This week I have been testing out a wrap from Belgium, from a new company called Keppeke (http://www.keppeke.be/). They sent me this Bollekes Bordeaux wrap, part of their current 100% cotton range. It is only 50Eu from their online shop and I had heard good things about this company’s product, so I was looking forwards to this arriving.
It’s eyecatching and unique, an ecru and coloured wrap with a paler “wrong” side, and I preferred to use it colourful side out. It felt quite light in hand, with a tight, dense weave and on the thinner side of medium, and a little stiff brand new. However, what I really noticed was the slight stretch that it has along the horizontal and the vertical, not just on the diagonal, like most woven wraps. It’s only a little, it’s certainly not a stretchy wrap, but it definitely has a touch of elasticity. I was intrigued!
It is 100% cotton in a size 6, measuring 4.63m long (soft tape in hand) and 74.5cm wide. A good, wide wrap, which is helpful when wrapping bigger kids or if you prefer extra fabric for tucking under bums for super secure seats. It weighed 950g, which took me a little by surprise, giving it a density of approx 275 g/m2 (no allowance made for hems etc).
It has fairly standard tapers, not blunt, not long, and for the most part, the hemming is careful. In a couple of places, there are loose ends not fully tucked in (which are not uncommon in woven wraps) and two areas where the hem has not quite been folded over fully. Neither of these will affect the safety or the function of the wrap. I have been informed that this issue has been dealt with and current releases will not have similar hemming issues. The middle marker is a purple label of the Keppeke brand (a smiling face). It’s fairly small and is central. There is a little care label sewn at the end of one taper, which is helpful when it comes to remembering how to wash the wrap. There were no instructions with the wrap but the website has information on safe babywearing and advises users to refer to existing babywearing manuals if required.
So, how does it wrap?
I liked this a lot. The little bit of stretch makes it mouldable, and it was easy to wrap with once it had broken in a little. It doesn’t feel heavy, and the pattern has a good amount of grip on the coloured side, while the wrong side is smoother and flows easily. This works well for the process of wrapping and tightening. The pale side is smoother and softer, which would be nice for skin to skin or against bare legs. It stayed in place nicely, no sliding off my shoulders with gathered ruck straps. It moves fairly well in its new condition and I am sure it will get floppier with good use. The elasticity and mouldability make it feel nice and cushy on the shoulders and I wasn’t aware of digging with my three year old. This slightly stretchy feature is more noticeable with heavier children, less so with babies. Being wide, it was very easy to make a good seat, and with a baby there was plenty of fabric which would help secure wrigglers. As it is fairly light and not too thick, it doesn’t feel too bulky.The gathered passes across a small baby’s leg might feel wide, and the knot is fairly large, but is not hard to make. I didn’t feel too hot in this.
My little girl enjoyed this wrap and was in no hurry to get down, and I was happy to carry her in it for a good while with no discomfort.
I washed the wrap as suggested, at 30 degrees, and as the manufacturer told me a gentle tumble dry would be safe, in it went. It came out feeling a little softer and fluffier, and I am sure this will only increase with use.
In summary, this was a very nice wrap to work with, comfortable, cushy and great value, too. It is my personal preference for wraps where both sides are equally attractive, and I wouldn’t choose to use the pale side out, but I like this pattern and the new Cubes just being released! This would be a good wrap both for beginners and those looking for toddler-worthy cotton at a good price. I look forwards to finding out more about their “Flemish blend” of flax and cotton…