Category Archives: Reviews

New: 100% Ice Cotton

We are excited to introduce a range of slings woven with Ice Cotton. Specially developed to give a “cool to the touch” feel, our new wraps are perfect for keeping you both fresh and comfortable in the heat, just in time for the summer months to come.
Read on for an insight into the fibres used and feedback from our trusted babywearing testers.
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Tessa wearing Roses Coral Ring Sling

Ice Cotton yarn is made from naturally grown and selected cotton, with no synthetic fibers, and is free from harmful chemicals.
The beauty of this unique “cooling” material is in the advanced spinning technology which uses very long and twisted fibres, making the fabric feel fresh and light. If you look closely at the individual yarns in the weave (image below), you will see the twisted fibres which give a raised texture, this produces a construction which is naturally airy and breathable.

Our Ice Cotton slings have been tested by several experienced babywearers since March last year (2015), here are some of their comments:

Keely, England
Testing 100% Ice Cotton wrap
How did you get on with your Ice Cotton tester?
‘I apparently have gone absolutely crazy for your ice cotton! It is amazing! We have worn with it every day, it’s one of the most comfortable wraps I’ve owned and wraps like a dream. I was concerned by how thin and gauze-like it felt at first, but it is so surprisingly supportive and the pattern makes it nice and grippy. It’s very comfy on my shoulders and thin enough to make a lovely neat knot. My nearly 2 year old has been up for several hours at a time in it and was weightless throughout. I will be very very sad to part with it!’

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Keely testing the Roses Coral with her daughter.

That’s great to hear! How would you feel about using it against bare skin and with a younger baby?
‘Straight out of the bag I had my doubts, but now it’s had a few washes and been well worn I think it will be fine. I’ve worn it on bare shoulders and it was lovely. I also borrowed a friend’s very dinky one month old to try with it and it was still perfect, she fell asleep in minutes and was clearly very comfortable in there!’

Julia, UK – on holiday in Thailand
Tested 100% Ice Cotton wrap
‘I was really excited to be able to test the ice cotton out in the heat of Thailand. Most days were over 32C and the humidity was still high in the region I was staying. As I reported a while back, my first try I managed a 2km walk in 35C humid heat, I was wearing two layers and Aria in one. The only place that either of us was sweating was where our bodies had been together, which is to be expected.  Even with wearing it in a DH, I didn’t feel overheated and more importantly, Aria didn’t either. In subsequent wears (I think one day it was up to 40C apart from feeling fatigue from the heat anyway), the wrap was still comfortable to wear. I also took a 50% linen (it was a thicker 50% linen – alto eventide) but I wore that once and then left it in the suitcase, the ice cotton was just more comfortable to wear. Careful tightening with this wrap is a must but despite a really bad wrap job, it felt amazing on my shoulders and fantastic in high temperatures.’

Karine, Singapore
Tested 100% Ice Cotton wrap
‘Upon receiving the wrap, it seems there isn’t a need to break it in like a typical hemp or linen blend. It is very thin and airy which makes it very cooling to wrap with. Slightly textured which creates a relatively good grip even with a half knot tie. Supportive and comfortable even after an hour of wrapping my 17 month old who weighs about 12kg. I’m looking forward to experiencing a blend of cotton and ice cotton. I will be excited to see more ice cotton wraps with colour gradients too!’
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New: Scottish Linen Review

Wrap: Oscha Slings Alto Mivida, size 7 and Eesti shoulder ring sling
Fiber: 50% organic combed cotton / 50% Scottish linen 233gsm
Wrapper/Reviewer: Anne Rush (started wrapping in August 2014)
Wrappee: 24.5lb. / 19m old

Alto-portrait

Aesthetics: At first I worried about the colour based solely upon the photos. It appeared somewhere between a pastel and a neutral pink. I trend more toward bold colors and especially dislike pinks due to an overbearing older brother insisting it was a “sissy” color growing up. Upon receiving the piece, I was relieved to discover the color – while still in the pink range – was more toward the darker range and almost a Georgia clay or pink limestone color. Upon consultation with friends – was dubbed an antique rose.

I had been warned by the previous owner that the clouds on Mivida were smaller than normal. I found this to be accurate and personally felt the smaller clouds particularly fit this colorway; the coloring lends itself to an image of a desert sky at sunset where the clouds are more sparse and less full.

Qualities: The first thing I noticed was Mivida’s thinness. Compared with my other Oscha linen blend wraps; I was also struck by Mivida’s softness. My only other Oscha 50% linen / 50% cotton that I have received new was Sekai Aozora. Compared to Aozora, Mivida seemed to break in significantly faster. In hand, Mivida had little to no “cush” when squeezed and very low diagonal stretch. This was on par with all the other 50% linen blends that I have tried. The clouds provided a very light amount of texture as one passed one’s hand over it – just enough to promise no slip while wrapping but still allow for a lovely glide while executing multi-pass carries.

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Mivida impressed me even more in wrapping qualities. My wrapping quality preferences are for wraps which are thin, soft, smooth or very low textured, with low to mid-stretch and good breathability while still providing excellent support. Mivida fired on almost all these qualities but for stretch – which no to low stretch tends to remain constant for 50% linen / 50% cotton across all the brands I have used so I associate with the blend itself, not with any failing in a wrap.

To assess Mivida’s wrapping qualities in relation to its differently source linen content, I specifically tested it alongside Oscha Sekai Aozora 7 (standard linen) and Oscha Strato Muscovado (wetspun linen). I tried to control as many variables as possible.

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Sea Island Cotton Review

Review by Super Awesome Babywearing Collective
Re-blogged from Emily here: SAB Collective
Review of Japanese Knot Ooki Zen: 50% Sea Island Cotton, 50% Organic Combed Cotton
This wrap was released in June 2015 and was our very first Boutique piece woven with Sea Island Cotton. Now we have a new Boutique Collection, which showcases exclusive designs and blends including, for the first time, 100% Sea Island Cotton wraps. Keep a look out for reviews of these to come. You can view the boutique collection here.

SICtop2How do I love thee, let me count the ways… This is the absolute king of wraps for me. I’ve tried a lot, churned a lot, worn a lot in my 3.5 year wrapping journey and for me, this wrap really does it all. It’s solidly medium thickness in hand and fared well in both summer and winter weather. The support, cush and stretch mean an easy, tight, super comfy wrap job every time. I have a size 7, which is actually more wrap than I usually like to tangle with, but given how easy it is to wrap with, I’m just enjoying the nice long swishy tails! It’s just amazing — molds right to both me and baby (well, toddler at 18mo). Although I’ve seen others mention that it needed breaking in, I found it pretty soft from the get-go (although it has gotten even more so). If I put aside all sentiment for my other wraps and carriers, this could easily be my one-and-only from birth to toddler.

My only complaint is that it lulled me into thinking that all sea island cotton blends would be equally miraculous, so I overspent on another SIC wrap from another wildly popular maker and it was decidedly not love. It wasn’t even like… but that’s a lesson learned and another post for another day!

Read more about Oscha Sea Island cotton here.

Cairis Review – Lauren and Simon

We sent one of our Cairis carriers to a family who were just beginning to explore babywearing with their first child. We asked Lauren how she got on trying it out with her son. They received one of the first completed carriers 7 months ago just as he was born.

What were your first impressions of the Oscha Cairis?
The fabric- quality and design- were absolutely beautiful, and the sling as whole, extremely attractive; it had a real ‘wow’ factor (subsequently reflected in the number of comments I received when I wore it out and about). The accompanying instructions were very clear

How easy did you find using it and putting it on at the beginning? Were you used to using any other baby slings or woven wraps?
I had never used a sling or woven wrap before and found the Cairis very easy to use. We followed the instructions step-by-step and had the carrier in use within five minutes.

You can see how easy it is to use the Cairis with a new born by viewing our instructional video.

Do you find it comfortable to wear for long periods?
It is very comfortable to wear. When my baby was very young I commonly wore it for up to 6 hours. I am quite petite and it adapted very well to my size. Likewise, my son was a particularly small baby, and I loved how the sling could be adapted for him.

When do you tend to wear your baby in the Cairis?
Around the house, out shopping, running errands (particularly when using public transport). When Owen was younger (and the weather was nicer) I used it out on long country walks.

Is it easy to transport when you are out and about and your child is being carried?
Yes- I use the bag that came with it. It folds down well so it very convenient to transport.

How happy do you think your child is in the sling? Is it a good height for them to see out?
He’s always been very happy in the sling. I regularly use it to comfort him when he’s distressed and almost instantly calms. It is a good height for him to see out.

Do you prefer to use it on your back, front or both?
I’ve only recently starting using it on the back, and I now prefer it as it’s easier to go about tasks, and now he’s heavier, it is more comfortable for longer periods.

How easy do you find adjusting the size when sharing it with your partner?
With a little bit of practise, very easy.

Over all, how happy are you with the appearance and functionality of the carrier?
Very happy. Given I had never used a sling before, I wanted something easy to use, and the Cairis was certainly that; I felt confident using it almost immediately. A real advantage for us was being able to adapt the sling, using the cinch, for when our son was first born; he was of a relatively low birth weight so he would have been too small for mainstream carriers. It was lovely wearing something so attractive, and I constantly received compliments on the carrier when using it.

Will you continue to use the Cairis?
Yes

Do you have any other comments?
Receiving the sling instantly changed the way I went about the day. My son loved being in the carrier, and I would wear it for large chunks of the day; I knew he was happy, and I could talk to him as I went about activities. Because it is so convenient to use, it made it so much easier for my husband and I to go out- using for example public transport or out on long walks in the countryside. He would either sleep, or watch what was going on around him.

 

Cairis Review – Dr. Rosie Knowles

We asked Rosie Knowles from Sheffield Sling Surgery to review our new, half buckle, soft structured carrier.
Rosie is a family doctor based in Sheffield, UK and has been carrying her children for seven years; she is a Sling consultant and a certified babywearing consultant instructor.

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Harriet trying out the Oscha Cairis with Rosie

It’s been a privilege to work with Oscha on the development of their new soft structured carriers. The Coorie ring-tai is a fabulous carrier, amazingly comfortable with painstaking attention to detail. The new baby Cairis half-buckle is a simpler soft structured carrier, once again made from Oscha wrap fabric, designed for use with children between 7 and 15lb. It is handmade in Scotland with the same loving care and with focus on comfort for both parent and child.

What is a Half-Buckle?
A half-buckle is a mei tai with a buckled waistband and long straps that can be wound around the body to distribute the weight of the child.

The waistband of the Cairis is minimalist, to avoid bulkiness for a younger baby, and to prevent any digginess around the hips for an adult. There is no padding in the very central section of the waist, with light, soft padding at the corners of the panel that moulds nicely around your contours. This light padding carries on into a long “tongue” of fabric which ensures that the side-positioned buckle doesn’t dig in. The webbing moves smoothly and is easy to tighten.

Tightening-the-waist-band

This minimalist style makes it easy to “cinch” the waistband to make it narrower for a younger child. Oscha provide a ruched semi-elastic strap that can be tied around the base of the panel, making it both shorter and narrower. This will ensure that a small baby’s legs are not over-spread and the panel isn’t too tall.

cynch

The Cairis has lightly padded shoulder straps that fan out into wrap straps that are about a quarter of the width of the full wrap. The angle of the straps has been carefully chosen to keep them resting on the flat of the shoulder, rather than riding too high towards the neck. This, combined with the breadth of the curved top panel, helps to avoid any feeling of constriction or restriction of view for baby. The padded straps are sewn in such a way to allow moulding and they stay in place well rather than sliding around (due to the grip of the fabric). The wrap straps are easy to tighten snugly and aren’t too bulky around baby’s knee. The little extra width keeps the bunching for the leg passes comfortable, and they can be spread a little for some extra seat support. The fact that the straps are not super wide is helpful to avoid getting tangled up in excess fabric and it would be easy to use this in windy weather, for example.

Straps

The panel is lovely and floppy, which allows for a good degree of snug fit, which you often don’t get with more structured panels, and allows adjustability for a range of sizes of child. There is no bulky padding at the sides, but the double thickness of the soft wrap means that it is still comfy around the legs. The top half of the panel has a little bit of very soft floppy padding that adds a little support around the upper body and neck. It has a fully removable hood that can be ruched up along the two fabric runners at the side, and can be attached to the panel and the straps by a clever system of loops and poppers that add plenty of adjustability.

Hood

How does it feel?
It feels lovely, as it is so lightweight and soft. It is very easy to use, being very simple without too much fabric to feel swamped by. The light padding to the waistband means it is mouldable and comfortable with no digging around my middle. The straps were a good width for me; not too wide and I was able to keep them central on my shoulders. The knot is easy to make as the straps are not at all bulky, and as they are fairly narrow compared to something like the Coorie, I felt more comfy when I took the time to spread the width around my side, and for heavier babies, to have them spread across baby’s bottom for extra lift. The panel is quite tall, but as it is so soft and lightweight it is very easy to allow it to fold down over the waistband slightly to reduce its height. Being double thickness, it doesn’t sag.

I had to take a little care with hip scooting into a back carry to ensure the long waistband tongue remained in place, but it was lovely to have the padding rather than webbing across my front. It was fairly easy to spread the wrap straps across baby’s bottom for extra lift due to their reduced width; this would be preferable for a heavy baby/small toddler. I found knotted finishes more useful than knotless, as the straps didn’t have the bulk and heaviness required for the friction-dependent knotless finishes like the Tibetan. To be honest, the padded straps were robust and supportive enough with no sliding around not to need this kind of finish.

The body panel is made of two layers of wrap fabric and is rectangular, 38 cm (15in) at the base of the panel where it meets the waistband and about 45cm high from the waistband to the top of the gentle curve. The top half of the panel has some light padding across the full width to add a little support. The hood is adjustable (by runners of fabric at the two sides), it rolls up and can be secured with cute little poppers.

The padded section of the shoulder straps is medium width – 8 cm wide and the padded part before the straps flare out into half the width of the wrap is 47 cm. The total length of the straps is about 215 cm. The wrap strap width is about 18cm.

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It has been carefully and thoughtfully handmade with very neat stitching and hemming. There is appropriate sinkage at the shoulders with sturdy box stitching visible on the outside, and the panel feels well sunk into the waistband and the shoulder straps are the same. The hood loops are very sturdily sewn. I have not seen the internal structure of the carrier but it has passed all the relevant safety standards.

Summary
I really like this baby buckle tai. Much of the comfort and all the style of an Oscha wrap in a simple and easy to use package, that is suitable from birth. I’d be most happy to have this in my library and would have used one for my own children on the days when wrapping just wasn’t practical.

Oscha Coorie – Review

We asked Dr Rosie Knowles to review our first Soft Structured Carrier. As a sling consultant and the wonderful woman behind Sheffield Sling Surgery, she has many years of experience carrying her own two children and helping others to carry theirs. Here is what she and the testers from Sheffield Sling Surgery had to say.

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Oscha Slings needs no introduction; they are famous around the world for their high quality, beautiful and supportive wraps and ring slings. They pride themselves on their conscientious approach to their business, using only premium cottons and the finest, British & Italian yarns from ethical sources.

Over the last few years they have painstakingly applied this same rigorous attention to detail to developing a range of soft-structured carriers;  and sent me their new Coorie ring-tai toddler carrier for review.

“Coorie” is a Scottish word meaning to nestle or snuggle, often followed by the word “doun”. To “coorie doun” is a perfect description of what the testing children did when they tried the carrier out for me; they snuggled down!

The Coorie toddler carrier is made from Oscha wrap fabric, and is designed to be used for children between 25lb and 45lb.

What is a Ring-Tai?
A ring-tai is a mei-tai with a waistband that is secured by two rings – the rings are fixed onto one side of the waistband and the long end of the waistband tie is fed through both rings and then back again, like a belt, and pulled snug. 

Coorie-waist

The Coorie waist band being tightened. Made from Oscha Stewart tartan fabric.

The Coorie Ring-Tai
Oscha use their highland pleating technique in their ring sling shoulders and have used a similar fold with the Coorie waistband. It is very intricately designed and sewn from a full width of wrap fabric that has been pleated and then secured into place. This folding provides a high degree of mouldability and support without the need for foam padding in the central part of the waistband that attaches to the main back panel. The waistband stretches on the diagonal and is floppy and soft to touch with no rigidity. There is a little bit of gentle padding in the “tongue” of the waistband beneath the rings at the side to ensure no digging, and the full width of the wrap flares out from the other edge of the waistband. This width allows plenty of adjustment of the free half of the waistband, and can be tightened in increments, just like a ring sling, to ensure optimum fit across the wearer’s body. There’s a huge amount of work behind this design that seems so very obvious and simple! The rings are shiny, not matte, and smaller in size than the rings of the ring slings. 

Coorie-flat

An image of the Oscha Coorie laid out, showing the waist band and straps.

How does it feel?
The carrier is visually very appealing, being made with wrap fabric (my tester was made with the Zhuilin Dawn cotton wrap) and many of those who used it commented on how pretty it was.

The waistband is very comfortable indeed! It takes a little getting used to as I haven’t used many ring waists before; I found it easiest to do up on the front and then shift the carrier around to the correct place and then apply the finishing adjustments with one hand while holding the waistband flat against me to ensure a snug fit. It is worth taking a little effort to ensure an excellent fit by tightening in increments. The rings are smaller in size than those on ring slings, which makes the fabric a little harder to thread through than ring slings, but once done it is secure with no slip.

Sling library testers

Images from Sheffield Sling Surgery of the Oscha Coorie being tested.

I really appreciated the soft mould-ability of the pleated waistband. As it isn’t padded, it moves much more flexibly and doesn’t fold over in uncomfortable ways or dig in over the iliac crest. In front carries, I liked the feel of the wide soft wrap fabric in my lumbar region rather than a buckle, and in back carries it was lovely to be able to avoid muffin top by spreading the fabric widely! The rings do not dig in at all due to the little padded tongue.

I found it easy to put on for front carries, as the wrap fabric moves and glides nicely into place around my child. The straps weren’t too wide and were able to sit on the centre of my shoulders without riding up into my neck. Normally I prefer wrap straps on soft structured carriers to allow spread on my shoulders but these felt lovely and light and the grip of the wrap helped them to stay put. The padded part of the straps flared out early enough in their length so that I (a size 10-12) could spread them across my side and over baby’s body. In back carries with a small toddler, the padded part of the shoulder wasn’t too long; I was able to spread the fabric over the knee pits nicely. The half width straps are light and easy to manoeuvre, and the knot is quick and simple to make with no stiffness (this is partly due to the softness of the wrap used to make this tester, but all wraps will break in with use!)

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Images from Sheffield Sling Surgery of the Oscha Coorie being tested.

Back carries were very comfy, as the waistband works very well. The carrier is quite tall so some smaller toddlers felt they weren’t quite able to get their arms out; but we rectified this by allowing the panel to fold down over the waistband slightly to reduce its height. This also had the effect of reducing the width knee to knee a little (due to the trapezium shape) which meant a better fit for them too!

The soft fabric with the leg padding meant it felt comfy for the children who tried it, many fell asleep; and it fitted a wide range of ages due to the spreadable part of the straps. It feels airy yet strong when it is on, and the spine is well supported. The panel, being double thickness, doesn’t sag, even though it feels light and soft.

The adjustable hood is simple to use in front carries; it only has two length settings. Getting the hood up in back carries is harder! It rolls away easily into a supportive neck cushion if required, the fabric-covered buttons are easy to slip into the buttonholes. The buttons are sewn into the panel and feel secure rather than flimsy, but I’ll watch with interest to see how they hold up with repeated use (so far so good).

A few of my library visitors tried it out and feedback was great, the waistband was a hit, and everyone enjoyed the straps too, even the die-hard wrap-strap fans. People liked the idea of being able to buy a very beautiful ring-tai off the peg; especially considering how very comfortable they found it.

The technical aspects of the Oscha Coorie Toddler
The fitted waistband measures 13.5cm deep by 63cm long (to the end of the rings), and the free waistband is 95 cm long, allowing for a wide range of wearer sizes. The narrowest width is probably about 56cm in circumference (closed to the snuggest) and the widest with enough length (10cm beyond the rings) for easy securing is probably 120cm. I think this could be a little longer; a size 14/16 woman has about 20cm left. For future runs I’d suggest having the option of a longer waist-strap. -Depending on demand, we are happy to develop a longer waist strap in the future.

The body panel is made of two layers of wrap fabric and shaped. There are seams at the base of the panel but these aren’t seat darts as they don’t form a “bucket” like some other carriers, so the panel is flat. There is some soft leg padding. The panel is a trapezium shape, being 47.5 cm wide at the base and narrows to 32 cm at the top between the shoulder straps, with the length of the panel being 41 cm. The hood is adjustable (by runners of fabric at the two sides), it rolls up and can be secured with cute little buttons. It has little poppered loops that feed through corresponding loops on the shoulder straps.Most models do not have poppers.

The shoulder straps are also carefully pleated with a small amount of padding inside the strap, to add to their cushy feel. The padded section is medium width – 8.5 cm wide and the padded part before the straps flare out into half the width of the wrap is 40 cm. The total length of the straps is about 220 cm.

It has been carefully and thoughtfully handmade with very neat stitching and hemming. There is appropriate sinkage at the shoulders with sturdy stitching visible on the outside, and the panel feels well sunk into the waistband. I have not seen the internal structure of the carrier but it has passed all the relevant safety standards.

Effects of washing
I must admit to a certain trepidation when washing the Coorie; would I need to spend a lot of time rearranging the pleats? I was very pleased to find that everything kept its shape very well; the pleats remained sharply folded and snapped back into perfect placement with simply holding the waistband or straps with a little tension to smooth out any slack. 

Summary
I and the families who have been trying out this carrier have all thoroughly enjoyed using it. Everyone has found it easy to use, and very comfortable. Even those who love wrap strapped carriers found the straps sat nicely on their shoulders and were more comfy than typical thicker padded straps; this is due to the angling from the body panel and the mould-ability. Everyone loved the waistband, how soft it felt, how little it dug in and how supportive it felt. I am sure this will be a popular option for those who would love to have an Oscha wrap in a soft-structured-carrier format!

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An official Oscha photo of the Coorie in action made from Kasumi Kaua’i fabric.

Libero Aestus Review

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We asked Hedwych at Wrap You In Love to review our new 55% Organic Combed Cotton and 45% Pure Merino Wool blend. Hedwych has been using slings to carry and care for her children over the past four years and is an experienced wrapper. Her website has many ‘How to Videos’ and woven wrap reviews, she has created a fantastic resource for those who are interested in babywearing.

Hedwych was pregrant during her review of Liberty Aestus and has written a great blog post about pregancy and babywearing. She has recently given birth to her third little one, congratulations Hedwych!

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Hedwych carrying her daughter whist pregnant with her third child.

We wove this wooly blend in our newly revised Liberty Pattern ‘Libero’. You can also read her review on Wrap You In Love here.

The review: This design was new to me… Well, not really ‘new’ because it’s the Liberty design, but they enlarged the scale and rotated it.
Great idea in my opinion!
I have reviewed Liberty Lucy a while ago, back then I prefered the Nouveau pattern but now I actually think I like this best!

I had been in contact with Oscha because of some questions about materials/yarns they use and when they asked me to review this (new) blend I was very excited.
Organic cotton? Pure merino wool? Must be very soft!
I have to admit, when the wrap arrived I was a bit disappointed at first. It felt a bit prickly and not very inviting. Not as soft as the merino blends I’ve wrapped with before….
After a wash it was much better, still not as soft as I would like but I knew it would get better after wearing so I had to give it a try.

I tried it in a simple rucksack (tibetan), aiming for ‘just’ a quick up…. but: wow! When wrapping it didn’t have that itchy or scratchy feeling at all!
It’s very supportive, has great cush, less bounce compared to other merino wraps I’ve tried and it’s great for toddlers in a single layer carry!
I’m not sensitive to wool at all, so I find it hard to tell if someone else would experience it as a scratchy/itchy wrap when wearing it on bare skin.
I had no problem with it being itchy on my skin when wearing and my little girl seemed very happy too. I think with more wearing/washing it will feel less scratchy to the touch and get very soft. I can imagine wrapping a newborn with this wrap after a short breaking in period.

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Hedwych has tied a simple Rucksack (Tibetan) to carry her daughter on her back.

Not everyone loves (merino) wool in summer, but wool is known for not only insulating but it’s also very breathable (depending on the weave/thickness of the wrap of course).
They say it can keep the wearer cool and fresh in warm climates. Google also tells me that merino wool offers a natural UV protection, that sounds great! (but I can’t guarantee it… doctor Google isn’t always right).

The yarn has a bit of a ‘raw’ look, with some irregularities (but no real slubs and nubs). I really love both the ‘wrong’ and the ‘right’ side of this wrap.

This wrap has a width of 71cm, which is wider than my average wrap and great for bigger children without being overwhelming for a little baby.
I think this could make a great shorty, but a slipknot might be a bit bulky. It shines in single layer carries, with great cush and little bounce.

The wrap has a nice grip, you can do a knotless finish and it will stay put for ages. It isn’t overly grippy though. I was expecting (because of the ‘raw’ look of the yarn) a more grippy wrap, hard to wrap with… but it’s actually surprisingly moldable and easy to wrap with. It’s a good choice for both newbie wrappers as well as more experienced babywearers.
The cush makes it a forgiving wrap (still comfortable in a sloppy carry!) and I think experienced babywearers will like this blend too.

Stay away from this wrap if you have a sensitive skin, or if your little one is sensitive for wool. If you find other wool wraps (very) itchy you will probably experience this one that way too.
It does get better after wearing/washing and I loved it even on bare skin, but as I’ve said before I’m not sensitive to wool at all so can’t speak for those who are.

This is a boutique item where only 7 wraps were made. We will list these on our website on Friday 14th of August 2015 and will weave more wraps in this blend in the future.

Monk’s Belt Jol Review by Manic Pixie Dream Mama

Thanks to Elizabeth for her review of Oscha Monk’s Belt Jol baby wrap. To see the original, visit her blog here.

Monk's Belt Jol Baby Wrap by Oscha Slings image

Monk’s Belt Jol Baby Wrap by Oscha Slings

I remember when Oscha was The Hot New Company. Thebabywearer.com had a thread for swapping Oscha to Oscha only, because no way would someone trade their unicorn fuzz Oscha – and all Oschas were unicorn fuzz Oschas – for a mere regular wrap. Think the handwoven craze was the first run on wraps? Oscha beat them, people, with only mechanized looms, a website with serious carting issues, and some Scottish pluck.

 

Like any craze, the Oscha madness died down. But the wraps remained, and most of them still fetch retail or above. That reason is simple: like true unicorn fuzz, they wrap well, they use quality materials, they have a devoted following, and they offer stellar customer service.

 

They also have good designs. Zoe and Mike design most of the wraps in-house (another recipe for a successful wrap company). Their dragons (shui) are highly sought after in all forms, and their roses have been copied by pretty much everyone but Didy*. While their politically-timed Scottish tartan** obviously isn’t an in-house production, it’s seldom Oscha releases a wrap they didn’t design.

 

Image of Monks Belt Jol baby wrap in action

Monk’s Belt Jol baby wrap in action

Monk’s Belt Jol is a rarity to begin with. And yes, the design does come from the pattern of actual monks’ belts: tiny squares, with a double-warp/weft overlay gradation. Yes, that sounds confusing. Look at the damn pics. The red and blues and teals meld into gorgeous purples. The wrap’s beautiful in pictures and stunning in person, with plenty of shimmer.

 

The pattern promised lots of stretch and bounce – the squares would lend an extra diagonal stretch – and the wrap delivered. Monk’s Belt wraps with enough bounce to get Sunny bopping up on and down on my back, and stretches well while wrapping. The design also creates some grip, so the stretch helps make the wrap job less of a wrestling job.

 

I wore Monk’s Belt pretty regularly for over a week; it came on what we’ll call holiday in honor of its Scottish origin. I liked its medium-thickness (270 gsm) in the Mordor-like cold of the Northeast, but didn’t find it overwhelming in milder temperatures. The bounce made it a decent ruck wrap for a 25 pound baby. I didn’t prefer it as much in a one-layer carry with a Baby Bear (30 lbs) or Dragontrainer (37 lbs), but at that point, you need a designated toddler-weight ruck wrap anyway.

 

It feels solid on the shoulder, with some bounce; this isn’t the wrap for someone who wants memory-foam cush. But the stretch gives you a fairly moldable wrap job. I didn’t find it saggy, but fans of wraps with less give may find the stretch becomes sag after some wear.

 

I think this is a wrap that will shine more as it breaks in. With 100% combed cotton, it promises to resolve into kitten-belly softness, much like other combed cotton Oschas. The weave makes this feel less floofy than motherhood knots or roses, but I’d bet that with time it’ll develop a little more cush.

I liked this wrap best in multilayer carries, though it performed well in a ruck tied under bum. Once I worked the passes into place, it rocked a shepherd’s carry. And I got compliments on the colorway everywhere I went – it was distinctive enough for non-wrappers to notice.

 

Three years ago, this wrap would have sold out in about thirty seconds, then fetched triple retail on the secondary market. I suppose it’s still available from Oscha because the pattern is something of a departure from their usual figurative jacquards. Maybe it’s a pre-Christmas wrap buying freeze. But the intricate coloring should woo some mamas, especially since the colors do resolve themselves into some purples.

Expect this to sell out once the holiday season is over. I’d love to see this weave in some other blends and colors. Oscha still weaves with unicorn fuzz, people. This wrap proves it.

 

**Though you can argue their On Roses is within shouting distance of a copy.

***Yes, some of us Americans noticed the release date timed with the Scottish independence vote.

 

Bonus Bear comments on Monk’s Belt: “You mean the one with the crazy Spiderman colors? Yeah, that’s pretty. Everyone you showed that to has been like [insert high girl voice] I need this for the colors!!!!!!!”

See Manic Pixie Dream Mama on Facebook to win a Monk’s Belt Jol Key Ring!

Image of Monk's Belt Jol Jacquard Woven Key Ring

Monk’s Belt Jol Jacquard Woven Key Ring