One could say hand-woven wraps kind of live in the time and space of their own – they look different, their tying is different, their behavior in the carry is usually slightly different than in their machine-woven relatives. I do not consider myself an HW specialist (and I never will) – there are only a few people in this country that really know their way in the hand-woven world – the weavers themselves and a handful of super-experienced wearers, maybe. I was allowed to look under the hood last December when we published the interview with the weaver Erika Štěpánová, a.k.a. ‘Mrs. Honu’. However, every time an opportunity to try one of these unique wraps comes, I do not hesitate (for example, you can read our reviews of Hopity wraps here and here; an article about a NAMAK wrap, Russian Cotton Cloud or Columbian AYU wrap and ring sling).

Just so the ones never kissed by the HW wraps have some idea – these wraps ‘look different’; do not expect complicated patterns and pictures like in machine-woven jacquard wraps – they are usually striped, with colour gradation or spots of various shapes and size. Most HW wraps do not have diagonal tips but they are cut straight and on the sides, they do not have hems. In a HW wrap, you can find small irregularities more often than in machine-woven ones because from time to time, the thread ends and one needs to continue with a new one – this is only natural and does not influence the quality and properties of the wrap or the safety of wearing (also, it would probably not be technically possible to weave a wrap with a single thread). Sometimes, these wraps do not have the middle tag (which I encountered in Hopity wraps, for example), sometimes it is woven in or embroided (like it is usual in NAMAK wraps).

Regarding the tying of HW wraps and their behavior in the carry, same as their looks, basically every wrap is original and it is hard to say something about them in general – of course, it depends on their composition, type and density of their weave. But, VERY generally, you can say that the hand-woven wraps need more time to get fully broken-in than the machine-woven wraps (do not expect them to be soft and fluffy ‘straight out of the box’ as triweave Dekkas, for example), they tend to be less elastic and at least in case of 100% cotton wraps they are less slippery. But once again, I must repeat it – GENERALLY! Every single one HW wrap is an original piece and even two wraps woven by the same weaver might differ very substantially.

Back to the main topic of this article. HamaMama is a Czech weaver living in Germany, Martina Diviak – this is maybe the main reason why HamaMama is not such a household name in the Czech and Slovak babywearing community like NAMAK, BLooM or Blueberry, for example. It was Mrs. Martina herself who sent these two interesting pieces for a testing tour around the Czech Republic. Hereby we want to thank her very much for the opportunity!

Pink wrap (no-name)

Composition: warp – pima cotton, weft – silk/linen

Weight: 277 g/m² (counted by us)

Size: 8 (602 cm measured by us)

Reinforced front wrap cross carry

I will begin with the less hyperexcited part of the review – however, even without being extremely excited it was a very interesting and priceless experience for me – it was the first time I had the opportunity to tie a 6 metres long wrap! 😉

Have I just said that HW wraps usually slide less than the machine-woven ones? Well, not the case of this pinkie (or ‘pink camo’ as I called it for myself). It is a smooth spider-web (and it certainly does not feel like the 277 g/m² I counted) – it is so smooth I would dare to call it slippery. However, I had no problems tying it and the carry did not get loose but I did not risk a single layer carry or one knot. The wrap is supersoft and pliable as morning mist and it is possible to tighten it to the millimetre. Only superlatives so far; however, it has one quite fundamental disadvantage for me – it is too little elastic for my taste and such wraps are not my shoulders’ favourites.

As far as its looks go, the pink camo is not really my style, but I loved the shade of pink (or fuchsia? – oh yes, as you can see in the photos, I really like this colour 😀 ) and the pattern (which is unfortunately not much visible because of the spots).

I usually consider HW wraps very durable, not prone to pulls or tearing threads. However, I did not have this feeling in case of this pinkie – the weave is a bit looser than what I am used to see in HW wraps and the silk/linen weft thread is very soft and smooth (and I estimate that it is one of the main factors why the wrap is so soft and smooth as a whole), but on the other hand it is very thin and slippery. Therefore I handled the wrap with extreme care.

In any case, as I already said, the experience to tie such a long piece was very interesting for me and I am very sorry I did not have enough time to think of a more creative carry!

Sorella Fortuna (della Magia)

Composition: warp – hemp/bamboo/Tencel, weft – linen

Weight: 339 g/m² (counted by us)

Size: 7 (529 cm measured by us)

Rainbows back carry

This no-cotton beauty is a whole different story – in its case, I will sound excited from the beginning until the end! Same as all the other fellow-wearers and testers from our regional babywearing group who saw and tied the wrap.

It is, in one word, stunning! The neon colours in the combination with white give a kind of pastel effect which is very fresh and juicy and it evokes summer in my mind. It makes the wrap look very subtle, but also cheerful at the same time. I think I never held a wrap in which its looks would correspond that well with its properties before. Sorella is very soft at the first touch; it almost feels hairy. But looking at the detail photos, it does not have any hairs in fact! This was just my feeling when I touched it.

It has been only a few days since I complained about linen being slippery and not elastic enough… And look at this one! The weft is 100% linen and I am superexcited about it! Not every linen is the same – this one is cuddly and soft and it is an utter pleasure to tie it! I even dared to tie this madness of a carry with Sorella – rainbows back carry is truly a wrap-tangle and to tie it, you need a lot of patience (both yours and your wearie’s) and also a perfectly cooperating wrap. Well – tying Sorella went smoothly, it held in the carry without any problems and wearing it was very comfortable, despite not being one of the most elastic wraps ever. Considering its counted weight one could think it would be a thick blanket; however, it felt rather thin in my hand. It is not really possible to compare it with, for example, Dekka wraps, although their weight is similar – these are very different types of wraps, but on the other hand, similarly comfortable for me. What a mystery…! 😀

And in the end I must mention the middle marker – it is embroided and possibly the cutest one I have ever seen! 😉

Once again, I want to thank Mrs. Martina for this wonderful double-wrap experience. It was an immense honour for us! 🙂