Some of you may have read a bit about Soul Slings from the ring sling review I wrote awhile back. I am clearly a fan of this brand, so I could barely contain my excitement when they released their own line of budget friendly woven wraps – the Soul Prism line. I have had the Prism Joy colorway in a Size 5 (4.3 meters) hanging out with me for a few months now, and with their recent release – I am happy to finally share my thoughts about the newest entry onto the budget handwoven wrap circuit.
I will admit that when I first opened the package – I was a little intimidated. I have heard things described as feeling like “burlap”, and this felt very much like that. Not in the way that it was really really scratchy – but that it felt very dry and almost “hairy” if you can imagine what I am talking about. I tossed it in the wash, and ran a steam iron over it. It softened up after the first wash. Now, after a half dozen washes and much wear – It reminds me of some of the South American handwoven wrap lines that are very well known and loved by many people. I started bringing it around to babywearing meetings with me to get others’ to try it on and help me break it in a little bit – it was very popular here. New wrappers and fellow educators were all chomping at the bit to find out where they could get one of these wraps.
First time I wore this wrap, was with my toddler in a Ruck tied Tibetan. It
had been a 100 degrees outside, and this wrap seemed like the most logical choice because the airy weave makes it so breathable. We had a long excursion – hitting a busy restaurant at lunch time. Dragon baby hung out there while we made it through the busy line and finagled our way into an open table with hands full of food. When it was time to get down, she didn’t even want to. For such a thin feeling wrap, I was surprised at how well it stood up to 30 lbs of bouncing threenager in a single pass carry.
I wore it in a Double Hammock with a Freshwater finish next, and it was awesome in this carry. It has A LOT of grip, which makes it a little tough to get that second pass in place. The fabric just holds onto itself… awesome once you are tied off – but a bit of a challenge when working on your multi-pass carries. It does not have much bounce to it either – so once you get this thing in place, it is going to stay there. Though it feels thin in hand, it was plenty of support for a toddler, and was cushy on the shoulders under all that weight.
This wrap has taken a bit of work to break in – I am not going to lie. The one I have has been used lots by other preschooler wearing mamas, and now it has this amazing soft floppy texture to it. The weave is very airy and light – perfect for those wrapping in hot climates (something that a company based in India surely knows a thing or two about). Though the feel in hand is thin the weave is deceiving – it weighs in at 250 g/m2 – so it is actually a medium weight wrap. That has a lot to do with why it can stand up to a toddler so nicely. I prefer it in a multi-pass carry (which goes for just about everything at this point) but I have worn it in single pass carries too with no discomfort. The weight of this wrap and the horizontal stripes make it such an awesome wrap for a beginner wearer, as long as they were open to the idea of breaking in a wrap. If you are looking for something that is going to be smooshy soft after 1 wash – this is not what you are looking for. It is 100% cotton twill, and easy to care for.
These wraps are handwoven in India, by artisan handweavers that have
been creating these kinds of woven pieces for generations. All of the weavers are part of government run cooperative societies, ensuring that their work is fair-trade certified and that ideal work situations are maintained. The owner Chinmayie is actively involved in the process herself, visiting the weavers often to ensure that her vision is properly executed. They are woven in small batches, meaning only a few at a time are released for sale. Soul Slings is very clear that they want to make sure the quality is always to their standards – so they aren’t keen on rushing the process. They are only selling Size 6 (4.6 meters) and Size 3 (3.1 meters), an interesting move – but a well thought out one in my opinion. At around $107 US for a Size 6 (before shipping), they are surely going to be selling out at their stockings.
I am so very excited for this next chapter in the Soul Sling family of carriers. With a Mei Tai that just passed testing and an SSC slated to go next – I expect that this coming year is going to be a very promising one for this family owned business. With a mission to make babywearing affordable and available to every caregiver – I cannot help but root for them every step of the way.