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!

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.

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!

Wrap Review: Woven Wings Silk Noil Geo

Y’all know I love my WWs, but I’m seriously not joking when I tell you that this one is the best yet!

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The first thing you notice about this sling is the smell. The rich, earthy, sweet silky smell. This smell is something I love, although I know many do not. But there was no doubting the blend of this sling. I was told it was 20% bourette (or noil) silk.

Bourette or Noil silk comes from the mulberry silkworm. These silkworms feed continuously on mulberry leaves for 30 days. Then they begin to use what they have consumed to spin this wonderful fibre. Although Bourette comes from mulberry silk worms, it isn’t the shiny slippery silk we usually picture. Instead, it has a rustic look and feel. After the mulberry silk is harvested, the bits that remain are collected, combed, cut and spun into a fibre with a subtle sheen and nubby texture. You can see darker blue flecks and lots of little nubs and stubs in the fibre which give the whole wrap an amazing ‘casual elegance’. Bourette silk is reputed to have a healing, calming effect on the skin, and it has certainly worked its wonders with my grumpy teething toddler.

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This wrap is thin. It’s about the same, if not slightly thinner than the cotton Geos, but the silk fibres are quite chunky, making it a dense and heavy weave. This means that it is a delight to wrap as the passes can be manoeuvred easily but have a decent drape, allowing a decent wrap job, even with the most wiggly of toddlers. The silk also provides the perfect about of grip, holding passes in place easily.

Don’t be put off by the thinness of this wrap either. It is really strong! I went to meet friends this morning and wrapped my Toddler in a double hammock. It was a 45 minute walk there, and I couldn’t feel her weight at all. I find most blends start to get uncomfortable after around 30 minutes, but I could easily of had her up there all day without any issues at all.

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Because of how strong this wrap is, I think it would perform amazingly well as a summer shorty as well as in longer lengths. I’ve tried this prototype in both single and multi layer carries with great success. Although there isn’t a great deal of diagonal stretch (at least, not as much as the merino blend WWs, or the cotton), it is soft and mouldable and will stay solid, even with a wiggly, leaning, leg-straightening, wrap-striking toddler.

The blue silk noil geo has fast become my go-to sling, leaving the rest of my small stash totally redundant. I can assure you, I will be clicking that refresh button repeatedly once the release time for this beauty is announced, as no stash is complete without a Noil!

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Wrap Review: Woven Wings Triangles

Last week my neighbour knocked on the door and handed me a parcel that I wasn’t expecting. I’d had a rough week and was pretty down. Attached to the parcel was a lovely note from Christina and Sarah, saying they were thinking of me, and hoped that this surprise would cheer me up.

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Inside was one of the prettiest slings I’ve ever had the chance to use. The three colours, a rich indigo-blue, a pinky Lilac and a natural ecru-white, really compliment each other and the detail in the weave is delicate, subtle and stunning.

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The hems are immaculate. Very neat, and small enough not to hinder wrapping, but give the rails enough bulk to be able to feel them when wrapping.
This sling is 100% cotton, but it’s soft, floppy, and mouldable.
Passes glide easily into place, and it can be knotted off easily. It doesn’t have the texture that the cotton Geo’s had, so may not have as much grip over longer period of time, however this shouldn’t matter too much as the smoothness of the fabric means that it is easy to wrap with and high, tight, carries are simple to achieve.
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It’s a medium thin wrap, but with a dense weave. This makes it strong yet cushy, and it hold my toddler in single layer carries without any sign of sagging, whilst still being easy on the shoulders.
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This wrap is everything that we have come to expect from Woven Wings, and once again, will not be leaving you disappointed.

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