Woven Wrap Review: Joy & Joe Baby – Fluffy Shades of Feathers

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I love getting wraps to test. The excitement of opening a new wrap, one in a new blend or a different weave then any like it before is second to none, and one company that I have the honour of testing for is Joy and Joe Baby. I’ve been testing and reviewing woven wraps for these guys now for just over a year, and the difference in the weave between their early products and what they are producing now is flabbergasting!

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Their new innocence collection’ is the lower end range of their woven wraps and they have been working really hard to retain the  high quality weave, but at a more affordable price. The main difference between the new Innocence collection and their high end ‘signature collection’ (FOL and new SMPs) is that they have not received the extra post weaving treatment and they don’t come with all the extras, but will just have thick canvas taper bags and white cardboard boxes.

26955F2A00000578-0-image-a-100_1426195426016The latest design from this new collection has been inspired by a beautiful Alexander McQueen’s dress worn by FKA Twigs on the red carpet. The design itself consists of overlapping feathers, which have been created using a mix of two weaves, one weave is deliberately more textured than the other to improve the adaptability and movement that the wrap allows. This gives the wrap a fantastic glide, but with the perfect amount of grip, which holds even a sloppy wrap job in place for hours.The soft combed cotton easily carries my nearly 3 year old with a fantastic amount of Cush, making the wrap itself superbly comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time.

The value for money on this new weave is undeniable, all the luxury of the signature collection, but without any of the fancy extras. The wrap I have here I’ve been using in loom state, however I expect that after it’s first wash it will fluff up beautifully, and the potentially shaggy threads will disappear into a wonderful weave structure of cushy and strength.

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Width: 27 inches approx.
Blend: 50% Italian cotton+50% combed cotton
Weight: 287 gsm

Pricing: Ringsling(2m): £90, XS (2.6m): £95, S(3.2m): £99, M(3.6m): £119 , L(4.2m): £129, XL(4.6m): £135 , XXL(5.2m): £145

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Wrap Review: Joy & Joe Baby – Happy Faces Teaching Wrap

015A few weeks ago I had a series of wrapping workshops running in Aberystwyth. As usual the spaces on these workshops filled up pretty quickly. But the difference between these workshops, compared to previous ones, was that this time, I had a secret visitor available to help me out, and make sure that these workshops ran smoothly.012

Bisi from Joy and Joe baby had contacted me prior to the workshops to tell me about her latest creation, a specially designed teaching wrap, created for libraries and consultants. This is something we had talked about, briefly earlier in the year, and she was very happy to let you know that their first library wrap was ready.

The idea was to send this wrap travelling around some sling libraries to raise more awareness of their new weaving quality, and was hoping that I could can kick start the library tester tour.

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Wrap Review: Joy & Joe Fountain of Love

I’ve been lucky enough to been one of the first to try the new wrap from Joy and Joy Baby

 These guys are known for their thick, beasty, durable wraps, and have had a number of amazing products in the past, such as their famous ‘shiver me paisley’ design. They have been tirelessly working in their secret wrap laboratory, behind the scenes with a renowned textiles expert, who has worked with other high-end wrap companies, to come up with something so totally different from their standard line that it’s left me second guessing everything I thought I knew about Joy and Joe wraps.

 After several tweaks to the weave structure, and some extra steam treatments and pressing the resulting wrap, named ‘Fountain of Love’ is one of the softest woven wraps I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.The prototype wraps have been woven in 3 different colours, the Black and White version I have here in wrap form, but I’ve also got a couple of scraps of the other two colours that will be available; a bright pink and white, and also a gorgeous mustard yellow and white. all 3 colour-ways are 50% Italian combed cotton and 50% mercerized cotton. In terms of the weave quality, it’s the same basic weave that was used on some of their other woven wraps, such a Maxi-Roses, but the style of the weaving and the movement of the loom have been carefully engineered to give FoL a superior drape, super soft handle and an amazing diagonal stretch. Straight out the box, the wrap can easily be compared to that of a FireSpiral Sling, but it differs from FiSpi as it’s a fluffy double twill weave, whereas FiSpi use a loose weave with a single layer. This double weave means that the wrap has a backbone! an amazing durability and toddler-worthiness to it, without compromising on any cush or lustre.

 The broken twill weave gives it a good grippy texture which is really complimented by the silky glide of the finish. It really is a ‘Joy’ to wrap with. the passes guide smoothly into place, but don’t slip once tied off. even my bouncy toddler couldn’t budge from a simple ruck, and I could hardly feel her weight in a BWCC.
There’s no hint yet on a possible retail price as these prototypes have literally just come off the loom, but judging from the production process involved into producing them they will be priced higher than any of the previous Joy and Joe wraps, and are to be the first wraps of the companies ‘High-End’ range. And if these first few wraps are anything to go by, then it’s going to be one hell of a range!

Wrap Review: Sling Studio – Falling Feathers Sway

 When I posted my review of the stunning Falling Feathers Sky with Baby Camel Hair, I mentioned I was lucky enough to of been testing two Sling Studios. 

Well, here is the second. Let me introduce you to Sway.

 This stunning work of art is the single most amazing thing I have ever felt in my life! It’s softness is almost enough to make you cry! I can’t even find the words to describe it. It’s mind-blowing. Like wrapping with a cloud or a giant marshmallow blanket.

It turns out that it isn’t woven from kitten belly fur, but is actually 48% finest Italian Merino Wool. I was convinced it was some sort of cashmere blend. I didn’t know wool could ever be that soft!
Obviously the best way to test a wrap it to drag it through the forest whilst chasing after a muddy toddler. And it held up to that test pretty well. The passes glide over each other and the drape is so similar to a blanket that each carry is just like a huge cuddle.
I just wish that my two year old was younger, despite its amazing malleability it did pull on my shoulders slightly when she fell into a dead-weight sleep and needed a bit of adjustment to get it comfy. It would, however, be the most perfect squish wrap in the world!
The colour is just to die for too. The stone grey really highlights the stunning petrol teal colour of the reverse. It’s a colour combination which really works, and makes a wonderful everyday wrap, but something that will still look classy when it’s dressed up.
It has ruined all other slings for me as nothing will ever compare to this!

Wrap Review: Sling Studio – Falling Feathers Sky

I’ve been lucky enough to of had a couple Sling Studio Testers here to stay, so brought them with me to the Lake District last week. 
 This blue beauty here has been Falling Feathers Sky, and is stunning blend containing the hair from Baby Camels, and a little bit of pixie dust,
52% cotton/24% finest italian merino/19% camel/5% silk, to be exact.
ItIMG_6157‘s a bight shade of true cobalt blue and the same teally green the other FFs have had. I’m not a huge fan of green and blue together, but I’ve fallen head over heels for this baby! The slight prickle is barely noticeable when wrapped, and it’s so strong, but retains an amazing softness to it without any sag. It is so light in hand, yet strong and easy to use.
IMG_6160It’s part of Sling Studio’s ‘New Forest Collection’ and is inspired by simply looking up whilst in the deep depths of the lush forest.
On this particular day my 2 year old was up and down over a 8 hour period, which included a 90 minute wrap nap. There’s not many wraps that are up to that job any more!

Library Highlight: MADAME GOOGOO

A few weeks back Madame GooGoo ran a Facebook competition, and asked people to nominate their local sling library or babywearing groups, for a chance to win one of 10 beautiful hand made full buckle carriers.
And you lovely people thought that Cariad Babywearing and Aberystwyth Babywearers were worth the effort. Well thank you guys so much because our name was picked, and a beautiful Full Buckle carrier arrived here in Wales last week.
It will be available to hire from the library after the weekend, for the standard hire charge of £10 a month!

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Wrap Review: Woven Wings American Quilt – The Teal Edition

You may remember I was lucky enough to receive the stunning raspberry AQ to play with back in the summer so WWHQ was keen for me to try out the teal AQ too, to give you guys a comparison.
IMG_0011.JPGRaspberry was thick, dense and stubborn. Teal is thick too, there’s no mistaking it, but he has none of the stubbornness that his raspberry sister had. He is soft and floppy and mouldable, and results in a solid carry, with a nice bit of bounce.
The most noticeable difference between the two is that raspberry has two very different sides, but the colour difference between the two sides of teal is so subtle that you can almost miss it entirely. This obviously has no actual effect on how it wraps, but I quite like my wraps having two different ‘looks’.
Teal is much more manageable than his raspberry sister, who was a beast until she had been tamed. He still has the same density and the cush that AQ has become known for, but doesn’t require as much effort. This new version also brings a whole new aspect to the name ‘American Quilt’ as he has to be one of the most beautiful blankety wraps I’ve ever had the pleasure of wrapping with!
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He’s still a very toddler worthy wrap, but it’s lost the almost hemp-like quality that his pink sister had, and now possesses a quality not too dissimilar to that of thick tussah silk wraps.
This wrap is defiantly another name on my wish list, and one that, once again, will not disappoint.

Woven Wrap Workshop: Wrap Passes

Wrapping isn’t as difficult as you may first think. Every single carry that you wrap consists of a combination of 4 different passes. A pass is where you literally are passing the fabric from one side of your body to the other. Some carries may use a mixture of different passes; some may use the same passes. Sometimes these passes are spread out wide, and sometimes they are bunched.

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The Ruck Pass

(Also known as Kangaroo Pass when worn on the wrapper’s front.)

The wrap goes over the wrapper’s shoulder, across baby’s back and behind both of her knees, and over the wrapper’s other shoulder.

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Pros:

  • Great for a high back carry.
  • Can be cooler by allowing ventilation at the baby’s sides.
  • Great for babies who lean.

Cons:

  • Not helpful for babies who leg straighten.

 

The Hammock or ‘Rebozo’ Pass

The wrap goes over baby’s back on the diagonal, behind both of baby’s knees. One end goes under the wrapper’s arm and the other comes over the wrapper’s opposite shoulder.

Rebozo Pass

Pros:

  • Great for babies who lean.

Cons:

  • Not helpful for babies who leg straighten.

 

The Horizontal or ‘Wrap’ Pass

(also known as a Torso Pass)
The wrap goes straight across baby’s back and under both of the wrapper’s arms.
Bunched Horizontal Passes are also used in some carries. It is a horizontal pass that is bunched up into a roll instead of being spread over the baby. It goes under both of the wrapper’s arms, under the baby’s bottom, and over both of baby’s legs. Bunched torso passes help pin the seat, are very quick, and are cooler in the heat. They do not provide protection against leaning or leg straightening and do not offer additional support like a spread out torso pass. Used in Double Hammock Tied at Shoulder, Knotless Ruck, and Ruck Tied at Shoulder.

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Pros:

  • Great for securing baby tightly against wearer without any openings at the baby’s sides.

 Cons:

  • Carries that start with a Torso Pass can only be as high as the wearer’s armpits which results in a lower carry.

 

The Cross Pass 

The wrap goes over the wrapper’s shoulder, across baby’s back diagonally, and under baby’s leg.

If the wrap starts from under baby’s leg and travels diagonally up toward the wrapper’s shoulder, it is sometimes called a Wiggleproof Pass.

cross pass

Pros:

  • Great for babies who leg straighten. A cross pass can often be substituted for a Rebozo pass in carries where the wrapper desires protection for leg straightening.
  • Great for poppable carries.

Cons:

  • Not helpful for babies who lean.
  • Not secure without additional passes.

 

Reinforcing Pass

This isn’t technically a pass, as it does not offer support in the same way the first 4 do, it merely reinforces the existing passes.

The wrap goes under the wrapper’s arm, across baby diagonally, and under baby’s leg. Can be bunched or spread. This pass is not suitable alone, but instead adds extra support or helps prevent leg straightening.a lower carry.

rein pass

Pros:

  • Helps prevent leg straightening.
  • Adds extra support when spread.
  • Bunched reinforcing passes help pin the seat in place, are very quick, and cooler in the heat.

Cons:

  • Not helpful for babies who lean.
  • Difficult to spread high on baby’s back as the pass starts from under the wrapper’s armpit

Wrap Review: Woven Wings American Quilt

This wrap is not for the faint of heart. She is thick. She is stubborn. She is a beast to use. She is absolutely perfect for my toddler!

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The most mind blowing thing about this wrap is the blend. Something this thick and dense has to be hemp, or linen, or silk or even mangalitsa pig hair… But it’s 100% cotton!

The new weave used to produce this wrap sets it aside from anything else that Woven Wings has done before and she is very different from the other all cotton wraps.

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I’ve had her here for a couple of weeks now and she is starting to soften up a treat. She is still thick and beastly, and you end up with a knot the size of a dinner plate, but she is also soft and squishy and cuddly, whilst being strong and supportive.

If I had to liken her to another wrap, I’d say she wraps pretty much the same as Didymos Natural Hemp India.

The piece I have measures just over 3m, so I’ve been using her for a wide variety of shortie carries, including a no-sew ring sling, rebozo, ruck variations (CCCB, Knotless and Tub), half JBC, Double Hammock Rebozo, Shepard’s and I’ve even managed to eek out a Double Hammock Tied at a shoulder with her.

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Like the other WWs she is a little in the narrow side at 64cm, and due to her thickness (and the size of the knot), she does wrap a little short.

The passes glide beautifully, not unlike the other all cotton WWs, but the reverse side has a little more texture than the top, which means that they grip in place and stay where you leave them. Obviously this is great if you can get a good wrap job from the word go, but I did find it difficult to adjust my wrap job once out.

The pattern is something we’ve not seen before, but continues on the love of geometric shapes that we have come to expect from WW. It’s subtle yet stylish, and although the raspberry colour is not one I would have picked, it matches any outfit, for any occasion.

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American Quilt deserves a place in every stash, although I really wouldn’t recommend her to new or inexperienced wrappers, or for use with newborn babies, purely down to the thickness of the fabric. But as a Toddler wrap, I’ve never used one better!