Firespiral Double Weave Charters Moss Tester
This is an unnamed prototype wrap by Firespiral to test their new Double Weave. It's 100% cotton, woven in their Charters Moss design and weighs in the region of 253 GSM, making it a medium weight wrap.
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.
Firespiral currently use two different weave structures for their wraps, 'Alchemy' and 'Elements'. The Alchemy weave is looser for ultimate softness, mouldability and cush. Their Elements weave is tighter and makes for supportive wraps that are more of a 'workhorse', but require a little bit of breaking in. If Firespiral proceed with the use of the Double Weave, it'll provide an exciting third weave option for Firespiral customers.
Double Weaves seem to be the latest 'new thing' in the wrapping world. Several companies have developed their own versions, generally to much acclaim, and I was excited to test out Firespiral's take on it.
The Firespiral Double Weave tester has the standard single warp (running down the length of the fabric) but, instead of the usual single weft (running across the width), it has two. One of these wefts is white, and the other a bright teal blue.
When I first looked at the wrap, I noticed that the colours appeared cleaner and brighter somehow, while the pattern seemed more clearly defined. After ruling out the theory that my own wraps simply needed a wash (always a possibility in our household!), I realised that this was down to the double weave. The two wefts means less cross-over of colours and, with the white warp and a white weft, the white parts of the design look as clean and fresh as newly fallen snow. The tighter, fine weave also facilitates more definition in the pattern than is possible with the looser Alchemy weave.
I had the pleasure of reviewing one of the original Charters Moss testers and I love the uninhibited, open design. Runic detailing (reading 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star') and twinkling stars are perfect accents to this beautiful design inspired by Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights.
The Wrapping Qualities
I admit that when I first heard the 'hype' about the Double Weave, I wondered whether it was a case of 'The Emporers New Clothes'. The Double Weave testers have been traveling around to enthusiastic applause and I was beginning to fear it was a case of group hysteria! Well, if it is, I've succumbed too!
If you're thinking that an extra weft will make for a bulky or less mouldable wrap, you'll definitely be pleasantly surprised. The tester is still medium weight and still has the floppy mouldable quality I've come to expect from Firespiral. However as this tester has already seen considerable use I can't say for certain whether it was like this from the outset, or whether any breaking in was required to get it to this stage.
In hand, the tester doesn't have quite the luxurious stroke-your-face-with-it softness of Firespiral's Alchemy Weave wraps. It's still soft, but with a bit more texture.
That fine grippy texture pays dividends in the wrapping. I found the tester to have a perfect balance of glide & grip making it easy to wrap with and secure when in place.
If, like me, you flinch slightly at the sight of a Firespiral wrap draped over the rough bark and jutting branches of a tree, fear not! Whilst your gorgeous Alchemy wrap would likely have come through the experience with a few (easy to fix but a shame nevertheless) pulls, the Double Weave sailed through completely unscathed.
I did find the Double Weave to be a bit less airy than Alchemy in the wearing, and therefore perhaps not quite as cool in warmer climates (for the Brits, that means when you go abroad!), but this is made up for by its snug cushy qualities...and here's where we get to the real magic of the Double Weft.
I'm pretty sure you could carry a baby elephant in this wrap and still have fairly comfortable shoulders. In fact, my giganta-toddler probably isn't too far off baby elephant size (I do exaggerate slightly here) and the spongey cushiness of the Double Weave made carrying him comfortable for extended periods, whilst the springy elasticity made for a snug wrap job and an almost bouncy ride. I spent some time pulling this tester in various directions and the Double Weave definitely brings a new dimension to diagonal stretch.
Remember those Pink & White 'biscuits' with marshmallow sandwiched between two waffley wafers? Well if one of those eloped with one of Jane Fonda's (I'm showing my age here!) Lycra leotards, the Double Weave might be the resulting progeny! If you were born later than about 1986 and thinking I need to lay off the caffeine, suffice to say that the double weave provides marshmallowy cush, bounce and supportive stretch in a relatively slim 100% cotton package that'll endure a good workout!
A friend of mine observed that this is a toddler worthy wrap for those who don't like wool, and I agree. In short, Firespiral's cushy, springy, supportive Double Weave is the final nail in the coffin of the '100% cotton isn't toddler-worthy' argument.
The Double Weave really is significantly different to Alchemy & Elements, and is a worthy addition to the Firespiral portfolio. It makes a robust and deliciously cushy and comfortable wrap suitable for all ages and weights. It'll also rock in any length from shortie to base. In 100% easy care cotton, this is the ultimate beater wrap with a five star wrapping experience.