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!

 

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 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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