REVIEW: Ruck n Roll Handwovens Ella Ella Eh Eh Eh Woven Wrap

img_2423This is the third wrap woven by Jo-Anne of Ruck n Roll Handwovens & the second that I have had the pleasure of wrapping with. The first being the wonderful Rainbow Unicorn Butt Fluff (RUBF) which joined us for our trip down to London last November & are big shoes to fill!

Let me introduce you to Under my Umbrella, Ella Ella (Eh Eh Eh), also know as Ella. This beauty was woven for a ‘battle’ in the facebook group ‘Wrap Battles: The Battle Ground‘ where 2 weavers are given a randomly selected inspiration image & challenged to weave a wrap each. Both wraps are then anonymously revealed & group members vote for their favourite. Jo-Anne was up against Sian of To The Loom & Back, both created beautiful pieces but there can only be one winner & Jo-Anne came out on top. Below you can see the reveal collages either side of the inspiration picture.

Ella has an Egyptian cotton warp which has been hand dyed, something Jo-Anne is showing a real talent for, especially when working with an inspiration picture. It is woven along with a weft comprised of baby camel & mulberry silk in a crackle weave. It weighs in at around 315gsm & is around 4.2m but stretches out a little with wear to around 4.4m. I know animal fibres can sometimes raise an eyebrow or two but, according to discussions in the Ruck n Roll chatter group on facebook, the fibres used in this wrap are “humanely harvested, sustainable etc…no harm to animals” & the yarn is from a store which “sources their yarn ethically”. The baby camel is almost like an undercoat on the animal which is harvested as it is shed & then spun.

The first time I saw Ella in person was actually at Carry On London. The lovely Samantha who was testing the wrap at the time was there wearing it so I just had to go & stroke it! My main worry was that it was possibly going to be quite heavy & quite prickly, especially because I’m not normally a fan of wool-like fibres & I tend to find them unpleasant to touch. I’m always happy to be proven wrong & proven wrong I was. This wrap is not prickly at all. Not in the slightest. And this brief encounter left me excited for my turn to test!

img_4920I think G must know when a wrap arrives from Jo-Anne as the minute it is out of the packaging he stakes a claim to it & rolls around in it! He also tends to come up in the wraps quite a lot which means I get to test them out with both big & small! This wrap got a thorough testing as it came along with us on a visit to stay with at my mums in Wales, which means plenty of fresh air & walking as well as lots of snuggling with the boys!

Although the wrap has quite a weighty gsm (315), it certainly doesn’t feel dense or heavy as some people may expect with a fibre such as baby camel. It has an impressive amount of stretch which translates to a nice snug, (until you’re battling with a wriggling 10mth old!), solid carry. And despite giving a solid carry, it is so cushy & pillowy-soft, I can see why G enjoys snuggling up with this one!

Visually this wrap is stunning. As well as the hand dyed warp, once the wrap had been wet finished, Jo-Anne painted highlights on to represent the street lights from the original inspiration picture. These are unique to this wrap & make it a complete one-off piece. It has two distinct edges & looks different depending on which way up you wrap it.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether I wrap G or T in this wrap, it is another wonderful creation from Jo-Anne. Regardless of whether we’re talking wrapping qualities or aesthetics, I think she has a real talent for weaving & dyeing, it is like she knows exactly what to do with something to really make it shine! To keep up to date with what is going on in the world of Ruck n Roll Handwovens, you can follow the facebook page & join the chatter group. I have a feeling things are just going to keep getting better & better!

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