Tag Archives: review

Review: Matrix Meala

This organic combed cotton, merino wool and silk blend’s wrapping qualities are put through their paces as Jessalea tests out our Matrix Meala with her 3-year-old daughter.

Name: Matrix Meala
Blend: 57% organic combed cotton, 21% merino wool, 22% silk
(Organic Combed Cotton Warp/Wool & Silk Weft)
Soft touch finished
GSM: 256 gsm
Width: 68cm wide
24 wraps, 8 ring slings, 4 shawls and 8 scarfs have been made.
Dual hem (one hem is sewn each direction)
Wrapee age: 3 years, 3 months
Wrapee size: Approx 38lbs, 35″ tall

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Bringing Babywearing Cross Country

When Renee Bøgeskov got in touch about a wrap to take her 4 month old hiking in, we were intrigued about the practicalities of a hike in a sling. We asked Renee to share her experience of hiking whilst babywearing …dsc07085cc

Even though both my husband and I are experienced in outdoor adventures, planning a trip to the mountains with a 4 month old baby seemed slightly intimidating. We did however feel confident that our baby girl would be happy and content as long as she felt safe, warm and dry. With her used to being wrapped in a sling, as well as the fact that a woven wrap seemed as the best, if not only way, to carry a baby at the same time as a back pack, I contacted Oscha for advice on which wrap to choose. Less than 24 hours later, a base size (s.6) Okinami Sal was delivered to my door step. After fighting off some small hesitations about dragging expensive Boutique tails through dirt and bonfire smoke, I looked forward to putting this wonderful blend of 49% Sea Island cotton, 10% Cashmere, 31% wool and 10% Tussah silk to the test.

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First Look: 100% Superwash Wool MacQueen of Skye Tartan

We asked Diana Warner, one of our beautiful models, to let us know her thoughts about our new MacQueen of Skye Tartan. Woven using a brand new 100% Superwash wool weave we were keen to see what she thought about this new innovation in all wool wraps.

I’m not sure where to begin. First I guess I need to say that I am head over heels IN LOVE with this wrap …

MacQueen of Skye Tartan baby wrap

 

It was instant. When this package arrived I was very excited to see the new colour way of Tartan in person. Before it was sent to me I was told the blend would be 100% wool so I was a little nervous that I would not have time to break it in properly. This wrap needs absolutely ZERO breaking in. I’m not joking. I received MacQueen of Skye and Menzies tartan (100% organic combed cotton) on the same day and MacQueen was SOFTER straight out of the bag. Don’t get me wrong Menzies softens nicely but this was a surprising find.

The break in period for MacQueen is about 6 seconds.

The colours are as such: the perfect cool red, deep midnight black, fresh crisp white. All of the colours contrast and compliment each other in such a way that this wrap is visually stunning, and welcoming.

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Coorie on Tourie & New System to Purchase

In preparation of our new listing system for selling our Coories, we decided to send it on tour! See below for some feedback from the families who had a go, and read on to find out what’s new and how you can purchase one of your own.

What’s New?

We’ve made a few tweaks to the Coorie body panel after receiving feedback from customers.
Previous Dimensions:
Baby Panel: 38cm (15″) wide (at base) x 41cm (16″) high.
Toddler Panel: 50cm (19.5″) wide (at base) x 42cm (16.5″) high.

New Dimensions:
Baby Panel: 44cm (17.5″) wide (at base) x 28cm (15″) high.
Toddler Panel: 49.5cm (19.5″) wide x 43cm (17″) high.

We’ve replaced the buttons for the hood with a simple tie so that you can still roll it up, creating that stylish look and holding it in place with ease.

How To Buy:

1. The Coorie will be made to order from specific Oscha fabric which will be previewed on Facebook before the ‘slots’ become available.

2. We will state how many slots will be available (approx. 2- 6 for each style) and time of the listing, so that you can purchase your slot on the website when they go live.

3. Prices: Baby £268 | Toddler £279

4. We will aim to ship orders within 2 weeks of the purchase date.

5. Our aim is to have approximately 2 listings each month with different Oscha fabric.

As always, our Coorie carriers will be handmade in our workshop in Scotland by our team of highly skilled seamstresses.

What’s Coming Up?
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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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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