Didymos Garten im Herbst

AT A GLANCE

Brand / weave:
Didymos / Garten im Herbst
Fibre:
60% cotton, 40% wool
Pre-wash measurements:
453 cm long, 70 cm wide, 284 gsm
Post-wash measurements:
444 cm long, 70 cm wide, 292 gsm
Key words:
Supportive, solid, robust

 

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Woven exclusively for Natürlich Wachsen, Garten im Herbst (“Garden in Autumn”) intrigued me as soon as I saw it. It reminds me a little of Didymos’ existing bird weave, Vogels, but the addition of branches with angular foliage and the different style of birds makes for a more quirky design. This is one of those patterns which really comes to life when wrapped; the branches lie beautifully, and the lifelike birds sit elegantly amongst them. I hadn’t expected Garten to feel classy, but it really does.

 

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The contrasting colours of Garten give you two wonderful wearing options. The lighter side is best described as a champagne colour: creamy, rich, and with a wonderful sheen which totally surprised me. The sheen meant I definitely preferred wearing Garten champagne side out – it felt elegant and somehow quite luxurious. By contrast, the brown side is chocolately and warm. The brown fibres make up the wool content of this wrap, meaning that when worn brown side out Garten also has a more textured appearance. As most of the wool fibres are situated on one side of the wrap, Garten is an interesting option for anyone who loves the wrapping qualities of wool but is sensitive to this fibre. By wearing the creamy cotton side closest to your skin, you can minimise contact with the wool fibres.

 

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At 292 gsm, this wrap offers wonderful support for bigger babies and toddlers. I’ve used it with both a small-ish 6 month old and and 24lb 21 month old, and loved it with both of them. My 6 month old niece felt truly weightless, even in a hasty, sloppily-executed Front Wrap Cross Carry. I most enjoyed Garten with my 21 month old in a Double Hammock. The weave is solid (so it really is fabulous for support), but the wool adds a little elasticity and bounce, making this very comfortable on the shoulders. The balance of grip vs. glide is definitely more towards glide with this wrap, but I never experienced problems with slippage once I’d tied off – wrap jobs remained comfortably in place.

 

The drawbacks of Garten? I wouldn’t use it with a little baby, as I feel the weight and general solidity of the wrap could overwhelm tiny limbs (it should be fine from around 4-6 months, depending on the size of your baby). Wool as a fibre can be fantastic year-round, but I have to say that I wouldn’t reach for Garten in the warm summer months – the weave is tight enough that I feel it wouldn’t breathe sufficiently for me. However, it would do well in any other season, and the tight weave does mean that it feels extremely sturdy and robust (pulls are not going to happen easily).

 

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Being a sturdy wool blend, this does need some breaking in. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft it was after its first wash (it had remarkably little wool prickle), but it was definitely still rather stiff. Aside from plenty of use, I like to break in my wraps by sitting and sleeping on them. After just a week I noticed a big different in Garten, as it started to become more malleable and easier to tighten. I sold Garten before it was fully broken in, but by the time it left it was already pleasant to use, and I imagine that with some more work it would become very floppy.

 

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Garten is a wonderful wrap which deserves a little more love and attention than it currently gets. If you like thinner, newborn-friendly, airy or stretchy wraps, this may not be for you. However, if robust-yet-elegant, supportive, solid and cosy wraps are right up your street, Garten could be a great match for you.

At the time of writing, Garten im Herbst is still in stock – if you’re tempted, take a look!

 

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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.