I was really excited to get my hands on one of the unreleased wraps from Firespiral Slings and give it a test run. Petrichor Winter Hill is a Synergy weave wrap and it is the first double weave by Firespiral to have a woollen weft (two of them in fact!).
The hidden warp (Twilight) is a beautiful blue cotton and both weft faces are 100% wool, giving a final blend composition of 59% cotton and 41% wool (corrected blend details). The wool used is quite fine and uses a combination of 5 different grey, brown and tan threads to create the Winter Hill design. Although the blue warp is tucked away between the two wefts it does peek through in parts of the design and also gives an electric blue iridescent effect through the brown as the wrap moves.
Video description: A short clip showing the blue iridescence as a brown and grey wrap is moved
Petrichor also features a change to the Winter Hill design, the iconic telecommunication towers that featured in the original design, and are a familiar landscape to those living in the Bolton area where these are designed and woven, have been altered and are now a less prominent part of the design.
The geeky bit: By my calculations the post wash and first wear GSM was just over 300 (just over 310 prior to washing and just under 310 afterwards but before wearing). Like the other Synergy weave cloths I have tried it has density in hand without being thick or unwieldy. When it arrived to me in loom state it felt almost slick or lanolised, this is to do with the processing oils used when weaving with wool, so I followed the wash routine advised by Tamsin and Jen and did 3 back to back wool cycles in my machine with a wool safe detergent in each wash. I then squished the wrap between a couple of towels and air dried flat overnight. After washing the wrap had lost 50g which just goes to show what a difference the washing process makes! The wrap felt very different after the wash too, softer and no longer oily and it had bloomed.
Because Petrichor is a woollen Synergy weave neither side of the wrap has cotton on the face of it, which is quite different to other wraps by Firespiral where you have areas that are smooth cotton and areas that are woolly formed by the design. This is a very woolly feeling wrap and a little prickly to start with, though I did not find it uncomfortable and was happy wrapping against 5 month old Tiny E’s skin, it will be interesting to see how this breaks in and softens further with use, it has already started to become softer and more fuzzy and I would expect that process to continue.
Because of the all wool surface Petrichor has quite a lot of grip, and without the cotton to balance it I wondered if it would be too much for my preference, however I found it actually glided well in double hammock passes yet was still grippy enough for a ring finish, my slipknot was also manageable when I loosened it slightly and it held well.
Petrichor was so good with huge 28kg 6 year old, Big E. It doesn’t have the cush of some of the other heavyweight woollies such as Calluna Callisto, Greystoke Glasto etc, but it has a density to it that is comfortable on the shoulders. I think with such a big wrappee the fact that is isn’t especially thick in hand made wrapping easier and not so much of a work out. It also means the wrap folds down relatively small which is a bonus for the older up-down walking toddler.
In hand it has a surprising amount of stretch when compared with how it wraps; I didn’t feel like it had a lot of stretch I needed to work out, nor did it sag after a while, instead it created supportive and well moulded passes.
I was as happy using this with a smaller baby as I was with my biggest girl, though I do feel it shines particularly with the bigger kids. It also works well in both single and multi layered carries so I think would work as a base length or mid to short length wrap.
On Wednesday 10th of July Firespiral Slings are releasing 6 of their wraps on the Twilight warp. More information and photos about these and Petrichor can be found on their Facebook page and in the chatter group. I had the opportunity to see some of the other designs at The Wrap Show and there are some lovely wraps being released on a variety of blends, colours and designs.