What do you turn to in the heat? A linen Linushka maybe? Or a Didymos hemp indio? There are so many gorgeous, shimmery summer wraps to choose from how do you know what’s right for you?
Let’s take a look at linen and linen blends. The first thing people seem to mention when asked about carrying a baby in the summer is linen. Yes it’s cool, very supportive even when very thin and compared to some other fibres it’s at the cheaper end of the scale. Linen does unfortunately have a tendency to crease very easily and also in the same place so it’s probably best to steer clear if you are adverse to the iron as these repeating creases can lead to thread shifting which could unfortunately lead to a hole. Not what you want to happen to your prized possession and definitely not whilst carrying such precious cargo. However if you’re like me and many other wrap-a-holics out there, the only time your ironing board will see the light of day is when a wrap needs ironing or you just fancy doing it for its strangely therapeutic attraction. Another characteristic often associated with linen wraps are “slubs”; imperfections and thicker threads found randomly along the cloth. These defects are generally only found in lower quality threads while very fine linen is smooth and consistent.
Linen has a wonderful shimmer, it glistens in sun light, so watch you don’t walk into anything while admiring it’s natural luster (which I’ve obviously never done).
When cared for, linen is a strong and durable fabric and although when it arrives you may mistake it for a sheet of cardboard it will gradually soften with use, a wash and a gentle tumble will give it a good start. Most companies offer linen, some 100% like Linuschka and Oscha which soften surprisingly quickly. Natibaby, Oscha and Didymos offer blends, usually mixed with cotton but they’re starting to get very adventuress mixing tri blends with silk and wool. Each different blend or even design vary a lot and the linen content will make a huge difference to how it wraps so there are plenty of options to play with.
Ok, so why would I want to try hemp?
I guess we could call hemp the “eco fibre” as its production, compared to other fibre producing crops requires few pesticides, virtually no herbicides and requires less water to grow. I would say it shares many properties with linen, it too often contains “slubs” though I find fewer than with linen, it definitely matches if not exceeds linens cool and breathable feel and it has a wonderful shine to it. A two tone fabric like Didymos april hemp indio shows it off beautifully. You will find it requires a lot less maintenance than linen if you are an iron-a-phobe as even though it wrinkles to a certain degree I haven’t found it does to the extreme linen does, so you don’t have to worry so much about thread shifting issues. Like linen it does start off stiff as a board but it does tend to soften more quickly in my experience. I often see linen as a long term project where as the “oh my, I can stand this fabric upright!” passes after a wash and an iron with hemp and it will continue to soften with wear until your wrapping yourself in a super supportive, cushy cloud.
Hemp is a fairly new blend in wrap world but its popularity is soaring so the wrap makers are getting experimental and trying new blends and designs with it more frequently.
I’m not sure if it’s clear (I’ve tried to be unbiased) but I am a definite hemp fan and cannot wait to see what comes along as more companies start using it. I love it, the support, the sheen, the cush on my shoulders. It’s definitely a winner in my books.
Supportiveness: 5/5 Supportiveness: 5/5
Temperature: 5/5 Temperature: 5/5
Ease of care: 5/5 Ease of care: 3/5
Time to break in: 3/5 Time to break in: 2/5
luxury: 3.5/5 Luxury: 3/5
What do others think?
”I love the look of hemp, it always has a lovely shine.” Karen Cheeseman
“I have more linen than hemp but not because I prefer linen. I love the shimmer and strength of linen but hemp is so cushy and supportive it gets my vote.” Carrie-Anne Alexander
“I prefer hemp to linen. It appears to be more durable and less prone to any thread issues.” Lee Beirne
“Not much experience, but loved that Nati hemp softened almost immediately after a wash and steam iron, whereas linen took some solid weeks of beating.” Liz Holmes
“I love my linen wraps, and no thread issues with them as yet. My only hemp is an indio, which has indio based pull issues, but wraps beautifully.” Liz Elliot