Heading into their sophomore year is PinkNova, based out of the Netherlands, is a Dutch company has perfected an intricate weaving style like nothing I have yet seen. Combining decadent fiber blends with simple elegance in prints, the thoughtful design process is definitely apparent when wearing. Founded by two mothers and avid babywearers, Judith and Ilse know how a wrap should feel when worn and translate that into design.
Rendez-vous Rococo is a lilac colored wrap imprinted with the shape of white birds perched upon a branch. The birds are slightly embossed from the surface of the wrap adding texture and grip. The reverse side of the wrap is dominant white with pale purple birds on branches. The striking contrast of the two sides makes it difficult to decide which was preferred. The combination of Egyptian cotton and Merino wool adds a feeling of decadence to the wear, the Egyptian cotton one of the softest cotton blends.
Rococo is a French artistic style from the 18th century characterized by ornate curling designs, pale colors, and often shells or exotic birds. Simple and elegant paintings of ornate structures as well as portraits of the wealthy and the noble were common during the short Rococo art period. The simple arabesque of the tree branch and the bird gently perched in the pattern of the wrap is a perfect example of the Rococo style.
What we like about Renzez-vous Rococo
I love wool, even the coarse wools that are all scratchy and make you itch. I know, I am a strange bird, but these sensations remind me of cold winter days from my early childhood and snuggling with my Bigma. So imagine my surprise when the Merino wool in Rendez-vous Rococo didn’t have the itchy or scratchy feeling. The Merino wool shaft is half the diameter of the coarse wool allowing it to fall into the category of fine wool. The fiber is sleeker and smoother, more tightly wound in it’s molecular structure than the coarse wool. This means a softer, smoother, less itchy wool fiber. Egyptian cotton is the predominant fiber in this wrap and adds a silky smoothness to the texture. There is a hierarchy among cotton fibers such that ratings are measured based on fiber length from the raw boll. Traditional cotton such as Sea Island cotton is a long staple cotton, longer fibers mean softer, smoother cotton with higher tensile strength. True Egyptian cotton is a specific cultivar of cotton known for having an extremely long fiber length, is the smoothest, and the softest variety among the cotton blends. Combining Egyptian cotton and Merino wool as two smooth fibers yielded a softer wrap with moderate grip where I was expecting extra high grip. Passes were smooth without extra work, the small amount of glide allowed making cross passes easier while the grip kept passes in place.
Rococo impressed me with the supple nature of the wrap. Passes glided easily but once in place retained the grip needed to stay in place. Cross passes were easily performed and the amazing contrast of the wrap inspired me to wear carries that featured shoulder flips or shoulder passes where the opposite side would show. Despite wearing in our hottest season of the year here, I found the higher cotton thread count to prevent heat retention by the wool fibers. The ladies enjoyed the look of the birds and often asked for up with birds. Egyptian cotton is a silkier cotton and this added glide to the wrap to counter the grip from the wool. We found Rococo to be solid, worthy of any toddler adversary, in maintaining a solid carry despite wiggles, dancing, pony ride bouncing, and any other imaginative body movement my girls could think of. There was no sagging under the pressure or weight of a sleeping toddler or even two sleeping toddlers.
Wool is a special care fiber and of all the fibers I have worn, the one that takes the most amount of time and care. Once you master the wash technique, you will find the softness that is unique to wool is worth the extra care. The protein structure of the hard keratins such as wool is predominately hydrophobic amino acids coupled with a high lipid percentage lending a waterproof characteristic to the wool fiber. Thanks LaKeta, I love it when you talk nerdy to me. What does this mean to me? Laundry detergents contain chemicals that strip the oils from the fibers, changing the way the proteins fold. When the fibers are disrupted, say in a twisting motion in the presence of water, these hard proteins change shape and the wool fibers expand and the outer sections begin to pull away from the main shaft. Warm water adds to this causing the fibers to become entangled with each other, a quality we see in the fabric as felting. Once this level of embriddlement occurs, the wrap is compromised and no longer suitable for babywearing. The wrap looses the natural stretch of the fibers and in some sections, serious thread shifting can occur which will result in broken threads and tears under weight.
I cannot write it any better than what has previously been done so I link you to this article on the care of wool woven wraps from the Babywearing International of Phoenix Advanced Volunteer Babywearing Educator Lauren:
Washing wool wraps is easier than it seems. The main thing you want to avoid is felting it, which happens when it’s wet, soapy, and agitated. If you can avoid those elements together then you have nothing to worry about. You should wash your wool wrap before using it because wearing while still in “loom state” can cause the threads to shift around, creating weak spots in your wrap.
STEPS TO WASH WOOL WRAPS:
Get a detergent meant specifically for wool. I like Euclan, but there are other good detergents out there. You want a brand that doesn’t contain enzymes.
Fill your sink, bucket, or tub with room temperature water and a splash of your detergent.
Then gently submerge your wool wrap, pushing down and gently turning to make sure it is wet all over. Don’t scrub or agitate it against itself.
Let it sit and soak for an hour. It’s fine if you need to leave it longer.
Then drain the water and gently press the wet wrap to remove more water. With Euclan, rinsing is unnecessary.
Spread the wrap across several towels, folding if needed. Roll up the towels and press on the towels to absorb more water. Unroll the wrap and either lay flat to dry or lay evenly supported on a drying rack to dry.
When drying on a rack, you should avoid long sections of the wrap hanging down because it can cause misshaping or stretching.
Once your wrap is completely dry, you can use an iron on the wool setting and steam iron it.
- Characterization of Egyptian Cotton Fibres. El Messiry M, Abd-Ellatif, SA. Indian Journal of Fibre & Textile Research. Volume38: March 2013 (109-113).
- The Structure of Wool. Rippon JA. The Coloration of Wool and Other Keratin Fibres. Wiley and Sons: 2013.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.