LaKeta Kemp Review: Size 7 Cotton
Review by Tandem Trouble
Another fantastic American based babywearing company emerged this summer forged from the heart of a babywearing mother. Striving for perfection and quality, Apple Blossom brings handwoven quality to machine woven wraps. The wraps are machine woven on a vintage loom using a point twill weave and Maurice Brassard yarn. This makes for an incredibly soft wrap with the feel and wrapping qualities of a handwoven.
Morning Glory is a gradient of teal, royal blue, pink, and purple against a medium grey weft. The wrap is woven on a vintage Dobby loom using the same 8/2 Maurice Brassard yarn as high end hand woven wraps. Usually machine woven wraps are woven on treadle machine loom or if a complex pattern is seen, a jacquard machine loom. The use of the Dobby loom allows more complexity than the treadle loom with more options with fewer interactions by the weaver. Combining the unique number of weaving options with the incredible softness of Maurice Brassard yarn yields a wrap that not only looks like a handwoven but has the same light airy softness of a handwoven as well. In my brief research I found only handweavers using Maurice Brassard yarns which puts Apple Blossom Wovens the pioneer in machine woven wraps.
Morning glory has finished tails with tapers and selvage edges for the top and bottom rails. The selvages are very neat, and the gradient of colors allows for each rail to be a different color. This is especially helpful to new babywearers who are still keeping track of their rails in carries like the kangaroo. The colors were vibrant against the colors of the grey weft .
What we like about Morning Glory
When the wrap arrived and was unwrapped I was genuinely shocked. I was expecting a machine woven wrap and in front of me was a wrap that had all the properties of a handwoven down to the selvage edges. The softness of the wrap combined by the lightweight, airy texture was something unique to a machine woven cotton wrap. The ladies very much enjoyed this wrap. Drawn to the bright colors and soft texture, I found them asking to be wrapped in the house. With independent toddlers this is a very rare occurrence.
The wrapping qualities are what really matter when you buy a wrap. Of course we would love for it to be beautiful as well as functional but at the end of the day I have churned beautiful wraps for lack of wrapping qualities. Morning Glory has both form and function and more than it’s share of beauty. The wrap arrives supple and pliable, quickly falling into a pile on itself. This is a great characteristic in a wrap because it means you will have no trouble getting your passes spread and keeping them smooth. A supple wrap allows you to perform multiple passes and shoulder flips without the need of a lot of extra guidance. Passes easily mold to the shape of you baby’s body. When combined with grip it means a supple wrap now easily forms passes with ease and also stay put without extraordinary tension. This makes carries with a lot of switchbacks like the Taiwanese carry incredibly easy to do.
This can also be seen in the spread passes of Poppin’s Hip Carry and the cross passes of the Front Double Hammock. I didn’t have to worry about adjusting the spread on the passes, they simply fell into place where they were needed. The colors chosen for Morning Glory are a beautiful blend of purple to pink, teal to royal blue. The selections are stunning against the light grey weft which almost helps the colors to pop off of the wrap.
I found Morning Glory to have more glide than grip. It was smooth as it passed over itself, with grip observed more after the passes were in place. There was a mild amount of stretch along the diagonal of the wrap requiring attention to removing the slack in a front carry and back carry. A hip carry did require precision tightening to prevent baby from settling into the carry but was comfortable, even for longer wear. I usually prefer spread shoulders when wearing in a back carry. With Morning Glory I found that it didn’t really matter as both were equally comfortable. I did find myself wearing sandwiched shoulders without intending to do so. Rather than adding tension to an old injury to my clavicle, the sandwiched shoulders acted more as padding against the weight of my baby.
We wore quite a few different carries and always test the wraps out with front, hip, and back carries. Single layer carries tell more about the support of the wrap and whether or not there will be sagging sections. The Kangaroo carry is a favorite of my baby Bella, she just likes to be as close to the mammaries as possible. I found the Kangaroo to be supportive, the shoulder flip capped the shoulder to reinforce tension in the seat, and the cross passes made it easy to distribute the weight of a 28 pound toddler evenly. Reinforcing the passes added an extra hint of beauty to the carry as the layers showed off more of the color grad. The Rucksack carry was equally comfortable, single layers, tied in front and perfect for a deep seat and full coverage of baby’s back.
Christina’s Ruckless and the Back Wrap Cross Carry were not my favorite in this wrap. While soft and still fully supportive, the half knot at the chest did add pressure against the sternum. This isn’t a negative reflection on the wrap, some carries are better in other wraps with different fibers. In this case although the softness of the wrap was a superior quality, the fluffy texture made the half knot bulkier, more difficult to tighten and once in place the largeness of the half knot added pressure once the cross passes were in place. I found comfort in the Taiwanese Carry, Double Hammock, Jordan’s, and Norweigian Wiggleproof back carries. The moldability of this wrap really added to the performance in these back carries over a more simple and straightforward Back Wrap Cross Carry.
I am extremely excited to see the upcoming releases from Apple Blossom Wovens. Having tested two of their wraps to date, both so divergent in their characteristics, I think there will be something to love for all woven wrap fans. I also love that this wrap is so reminiscent of MeeYoo or Lenesha Handwovens but at a fraction of the price and all the same wrapping qualities. The ability to wear your baby becomes more than utility. As the dates loom nearer for compliance testing requirements to be in effect, the costs of babywearing products will also begin to rise. This makes babywearing even less accessible for budget conscious families. The ability to own a wrap with an eye toward quality, a focus on safety, and the wrapping qualities of a handwoven at machine woven pricing makes Apple Blossom Wovens in a whole different category of woven wrap manufacturers.
- Zhang, Shengcheng, et al. “Electronic dobby-and-jacquard-loom weaving machine and weaving method.” U.S. Patent No. 8,794,271. 5 Aug. 2014.
- Rad, Payam Fathollahi, and Bashir Fotouhi. “International Journal of Engineering & Technology Sciences.” Technology 3.01 (2015): 22-31.
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- Lisa Carter