Recently I have been introduced to a relatively new brand of woven wrap, Keppeke. They are a company based in Belgium & started in 2013. They produce machine woven wraps in a variety of designs which are all produced, washed & finished in Flanders, Belgium. Keppeke wraps come in 2 different blends, 100% cotton or their unique ‘Flemish’ blend which is 40% cotton blended with 60% real Flemish flax.
Those on the list to receive the travelling testers were separated into groups & then each group was allocated a wrap. Our group was allocated the Herringbone wrap which is one of the ‘Flemish’ blend wraps Keppeke produce. I was quite excited about trying this unique, exclusive blend as I’m always curious to try a new brand, let alone a new blend!
The first thing that struck me when I received the parcel, was how big the parcel was & how heavy it felt. I opened the parcel & my first impression, wrap in hand, was how thick it was, this is quite possibly one of the thickest wraps I have ever used! I’ve never felt anything like it. Even Didymos NH India which is known for being thick & cushy has nothing on this one! It is certainly a bit of a beast & will definitely take some breaking in if you were to buy one new. There are some wraps which will give you far more in return than you could ever expect if you are prepared to put the time & effort into breaking them in, I have a feeling this is going to be one of those & will turn into a much-loved, blankety workhorse wrap!
In terms of appearance, it is very simple & understated. I was expecting something a little more ‘purple’ & a slightly more obvious pattern. The fabric is very simple & the pattern is actually not obvious from a distance as it is simply the herringbone weave made up of purple & beige threads which almost merge into one colour when you look at the wrap from afar. That said, it could make a great base for a conversion featuring more detailed applique or embroidery work. The middle marker is a small, purple Keppeke label which is big enough to be noticeable when you’re looking for it, but not so big it gets in the way & becomes difficult to hide when wrapped. There is also a small care label stitched into one end of the wrap.
Unusually, I wasn’t the first person in the house to wrap with this wrap, Daddy Carrying Works took first go & his carry of choice was a basic ruck tied tibetan. The first thing he commented on was the thickness of the wrap, then how wide it was. It certainly is wider than other wraps we have tried but not overwhelmingly so, as he has found with other wraps. He felt he had to work hard to get the carry tight & the thickness of the wrap made it a little difficult for him to work with but he found that once G was up in it, it felt solid & certainly wasn’t going anywhere. He commented on how weightless G felt & how it didn’t dig on his shoulders at all, despite him not being particularly careful whilst he was wrapping.
I tried the wrap in a variety of different carries whilst it was with me & it was comfortable in every one of them, not diggy at all & G felt positively weightless. It didn’t matter whether it was a ruck tied under bum or a double hammock, he was well supported & my shoulders didn’t feel his weight at all.
One of the biggest issues had with the wrap was getting the wrap tight whilst you’re wrapping with it. You can see in some of the pictures that the chest pass of my double hammock isn’t particularly tight. You really have to think about getting everything tight whilst you’re wrapping & make sure you get every ounce of slack out of it at every given opportunity. Although even with a loose chest pass, G didn’t sag at all so it was quite forgiving if you did miss any slack!
The other issue we had was the knot. Both getting a nice, tight knot & the size of the resulting knot. A double knot was pretty big, I’d certainly be interested to see how this changes as the wrap becomes more broken in!
I don’t think this wrap would be ideal for wrapping a smaller baby as it is so thick & so dense. However Keppeke have a line of wraps on their website specifically sold as newborn wraps which I feel would be much better suited to wrapping a newborn & I get the impression from other reviews that their 100% cotton wraps are much thinner & will require much less breaking in than this wrap would from new.
Overall, I think this is a great toddler wrap, even as a shorty. If anything, it almost feels like it would be best suited to being a shorty! Whether in single or multiple layer carries, it is comfortable on the shoulders & wonderfully supportive. One member of my local slingmeet said that they wouldn’t feel afraid to let their toddler run riot with it & it wouldn’t feel to fragile to use as a hammock or a swing for their kids! It was also described as a big, snuggly blanket of a wrap. All of which are great qualities, as a wrap needs to be loved & used to serve its purpose. It is no good having a wrap which you are too afraid to use for fear of it getting sticky finger prints on!