The gloriously vibrant Baie Slings Magma wrap has been with me this week, for testing out before their release in the New Year. Truly a glowing explosion, its name has been well chosen, ebony on crimson, with a geometric pattern of organic looking elliptic spirals (perhaps meant to evoke lava curling as it flows down a mountain. It is very attractive to look at, rich and deep. The crimson leans towards burgundy, rather than towards scarlet or orange, which feels more in tone with nature. It is a double faced wrap, and both sides look equally fantastic.
It is 100% combed cotton, and feels fantastically soft to touch, but different to their previous weaves, which have been cushier and looser. The Trowen/Flying Fish/Wild Roses wraps have been very cuddly and squishy, whereas Magma has a denser weave, and so the cuddliness has been tamed into something very sturdy and strong, but still with their trademark softness. You can feel the quality under your stroking fingers. I know Baie Slings want to be unique, and they are, but this weave puts me in mind of the heavier Oscha cottons like Roses Eros or Hera.
It is certainly a heavy wrap – this size 4 weighed 760 grams. With the hemming taking into account, the weight works out at 278 gsm2 – it packs quite a punch. This means it is wonderfully warm for winter wrapping, and being all cotton, will be easy to care for.
The wrap arrived in its own little cloth bag (made from the Fleur de Leaves pattern) and Juliette does the cutting and hemming herself, with the attention to detail you’d expect of someone who takes great pride in her work. The hems have contrasting rails, the stitching is immaculate, and there were no pulls. The unwashed length was 3.86 cm, sent to me as a size 4, and after washing, it measured at 3.68 cm, so there is some shrinkage with washing, but it remains true to sold size.
The Baie logo is small, and sewn neatly near the taper, which is fairly standard, not at all steep. The middle markers are little purple labels embroidered with cream dots which are easy to see and easy to feel by touch as well.
So, how does it wrap?
Given its heftiness on paper, the Magma feels much lighter than it really is, and I certainly didn’t feel that my arms were tired after a good workout with it, the way they do after using some of my other sturdy, heavy wraps. This is testament to its wrapability – it is mouldable, and glides really well, probably due to the sleekness and streamlining of the ellipses running along the length of the fabric, reducing friction in that plane. It is easy to wrap with. Manoeuvrability is good, it handles, gathers and drapes beautifully; no stiffness at all. It is floppy from new, and will get even floppier with love and use. There is just a little diagonal stretch, a bit less than the previous weaves, but enough for mouldability.
It grips well in multi-layer carries as the passes are tightened into place, as the ellipses tilt and end up at cross angles to each other, which reduces slip. My small 3yrold was rock solid with no sag whatsoever (knotless double hammock) on a brisk uphill walk to school and back, and fell asleep, as she was warm and comfy. My shoulders enjoyed this wrap – although it is not as sink-into-and-dream cushy as the looser weaves, it is still cushy and comfortable, and is forgiving of sloppiness.
I carried my hefty 5yr old in a ruck tied in front for 15minutes or so. He was happy in it, didn’t complain of digging into his knee pits, and he didn’t slip or sag either. He didn’t want to get down!
I didn’t get the opportunity to wrap a real life baby in Magma(work and business getting in the way) but I did use my smaller demo dolls for kangaroo wraps, front cross carries and front double hammocks – all lovely, very solid, easy to get on and tighten, and still lovely and soft for the baby.
I really enjoyed using this very attractive wrap. The artists at Baie Slings clearly have an eye for colours and patterns and are coming up with some truly unique slings. They have shown innovation and a willingness to experiment with different weaves, and I think this denser weave will have great longevity. The colours are really stunning, the pattern is pleasing to the eye, it moulds nicely, glides well but still grips happily, and is very supportive and forgiving. It is soft and lovely, with strength underneath. It is heavy and dense, so will work best as a cooler weather wrap, and complete beginner wrappers might find learning back carries with this a little harder than lighter, airier cottons, but their efforts will pay off for the solidity and forgiveness they will find. This would be excellent for both a baby and a bigger child, and it will also make a wonderful conversion.. watch this space! I was sorry to post this on to its next tester – I hope she enjoys as much as I have!