Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: Oonlamoon 100% cotton wrap Svethmegh

Prae sent me one of her beautiful all-cotton Oonlamoons to try and from the moment I opened the bag I was besotted. Simple and lovely, Svethmegh came encased in a white cotton wrapper and was like cotton wool to the touch.

Fresh from the wrapper and unwashed, this felt light and squished into a soft crumple of fibre easily. The selvedges are perfectly straight and unhemmed and this wrap is beautiful, earthy and very organic-feeling. 

How on earth does it have such a magical downy texture? The warp is a machine-spun cotton (alternating beige and natural tones in very faint stripes) but the cotton weft is not only hand-dyed using plant-derived dyes, it's also handspun, imparting fluffiness and cush without adding weight or bulk. Pre-wash, subtle texture variation is apparent throughout the weave, but after a single wash the threads appear very uniform and have fluffed up considerably. 

Prae works with women in Northern Thailand communities, where weaving provides an income in agricultural downtime. The cotton is sourced from local farmers and for this wrap, dyes were manufactured from  the leaves of the indigo plant (blue), fruit of the Ebony tree (black). 

So, after throwing Svethmegh in the wash and impatiently waiting overnight for it to dry, it began an illustrious wrapping career with FWCC. (Please remember my wrappee is 2yo and 12kg/27lbs.)

Holy cush. This is like didymos' famed Natural Hemp India without any of the painful breaking-in, and with much less weight and heft. At 78cms wide and 225 gsm this is a delightful toddler wrap, no stretching to make a seat or spread passes. 
The blue middle marker is an easy and quiet nod to utility, and this is love at first wrap. Key words: marshmallowy, tactile, pillowy, comfortable. But it's not all that hard to shine in FWCC, so the next test: an hour's leisurely stroll. 

Off we went in a double hammock with candy cane chest belt; it's not difficult to get a comfortable wrap job, but the back passes might feel a bit catchy to an inexperienced wrapper. A good L-tighten makes a tight, Velcro-secure carry, and we walked for a good hour without a shift, sag or dig. My verdict? Start stalking, and watch Oonlamoon with interest.

A brief addition: at an expo where I was asked how big is too big to wear, Svethmegh happily rucked a tall 4yo for half an hour. She cuddled my neck and I swayed a whole bunch of new parents into the versatility and longevity of the simple woven wrap as parenting tool ;)

Want to score one of these (a) free and (b) without stalking? Hit the widget: HERE!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Review - Rockin' Baby ring sling

Rockin' Baby are on a mission - to enable mothers in communities where survival is a daily challenge to wear their babies. They understand that these women need to keep their babies safe, fed and close while filling life's essential needs for their families. How do they do this? Simple. For every sling purchased by us, they will give a "Hero Sling" to a mother in Haiti, helping her to bond with her new baby and get on with the practicalities of living.

Now, this is all very nice, but what about the slings they are making and selling to us? Well, I have one here -  a reversible called "Midnight Hour" - and it's lovely. It's a reversible navy solid/peacock pattern with a simple pleated shoulder which takes a little getting used to but spreads to cup the shoulder nicely. Most slings in the range feature a fancy side and a quieter side; I anticipated this making them difficult to adjust but I was wrong.

The winning feature: the zip pocket in the tail large enough to stash your keys/wallet/spare nappy.
This does make it harder to thread the sling but once you know it's there it's easy enough to do - and if you're anything like me, you only fully unthread or rethread your ring sling when it's going in the wash. Learn from my addled experience: when you want to wear the sling with the OTHER side out, you DO need to rethread it. Failing to do this will leave you stranded and struggling in a sling that won't tighten and then you just feel like a goose...

Conclusion: This is a nice product. At $99 it won't break the bank, it's a great starter sling that is mama and dada friendly, it's easy to use correctly and follow TICKS guidelines in, and you're supporting an awesome project and enabling another mama to keep her baby close. Win. Win. Win.

And you CAN win one ;) Just hit the widget