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…

 

 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!