I always enjoy seeing a new release from Bijou Wear. Never afraid to try out a new blend or fiber content, the patterns are all original artwork, never a standard or stock mill design. The owner is a babywearer and maintains first testing to ensure a wrap is indeed worthy of being run on a larger scale. Many patterns don’t make her exacting standards and the brand is all the better for her discerning taste. The mind of an entrepreneur with an eye on the positive social aspect of the babywearing community, owner Jaime Gassman ensures every wearer has their base size, feels welcome, and uplifted alongside their babies when wearing. She is an active participant in the Facebook fan group Bijou Buzz, not only posting those teaser images of what is to come but making sure to remind all those in the group how truly awesome they are. Whether you own one of each colorway, or are aspiring to buy your first Bijou I very much recommend joining the fan group.
The Wildthing series of wraps feature bold weft colors with vibrant exotic flowers in magenta, fucshia, orange, green, and even grey. We wore Kiss, Valentine, and Crush, each a low Tencel cotton blend. We have come to enjoy wearing Tencel, easy care with low maintenance, and soft from first wash. Low heat retention well balanced with grip and glide, wearing the Wildthing range was a splash of vibrance in a spring of illness. The colors of Kiss reminded me of the bright pink hibiscus flowers outside of my mother-in-law’s house. The bush would be a dull green, uninteresting, and slightly boring. Then after spring temperatures would warm, the flowers would untwist, providing an exotic beauty to the house. After three days of high fevers Wildthing Kiss arrived washed and ready for wear. Emerging from the house for a walk was a refreshing change of pace and wearing Kiss allowed my sicklings to get some air and stay close to momma.
The longer length was perfect for adding flips at the shoulder and switchbacks to show off the contrast in both sides. The dominant white with pink flowers was a favorite of my younger twin. With alot to wear she specifically sought out Wildthing Kiss for her uppy-down. Her sister preferred the dark weft of Wildthing Valentine. The magenta flowers seemed to be floating atop the wrap, the dark weft providing dramatic contrast to the color. We found Wildthing Crush the same, chromatic intensity against a black weft radiating bright color. The black weft is cotton, and an even, flat black color allowing the color in the flowers to really take center.
What we like about Wildthing
There was no right or wrong side to the Wildthing series, the contrast was beautiful on both sides. I enjoyed adding shoulder flips to almost all our carries to give a flash of contrast from the dominant side. Introducing a sandwiched shoulder in a back wrap cross carry allowed a peek into the opposite side of the wrap. Tencel is always a soft fiber, almost silky. Wildthing emerged from the wash soft and floppy, ready to wear a newborn. The wrap is very lightweight in hand and wears light with excellent air flow. We wore multiple layer carries without extra heat retention and full support. Despite the thin, lightweight feel in hand Wildthing has great support. Even in a single layer front or back carry my ladies and I were comfortable.
An excellent width for full back coverage and deep seat. My girls prefer arms in for a super snuggled feeling and Wildthing allowed soft, supportive snuggles. Trips to the zoo were easier when the girls were worn the mom’s eye view position was a great way to see all the animals. A single layer ruck or Robin’s back carry were comfortable for us both and supportive of bouncing toddler weight. Many toddler tantrums were averted and the support of a three layer back carry even subdued my headstrong toddler.
The pattern is a variety of floral designs and presented in beautiful colors. The flowers are allowed to shine, the colors of the wrap adding to the pattern rather than being the dominant feature. The wrap is lightweight in hand, wrapping with easy, smooth passes. The Tencel adding glide balanced against the natural grip of cotton.
Tencel is a smooth fiber conveying glide to the wrap. Coiled without burrs or stray fibers Tencel has a similar structure of silk. When balanced with cotton a good balance of grip and glide come together in the one wrap. The lower Tencel percentage retained the glide we have come to expect in Tencel blends but without the extra slippery glide in the higher Tencel percentages. The cotton allows passes to stay put, gripping to the previous pass, reducing the amount of work in tightening and smoothing passes. Overall the wrap allows for smooth neat passes and is forgiving enough for the novice babywearer making the transition from stretchy wrap to woven wrap.
I described the Tencel fiber as being silk like in texture which gives the wrap amazing glide. Where Tencel differs from silk is in the relative stretch. Tencel offers tail to tail stretch along the shaft of the fiber and along the diagonal of the wrap. We have worn Bijou Tencel before, in the Blast series of colorways and have a full explanation of the wrapping qualities of Tencel. Bijou Wear Lilac Blast with Tencel. The Wildthing series are deceptively thin yet cushy experience with the extra fluff giving a fantastic shoulder. Lightweight in hand the Wildthing series we tested were perfect for warm weather even in multiple layers. Despite the thin feel the Wildthing the knots were large, often as large as handwoven knots, holding well without slipping. We often opted for a ring finish using a large ring to hold securely. Using a ring finish at the shoulder in carries such as Shepherd’s and Double Hammock Traditional Sling Finish were more comfortable with the sling ring finish. Ring Finish: A Photo Tutorial
We took the opportunity to try out some new carries and many of our old favorites. The support of Tencel held nearly 30 pounds (13.6kg) securely and nearly effortlessly which added a sense of adventure to the carries we chose to wear. Our old favorites Symmetrical Half Jordan’s, Christina’s Ruckless, and Short Back Carry were supportive, comfortable and airy in warmer spring weather in the desert. The pliability of this series gave confidence to try out seldom worn carries such as Ellevill Jordan’s Back Carry and Mermaid Carry. The high contrast between sides made shoulder flips and switchbacks like in the Mermaid Carry fantastic to show off both sides of the wrap.
Tencel for is an excellent fiber for warm weather babywearing. As summer heats up in the Arizona desert temperatures easily exceed 100ºF with an average summer temperature of 112ºF and warmer. Keeping cool is a challenge as even those little bundles of warm body heat need reassuring. Wearing single layer carries in a high breathability fiber allows baby to have the comfort of being worn without the wearer sweating or overheating.
The Ellevill Jordan’s Back Carry is a three layer carry featuring wiggleproof passes and an extra torso pass. This carry is a veritable toddler prison and usually requires extra work to tighten, smooth passes, and maintain tension. Wildthing Crush was the perfect combination of glide and grip to maintain smoothness of the passes without breaking a sweat. For the Mermaid Carry the experience was different. Maintaining tension while centering the ring is the most difficult part of the Mermaid Carry. Too much tension on one side and you loose the centering of the ring, too much glide and you can’t get enough tension to hold for the next pass. The Mermaid carry is an elegant finish on a solid back carry that is a combination of skill and the right wrap. Wildthing Crush was a great wrap to do this carry, offering glide, grip, and amazing contrast to the finish.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.