Thursday, 2 January 2014

A Review of 2013

I've been asked by several people about my favourite wraps from 2013, so I thought I'd do a little fun review. Bear in mind that this is simply based on the few wraps I have tried, and totally based on my own opinions and experiences.
I feel that 2013 has been quite an exciting year for wrap enthusiasts. The year began with a few front runners, with Oscha proving to be extremely popular, and old friends like Didymos and Natibaby very much going strong. As the year progressed, the market appeared to calm down a little, and new and exciting companies have emerged, mixing things up a little. The appearance of Artipoppe and Pavo Textiles this year have certainly added a bit of excitement into the wrap world. The handwoven wrap market has also significantly expanded this year, and I was lucky enough to buy my first Uppymama wrap, aswell as a Warped & Wonderful, making two of my wrap wishes come true. 
Here are a few of my favourite wraps from this year, with a short comment to explain why. I could honestly list almost all of the wraps I've been lucky enough to try, but I've attempted to be selective:

 Bebe Sachi Khadi, both Twilight and my ring sling.
These stunning, handwoven, ethically produced wraps are amazingly supportive and full of character. I feel so lucky to own these two unique wraps, and they have been my two surprise favourites of 2013.

Baie Slings Trowen & Magma
I'm so excited about this relatively new company, and have completely fallen in love with their Trowen wraps. I adore the fact that they arrive feeling so blankety soft, and are also supportive with my toddler. Having been lucky enough to try their stunning Magma wrap, I can see Baie Slings going from strength to strength in 2014.

Didymos Flamenco Hemp Indio (both versions)
So incredibly comfortable and supportive, and very soft and easy to wrap with when broken in, the two versions of FHI (both of which live here) are two of all time favourite wraps. 

Firespiral wraps, particularly Seafoam and Pomegranate Fractal Spirals
Firespiral are another very exciting company, whose wraps are unique and beautifully designed, arrive already feeling beautifully soft and are very easy to wrap with. I love all four of my Firespiral wraps, but I particularly love my Seafoam as it wraps into place so easily and is very supportive, and my Pomegranate Fractal Spirals as I love its soft cush and texture. I can't wait to see what Firespiral has in store for us this year!

Pavo Textiles wraps, particularly Sylvan and Fuchsia
A lot of people have commented that they feel 2013 has been the year of the Pavo, and I can understand what they mean. These wraps are totally different from anything else I have tried, and are being designed amazingly well. I also feel that the way the lovely ladies behind Pavo Textiles are marketing and releasing their wraps is perfect, as they are obtainable (with a little bit of luck), yet not in such huge supply that they still involve the 'thrill of the chase' that many wrap collectors enjoy. They are constantly coming up with new designs, each of which appears to have slightly different wrapping qualities. Two of my favourites from 2013 are Parterre Sylvan for its amazing supportiveness - one of the first wraps I have ever tried that made my toddler feel weightless, and Etini Fuchsia, which also wraps beautifully, but I particularly love the Etini design in this colourway.

Artipoppe, Two Birds Akka and Silvester
Another company which has exploded onto the scene in 2013 is Artipoppe. With beautiful designs, and amazing/creative/unique wrap blends, and many little clues and riddles before new wraps are released, Artipoppe have had a huge impact. I have been very lucky to have tried three Artipoppe wraps this year, and my two favourites are Two Birds Akka and Silvester, both of which wrap so easily and are really supportive, plus the Two Birds pattern is my favourite of the Artipoppe designs.

Oscha wraps, particularly Eden Copper Beech, Roses Aphrodite and SN Marina
Although the hype surrounding Oscha has calmed down significantly this year, Oscha are still very much here to stay. Their wraps are beautiful, and the Okinami design appears to the favourite of many people. However, three of my favourites from this year are: Eden Copper Beech, which wraps so easily it was the first wrap that I could truly rely on for getting a perfect double hammock each time. Roses Aphrodite, which I was so thrilled to get in their Valentine's Day release as I had longed for red roses for a while and was certainly not disappointed with these. Starry Night Marina, which was a very limited release, but is the first thick woolly Starry Night wrap and in the most perfect shade of turquoise, making it a comfortable, beautiful wrap.

Monkey Mei Tai conversions
I cannot do a review of 2013 without mentioning my Monkey Mei Tai wrap conversions. I have gained three new conversions this year, and I have to admit that now my toddler likes to be up and down all the time, they are three of my most used carriers. They are beautifully made, with Helen clearly having an artistic eye, and are so incredibly comfortable, that I would have at least four of my other wraps converted if Monkey Mei Tai's waiting list wasn't well into 2015.

So these are some of my wrap highlights of 2013. In terms of babywearing highlights, there have been many. The European Babywearing Conference in July was wonderful, and Natural Mama's Big Camp was a huge amount of fun. Whilst at camp, having a photoshoot with Ali Dover was a bit of a dream come true. Working with Bebe Sachi to take the pictures for their instruction booklet was a privilege, as was testing wraps for two new companies. I have also made some really great friends through babywearing, and I love going to my local sling meets, sling walks and sling dance class. I also did the Race for Life this year whilst wearing Joey, and I loved seeing people's reactions! Although Joey is getting bigger, I really hope that I get many opportunities to wear him in 2014, and doing my consultancy training in February will mean that I will still be involved with the babywearing world even as Joey continues to grow.

I hope you've all had a wonderful year, and hope 2014 is even better for you. Thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving me comments in 2013. Happy New Year! x

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