Sunday, December 4, 2016

SUPU woven wraps - Flight Blaze review

Who is SUPU? Well, the woman behind them is a lovely New Zealander who now resides in the UK - Jess has long worked as a designer and textiles are obviously her thing! I had a little chat to her before Flight arrived and can say her whole process, from design, sampling mill runs and even finishing - has been very hands-on and involved - and that really shows in the presentation and textile quality of her finished product. 

Right out of the bag, Flight Blaze is a medium weight cotton (290 gsm) which drapes and relaxes in hand very quickly. The herringbone weave and relatively flat peacock pattern don't lift away much, making this an easy wrap for second passes and smooth seats. Not difficult in hand for little babes and awesome for multilayer carries. Jess has chosen Oeko-Tex certified Egyptian cotton for Flight Blaze, and the long, smooth fibres contribute to a lush, smooth feeling in hand. 

Trucking around nearly 20 kilos of four-year-old is a big ask, and SUPU's Flight Blaze held up very well - I would compare it to Didymos' Lisca, but with less sag factor and a much sturdier feeling.At 70 cms wide, it's plenty for a good seat without a lot of extra bunching. It held a slip knot well and didn't require retightening or much adjustment - and looks so good on!

What do you wear when you're dropping in on a new mum to show her how to use a woven? Your own child... and with a chest pass like this, why not?! Sleek and with just enough diagonal stretch, it's easy to get a smooth, flat chest pass with even tension throughout. 

 I think she likes it.

Yes, that's a ruck. Jess is doing good things and knows her textile stuff. She's doing a fantastic job of combining form with function and creating wraps that not only look lovely but perform admirably. You can follow her new work and upcoming releases here on Facebook and check out the feel of her whole brand on her website here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lovaloom Petalon Go Bananas

Talk about luxe! Lovaloom is playing with blends and the textile geekery is strong with this one.
Petalon (the pattern) Go Bananas (colorway) is a multi-fibre, heavily textured and intriguing kinda wrap. According to its composition tags, the blend is 25% Pima Cotton (Pima is a long-staple cotton with a silky feel), 18% linen (hello support, so nice of you to join us), 48% viscose (more silky-feling stuff, and very breathable) and 9% SeaCell.

Go Bananas is from the limited-edition range, which you will find available by draw here and for all its boutique composition is an easycare wrap - and did you notice all the fibres are plant-based?Yes, it's vegan too :)

 What does it feel like?  It's very comparable to silk-cotton blends, with a nubby texture and color variation that I find very appealing. Breathes wonderfully (we wore it on a warm day and snuggled in on a cold night, too)

 Petalon has a great texture without a lot of loft, so it's easy to spread second passes and tighten strand by strand for a very neat and supportive wrap job that won't dig. Yes, that is a front carry with my 4yo!

In hand this feels like a silk-wool scarf SHOULD feel. I know that sounds weird; but for a dense 305gsm with a lot of diagonal give and drape, it's like a very luxurious and floppy blanket that rocks as a baby carrier.  Was tried with a few smaller babies at a meet and declared superb, and I was very happy with it's cushiness with Audrey too. Certainly one for the long-term stay!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Kokoro Ren North Sea, exclusive to Treasure U - review and giveaway!

See my face? That's a look of disbelief that a hurried ruck (parking lot, drizzle, MUST GET SUSHI NOW) can be so freaking comfortable with nearly twenty kilos of child aboard.
Aside from all its lovely aesthetic qualities (a textured charcoal with fleck vs. rich teal) and lush textile qualities (organic cotton, tsumugi silk, sea island cotton) Ren North Sea (the exclusive by Kokoro Textiles for Treasure U Limited) is kind of a marshmallowy, cushy wrap to die for. 
I love the texture. Silk is kind of magical like that. After one wash it fluffed up into floofy, pliable goodness. It has a lot of body and a soft, slightly sticky texture when wrapping. Very elastic and so.much.bounce. Think wool, but better. 

We won't talk about my sloppy wrap job. There wasn't even a semblance of strand by strand tightening. And guess what? IT DIDN'T MATTER.

I think she likes it.

An hour later some front cuddles were necessary. Life has been a bit stressful around here lately and the emotional connection of wearing as well as the physical sensation - deep pressure, a sensory reset - helps us both.

FWCC with a four-year-old. No mean feat. Pleated itself on my shoulders and easily gave a spread supportive layer without digging. We walked around like this for about forty minutes and I could have kept going. No sagging, no retightening... LOVE.

You KNOW my child asked for this photo of her sushi and the wrap. She's eccentric like that. 

Having tried Kokoro wraps since their launch in 2014 (Kairos, we were in Canada at the time, then our favorite Luna & Artemis kitties), I was expecting big things. While I am always blown away by the texture of silk as it presents in a woven wrap, Ren knocked it out of the ball park. Yes, there is a Pamir  (handwoven of legend) lurking in my stash and although it (being all-cotton) has a different feel in hand and on the shoulders, do NOT force me to choose between Ren North Sea and Mr.P..  It won't be pretty. Kokoro have not only nailed the design aesthetic, they've produced a textile that is simply glorious to wrap with. Follow them on Facebook here, don't forget to stalk Treasure U here... and good luck, there is something simply marvellous brewing!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Serena Slings @ Gold Dust Baby - Review

I  am a total sucker for linen, and Serena Slings are using irish linen to fantastic effect in their beautiful, limited edition blends. Gold Dust Baby sent me a Tyger Breana in size 4 to road-test and report on. Here's what I found...

This wrap is a 55% linen and 45% cotton blend, made of Irish linen, and weighs about 290 GSM. This makes it truly supportive, so even your toddler can be carried with ease.
Due to the linen, this wrap is perfectly suited for those warmer days!

Fresh from the postpak, this wrap can nearly stand up by itself - so of course a wash and dry is the first order of the day. The color gradient absolutely pops, and at 290gsm I have high hopes for texture expanding into a bit of fluff. No disappointment! While the pattern didn't lift a lot, it gave a nice grip and certainly helped to fluff those fibres apart - and over a couple of weeks this REALLY came into it's own. 

The first couple times we used it there was a little crunch and stiffness, but that quickly settled and became much easier to tighten. Tying carries with a slipknot is certainly a speedy way to break in  wrap, and I'm sure nearly 20 kgs on board helped too! 

Why YES, I am rocking a single-shoulder carry. Getting a snug torso pass is a breeze with a mouldable wrap, and this was simply ACE.

Let's talk abut fibre - at 55/45 linen/cotton, we are talking breathable, quite thin in hand, dense and ideal for summer without losing an ounce of support. We rucked, shepherded, DH slung, and I think even FWCC tied in front one day.

High and tight, you say? No problem. Plenty of width to make a four-year-old a good seat, and no dig on the shoulders. 

I have no idea why, but irish linen tends to have a fluffier feel to it. It doesn't seem to flatten and compress so easily - which I think makes it friendlier toward hasty wrapping.
I would like to thank Gold Dust Baby for keeping much extra yarn out of my basket... by keeping small fingers up on my neck and out of all the pretty colors!

Verdict: Summer Stunner. Loved the wrapping qualities, LOVE the aesthetic, very much like the limited runs and Serena stands by single releases, so when Breana is gone, it's gone. (I think there's fifteen Tyger Breana in total, and if you want one you'd better hurry to Gold Dust Baby!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Easy Feels Standard size SSC review

Easy Feel's ssc is suitable for 15-44lbs/7-20kgs AND older than 4 months (that means that you have a 16lb 3mo, you need to wait!) it's a nice carrier at a nice price (about $90 aud for a standard, which you can see here in these pics and $105 for a toddler size) and comfortable way beyond it's budget pricetag. Made in India, each carrier comes with it's own stuff sack for easy storage and is labelled inside waistband in accordance with BCIA safety standards.

I am super pleased with this carrier. Maybe my favorite thing is that, lacking shoulder strap clips, it's easy t get on and simple to adjust quickly. It cinches down to a teeny 53cms on the shoulders and 70cms/28inches on the waist belt.

We took this on a walk of a couple kms and I was impressed. Yes, I would be more comfortable with Audrey supported knee to knee (this is the standard size, and she is close to the upper weight limit), but this is a great carrier that was easy to fit and didn't require a lot of fussing. It's one downside is that the straps aren't crossable,  but they cinch down so well that I don't think that's a deal-breaker.

I can actually get a snug back carry in this and feel like Audrey isn't sagging away from me - a lot of shoulder straps are just a little too long for my short torso and then I have to overtighten the chest strap, boo sucks etc. The Easy Feel is really forgiving and allows plenty of tweak.

One handy pocket on the waistband to replace your hip pocket...and velcro closure for security.

Perfect fit adjusters (these were great when using the carrier with my 8kg demo doll) to get a snug fit of body panel and no gape at the top.

The standard size body panel measures 36 cms in the seat and features leg padding. Obviously Audrey is no longer knee to knee in the seat, but she said it was comfortable and was happy to stay up while we walked to the shops.

I like this! There's a nifty concealed pocket in the body of the carrier that lets you roll the sleep hood and velcro shut so it's nicely tucked away and invisible.

Don't forget the stuff sack!

You can see it in action here: <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nona Juno Caelestis review

Juno Caelestis is from the range of Nona wraps that's a LOT softer and more malleable than the first batch I met. Let me say right now that they're a great budget buy - Start Well Babywearing has them in stock at $102 aud for a size 6 - and for their wrapping qualities I'd be snapping one up.   

Juno has a nice amount of grip - you may think it a little rough after a first wash, but it's become friendlier and easier to work the second pass with time. Nona wraps do come prewashed and preshrunk, but I like washing a wrap and letting it airdry.

 I found that the loft of the pattern really relaxed and became an asset holding a reinforcing pass in place. Also, how lovely is the monochrome contrast?! 
At 280gsm, this felt dense without being beastly, and had a nice cush on my shoulders. It's all-cotton and very easy-care. We possibly had a small mishap with soy sauce and I just chucked it in the wash when we got home (I don't have time to baby wraps!) and pulled it out to line-dry when done. 

This performed really well with an 18kg child. I tend to prefer multi-layer carries now, but this is absolutely fluffy enough to make an excellent shortie and I admit there were a couple of hasty rucks smashed out - no stress!

Easy to tie, easy to tighten, great amount of grip and not a lot of work to break in (I washed a couple times,  left it twisted up for a day, and let Audrey use it as a hammock on our dining table). I think these would make fantastic wraps to use from newborn -they're only 65 cms wide (which I still found quite enough to make a nice seat) and will certainly continue to be supportive as your little one becomes big. You can read about my other encounter with a Nona here :)