BIJOU WEAR: NEWPORT HARBOR

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SPECS

  • 315 GSM
  • Width – 27 in.
  • Tapers – 6 in.
  • Blend – Cotton
  • Care – wash on delicate,cold water, low speed, spin or air dry
  • Price – $130(s2) – $195(s8)
  • Tester used was a s5

OF NOTE – Newport “Harbor” ships prewashed/finished  NOT in loom state!!
Released December 9, 2015; Jamie Gassmann of Bijou Wear has given us a most stunning nautical wrap!
Made of an Ecru cotton warp which provides a beautiful backdrop for the 45% mercerized cotton blue weft, this wrap is beyond gorgeous and quite the showstopper with its vibrant colorway and varying sizes of sailboats.

 

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As Jamie has stated “Bijou HQ moved to Rhode Island late summer last year, to the town of Newport. The harbor here, is sailings elegant version of a parking lot; bustling with activity. I know sailboats will be icons of our time living here and I wanted to continue in the same spirit of WINDMILLS, capturing icons that make people feel connected to place, people, or other times in their lives. So its Newport Shoreline and Newport Harbor, named after Newport, Rhode Island.”

Not only does Jamie want to help people feel connected to her and places they think fondly of but she is also dedicated to actually helping people with her strong connection to The Carrying On Project. Which she donates carriers and portions of sales to help promote the bond between returning military service personnel and their families.

Newport “Harbor” is a made-in-the-USA jaquard fabric, meaning the design is incorporated into the weave of the fabric instead of being printed or dyed on. This means that the beautiful sailboats are just slightly raised helping give the fabric a nice tactile difference.
The reason this particular wrap comes ready-to-wear is the use of mercerized cotton. This treatment of the cotton results into a more porous fiber as well as increasing its moisture wicking properties.
With mercerized cotton it has been known to shrink the length or width of your wrap, however it is not a permanent shrinking and can be remedied with a good steam iron to relax and re-soften those fibers.

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HOW “HARBOR” TESTED…..

When I first saw this wrap being worn by LaKeta from TandemTrouble I was floored by the beauty of it. I am a spouse of a USNavy serviceman and I love all things nautical, granted I dont actually know how to sail, however the colors are really what blew me away. I knew I had to get my hands on this, and aren’t I so lucky that shortly after “ooohing” and “aaahing” and all sorts of fangirling on every picture and post; LaKeta said this would become a traveling tester!!!!!

When I finally opened NEWPORT “HARBOR” it really was love at first touch! I immediately grabbed jamie (my son, not to be confused with Jamie the owner) for a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).

This is by far one of my favorite carries and jamie now recognizes it from its pre-tied passes that he is about to go uppies; so even if he isn’t in the mood to be worn its a quick up and down carry for us.
I have to say immediately I noticed a nice weight to “Harbor”, not too light but not really heavy. Tightening the passes felt really smooth and because of the jaquared nature of the wrap, once my pass was in place it gripped quite nicely.

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This wrap was extremely supportive not only to myself; hugging not digging into my waist or shoulders but also to my wiggly worm of a toddler. Even on my worst wrap job he wasn’t going anywhere even after popping his seat, and that is saying a lot because with 27 inches of width to this wrap its almost impossible to not get a nice deep seat!

Because I have a serial seat popper we don’t do any ruck carries or single pass back carries, that being said using the carries we did, I had no shoulder pain. Pleating on the shoulders always came out nice and there truly was never a point where I felt I was being pinched in, even on our one shoulder carry.

Since this wrap is also made of cotton there was enough breathability to keep us cool, yet comfy in the brisk cool January morning air of California all the way to the warm sunny afternoon.
For me, this wrap really molded well to mine and my sons bodies. It was all around super comfortable whether we had two passes or three!

I would recommend NEWPORT “HARBOR” for any age category but I feel this wrap really shines around the toddler phase. It really made my 27 lb. son feel weightless in almost every carry, it was so supportive!!

As you can see by this image of us at Mt.Laguna wrapping while in snow jackets, you might think would be a slippery nightmare! But it really wasn’t too bad and i honestly feel it is because I had NEWPORT “HARBOR”, each pass really stayed in place and getting the wrap through the rings was in a word ‘simple’.

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You can see my son had shimmied a little extra arm room but the only time jamie was mildly calm was while he was in that carry!! It was a beautiful wrap that truly was breathtaking against the snowy mountain backdrop!!

I am so thankful to have had the oppurtunity to host such amazing craftsmanship from Bijou Wear and an eye-catching creation from Jamie Gassmann!!

 

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ETHOS: PHEOBE

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SPECS

  • 400 gsm(gm/2)*
  • Width- 70 cm
  • Blend- Cotton warp/Banana fiber weft
  • Straight twill weave OR Plain weave
  • Hand wash on cold, air dry
  • starting price about $158

*GSM or gm/2 = grams per square meter and is the metric measurement of the weight of a fabric.

Handwoven in Nepal from hand spun yarn; ETHOS PHOEBE lives up to its ethical name by its very nature.
The Napali weavers weave these wraps as a humanitarian effort to help the relief effort from the earthquakes in 2015.
The sale of each handwoven buys fresh water, food, schooling facilities, shelters, toilet facilities, livestock, bedding, and much more for families in Nepal.

The Banana fiber, which is also sourced ethically in Nepal, resembles bamboo and ramie fiber. However, banana fiber is actually of a higher grade and is much finer thus making it easier to spin.
Despite its fineness, banana fiber is extremely durable and has a natural luster that gives it a shiny appearance.

DID YOU KNOW?

That spun banana yarn and woven banana textiles are very moisture absorbent and because their processing does not involve chemicals, they are completely bio-degradable!!!
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HOW PHOEBE TESTED….

I did receive both weave types however I spent most of my wrapping time using the straight twill weave.
When I picked up this folded wrap, my first thought was “she’s so HEAVY”!
However, it was pretty deceiving because when I unfurled her she was quite light and airy.
Really, it was like woven wrap magic!

Ethos Phoebe does not wrap as her gsm would have you believe, while I tested with a size 7 (my base +2) there was quite a lot of fabric; however it was easily manageable and never felt like it was weighing me down.

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I wish I could describe for you how Ethos Phoebe felt, but I’m lacking the vocabulary to accuretely convey the softness; especially to those who have never used a handwoven wrap, but all the nubs and slubs and fuzzy fibers that help make such a unique yarn; made for the softest wrap I’ve ever felt up to date.

Seriously, if they made this into a blanket for my bed or a throw for my couch, I most certainly would buy it!!!

 

This was my first official tester so I stuck with the basics: the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and the Double Hammock (DH). I really wish I took it for its paces though, but hindsight and all that.
Anyways, this wrap was basically made of sleepy dust(a term babywearers use meaning your child can easily falls asleep in it) and was so comfortable.
There was absolutely no dig on my shoulders and with each pass the grip was envious. I did find trying to tighten strand by strand actually made my passes a little loose; it definitely worked better(for me at least) to tighten in larger sections.
The width was just right for my 20 month old toddler. Given the proper size this wrap would be great for newborns because again snugly softness, but it most certainly will stand up to even the most wiggly of toddlers!

Using banana fibers was new to me in terms of weave material, however it was very soft (which for some reason when I hear the term fiber I think coarse not soft) but that really was far from the truth; and you could see a subtle sheen up close from the wefts.
So, I did have the joy to not only test the straight twill weave but also the plain weave. I’m honestly not entirely sure why, but the twill weave was my JAM!!!!
For both variations though, the passes really slide into place and gripped quite nicely. I didn’t feel I had to continuously adjust or move around to get myself and my son comfortable.

I thought because it was a Natty woven I would be scared to use it, but because of its sturdiness and lovely cush factor; I could easily see this being a workhorse wrap for me. I was constantly grabbing for it. My son at the time was teething, so nursing often was key, and with this wrap; ESPECIALLY dropping down to nurse and maintaining tension, as well as keeping a good seat were essential to this extended breastfeeding momma.

ETHOS PHOEBE was a wonderful wrap and after finally writing this review, I honestly think I might add it to my permanent stash. Do not be scared that it is a natural woven and might get dirty(because lets face it; what anything doesn’t have a little smudge here or there from small children or *gasp* a makeup smear from our chins), I promise you this wrap is worth every penny!!! It is fantastic and I hope to try another Ethos wrap in the future!!!
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