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Rachel Harris Hughes Review: Size 8 MSK Royal (Cotton)

Rachel Harris Hughes Review: Size 8 MSK Royal (Cotton) 0

Review from Nerdy Black Mom

Apple Blossom Wovens sent me their Midnight Sky Kaleidoscope Royal (aka “MSK Royal”) as part of their traveling wrap program. This is their Midnight Sky warp featuring a gradient from a rich pinkish purple fading to a deep midnight blue with small streaks of magenta and white. Royal features a royal blue weft woven in ABW’s new Kaleidoscope weave, an intricate pattern that when you look at it closely it creates the feel of looking through… well… a kaleidoscope.

How Does It Look?

Some wraps are classic. Some elegant. Some scream glam while others invoke the feeling of your favorite fandom. Meanwhile, MSK Royal ignites the imagination. The color gradient of the warp perfectly recreates the colors of the sky at midnight, with a hint of purple at the horizon for good measure. The kaleidoscope weave pattern then takes this wrap’s beauty to another level. The intricate and ever-changing pattern of the royal blue across the weft creates the feeling of being in a nebula as new stars are being created. The streaks of white created by the “floats” in the weave become the streaks of starlight as you approach light speed in your starship of choice. Midnight Sky takes you on an interstellar adventure. To me it brings back memories of stargazing with my dad on a clear summer night and daydreaming of one day joining Starfleet and traveling at warp speed while watching episodes of Star Trek. MSK Royal is beautiful, breathtaking, and downright mesmerizing.

How Does It Feel?

Apple Blossom Wovens is known for creating machine woven wraps that feel like handwovens, and MSK Royal is no exception. The thick threads and small floats interspersed through the weave create a feeling of a cushy handwoven. MSK is fairly thick in hand and blankety soft. Despite being thick, the weave is surprisingly airy. My tester was a base+2, so there was a lot of fabric and it was a little hot while doing our “Can I vacuum the house in it?” Test, but I imagine that as a shorty or mid-range wrap it would not overwhelm you.

Texture-wise it is a delightful middle ground of dry and soapy. It’s not too silky smooth, but it’s also not rough. When you run your hands across it it reminds you of your favorite woven blanket or scarf. It is not irritating in the slightest against bare skin. It is reminiscent of ABW’s linen/cotton blend Soulshine Magenta (link), only it lacks that little bit of toughness that the linen gave Soulshine. However, it is still wonderfully sturdy. It creates thick, cushy, soft ruck straps and molds easily to you and your wearee’s bodies.

Is It Comfortable?

MSK Royal is decidedly worthy of toting around a 30lb toddler! While it may be Soulshine Magenta’s gentler, bluer cousin, it still can hold its own. I could wear NMB all day in this wrap. The thick cushy shoulders and lovely moldability that I mentioned above make for a wrap job that doesn’t start to rub you the wrong way or irritate you over time. I would wrap myself in this on the daily, if I could. Would that be weird? I’ll answer that for you. No.

On the grip-glide ratio, MSK Royal once again is the perfect middle ground. Since this was a base+2 I did multi-pass carries almost exclusively. It was easy to maneuver even with extra length. I could work the second and third passes of my carries into place with ease and do little micro adjustments later on without being hampered by too much grip. However, there was still just enough grip for the passes to stay in place once I got them where I needed them to be. It’s got a nice bit of diagonal stretch. Not super ace bandage stretch, but enough to create a feeling of the wrap hugging you and your baby with its blankety softness.

Care and Keeping

MSK Royal is 100% cotton. I’ve washed it twice already and it is as simple as a wash on cold/delicate and a tumble dry on low. YES you can tumble dry this wrap! I received this wrap already washed and dried, though if you get one new you will have to follow ABW’s instructions to wash it to set the weave. Don’t skip this step. Don’t. The slightly looser weave of this wrap that gives it its signature look and feel can make it a little pull-prone, but it is very easy to work a pull back into place if it does happen to get snagged on a ring, zipper, or broken nail. I would not let that deter you from trying this wrap.

The Verdict (aka TL;DR)

Pros:

Beautiful!!!!

Seriously the color and weave spark the imagination

Sturdy and toddler-worthy

Moldable enough for a smaller baby

Blankety soft

Nice balance of grip to glide

Not too dry not too soapy

Easy Care

Cons

Loose weave structure can be a bit pull prone

May get a bit hot in multi-layer carries

I cannot get enough of Midnight Sky Royal and am anxiously awaiting its release so I can get one for myself. Apple Blossom Wovens has figured out a way to capture starlight within a woven wrap. It’s easy to work with, feels soft and comfy in hand, is soft enough for a squish but strong enough for a toddler. This is a wrap that can take you through the entirety of your babywearing years and then snuggle you once your babywearing days are over.

Sheena Bayo Review: Size 8 MSK Royal (Cotton)

Sheena Bayo Review: Size 8 MSK Royal (Cotton) 0

I am so excited to tell you about MSK Royal!

Size: 8 (Base +1 for me)
Age and weight of child: 13 months, 25 lbs

Appearance: This wrap made me feel “fancy” when wearing, while not being too intimidating to really wear through all events due to the easy-care cotton and dark colors. The streaks of color and the varying skip widths in the weft give the impression of a galaxy. The space nerd in me definitely latched onto this pattern/color combination hard core. (Hint: We named our baby “Nova”) 

Handfeel: This wrap is deceptively thick when folded but it feels a lot thinner in hand than what that folded height would imply. I think it’s because of the pattern which gives it a very pillowy feel. I can understand why Lisa offered blankets for this wrap because it truly does make me want to snuggle.

Wrap Qualities: That luscious pillowy feeling isn’t just good for snuggling on the couch, it’s also great for wrapping! I could pull off a quick/sloppy wrap job (admittedly the only kind I do unless I *must* try harder because I know I’ll be taking pictures) with ease, support and comfort. The fabric still has enough give to allow me to make a good seat while feeling rock solid once in place. If you insist on tightening (because you’re not sloppy like me) then you might find that it takes a couple extra tugs to get into place due to the delicious texture. However, since it will hold solid without that extra effort, this is still a tremendously accessible wrap!

Conclusion/Highlights: I would recommend this wrap if the following things appeal to you: 

-Newborn to toddler/preschooler 
-Pillowy weave 
-Lots of texture 
-Amazing “galaxy” color impressions with a fancy feel when combined with the sophisticated weave pattern 
-Forgiving of sloppy wrapping

It would be hard to choose whether to get this wrap in a base size or a base-2 size range. It makes gorgeous fancy finishes but the huge knot and pillowy texture make it slightly more challenging to wiggle into said fancy finishes... so I think it would really shine in simple tie off base-2 wraps as well! It does wrap a bit short so I would size up, no matter what.

 

 

Julianna Bradford Review: Size 4 MSK Black (Cotton)

Julianna Bradford Review: Size 4 MSK Black (Cotton) 0

Midnight Sky Kaleidoscope Black Review
Size 4 (Base -2)
100% cotton

 

 

 

MSK Black arrived to me in Base -2 (Size 4) right before we left for vacation. We packed it up and it truly glows in the California sunshine. It is 100% cotton so felt nice and light in warm weather.

The Kaleidoscope weave is unlike any other wrap I’ve ever tried. It features a pillowy texture that adds extra cushion on my shoulders in various carries. It takes an extra bounce or two to tighten my passes but once secured, the grooves locked in and stayed put.

The colors from blue to purple and a little pink look just stunning with the black weft. The dark colors are great for easy care and doesn’t show dirt stains that are inevitable with two kiddos up and down.

It was perfect for a fwcc tub with my 18 pounder and a solid ruck with my 30 pounder. It feels thin in hand although it may wrap a little short. However it ties a solid knot no matter what because of those forgiving little grooves saving the day.

It’s a great wrap for beginners for that reason too. The texture really holds carries even with a less that perfect wrap job.

MSK Black helped me finally conquer back wrapping my 18 pounder. The texture was really patient with my slow passes and held up despite loose rails. (It kept baby warm warm in the cold snow once we got home from vacation too!)

Don’t worry it has a lot to offer experienced wrappers as well. The weave is really some thing to try and discover all the cush 100% cotton can offer.

From the beach to the snow. From a baby to a toddler. Front carry to back wrapping. This wrap is such a gorgeous versatile chameleon workhorse. Up for anything. Stunning and otherworldly.

Whether it’s your first wrap or wrap to add to your collection I think you will be reaching for this quite often. It’s just begs to be worn.

Photography by Gloria Folaron

Melissa Chevonne Stickley Review: Size 8 MSK Royal (Cotton)

Melissa Chevonne Stickley Review: Size 8 MSK Royal (Cotton) 0

Review of Midnight Sky Kaleidoscope Royal Weft

Age of wrappee: 7 months
Weight of wrappee: 21 lbs
Size of wrap: size 8

This was my first time ever trying an ABW wrap! So, I was so surprised by how much this looked and felt like a Handwoven! MSK is similar to a HW, but sturdier!

Now into the real review! I don't have anything negative to say about this wrap! Admittedly, a size 8 is just one size too long for us! Haha. This in a 7 or even shorter, would be perfection!!! I mostly do DH and FCC with my baby because he is a leg straightener and expert leaner. These carries contain him the best. I'll break down my thoughts in note form:

In DH

Cushy on shoulders
No dig
Lots of grip
Perfect amount of stretch (not too much)
Solid with some give
Passes stay in place
No retightening needed 
Airy
Thinish in hand but wraps thick!!

In FCC

Passes moulded perfectly and solidly, even though one side wasn't tight, it still held solid and secure.
The cotton was cozy without being too warm
Still cushy on the shoulders, but all wraps tend to press on the neck a bit with this carry.

I have to say I am surprised how easy it was to get such a tight wrap job with my baby in such a grippy wrap!! He's really hard to DH properly. So, with that alone, I am in love with it!!

Allie Willemstein Review: Heirloom Amethyst and Heirloom Emerald 0

I was lucky enough to try two different colorways of the new Heirloom run – Amethyst and Emerald. I’ve been in love with the Heirloom pattern for a long time, so excited is probably an understatement for how I was feeling to test these wraps!

First, the similarities. Both are medium thin in hand, have great microtexture, and are soft and floppy right away. They’re a breeze to wrap with as they glide right into place and stay right where you put them. There’s a good amount of stretch, which gives them that great ace-bandage feeling. They’re the ideal Double Hammock wrap. (Seriously, you’ll get perfect chest passes!) They’ll also be great for small babies and new wrappers.

I was surprised to find that there were some pretty obvious differences. Amethyst was noticeably softer and slightly less textured than Emerald. However, Emerald seemed to have less stretch than Amethyst, which made it a bit more suited to my large toddlers. I definitely preferred multi-pass carries with my big kids in Amethyst, but felt that Emerald could hand single pass carries easily.

P.S. For those who love the ABW smell, Amethyst had it, Emerald did not!

[Image Descriptions: First image is of a white woman wearing a blond toddler in a purple and white wrap. The toddler is playing with her shirt buttons. Second image is of a white woman wearing a green and white wrap. It is centered on the chest pass of a double hammock carry, which is finished with a bronze ring.]

Jessica Quigley Review: Size 4 Cotton 0

Review by Carry Little Hearts 

Apple Blossom Evening Flame, red weft, size 4

I had the fantastic opportunity to review an Apple Blossom Woven wrap belonging to a good friend of mine. When she offered to let me test drive it for a few weeks to review it, I was over the moon! I had been hearing so many great things about this company and these wraps in almost every chatter group that I’m part of. I knew that I needed to get my hands on one and see what all the hype was about.

True to the hype, Evening Flame did not fail to wow me right out of the mail! My first impression was that it was very soft in hand, like a well-loved blanket or hoodie. I couldn’t believe that it was relatively new and from a single owner. This kind of softness is usually reserved for wraps that have been well loved over a very long period of time. And the colors were equally as stunning! In person it looks like a deep evening sunset over the mountains in the front of my house. The way the colors, completely on opposite ends of the spectrum, gradually blend into one another as they do so often in the atmosphere can make one question why they are not side by side on the color wheel instead. Having the colors blend in the middle and separate again at the rails also allows the wearer to ‘flip rails’, making either one the top rail depending on their mood or clothing of choice on any given day.

One of the things that I fell in love with right away were the selvage edges (selvedges)! That is a favorite feature for me when it comes to handwovens and that this company pulls it off with a machine woven that has the look and feel of a handwoven is phenomenal. Unhemmed edges make tying knots easier because you don’t have to manhandle them tighter around extra fabric. The texture of this wrap helps to hold knots firmly in place, and it also lets the wearer pull off amazing ring finishes. As I am in the middle of a ring challenge, I was able to test this out for myself and true to form they didn’t slip once!

I wrapped my 24lb toddler using multiple back carries and a front carry. While I usually prefer multiple pass carries, we spent a day in a ruck with a Tibetan knotless finish while decluttering and spring cleaning the house. I was surprised at how comfortable it was on my shoulders, only giving a slight dig towards the end of the day. And while there was a little sagging in the middle as the day wore on, I feel like the wrap held up very well. After all, finding a wrap that can carry a heavy toddler for hours in a ruck and not have it sag in the middle is a hard find indeed. I believe that with a smaller child it would be amazing for quick ups in a ruck carry and for longer periods of time without digging into the shoulders. Also, the texture of the wrap can cause it to wrap a little short, depending on the finish that you try. My Tibetan knotless had short little tails but they held in place nicely. So if you are adamant about long, flowing tails then you may consider getting a size up.

I loved it in multiple pass back carries! There’s enough lateral stretch that it has the bounce of a handwoven and the weave is tight enough that it gives it a firmness of a machine woven. My little one stayed in place on our many walks and the only time on our long, 2+ mile hike that I had to stop and adjust was because she popped her seat when she decided that she wanted to walk. It was quite a lot of work for her to pop her seat, let me tell you! It took her about ½ hour to get one side of it even a little loose.

My front carry experience was a short lived one, as my daughter only tolerates them for about 20 minutes. She much prefers back carries. However, not only did my ring finish stay in place, but the passes were snug and easy to pull up over her back. It was soft on my shoulders and didn’t dig in anywhere. I believe that this will be amazing with a little child or newborn. I hope that someday I can make another review while wearing one!

Overall I would label this wrap as thin, with incredible texture and grip that allow for tight medium sized knots and passes that stay in place, even on 2+ mile hikes over a moderately inclined terrain. It has bounce and a little give that allows for cushy shoulders while being tightly woven and firm in all the right places without being unforgiving. This is a wrap that I would readily recommend to both new and experienced wrappers and will soon be in search of one for my own stash.