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!

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Accidental Loveliness

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

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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.