Firespiral Torra Burnish Winter Hill
Firespiral Slings' Torra Burnish Winter Hill is a blend of 10% linen and 90% combed cotton. It's woven using Firespiral's Alchemy weave, which is slightly looser and makes for lovely soft & mouldable wraps. Torra Burnish is in the region of 270 GSM, which puts it a little bit above medium weight.
Firespiral is a British company, founded by two babywearing mothers, who design their own jacquard woven wraps in-house. They are inspired by "the universal patterns in nature that stray into both science and myth; the magical way in which we are connected to the world and its rhythms". Firespiral use small, local producers and suppliers wherever possible, and have a strong focus on ecological and ethical production.
I saw my first Firespiral wrap at my local sling library and loved the feel, texture and design. Many Firespiral Alchemy weave wraps have lived here since, all different but sharing common characteristics.
Firespiral wraps come with an attractive cotton bag and pin badge as well as a guide for safe use.
Firespiral's Winter Hill design is inspired by the Lancashire landmark of the same name, and incorporates patterns inspired by weather maps & weave constructions. Now, as someone who generally classifies 'The North of England' as anything between the northern Oxford ring road and Gretna Green, I wasn't familiar with Winter Hill and, if I'm honest, didn't really get why you'd want TV transmitters on a wrap! I absolutely adored the organic patterns that form the other two thirds of the design however, and imagined I'd just use a Winter Hill wrap upside down and ignore those 'pylons'!
It was only when my industrial architecture loving, engineering-minded husband picked a Winter Hill out of all the wraps at a babywearing event and raved about the design, that I started to love that 'upper third'. There is evidence of over 6,000 years of human activity on Winter Hill, from the Bronze Age to present day. Those transmitters are the latest addition to this story. I see the pairing of the natural, earthy patterns and the more recent human ones as a metaphor for modern parenthood, and there's real beauty in it. They both contrast and complement each other. I recently bought another Winter Hill wrap (Copper Octarine) for my own collection, and it's now become one of my favourite (perhaps my absolute favourite) Firespiral designs.
If you read my Acorn Burnish Gossamer review last week, you'll already know about Firespiral's new Burnish warp, and how much of a fan of it I am! It's a lovely charcoal grey with warm earthy undertones and is subtle, wearable and practical for all seasons. Like the classic Firespiral Twilight warp, the Burnish warp is a chameleon that changes in appearance depending on weft colour and lighting.
The pale silver-blue Torra weft makes the Burnish look charcoal grey, and surprisingly different to the warmer, earthy brown tones brought out in Acorn Burnish Gossamer. Of course, the weft is affected by warp, just as vice versa. The grey/blue Torra weft is comprised of the ‘winter’ coloured linen and ‘moonlit’ combed cotton. With the Burnish warp, it looks far more blue then it did with the Dendron warp, presenting as a gorgeous, pale duck-egg colour. The colourway makes for a classic beauty that you'll keep reaching for.
Both sides of Torra Burnish are beautiful but I particularly like the side with more Torra showing at the top of the design (pictured). Firespiral wraps have mirrored hems and middle markers, so there is no 'wrong' side.
The Wrapping Qualities
Torra Burnish is soft and floppy right out of the bag. In hand you'd be forgiven for thinking that Torra Burnish was 100% cotton but, if you stroke the more Torra (blue) areas, you can feel the added texture of the linen.
If you read my review of Firespiral's Pyrula Aqua Vortex, you'll already know I'm a fan of their linen blends. Thanks to the Alchemy weave structure and other clever weaving tricks, Firespiral linen is much floppier and softer than many others on the market and no breaking in is required (although they only get better with use).
Torra Burnish wraps easily and feels comfortable, with a nice bit of cushiness on the shoulders and no digginess at all. Its mouldability and soft, blankety feel made it ideal for wrapping my four week old and it definintely gets the squish-worthy stamp of approval.
While I was testing Torra Burnish, my newborn went through his first developmental leap while my toddler had a virus and a molar coming through. Suffice to say, this wrap has seen considerable service! I've worn my newborn around the house pretty much from dawn till dusk (& then some), while my toddler has wanted to be wrapped lots more than usual too, especially when we've been out. Torra Burnish has served dutifully and proved to be comfortable and supportive.
I was testing a size 7 and therefore mostly used multi-layer carries, however Torra Burnish is supportive enough to also work well as a toddler-worthy shortie for those quick ups and downs.
The linen content and the pattern add grip, and my wrap jobs stayed in place even when carrying my toddler for a couple of hours in damp conditions. The wrap doesn't feel at all bulky, ties a neat knot, and wraps true to size.
As a linen / cotton blend Torra Burnish is very easy care and can be washine washed, tumble dried and steam ironed. The relatively low linen content means that Torra Burnish doesn't suffer the excessive creasing often found in linen blends, and doesn't seem at all prone to perma-creasing.
Torra Burnish Winter Hill is a fab all-rounder, which epitomises the mouldable, blankety softness typical of Firespiral's Alchemy weave. Thin enough for a newborn yet thick enough to cope with a toddler, great for all weathers, and all in an incredibly pretty colourway that'll go with just about anything. Whether you live north or south of Oxford, you need this wrap in your life!