The Icarus Aurora is the very first woven that I have tried from this lovely Australian company, Ankalia Textiles. I have been eyeing their stuff for a really long time now, so I was happy to finally get a chance to try one. Ankalia is the vision of Alex and Kellie, two babywearing Moms themselves who wanted to create a company that would make beautiful baby carriers close to their home. The wraps are woven and finished in Australia, and they are proud to contribute to the local economy.
Icarus came packaged very minimally, wrapped in paper with some burlap tied around it. It was in a canvas bag bearing the Hummingbird logo. I really liked the presentation, I even managed to take a photo of it (which I usually forget to do while enthusiastically liberating the wrap from its packaging). Upon first feel – the wrap was very stiff, and very dense. It had that “stand up on its own” texture. I tossed it in the wash to see what the texture would end up like post wash. I tumbled to dry on low heat, and steam ironed the heck out of it. It definitely still felt a little crunchy, though it was becoming more pliable immediately. I loved the pale shades of purple on this geometric design – the design itself was very appealing and I can see it being a lovely statement piece in anyones wardrobe.
The first carry I tried it in was a Ruck with a knotless finish. I always use this carry to test the grip on the wrap. It was a hot day, and I had an errand to run in City Hall, so my 30 lb 3 year old had to hang out on my back for a while so I could focus on the task at hand. The wrap stayed in place nicely with the knotless finish, but became a little bit diggy after a while since I had not taken the time to properly tighten my ruck and my kid was bouncing all over. With a smaller baby it might not have mattered, but if using a single pass carry with a large toddler – it is definitely worth it to get a nice secure carry and mind your strand-by-strand tightening.
The next time I went to wear the wrap, it was significantly more broken in – even after only about an hour wearing it days before. A 3 year old is pretty good for breaking in wraps though, I got to tell you. I was impressed at how quickly it softened up! It was quite floppy and moldable at this point. I tried it out in a Double Hammock Tied at Shoulder while I schlepped all our stuff down 3 flights of stairs to my boss’s house. Even carrying almost my entire body weight on my person, this woven had all kinds of support in this multi-pass carry! The passes slid nicely, allowing me to easily get a tight carry. When finishing with a slipknot, it had adequate texture to hold the knot in place with no slipping at all. The weave (although very dense), has enough stretch in it to make it conform so well in any of the carries I tried. It is a medium-thick wrap, weighing in at 260 g/m2. This weight and weave makes it such a versatile carrier! It is definitely squish worthy after a tiny bit of breaking in, and it has all the support you would need for a toddler wearee too. The width (26.5 inches) is considered “wide” for a wrap, but I did not feel that it would be overwhelming for a smaller baby because of the ease of wrapping with this woven. It was easy to tie knots and to tighten it – making it a good wrap for a beginner wrapper as well as a seasoned vet.
I wanted to give it one more go in a single pass carry, so I tried it out again in a Ruck with a Xena (Sling Ring) finish. Dragon Baby and I took a long walk around the neighborhood while I tried to settle her down during that rough part of the afternoon where nap time used to be. This time I was careful to tighten it correctly, and I could feel the difference it made. The carry was comfortable and stayed in place, and we experienced no digging or aching after the experience. This wrap can stand up to a toddler in a ruck, though if given the choice I would much prefer a multi-pass carry with this texture of weave.
Icarus Aurora is part of the Elements line, a 100% cotton line of woven wraps that Ankalia created at a price point meant to be accessible for even the newest wrappers. A size 5 will run you about $205.00. If you are located in the states, one of my favorite online retailers is stocking this Elements line, and they don’t charge shipping. Ankalia designed this line to be appealing to new wrappers, weaving with the qualities someone learning to wrap would appreciate. Being that it is cotton, it is really easy to take care of too. No fuss over this wrap, just wear and wash as necessary. Their Fusion Line starts to play around with more interesting yarns (Hemp and Linen and Cashmere – oh my!) and I have to say that after trying out this Element line, I am very interested to try out some of the other offerings from this fresh Australian company. I am really digging their design aesthetic, and their commitment to working with local artists to create designs that are authentic and respectful. Thank you to Ankalia for introducing me to their wonderful line!