Selling their unique collection of carriers since 2010, Kokadi utilizes a variety of alternative fibers, beautiful designs, and selection of carrier types for the modern babywearing tradition. Based in Germany, Kokadi is named for the favorite word of the CEO and founder’s baby. Their goal is to make fashionable, functional baby carriers for your precious little one. The collection includes half buckle Mei Tai carriers, full buckle soft structured carriers, woven wraps, water ring slings and Mei Tai, as well as gathered shoulder ring slings. There is also a philanthropic inclination, a few of their past releases with 100% of profits dedicated to charities including midwifery and refugee aid campaigns.
Arielle Eclipse is a jacquard machine woven wrap blend of cotton and bamboo. The pattern is a raised scallop design in a pointillism style repeating across the length of the wrap. The pattern alternates from black dots against the tan background on one side to raised tan dots nested within a dominant black background on the right side. The design is tactile, raised, adding texture to the wrap and grip to the wrapping qualities. Woven with organic Turkish cotton and organic bamboo viscose certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The aim of GOTS is to certify the products from harvesting to manufacturing ensuring environmental and social responsibility.
The wrap arrives in a box with the Kokadi logo with a carrying handle in the turquoise Erna em Wunderland color. A wrap scrap bag is included in the box, a handsome keepsake in another Kokadi colorway. The Arielle Eclipse we received arrived loom state and weighed in as a heavy wrap, soft and pliable yet thick in hand. Loom state the wrap measured just 191gsm and 30 inches wide. Laundry care was easy, machine washed delicate, cool water, low speed spin. I prefer to air fluff tumble dry a wrap when fibers allow. I found that Arielle Eclipse required no ironing, emerging from the dryer light, fluffy, and wrinkle free. Post-wash the wrap measured 28.5 inches wide and a whopping 331gsm. This massive change perplexed me as the wrap felt lighter and fluffier following this first wash. The answer to the giant jump in gsm is bamboo. More absorbent than cotton by a factor of five, bamboo is a grass comprised of cellulose and like many cellulose plant fibers is treated to release the soft inner pulp which is condensed and used for the smooth long threads later spun into yarn. As the fiber is prone to extreme stretching when wet it is important to utilize low speed spin cycles to prevent warping of the fabric, rendering it unusable for babywearing.
What we like about Arielle Eclipse
Such a lightweight and fluffy wrap I expected the support to suffer. I am always pleased to be wrong and Arielle Eclipse proved me wrong from the first ruck. We enjoyed single layer carries both front and back as well as multilayered hip and back carries. The air flow was unique, not quite as airy as Tencel, another treated cellulose fiber, but much more breathable than Repreve. The cool weather made long sleeves and layers necessary but wearing Arielle Eclipse allowed excess heat between our bodies to escape. The surface of the wrap is textured, a great tactile feel that the girls very much enjoyed. Petting this wrap while being worn was something I would catch the ladies doing just before falling asleep.
The near thirty pounds of toddler weight was easy, multi-pass carries really lightening the weight load. The color contrast made the design, reminiscent of pointillism paintings, unique in the optical depth. The texture added to the grip of the fibers while the flexibility of the bamboo fiber allowed for superior drape. The wrap elicited a soft sheen, almost a low gloss, allowing the design to appear three dimensional. My older twin’s favorite carry is the kangaroo, she loves the closeness and the ability to be eye to eye with me. The soft fibers stretched on the diagonal without distortion of the pattern and the shoulder flip allowed the raised dots to create a snug cross on my back distributing her weight effortlessly.
The relative grip of the dot pattern did make getting smooth passes a small amount of extra work. Attention to tightening and smoothing passes for the perfect carry took only one more minute. One shouldered carries evenly distributed weight without sagging and seemed to hold heavier toddler weight better than 100% cotton wraps. A quick modification to the Taiwanese carry to accommodate a sore shoulder provided the same support as the two shouldered version and even a leaning toddler was well supported in a solid carry. A large sling ring was required for ring finishes, the lightweight wrap fluffing up with each subsequent wash without added density.
Wearing carries that emphasized the color contrast in the wrap became an unstated goal. Pleating with Poppin’s, Robin’s, and Taiwanese added an elegant look to a well tightened carry. Overall Arielle Eclipse brought beauty and function to a wrap in a unique fiber composition.
Don’t let the high gram per square meter for Arielle Eclipse scare you away. When folded the wrap is heavy in hand yet fluffy. When unfurled for use the 68% organic cotton 32% bamboo blend is lightweight and never heavy. We found there was considerable amount of grip to this wrap on the right side. The other side did provide more glide when worn against the right side. When like sides touched, the grip required more attention to spreading and tightening the passes. The Back Wrap Cross Carry is a personal favorite, the cross passes creating reinforcement for the leg straightener. The half knot was amazingly soft on my chest, adding no additional pressure. The first cross pass in which the opposite sides touched was easily spread without difficulty. The second cross pass produces a flip at the shoulder, generally exposing the other side of the wrap. This pass was difficult to smooth as the grip of the right side touched the raised design of the right side from the first torso pass creating the seat. Given extra attention this was easily resolved but the phenomenon was repeatable for other carries with shoulder flips and switchbacks.
Support was never an issue in Arielle Eclipse. I would class it as soft enough for a newborn while being incredibly supportive for a toddler. The shoulders were always soft and plush with sandwiched shoulders being almost decadent. We revisited a few of our favorite newborn carries including the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry. The crosses behind the back perfectly spread without the need to adjust and held in place with the inherent grip of the fibers allowing easy adjustment and tightening. When completing the shoulder flip in a kangaroo or front double hammock the pliability of the wrap made completion of these carries easier, the gentle twists creating elegant pleats and adding to the aesthetic of the carry.
Easy laundry care really made wearing Arielle Eclipse a joy. This has been an exceptionally wet winter and cleanup of tails exposed to mud and road debris was machine washable and dried wrinkle free. Tandem carries were supportive and easy on the shoulders, allowing me to test out a new tandem carry in the process of testing this wrap. The sandwiched shoulder is my favorite for tandem as it adds a level of softness to the weight across the shoulders with the correct wrap. The shoulders in the tandem Double Hammock tied at the shoulder with Rebozo Front Carry as well as the Reinforced Rucksack with Double Rebozo Front Carry were pillowy, making a sleep transfer from the car comfortable.
Our overall opinion of Arielle Eclipse is a positive one. We very much enjoyed this wrap. The support was sensational with a softness I have only experienced in combed cotton. Lightweight and airy, I am looking forward to wearing this one again in the summer to see how the bamboo performs in the extreme desert heat.
- Coloration of Cationized Cellulosic Fibers—A Review. Association of Textile , Apparel, and Materials Professionals (AATCC Journal of Research). Vol. 1, No. 3 May/June 2014
- Factors Affecting Human Tactile Response to Wash-Treated Garments: Analysis of Fabric and Garment Effects in Dynamic Wear. AATCC Journal of Research Vol. 1, No. 1 January/February 2014.
- Global Organic Textile Standard Ecology and Social Responsibility. http://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html
- Kohler J. Performance Characteristics of Rayon from Bamboo in Bed Sheets Through Laundering. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2399&context=etd
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.