I recently had the privilege of hosting & arranging (with the help of some wonderful friends!) a special event, The Amazing Midlands & The North Summertime Slings in The Park Picnic which was essentially a day in the park where people could bring along a picnic, meet up with some like minded people & share their love of carrying their children!
We thought it would be a great idea, as well as encouraging people to bring along their own slings, if we could see whether or not some companies would be happy to send along one or two of their wraps for people to get acquainted with, perhaps even get an exclusive sneak peak at some as yet unreleased things!
One of the first companies to send something along was the lovely ladies at Firespiral Slings who sent along two wraps, a beautiful Enchanted Cyano Birch Trees wrap from the Alchemy range in the birch trees pattern & this wonderful wrap from their Elements range in the starmap pattern.
We have seen the starmap pattern before in many guises, from the original silver starmap to the gamma crucis starmap right through to the one I have here. It has been made in a number of different colourways & blends. The elements range will all be 100% combed cotton & the primary difference that can be noticed in this new elements range is the weave.
Firespiral have separated their wraps into two ranges, both produced in the same mill, with the same high quality materials but with a few slight differences.
Alchemy: this encompasses the traditional Firespiral wraps. Those with the looser, airier weave, all wrapped up in their own cotton bag. They are woven in a variety of colours & blends, weaves & designs. This is where the ladies of Firespiral are able to really explore their artistic sides & let it shine!
Elements: these wraps are woven with a slightly tighter weave meaning they are more robust & resistant to pulls. They have focused on the essentials of production rather than the little luxuries like the packaging meaning they are able to keep the prices as affordable as possible without compromising on ethics or quality. They will be woven on a natural coloured wrap with a variety of weft colours. We could be looking at seeing 4 designs in as many as 7 different weft colours!
When the wraps arrived before the picnic, I was more than a little excited to get to grips with it as Firespiral Slings are a firm favourite here at TCW. I have a silver starmap, Rob has gamma crucis starmap & we even have the wonderful teaching wrap in the library! We love their wonderful texture, the ease with which they wrap & how comfortable they are when they’re wrapped so I was interest to see how tightening the weave would impact on all the things we love about them.
First impressions were good, the wrap was soft straight out of the bag. Not as soft & floppy as my blankety silver starmap was when it first arrived but, considering how much tighter the weave is, that is completely understandable! I decided that I’d get straight in there & wrap G in a double hammock. This was about 8pm, with a tired & teething boy who had no patience for a slow wrap job & it wrapped beautifully. So beautifully in fact that the only decent photo I have of the carry is of the smooth chest pass because it’s almost certainty your best wrap jobs are never caught on camera!
I used the wrap a few times in the run up to the picnic & each time it has wrapped impeccably. Despite its tighter weave, it is still wonderful on the shoulders & it still has a degree of that wonderful Firespiral mouldability (I’m sure that’s not a word but it’s the best one I have!) that makes it so lovely to wrap with. Not once have I found myself uncomfortable or feeling the need to constantly tighten the carry, it really is something special. You can certainly tell that the tightness of the weave has been carefully considered to ensure that you still get wonderful wrapping qualities that Firespiral are known for yet you have a robust, easy to care for wrap that the elements range is all about.
At the picnic, there were a few people interested to see what the new Elements weave was like. Some for reasons such as mine, they were interested to see how it compared to the Firespiral wraps that they already know & love. Others because they find the alchemy weave too loose, yet love the ethics, materials & designs produced by Firespiral. I think it’s fair to say everyone was impressed! People couldn’t believe it was brand new & had less than a week of use under its belt, particularly because of how soft it is, despite its tighter weave. The colour was also a winner, the natural warp & the graphite weft are a good combination, a great dye blank or beautiful as they are. One lady actually said that despite not being a fan of neutral wraps she will be keeping a close eye out for this being released because she loved it so much!
The price is another thing that surprised people. The aim is for the longest of the Elements wraps (size 7) to come in at under £100. This may seem expensive in comparison to some imported wraps available but when you consider the ethics behind these wraps, such as fully biodegradable packaging & supporting local enterprise, as well as the fact they are produced entirely here in the UK & the quality of wrap you will receive, the price is pretty amazing!
The only issue I can find with this wrap is that it only has one middle marker. That said, this is standard practice for all Firespiral wraps, with the exception of the teaching wrap. It is something I have got used when wrapping with them & it certainly wouldn’t put me off purchasing one in any way, shape or form!
All in all, this is yet another wonderful offering from the ever talented Firespiral Slings. It is suited to both beginners & experienced wrappers, babies to toddlers. A high quality wrap, with great wrapping qualities & which is fabulous straight out of the packaging! What more could you ask for?!?