I recently was fortunate enough to get my hands on one of Firespiral’s new releases to test and review, Verglas Midnight Midwinter, which is due for release in November at the Winter Wovenland event, with any left to be sold online afterwards. Although we are not carrying huge amounts recently because I’m 27 weeks pregnant with pelvic girdle pain and have a 2 year old who wants to walk everywhere, we did still manage to give the wrap a good test run!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand here is a little information taken from their website: “Firespiral Slings woven baby wraps are designed and woven in the UK. Our designs are inspired by the universal patterns in nature that stray into both science and myth; the magical way in which we are connected to the world and its rhythms.”
Followers of my Facebook and Instagram will probably have noticed that Firespiral is one of my favourite wrap brands; the majority of wraps I own are by them and you’ll see many of my photos are taken wearing them. I am always keen to try new wraps and brands but Firespiral make up the core of my collection for a few reasons; I love their beautiful designs, their brand ethics, their quality and their pricing. I am also a fan of their Alchemy weave, which is a looser, softer and very mouldable weave structure.
As soon as I heard there was going to be another woolly Midwinter release I was excited as it combines two of my favourite things; the Midwinter design and wool! I love the Midwinter design, with its intricate tree trunk and branches, soft falling snow and wise owl looking out from its perch. A little geekery between myself and fellow FiSpi fan Ann revealed there have been some changes to the design and the tree and branches have developed in their intricacy and detail, when compared with Crystalline Midwinter for example, and a design that I thought could not be more beautiful somehow was!
(Verglas on the bottom, Crystalline on top)
Wool is also one of my favourite “ingredients” for a wrap blend; thermoregulating it can be worn year round, it provides cush on the shoulders which is great for big kid wearing and has a great combination of stretch, bounce, glide and grip! One of the great things about a Firespiral’s wool is that it is easy care and most people will be able to machine wash it on a wool wash (please see the wool care instructions that come with your wrap).
This is a midweight wrap, I calculated around 290gsm, and has a blend of 70% cotton, 25% merino and 5% linen, giving it cush, grip and strength. The wool weft is the same pale grey used in Galena Seafoam with some chunkier pink strands that were used in the Calluna weft. The thin, pale green fibres also in the weft are the Winter linen used in the Winter and Zora colourways. I love the geekery of this; knowing where else these threads have been used and which are its wrap relations, but I also really appreciate the effort of Firespiral have gone to reduce their waste and environmental impact.
(If you look carefully you can see the pink and green fibres, like a pin stripe)
A little more geekery, if you will indulge me, before I go on to discuss the wrap qualities and give my overall impressions of the wrap. Some of you may have noticed that this was woven on the new Midnight warp when it was expected to be on the well known and well loved Twilight warp (it was originally called Verglas Twilight). This had prompted a lot of comparison photos and discussion within the fan Facebook group (Firespiral Community and Marketplace) so I asked Jen, from Firespiral Slings, about this colour change and why they hadn’t used a different name.
(Variations in colour, top left Verglas Midnight, top right Spring Twilight, bottom Deep Ocean Twilight)
Jen told me that they use several different dye houses which explains the subtle variations in the Twilight colours used previously, and on this occasion the warp yarn came back looking much darker than usual. To have it dyed again would delay the wrap’s release (and Whinlatter’s) by several months and so was decided to stick with it – the colour change was unintentional but what a beautiful result! She asked if I had any suggestions for renaming it and the first thing that came to mind was “Midnight” – when I looked at the wrap I saw the deep, dark night and this seemed the most appropriate name – unbeknownst to me Tamsin has also thought of Midnight and so the name was changed, and dare I say it, a new warp was born! (Jen did say they would have to save the dye lot details so they could recreate Midnight in the future and wouldn’t that be marvellous!)
Verglas handled my 13kg toddler with ease and was a real pleasure to wrap with. It has a good amount of stretch and glide which made getting the passes into place effortless, but the wool and detail of the pattern gives a lovely amount of texture and grip making for a solid carry. I would usually test run with my 5 year old too, but as I’m expanding I am finding it increasingly difficult to wrap Big E!
I did have a go at wrapping my bump though. This is something I actually find very difficult to do, a real child is much easier, but Verglas tightened well and was mouldable giving a pretty good result!
I do feel Verglas has a little prickle, though this improved with another wash and will improve further with use, but it definitely feels like a wool wrap to me, the cotton however is beautifully soft and smooth. It feels like it has the potential to break in to be a gorgeously soft and floppy wrap, however don’t be put off by this “breaking in” as it is already easy to wrap with and comfortable to use, I can just see its potential to be even better with time.
I think Verglas works well in base size as it has passes that glide and stay in place, but the cush and grip means it would also work well in a short to mid length wrap. This is most definitely toddler worthy, but I would also be happy using it with a smaller baby especially as it softens. In other words, this wrap is a great all rounder!
For more information about Firespiral Slings and their forthcoming releases you can find them on Facebook, Instagram or their website.