense
Opposite of airy

A close, tight weave. Dense wraps tend to feel warmer when wearing.

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Carmin Fische, Natibaby Indigo Indivisibility Cloak

 

Smooth
Opposite of textured

This typically describes the in-hand feel and look of a wrap. When you run your hand along a smooth wrap, you don’t notice much variation in texture. Smooth wraps even sometimes feel silky in hand. A smooth wrap is often smooth due to its weave, but can also be smooth because of the fibres used. Certain types of silk are very smooth, as is bamboo and tencel.

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Tinge Garden Ivy, Didymos Natural Silk Nino (mulberry), Didymos Natural Silk Millefiori, Didymos Agave

 

Textured
Opposite of smooth

This typically describes the in-hand feel and look of a wrap. When you run your hand along a textured wrap, it will feel bumpy. This is often because the weave has large variations in its thickness, as part of the pattern, but can also be because of the type of fibres used. A wrap which has not yet been broken in is also more likely to feel textured (and this may change as the wrap is broken in).

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Bebe Sachi Khadi, Didymos November’s Mist, Woven Wings Spearmint Tea Lace, Firespiral Barnacle Aqua Seafoam

 

Grip
Opposite of glide

This is a quality experienced when wrapping, best described as resistance when tightening. It is particularly noticeable when the wrap is moving across itself (e.g. in the second pass of a Double Hammock). Grippy wraps can be harder to knot. High texture wraps are often grippy.

Other words often used: velcro-like

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos November’s Mist, Bebe Sachi Khadi

 

Glide
Opposite of grip

This is a quality experienced when wrapping, best described as low resistance/friction when tightening. As with grip, it is particularly noticeable when the wrap is moving across itself. Smooth, low-texture wraps often have good glide.

Other words often used: smooth, slippery

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Natural Silk Nino (mulberry), Didymos Agave, Didymos Natural Silk Millefiori

(Slippery: so much glide that passes do not hold easily in place, and very firm knots are required to prevent the wrap from moving and slackening. Often a slippery wrap will not hold a slipknot well [or even at all].)


Stretch
Opposite of solid

Stretch is the elasticity of a wrap – how it stretches out as you are pulling to tighten it. This quality can often be noticed from the in-hand feel of a wrap, but is most experienced whilst wrapping.

Other words often used: elasticity

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Liscas

 

Bounce
Opposite of solid

Bounce is related to stretch. They key difference is that when stretched, a bouncy wrap will ‘recover’ or spring back (to varying degrees). This is often most noticed once you have completed your wrap job and tied off. A bouncy wrap will move with you, and allow your child to move up and down a little with your movement (even if you have tightened very well). It can feel a little like the wrap is hugging you, or like shock absorbers.

Other words often used: movement, springiness, stretch, elasticity

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Flamingo Lisca, Didymos Light Blue Wool Prima

 

Solid
Opposite of bounce and stretch

A solid wrap does not have much bounce/stretch. When wearing, it feels firm and often sturdy. A tight wrap job will hold your child very closely to you, almost making it feel as though they are glued to you when you move.

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Carmin Fische, Didymos Agave

 

Mouldability
A mouldable wrap holds closely to your own and your baby’s bodies, following the shapes and curves. It is supple, malleable and has a fluid drape. Broken in wraps are more like to be mouldable (and a wrap which is not initially mouldable may become so after breaking in).

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos original Ada, Woven Wings Blue Sapphire Geo, Didymos Natural Silk Nino, Didymos Lisca Minos

 

Cush
Cush is a particularly difficult term to define – it’s used widely, often with slightly different meanings depending on who is using it. It’s worth bearing this in mind when you see it used. Cush is commonly used to describe the feeling of a wrap on your shoulders – a cushy wrap will feel a little cushioned, or spongey. It will be comfortable, and will not feel flat/hard. It will not dig into your shoulders.

Wrap(s) which exemplify this: Didymos Flamingo Lisca

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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Didymos Sage (Salbei-Natur) Prima

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Prima
Fibre:
100% cotton
Measurements:
471 cm long, 69.5 cm wide, 240 gsm
Key words:
Mouldability, glide.

 

Two things stood out to me when I first wrapped with Sage: the mouldability and the ease of tightening. Combined, these two characteristics allow me to get extremely snug wrap jobs (particularly in back carries) – I feel as though I’m gluing my toddler to me! This snugness is what makes Sage so comfortable for me. It’s not cushy, but (with proper tightening) it isn’t diggy. Having Isaac hugged so closely to my body distributes his weight fantastically.

 

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The lovely mouldability/glide combination in Sage is pleasant in front carries, but I’m particularly enjoying it with back carries. It makes absolutely beautiful chest passes. I don’t always get a perfectly snug or even chest pass, but with this wrap it’s really easy to do. The horizontal lines on indios really make any uneven tightening of a chest pass very obvious – mine are often just a little bit slanty or wavy. In Sage, they always seem to end up dead straight, even though the wrap is hugging me like a second skin. This shows just how easy it is to work with and to tighten.

 

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Perfect alignment, superbly snug

 

Sage definitely has more glide than grip, but after tying off it feels nicely solid and doesn’t really go anywhere. For prolonged periods of carrying with a toddler (an hour or more), you might need to tighten once, but slippage is certainly not a big issue with this wrap. In hand Sage has quite a lot of stretch, but oddly I didn’t find it unusually stretchy (for an indio) when wrapping. It did have a nice little bit of bounce, which contributes to the overall comfort of the carries.

 

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At 240gsm, Sage’s weight may seem on the thinner side to those used to other brands. However, this is a weight which works really well with indios. In mutli-layer carries it’s beautifully comfortably with my 23lb toddler, but I wouldn’t have any hesitation in using this with a newborn either (as it wouldn’t swamp or overwhelm them with bulky leg passes). The knot is a pleasant size – not tiny, but not huge either. I’ve found this most supportive in back carries with my toddler, but front carries have also been comfortable for up to 30 minutes.

 

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I might hesitate to use this with a preschooler, because it isn’t a cushy wrap, and I suspect the some of the comfort from the super-snug carries might be a less effective with a seriously heavy child. (As I don’t yet have a pre-schooler, feel free to correct me on this!)

 

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The wrapping qualities of Sage are so lovely that it’s almost easy to forget its other charm: the colour. Its grey-green seems particularly difficult to capture in photos, but I love this beautiful, lightly-coloured neutral. It’s not bold, but is gently flattering, and I really appreciate how easy it is to pair with lots of different colours. Sage’s indio weave is slightly different to usual, resulting in a beautiful ‘speckled egg’ appearance on the right side of the wrap. This is perhaps my favourite part of Sage’s appearance.

 

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My overall impression of Sage? It’s subtle, elegant, and just my style.