You can imagine my delight when Juliette and Rhys of Baie Slings gave me some of their pretty bags containing something new for comparison reviews. I opened them and found these gorgeous fabrics inside. Wow! This is the first of their wraps to be composed of a blend of threads, everything up till now has been cotton (and combed cotton). They’ve hit the ground running with this new collection of 25% hemp 75% combed cotton slings – Milk (ring sling here), Ivory Trowen and a new wrap, Ivory Filigree.
I have been working with the Ivory Trowen this week. I reviewed their very first Trowen (Emerald and Ecru) in ring sling form, and remember how cushy and soft it was, so I was expecting great things of this new Trowen. I like hemp – it adds sturdiness and support, and good quality hemp should be soft and pliable and therefore not impact on the wrapability too much, so it is a popular blend for carrying bigger children.
I wasn’t disappointed. The wrap is beautiful to look at, with the Celtic pattern and the lovely warm cream and gold colours entwining. It’s understated, and very stylish. It was new, and despite its newness, already floppy and soft to touch, very strokable, not stiff from the hemp at all. The weave is fairly loose (not as tight as some of the newer Trowens) which gives the Ivory Trowen a feel of lightness and breathability. It feels medium thick and pleasantly cushy in hand, rather than deeply thick, very squishy and cushy which is what I recall of the Emerald.
The hemp threads are as expected – some slubbiness, which is entirely normal, the gold cotton threads are smooth and slightly shiny, which gives the wrap a lovely gleam. The looseness of the weave does lend itself to a few pulls.
This size 6 wrap measured about 4.74m long, 68cm wide (soft tape in hand, held reasonably taut). It was hard to be accurate as the loose weave gives the wrap a lot of stretch. It weighs 800g, giving a density of 248 g/m2, which doesn’t take into account the hems etc. This corresponds with Baie’s official measurement of 240g/m2. Thus it is a medium weight wrap, however it feels lighter than this – and lighter than Filigree which is almost exactly the same density.
Juliette does her own hemming, and it is as immaculate as ever, with standard tapers and a neat little middle marker of the B of their logo (changed from the little dot of earlier weaves). The markers are central, and the composition label is on one taper, small and unobtrusive. The rails are hemmed in alternate directions, with alternate colours, so there is no right or wrong side or up side or down side, and it is a very useful feature for checking whether or not you have flipped the rails over.
So, how does it wrap?
Ivory Trowen has been a pleasure to use. It did not require any breaking in at all, and was very easy to work with. Light and floppy, it drapes well, flows easily, lovely in hand. Making passes was easy, with a lovely smooth glide, and tightening was not difficult at all. The complex pattern lends grip, as does the coarser, slubby hemp, so the passes do not slip away and hold in place just enough, without sticking. It is very cushy, due to the combed cotton, no digging on my shoulders in a double hammock or a front wrap cross carry, even in a Robin’s hip carry. It is very mouldable, due to the loose-ish weave, and it is worth ensuring the passes are snug because of this. There is a nice diagonal stretch, with a little elasticity, which makes it very comfortable to use. There is a good smidgen of width and lengthways stretch as well, hence there is a touch of settle with heavier children. When wrapped snugly, this will allow an active child to wriggle into a comfy snuggly soft hammock.
The knot is nice and easy to make, not too large, easy to tie.
I really loved using this in multipass carries as it was just so easy to get the perfect double hammock with the minimum of effort. I really enjoyed the mouldability and how comfortable it made my little big girl. She did not slip down at all and there was no sag; she was happily and contentedly draped over me for the best part of an hour. It was lovely in a front wrap cross carry with her as well, the fabric is soft and squishy not to need to be careful with the leg passes and she was very comfortable. Being wide, it was easy to get a good ruck with no bum poppage, and the hemp adds a good amount of sturdiness and support that the looser weave definitely benefits from. I appreciated the cushiness in the single layer ruck; I think this wrap really sings in a multilayer carry with bigger kids.
I was able to wrap a six month old with Trowen Ivory; he felt completely weightless and very well supported in a gentle, soft and very comfortable way with both multipass and single layer carries. There was no slipping off the shoulders with a kangaroo. I’d happily recommend this wrap for all ages.
I did not feel too warm in it, because of the airiness of the weave, which can only be a good thing as we are in the spring season here in the UK (with a hope of warmer weather to come, if we are lucky…)
In summary, Trowen Ivory is a very lovely hemp blend wrap, light and airy, a dream to wrap with, beautiful to look at, soft and cushy.. It would be great to use at a wedding, for a spring celebration, or just because you want to look glamorous that day!