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Alanna Cates Review: Size 6 Tencel Blend

Alanna Cates Review: Size 6 Tencel Blend 0

Blend: 50% Tencel / 50% Cotton

Weight: 359g/m2

Size: 6

Wrapper: 4 months

Wrappee: 4 months

From the minute I took this out of the package I fell in love! It is so soft and cushy I could have snuggled up on the couch and cuddled with it myself! And I love the light colors of the silver weft.

Pros: This wrap glides into place so easily. I have had trouble perfecting back carries because I am so short and my LO has to be up so high, but the first carry I tried (DH with a CCCB) just glided perfectly into place! It was so easy to pull the wrap up and over his body and into place. I carried him on my back for over 2 hours at a festival and could barely feel the weight of him at all. I never had to readjust and tighten after I got him up because of how supportive this wrap is.

Cons: I think me along with many others can say the only con is that it cannot stay here forever! I will be sad to see it go and will definitely miss it in my stash!

I have had experience with tencel before but the wraps resembled more machine woven whereas Apple Blossoms resemble handwoven. I prefer this tencel because it is just a tad thicker and much softer with its handowoven qualities which makes it feel much more secure. I would recommend this wrap to any beginner or experienced wrapper! This wrap I think could help wrappers perfect the carries that are harder for them as it did for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Lindsay Brunner Review: Size 7 Linen Blend 0

Blend: 25% Linen / 75% Cotton

I've been fortunate to have a lot of testers and round robin wraps come through here in the last few months and there's one that lingers on my mind- One that felt like it belonged here in my tiny stash, and I miss it a whole lot. That wrap is the

Evening Flame Linen blend tester.

I know there's been a lot of chatter about how the EF wraps are a bit tougher than the Morning Glory wraps, and I can only assume where everyone's mind goes when they hear of a EF Linen blend. Linen tends to be beastly, rough, tough, a burden to break in, but oh so supportive and airy when it's broken. With this being a tester I had assumed that it had been used, abused, and broken into a puddle of kitten belly softness by dozens of mamas before it made it to me. It was so supple, so moldable, so deliciously soft and supportive. When Lisa asked me what I thought of it I said I LOVED it, but I wasn't sure I'd love it from loom state because I hate breaking in wraps. That's when the jaw dropping moment came with this wrap. Lisa told me that it *maybe* had been worn an hour or two before it made it to me. AN HOUR OR TWO!!! This is unlike any other linen I've tried. It was soft, easy, pliable, a puddle of yum... and it was basically just out of loom state. I don't know how it's possible.

I'm not the most experienced wrapper out there. I don't do a perfect double hammock every time like so many awesome mamas do. My middle marker is most often in my armpit, my chest pass isn't always snug, and I tend to have to readjust after a bit. I tossed my five month old up in a quick double hammock and she was high and tight, a great seat (considering her tiny legs), and the chest pass slid right into place. EF tied off with a nice and easy knot, and we were off- no adjusting needed. I wore her for some backyard play with the other tot, followed by a long walk- no adjusting needed at all. The cush on the shoulders was perfect. I don't love poofy wraps, but I do like some cushioning and wraps that pleat well. This wrap hit the nail on the head for me- It has great support from the linen, the perfect density from the beefed up weave, enough grip to stay put without so much that it's a pain to wrap with. Not only did it rock a double hammock, but it rocked a ruck tied Tibetan too! I'm a big ruck fan, and I won't lie, Morning Glory wouldn't have been my first pick for a big kid ruck. Morning Glory is amazing (AMAZING!!) in multipass carries and single pass for small/medium sized babes, but I wouldn't choose a ruck for a long walk with my big girl in MG. I would absolutely ruck on a long walk in this linen blend. It has the perfect amount of cushion to solid wrap ratio that I look for in a ruck wrap.

So this is my plea, Lisa.. Linen!! Linen all the things! Cotton Apple Blossoms are amazing- Gorgeous, soft, great stretch and bounce- But there's something about this linen blend that leaves me longing for more. It's like a first kiss of a boy you had a crush on for a long time- just perfect. Ok, I'll stop gushing and crushing now... until next time.

 

Adrienne Thames Review: Size 6 Tencel Blend 0


Brand: Apple Blossom Woven

Style: Evening Flame

Color: Silver Weft (Tester, will not be released)

Fiber Content: Tencel blend

Weight: 359 g/m2

Size: 6

How long I have been wrapping: 2 years

Wrappee: 30 lb 2 year old

At a glance: Super soft! It is like picking up your favorite soft and perfectly broken in sweatshirt. Budget friendly for the quality of wrap with amazing colors.

Pros: Super supportive even with a 30 pound toddler. This wrap is great with a single pass carry as well as with a multiple pass carry. It is extremely forgiving so would be great for new wrappers as well as advanced babywearers. The tencel is so soft making it perfect for a squish or a toddler. This wrap is soft enough that my toddler wanted to cuddle it like a blanket.

Cons: The only con is that it could not live here forever! This literally is my favorite wrap I have ever wrapped with.

Tencel takes a bit more time to tighten properly than 100% cotton wraps, but with proper tightening we did not have much sag even with extended carry times. This wrap is the perfect mixture of glide and grip. It slides smoothly during the wrap process, but grips so well even with a knotless tie off. The tencel makes it so cushy even on my picky shoulders with no dig. Apple Blossom Woven has created such unique wovens in machine woven form. I have not found any machine wovens on the market that compare to the handwoven qualities of Apple Blossom Wovens; this wrap truly looks and feels handwoven. I highly recommend Apple Blossom Wovens for wrappers of all experience levels.

 

Jay McMillan Review: Size 7 Cotton 0

Review by Modern Babywearing

A few months back, I saw a Morning Glory v.1 woven wrap pop up on my Instagram fee, and was immediately curious about this unique machine woven wrap that so closely resembled a handwoven in appearance. I reached out to Apple Blossom Wovens to learn more about them and their wraps, and was lucky to stumble upon a really awesome new American brand. They initially sent me 3 different wraps to review, an Heirloom v.1, an Heirloom with Tencel, and finally a Morning Glory v.1 – the same one I had seen a photo of. I am happy to review the Morning Glory prototype – which was truly a gorgeous piece of textile.

I received a Size 7 (5.2 meters) Morning Glory v.1 with a natural weft. Right out of the box I was enamored by the softness of the yarn. They are using Maurice Brassard yarn currently, which is sourced from Canada – though they are in the process of trying to switch over to a yarn that is produced in the U.S. The gradient weave was reminiscent of many popular handwoven brands, with that same point twill structure we are used to seeing. Weighing in at 280 g/m^2, this wrap is most definitely in the thick category. Despite its thickness, it is a really loose weave – making it breathable and airy for even hot weather wrapping. It wrapped pretty true to size, I was able to do all carries I would normally do in this length, without having to ‘size up’ due to thickness.

Our first carry in Morning Glory was (surprisingly) a Front Wrap Cross Carry. I almost never use this carry with my 31 lb 3.5 year old anymore – but I was trying to finish up a conference call… and my Dragon Baby was not cooperating. I wrapped her up and was able to comfortably wear her for the better part of an hour. The wrap was so soft and so cozy, it was perfect for bedtime cuddles. My daughter remarked that it was “softer than her blanket”. It had great support for a toddler in this multi-pass carry!

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Double Hammock shows off the gradient nicely.

Next time we wore it was in a Double Hammock. This wrap really shines in this carry! The multiple passes give you excellent support, and you can’t beat that chest pass for showing off the gradient. The smoothness of the yarn makes those cross-passes slide effortlessly, the diagonal stretch allows you to get a really snug fit – even with a giant toddler. I did not have to do any wrestling to get these passes in place, and they stayed nicely once tied off. After a half hour hiking around the farm, I experienced no movement from the wrap. More importantly, we were both very comfortable by the end of that excursion.

I tried it another time in an ruck tied Tibetan, but I liked it a lot less in this carry. Here the diagonal stretch that I loved in the multi-pass carries, led to a bit of sagging in this single-pass carry. That is not to say that it would not be great with a smaller baby… but I needed a little bit more recovery with my 3.5 year old. I can see this being great as a Rebozo with a small baby though! I would not discount it all together as a shorty wrap – I just personally found it to be a great fit for my bigger wearee in a multi-pass carry. 

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Knot Shot with a leggy 3 year old in Morning Glory v.1

These wraps are 100% cotton, easy to care for. The wrapping qualities make it a solid choice for a new or seasoned babywearer. Although thick, it was not bulky and I don’t feel like it would overwhelm a smaller baby. Overall, what I found most appealing about these wraps was that you could obtain the same beautiful look and wrapping qualities of a more expensive handwoven wrap – at a machine woven price point. A Size 6 will run you about $180 which places it in the mid-range category. This is actually one of the original aims of the company – to make this style of woven wrap accessible to those wrappers who may not be able to afford the highly sought after handwovens.

Lisa & Emmy
Lisa and her daughter in a wrap she wove herself

Apple Blossom Wovens was started by Lisa Carter about a year ago. She was inspired by the beauty of the handwoven scene, but found that her financial situation would not allow her to afford many of these pieces of woven art. Lisa knew that if she was in that situation, there must be other caregivers who also appreciated the beauty of these wovens, but were unable to commit to the price points associated with the market. Having had an interest in handcrafts and textiles for most of her life, she happily began to research looms and different weaving styles to try and find a way to make this style of gradient wrap more accessible. Lisa sought out a local weaver’s guild in Ohio, and learned to weave her own woven wrap. She quickly realized that the time and effort put into hand weaving was what contributed to the pricing, and decided that there must be a way to accomplish this same look with a power loom. Her search led her to a family owned mill in Pennsylvania, where a father and son team was weaving textiles on this 90 year old Vintage Draper Dobby Loom. These weavers have over 100 years weaving experience between them, and were able to work with Lisa to create the type of gradient weave she had been imagining. And so, Apple Blossom Wovens was born.

Apple Blossom Wovens is a husband and wife team. While Lisa is responsible for the designs and the brand marketing, her husband helps with accounting, and puts his art degree to good use consulting on color design and theory alongside Lisa. It is a far cry from the Mathematics Degree Lisa had started out towards, but having this business allows her to work from home and spend time with her children – something she feels lucky to be able to do. Her passion for supporting the American textile industry keeps her working only with small weavers based in the United States, and her products have been finished by a local seamstress. Her newest batch of ring slings will be finished by Going Uppy, another work at home mom that she is thrilled to support. 

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Heirloom v.1 prototype

I mentioned they are sourcing the yarn from Canada, which is in part because the only U.S. producer they can find has a minimum order of about 5 times the amount they actually needs for a 100 yard production run. They were previously using a yarn sourced locally – this was what the Heirloom v.1 tester I had the opportunity to try was woven with. Lisa described it as being “rough and hard to break in”, though I think she is being really diplomatic. It was pretty sand-papery and had no give to it. When I received it, I mentioned I was going to wash it… and was shocked to hear it had already been washed and worn! I am happy that they have moved on from that source, it was pretty unwearable. As the production runs start to increase, they aim to start sourcing the yarn here in the states.

The liability involved in manufacturing baby carriers makes securing funding via bank loans and private investors a real hurdle to get over. Lisa found this out first hand, and ultimately borrowed from her family’s savings account to fund the initial investment that started Apple Blossom Wovens. Since then, every production run is financed by the profits from the previous run – meaning that production quantities are increasing… but gradually. A standard 100 yard run returns about 17 wraps and 2 ring slings. This seems like a very limited quantity to us as consumers, but only because we are not accustomed to manufacturers actually communicating the amount of wraps they are releasing. These numbers are quite standard across the industry, with many smaller mills having a standard minimum order of 100 yards.

Loom
View of the Vintage Loom in progress

Lisa’s an avid babywearer herself. She wore everything from a Baby Bjorn after the birth of her first daughter in 2008, to her first wrap – a Girasol No. 22, which she eventually sold to finance a Didymos Ornament. When she set out to create Apple Blossom Wovens, she wanted to create a beautiful but accessible brand that thrifty families like her own could justify splurging on. These wraps are one of a kind. None of them will be re-woven ever… making them collectible pieces of art. For Lisa, this fits into the philosophy of wanting to make wraps for frugal families. With the saturation of the woven wrap market currently, it is important to her that families investing in her product will be able to retain the value of the carrier in the resale market –  a market that was a big part of her personal wearing journey.

When asked about her influences, Lisa said: “I can’t say that one particular company has influenced me, but rather the industry as a whole; it’s an industry almost exclusively run by strong, entrepreneurial women, with the same family responsibilities as I have. That has been so encouraging to me, when I start to get overwhelmed with juggling family and work responsibilities.”

I completely agree. Her story, and the stories of so many other women in this industry have been a huge inspiration to me. It has been a real pleasure to work with Apple Blossom Wovens on this piece, and to be a part of their journey. I am so excited for their next release! Keep an eye out on their website or Facebook Page for upcoming pre-orders – this is definitely a brand to watch out for.

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Apple Blossom Wovens Morning Glory v.1 with my 3.5 year old toddler
 

Shannon Forsyth Review: Size 7 Cotton 0

Review by Reality of Wrapping

So, I will start out by saying a lot of reviews that I have seen for this wrap compare it to handwovens, I haven't had a handwoven yet so I can't comment on how similar they are.  I can, however, compare it to a large variety of machine wovens!

I was lucky enough to temp trade for a beautiful Apple Blossom Wovens Morning Glory with grey weft. At a size 7, this wrap was MUCH longer than I typically work with as my base is a 5 though sometimes I work with 6s.  I was still able to try it out in all my usual carries, just with tails that go for DAYS, when I tried ruck tied tibetan knotless I still had tails to my ankles.  Worth noting, I hear they run long and this 7 measures at 5.57m STIH so I am inclined to agree.

When I first opened the package what struck me was how crazy thin the wrap was. It isn't as thin as some Didymos Indios that I have used, but I guess I was expecting something beefier than what came.  The wrap is impressively floppy and has a beautiful drape.  I found Morning Glory to have a good amount of stretch but not saggy, even in ruck with a 25 pound toddler.

I used Morning Glory for an hour-ish long walk in FWCC, without the passes spread, to see how it did and it held up really well.  I didn't figure on it holding up so well given how thin it feels but I had no ache in my shoulders or back and there wasn't even a smidge of dig anywhere, I found it very cushy though I hadn't expected it to be so.
It feels unlike most (machine) wovens I have used.  It is nothing like the feel of Pavo, Didymos, or Tekhni.  Out of the wraps that I have tried (which is quite a few) it feels most similar to Tiny Tiger American Beauty, though I found AB to have much more sag and not as nice a drape...plus Morning Glory is so much prettier!

The glide on Morning Glory is fantastic and it holds into place once you you are done. It makes an effortless chestpass as well, being extremely ace bandage-y. This was, perhaps, my favorite quality of this wrap. Those that know me, know I love Indio chestpasses, Morning Glory has taken my top spot for chestpasses, sorry Indio.

See? Perfection with ease. Even pre-coffee ;-)

I do feel like this wrap would pull pretty easily, though admittedly I have been babying this one in that regard since it isn't mine ;-) That said, it is very airy and I feel like it would be a great choice even in hot weather.  I have seen some mention that it seems narrow to them but I didn't find that to be an issue for me, granted I have been primarily using Woven Wings geos lately which are extremely narrow.

Width comparison with Woven Wings Hunca Munca

This wrap is absolutely squish worthy and holds up well with heavier kids.  I am not sure I would pick this as a shorty with a bigger baby but it would still rock an RRRR if you needed/wanted it to. This is absolutely a beginner friendly wrap but seasoned wrappers would love it as well.