Sling Studio Supima Cotton & SeaCell Bracken Prototype
This is a Sling Studio prototype wrap woven from 86% Supima cotton and 14% SeaCell. I calculate it to be approximately 265 GSM, making it a smidge heavier than a medium weight wrap.
What is SeaCell?
As a fully paid up member of the textile geekery society, I get very excited when I hear about a new fibre, especially one made from natural, renewable resources like SeaCell, so I could barely contain myself when this prototype arrived for testing! So, what is SeaCell? In a nutshell, a small amount of organic brown algae seaweed is cleverly combined with cellulose fibre (plant material mostly from the eucalyptus tree) to create a fibre that can be woven into any fabric.
According to the people that manufacture it, when woven into a fabric, SeaCell is beneficial for the skin as it contains seaweed with all its revitalising properties. It apparently has a fibre structure that promotes the active transfer of nutrients (think seaweed minerals etc.) from the fabric to the skin, and even a small amount can have a big effect. So we're basically talking about a seaweed spa treatment in a wrap!
Wrapping our babies in a fabric containing extract of seaweed feels like capturing the essence of the sea and is really appealing. The sea has played a big part in both my husband's and my lives. We both grew up on the coast and have to make regular pilgrimages to the sea now we're a bit farther away! Without even thinking consciously about it, I've often sought out ocean inspired designs in my wraps, and wearing SeaCell blend fabric feels like taking that theme to the next level.
It feels absolutely appropriate that Sling Studio, a British company based on our stunning south coast, utilises this new, exciting fibre in their baby wraps.
This prototype is a classic midnight blue and ecru colourway that's extremely flattering, stylish and easy to wear. Bracken is one of my very favourite Sling Studio designs. When wrapped, it looks beautifully organic with no issues relating to design placement or orientation. Both sides of the wrap look equally attractive, so you can alternate as the mood takes you!
Sling Studio describe themselves as a "quintessentially British" company. I have long admired their designs and the wrapping qualities of those few wraps I've managed to borrow or try. Sling Studio are a 'High End' brand specialising in premium materials and their wraps are priced accordingly. It is worth noting however that a percentage from the sale of every Sling Studio wrap is donated to the very worthy charity Tommy's. Sling Studio releases tend to be smaller and operate by means of draws where you can apply for an invoice through their Facebook page.
For those of you who, like me, have never been lucky enough to win a Sling Studio invoice, let me share the experience of receiving a Sling Studio wrap. It arrives in a lovely box, folded neatly and wrapped in tissue paper, with a personalised sticker seal and its own Sling Studio tote bag for storage. I always feel as though it's my birthday when a new wrap arrives, but opening the Sling Studio parcel felt extra special.
The Wrapping Qualities
In hand, there's a luxurious, creamy feel to this ultra-soft wrap. Supima cotton is a very high quality cotton and usually makes for extremely soft & mouldable yet durable wraps due to the long fibres. The SeaCell seems to add an even more extra special touch to it. Think double instead of single cream!
The wrap is extremely cushy, and comfortable to wear. I felt as though we were snuggled in a soft cotton blanket. It has lovely drape and mouldability and feels smooth, gliding into place easily when wrapping. The wrap is also very supportive. I was carrying my chunky toddler while 31 weeks pregnant and it felt as though we were wrapped in a luxurious little cloud. I did find that I needed to do a tiny bit of tightening and readjustment after an hour or so of walking, but that was small price to pay for the comfort of the whole experience.
The properties of the SeaCell are most apparent when you're wrapping on bare skin. The wrap feels very soft and smooth and has excellent temperature regulation. I have quite sensitive skin (even when it's not being stretched to extremes with a baby bump!), and the wrap felt simply luxurious against it. This blend is ideal for that all important skin-to-skin contact with your baby and it would be one of my first choices for wrapping a newborn.
The care instructions state that the wrap should be hand-washed and cannot be tumble dried. I trust my washing machine and put the wrap in on the 30 degree hand-wash cycle, in a net bag, which worked perfectly. The wrap air dried quickly and ironed easily. There is a fairly large label attached to one tail detailing safe usage. This has a minor impact on the aesthetics of the wrap, but could be neatly rolled and sewn into the seam if desired.
When you enter a Sling Studio draw, you've decided (or at least hope!) to invest in a premium item. Perhaps you're buying an extra special wrap for a new baby or an heirloom that you intend to hold onto long after your babywearing ends. This Supima cotton & SeaCell blend wrap is the ultimate soft, luxurious, cushy wrapping experience and will last you from that first cuddle with your newborn to long into toddlerhood. I hope very much that Sling Studio decide to proceed with a SeaCell blend release.