I was very excited when I was contacted by the Malaysian woven wrap company Daiesu. I had been watching this budget brand on social media for some time, and was very curious about them. They sent me a Size 6 (4.6 meter) Jigsaw Mustard to review with my 30 lb 3 year old wrappee. Clearly they had heard about my obsession with yellow wraps.
Right out of the canvas bag, this wrap was so soft! Turns out that the manufacturing process involves washing and steaming the fabric before it hits the sewing tables, though they still recommend washing the wrap yourself before using it. It felt pretty thin in hand, but it fluffed up pretty significantly after a trip through the washer machine. Jigsaw is 100% Organic cotton, and medium thick at 260 g/m2. It has a very airy weave, which I can imagine is intentional because of the warm climate in Malaysia where this brand originates. The mustard yarn against an Ecru warp in a small scale repeating pattern – this wrap had all the makings for something I would love.
First time I wore it was in a Double Hammock with a freshwater finish. I was headed to a Babywearing International meeting, with my whole teaching stash and a half dozen other bags of mom gear. It is so hard to juggle all those things and a pissed off 3 year old in a busy parking lot, so this is one of those situations that calls for a back carry every time. This wrap was great in a Double Hammock! It has a little bit of stretch in it, so it really molds to the body nicely. Passes slid very well, and it had nice grip to keep them in place after it was tied off. It was so airy, I was not overheating in the California heat – but the medium thickness made for a cushy and supportive carry with my big kid. Even with all the other weight I was dragging around, it remained comfortable for the half hour she was up there.
The next time I wore it was in a Ruck tied Tibetan. My partner and I had been working on an epic garage cleaning project, and towards the end of the night my daughter really wanted to hang out with us in the garage. Clearly it wasn’t the best place for her to be, but she wanted to be in on it – so I put her up in a ruck and finished what I had to do. She ended up being up there for a whole hour! That little bit of bounce in the fabric made it really comfortable for us both as I was actively moving around the garage. A bit of give, but not so much that it was sagging after some time. By the time I let her down an hour later, the carry was still as tight as when I had first tied it. It was cushy enough to be used in that single pass carry for a lot longer than I would have expected it to be. I was pleasantly surprised.
I wore her for another long walk in a Double Hammock as we took on the blinding heat of Downtown LA. Again the surprisingly airy jacquard weave held its own. My daughter and I both remained reasonably comfortable for the duration, even in a multi-pass carry. Granted I did have to peel her off of my back once we got back to the car, but that would have been the case with any carrier. I definitely feel that these wovens can stand up to a toddler wearee as far as the support it offers. It is 28.7 inches in width (37cm) which gave me plenty of width to support my big kid. Some new wrappers may be a little intimidated to wrap a squish in a wrap that wide, but the softness of the fabric and the ease of wrapping with this woven will make up for the width. When a company positions itself as being a “budget line”, I really appreciate when their wraps can actually be worn from infancy through toddlerhood making it a wise investment for a family who can really only afford the one carrier. Their Etsy shop has a size 5 for about $84 before shipping from Malaysia. If you are in the states, you can order from one of my favorite budget retailers 5 Minute Recess, and the shipping is free.
Daiesu is a family owned business. They started in April of 2014, so they are still pretty new to the world of wovens. Owner Ilyani and her husband are the drive behind the company, their now 2.5 year old son Daie was the inspiration. Ilyani found value in wearing their son as soon as he came home from the NICU at a month old. She began with a stretchy wrap, as most of us do… but soon found that there were limitations to her comfort in this carrier. She stumbled into the world of Woven Wraps, which led to her current venture. Ilyani knew of other Malaysian woven wrap companies, but really felt that there was a need for another local brand that was affordable and accessible to more caregivers. She was inspired early on by Little Frog, a budget line out of Poland created by a husband and wife team, and also shares how her admiration of the Didymos brand really helped kindle the desire to have her own line of woven beauties. Their first release was very successful, which led to her leaving her job as a Programmer to pursue Daiesu as a full-time work at home mom.
Daiesu wraps are woven and finished in India. Ilyani and her family have made many trips out to visit and stay with the families that are weaving their wraps, sometimes staying for weeks to watch their project come to fruition. She is proud to be supporting another family business, which controls every aspect of the production of her wraps – from the weaving to the sewing to the export of the finished product. The 100% Organic cotton is sourced from Northern India, and meets the stringent guidelines for GOTS certification. For her it is important that the wraps are not only beautiful, but safe for our babies to be in.
Ilyani has a dream to make woven wraps more commonplace in Malaysia. Though the Malaysian Babywearers have a huge and very active Internet presence, she says that on a day to day basis you are more likely to see families wearing Soft Structured or Narrow Based Carriers rather than wraps or ring slings. Ilyani feels that Malaysia does not have a history of ancestral babywearing as many of their neighboring countries do, which she thinks contributes to why wraps and ring slings have been slow to catch on there. I have to say though, with over 50K members in the Malaysian Babywearers Facebook Group… there is definitely room for some rapid expansion if she can win them over. 😉
Daiesu has a promising future in the industry. Ilyani shared plans for some limited release handwovens utilizing traditional spun yarns, a jacquard inspired by Songket textiles, and many more designs she has been excited to bring to life. I love seeing this little family business grow, and to watch Ilyani spread the woven wrap love far and wide. I am way too excited to see these budget handwovens she hinted at… I wish these guys all the best in their future endeavors.