Mmmm! MMMM!! MMMMMMM! I have no less than THREE Woven Wings wraps in my consulting room at the moment. Yes, three. Only one is mine.. a Mint Geo prototype, which by wonderful serendipity, I won in the random drawing competition. I have also tried and tested the all cotton Blush Geo, so I think you can say that I have a good perspective on what is coming off the loom from this London-based company run by the lovely Christina.
I liked the Blush Geo – classy, very attractive, soft from new, tightly woven and thinnish, but still supportive with a lovely glide that makes the passes very easy to do (but does mean there is some slip). It has a little bit of diagonal stretch, not a great deal, but enough to mould with a little effort. It was toddler worthy! (You can read the full review here). So I was expecting good things of the linen (I love linen blends, especially non-diggy ones!) and merino wool blends (I was especially looking forwards to the wool, which usually has a lot more mouldability and cush, from its very nature).
I’ll start with the Mint Geo (top of the pile), which is a 20% linen blended with 80% Egyptian cotton. It is a beautiful design, fresh, clean-lined, invigorating and entirely different from anything else on the market at present. It had been travelling before it found its permanent home with me, so was delightfully floppy, and lovely and soft for a linen blend. Often, linen blends can feel rather rough and stiff, compared to some 100% cottons, but this really does feel luxurious and smooth. It does feel like a linen blend (compared to, for example, the Italian linen Firespiral Silver Starmap which doesn’t) but a very luxurious one. I know Christina makes an effort to “finish” the wraps in house before releasing to reduce the amount of work involved in “breaking in” so I expect the new linen blends, when released, will already be floppier and softer than most. It feels thinnish, but substantial and solid; lovely and light and airy, and I almost expected it to float when wrapping, it has that lightness in appearance and feel.
This size 6 measured 4.68m long and 63cm wide, so not the widest of wraps, but perfectly acceptable and within industry standards.
There has been discussion about the general width of the Woven Wings and it seems that the finishing process shrinks the untreated wraps a little. Christina and many of her testers (including myself) feel that this is worth it for the lovely finish making the wraps… well, so wrappable!! It weighed 700g, giving it a density of approximately 238 g/m2.
The hems were well done, neat and tidy and even. The middle marker is the green WW logo on its black background, loosely tacked on, as this is a tester. The production wraps will have them more securely anchored and smaller. The tapers are standard, not blunt, not too long.
So, how does it wrap?
It handles beautifully, very smooth to touch and flows nicely through your hands. It is light and easy to maneouvre. Being linen, it has more grip than the all cotton Geo, and doesn’t glide quite so much. Passes are still easy to make over each other and don’t catch or snag, but they stay nicely in place during the wrapping process. It is a fairly tight weave, with typical linen supportiveness, but the high cotton percentage means it is fairly cushy and when well spread across shoulders, not diggy.
Again with the tightness of the weave, it is not as instantly mouldable as looser weaves, but effort pays off and it is very comfortable both with a baby and a three year old.
The knot is easy to make and nice and neat, not bulky. I like 20% linens – all the advantages of its support with the softness of cotton.
I shared Mint Geo with a friend, and this is what she had to say; “Mint Geo is a nice surprise, I was expecting it to be diggy with the blend and how thin it is, but it isn’t! Really easy to wrap with, too!”
I am thrilled to own this and will love using it in the warmer months.
Merino Wool – Light Feathers and Leaf Gold Geo
These lovely luxurious wraps are a merino blend, both 27% merino and 73% cotton. What’s merino when its at home, I hear you cry? Well, it is a wool fibre that is highly prized for its warmth and breathability, so is often found in high-end performance athletic wear. It has excellent temperature control properties, especially when worn against the skin, as its structure traps air in small pockets, thereby retaining and diffuse warmth without causing overheating (similar to fleece). It also wicks sweat away from the skin, has some water and odour-repellent and some natural antibacterial properties too. It is very soft, due to the fine fibres and smaller scales, and often has a sheen to it from this fine nature. Apparently it is less irritating than normal wool so can be a good option for sensitive skin. What’s not to like?
Some people worry about the means by which wool fibres are obtained – I am reliably informed that the merino wool used for these wraps come from an ethical supplier that prizes environmental sustainability and integrity very highly and is part of a respected programme to ensure adherence to such policies. The mill which weaves the wraps is very well established (since 1720, I am told!) and renowned for its work with bespoke high-end quality textiles, including for luxury fashion houses.
Let’s look at Light Feathers first, just ‘cos blue is my colour 🙂
- This is a blend of 73% Egyptian cotton & 27% merino wool, and is very pretty. The pattern is neat feathers all in rows, but it makes me think of things like slate chips on rock, or chalk filings, under a stormy blue cloud colour. It is a small, dense pattern, but is homogeneous enough that it doesn’t look overwhelmingly busy, very different from the large, geometric design of Geo. It has a lovely shine in certain lights and is very elegant and understated. Woven Wings is clearly aiming to be more than a one-pattern pony.
This size 6 measured 4.7m by 62 cm. The non-chemical luxury finish applied to the wraps has reduced the original width to this 62cm, but as it wraps so well, it doesn’t feel narrow. It weighed 800g, making it approximately 275 g/m2, nice and dense. It isn’t thick, however, more on the medium side; which shows how dense it is. Merino is breathable however, so it isn’t hot to wear, despite this. Hems are clean and tidy, tapers are standard.
I’ve heard other testers compare this to Artipoppe, both in terms of yarn quality and weave expertise.
So, how does it wrap?
- In a word, fantastic! The wool lends a lovely softness to the solid feel, and it handles well and drapes nicely. It moves with ease despite its density and is easy to wrap with, the passes flowing nicely into place, with a satisfying level of grip. It is cushy on the shoulders with no digging, even with quick rucks and heavy children. It has a nice amount of diagonal stretch and it moulds well without too much effort, and has a little bounce, with no sag whatsoever. Rock solid. The narrow width can mean, if you are new to wrapping, that care may need to be taken with spread of the fabric to ensure a good seat. However, because this wrap moulds so well, I didn’t find it a problem, even with my big boy, as you can see!
My three year old and my five year old were both very comfy in this wrap. My daughter felt wonderfully light, and I felt as though I could carry my heavy son for a good long while (if required, fortunately it wasn’t!) I enjoyed this wrap. I didn’t feel warm and sweaty in it (merino has those special qualities), and my little girl was happy to snuggle up in it, it has that kind of feel.
Leaf Gold Geo
Ah, this lovely, lovely, lovely wrap. I have become very fond of this. Light Feathers is fabulous, and this Merino Geo is just one extra notch even more special, in my view. I don’t know a great deal about weaving techniques, but Christina tells me that with Leaf Gold (and Midnight) the weavers have tried something new and a little bit different from anything that’s been done before. The mill has centuries of experience and are clearly keen to experiment and make things ever better, which is what they have done.
Leaf Gold, also a blend of 73% Egyptian cotton & 27% merino wool, feels awesomely soft. Really, really soft, strokable, cuddly blanket soft. My daughter actually wanted to be wrapped in it to go to sleep on the bean bags in my consulting room, that’s how delicious it is. It feels a little bit thicker than Feathers, dense, but also somehow light and airy. The two colours of the gold (green and yellow) blend together nicely to be a sort of mustardy colour woven into the third colour (white), it is just lovely to look at. If you look closely you can see how they all interlock and overlap. The yarn is of the same high quality as Feathers.
The size 6 tester measures 4.8m and is narrow at 60.5cm. As I have explained above, the non-chemical finishing process has reduced the original width a little, but having played with this a lot, I think the finish is well worth it. I think this process has been expensive for Christina, but she hasn’t passed on the cost of the luxury finishing to her customers for this pre-order. You are lucky, those of you who pre-ordered! The wrap was 810g, which gives a value of 277g/m2, a little denser than Feathers.
The hems are as neat as expected and the tapers are standard.
So, how does it wrap?
Like Light Feathers, superb. It drapes and glides beautifully over itself in multipass carries, but still has a good grip (perhaps a little less than Feathers) and is rock solid once the carry is secure. Passes are easy to make, as it feels light and moves well, but being narrow, care is needed to ensure the fabric is well distributed from knee pit to neck and over-hasty wrapping may lead to loss of seat. It moulds very well, due to the nature of the wool, and is lovely to be wearing, with a pleasant amount of bounce, but no sag at all. The cush means that it feels squashy, whereas Feathers has less of this squashiness so gives the impression of being more solid (although it isn’t!) My son never feels weightless these days, but again I felt I could carry him for a good long while in this, quite comfortably. My shoulders were very happy! The knot is a little bigger, because of the thickness, but it was not hard to make, and in fact, a single knot was supportive enough. I managed to carefully wrap my little girl over my coat and her slippy parka and went off for a jaunt to the park, expecting slip.. and there was none. Hurray!
A friend of mine had a good play with both the merino testers. “They are amazing, so soft, they feel like jersey! They glide into place and stay there, very squish friendly! M loved snuggling into Geo when it was windy. I am very impressed with these and very, very excited to see what is to come.”
Leaf Geo has the edge for me, if I had to pick between this and Feathers, with that little bit extra stretch and mouldability, and cush. Others may prefer the slightly grippier and more solid feel of Feathers. My son told me that the yellow wrap felt lovely to be riding in and didn’t make his kneepits hurt, which is high praise from him. You imagine having all your weight resting on fabric in your kneepits and you’ll see why it matters to him!!
In summary, these are three superb wraps. I am thrilled that Mint lives with me, and I have ordered a Midnight Geo (same blend as Leaf Geo) to make the most of my wrapping days while they last. Woven Wings deserves its growing reputation as a high quality luxury wrap brand, and I am delighted Christina is committed to keeping them accessible.