Look at this lovely wrap! I’ve not come across anything quite like it before. It is a 100% cotton tester from a new company called Lir Slings based in Ireland, the brainchild of Donna and Caolan, using local fabrics. Hurray for another home-grown wrap company!
The Gothic Hearts pattern is quite unique; here it is woven with a duck-egg blue warp with a deep navy weft. It is very, very pretty, several heart shapes in different sizes with lots of Art Deco curlicues and not in the slightest bit cutesy. Close up it can appear busy but once you have spotted the repeating pattern it is very easy on the eye, and from a distance it looks stunning, like webs all caught up or tangled skeins of wool. I am reliably informed that this colourway isn’t being repeated, Lir Slings have a few other colours planned, all of which sounds exciting.
It is 100% cotton, and was almost new (already washed and briefly used by Donna herself). It was lovely and soft from the box, already broken in and ready to use immediately. It feels quite thick and cushy but in fact is more of a medium-thick density. 352cm long and 70cm wide (yes, it is lovely and wide!) with a weight of 600gms, making it about 243g/m2. This feels like it has the potential to become really very soft indeed fairly quickly, as it is now I would be happy to wrap a baby in it.
The individual cotton threads are lovely and soft and it has the blankety feel that you get with well loved cottons, but the density of the pattern adds quite a lot of grip. This is not a slippy wrap at all. It’s very supportive despite its softness, and the tightness and firmness of the weave means it is not pully and sag seems to be minimal. Some loose weave softer cotton wraps can settle with a child’s weight in them and cause some sinkage, but this is solid.
The hems are double sewn and are almost completely immaculate. One corner hasn’t quite been turned inside so some of the warp/weft threads stick out but the hem has oversewn them so it’s a minor issue. There isn’t yet a middle marker, but I am told this will be a woven marker with the logo embroidered on.
My smallish 3yrold was happy to go up once she’d had a roll around in it. She doesn’t like scratchy or crunchy slings (having tried a lot with me she knows what she likes!) We tried a multi-layer carry first, a knotless double hammock. The wrap is quite light to maneouvre and passes are fairly easy to make, but to get a really snug carry required some effort, as once the fabric had enough points of contact, the grip came into play. I needed to use my elbow as leverage to pull out the slack from the chest pass and across Big Girl’s back to my opposite shoulder, but once the passes were snugly and smoothly in place, they were rock solid. I had to do a knotless Tibetan finish in the tapers with this slightly short size 4, and can sometimes find some downward slide when I cannot anchor the first hammock, but not with this wrap. Even with the knotless finish in the tapers it felt secure enough to go for a brisk walk.
I found it cushy and very supportive. It felt lovely on my shoulders, marshmallowy, and no digginess, even with the inevitable bouncing you get from a preschooler. I remember thinking to myself “Gosh this really is comfortable” during one uphill section. Big Girl wasn’t demanding to get down, so she was comfy too. There was no slip and no sag, she was still at the same height on my back when she got down as she had been when we started.
Later on I tried a single layer carry (ruck tied in front with sandwiched shoulders). Again, this was rock solid, and as there were no passes to make over the wrap itself, it was very easy to do. The shoulder passes stayed in place (due to the grip of the folding over) very well as did the under leg crosses. It was again, very comfortable!
I am really enjoying this cotton woven wrap. I think it is excellent as a toddler shorty, being as supportive as it is with plenty of grip. A little care may be needed with smoothing passes out with multilayer carries, but once in place, this sling is superbly solid and still lovely and soft, so can be used with babies and bigger kids alike.
I have one of the snowflake cotton and linen blends on the way which I am really looking forwards to, as feedback suggests it is relatively soft and not too crunchy (as some linens can be) and will be eagerly anticipating the release of these Gothic Hearts in a few weeks time.