And the award for the wrap with the longest name goes to….
Having never played with a Joy and Joe wrap or ring sling of any sort, I was excited when the tester arrived with the postman. I had had a sneaky peek of the Fluffy Shade of Feathers (FSF) Ring Sling when the lovely Jess had it at our sling meet the week before, but it was exciting opening the parcel all the same! The first thing that struck me was how lovely the tote bag was – as an avid babywearer who buys altogether too many wraps, and therefore has far too many tote bags in my house, that this one was decorated with the FSF fabric was lovely. It definitely made the bag seem very classy and as someone who likes to use my tote bags regularly it was also useful that other than the scrap, it was black in colour (my wardrobe consists of mainly black clothing and for a bag it is important that it hides any marks from use). The only thing that might have stopped me using the tote bag was that the handles seemed a little short – but that is only because I like to carry tote bags on my shoulder, rather than in my hand!
Now, onto the ring sling itself. I love red, it is probably my favourite colour and so I was very pleased that I was able to test the FSF ring sling in the Poinsettia colourway. It was also particularly useful that I had the chance to test this sling in the run up to Christmas, and so received many complements on how festive I looked! The feathers pattern appeared textured despite feeling smooth in hand. Although looking at the pattern it doesn’t appear there is a right or wrong side, or way up/down, but I preferred it one way over the other. Unfortunately I wear the rings on my left shoulder, and so it turned out that I would wear it in my eyes as ‘upside down’, that is only me being picky! Due to it being a gathered shoulder it could be worn on either side – as preferred.
Initially I was very surprised by how soft and floppy the weave was. I’m not sure how many had used this particular tester before it got to us, but I don’t think it was too many and I was amazed by how loose and soft this ring sling was. According to the Joy and Joe website the fabric had been steam treated so it wouldn’t need breaking in and it certainly shows! The combination of 50% luxurious Italian cotton and 50% combed cotton was light and smooth – comparable to Firespiral cotton in terms of softness or an otherwise very broken in wrap. Due to the looseness of the weave it ran through the hands easily – and through the rings of the ring sling. On reflection I actually found this hard to deal with in ring sling form – I was mostly using the ring sling with my younger daughter who was only a month old at the time. Because the wrap material was so flexible and smooth it was difficult to tighten well enough to support a newborn as a ring sling, and I think if I was to purchase a FSF to use with my younger daughter, it would shine as a long wrap in my base size. The softness and flexibility it would be perfect for a newborn, and could be tightened easier with a good wrap job!
However I do also have a toddler of around 25lbs in weight and found that for carrying her, this ring sling was perfect. The loose weave was floppy but surprisingly supportive for a material with a fairly medium/thin density (272gsm). One thing I found very useful when carrying my toddler was the way in which the gathered shoulder was sewn. On other gathered ring slings I have used, the rings tended to be sewn with the fabric seam quite close to them – whereas on this, there was more space between rings and seam – and therefore more material to cup your shoulder. It made for a very supportive, comfortable ring sling in a hip carry, although again it made tightening the ring sling for a front carry with a newborn a slightly more difficult task.
I found that this ring sling was supportive and comfortable for a significant amount of time. I wore my 12lb youngest daughter in it for over around 5 hours, only taking her out for a feed and it was very comfortable. I didn’t manage to use it with my toddler for any long period of time (she won’t usually let me have her up for long!) but I am sure it would have remained comfortable for a good while. I did attempt a short tandem carry with my toddler in this ring sling and my little one in another all cotton RS from another brand. I found this to be incredibly supportive and the loose weave was useful when trying to tandem with one child on either hip!
Conclusively I really enjoyed the time that the FSF Poinsettia RS spent here, although I feel that it would have had more use if it had been in wrap form, rather than as a ring sling, although that is only personal preference. Since I had such a pleasant experience testing out my first Joy and Joe, I have been seriously considering purchasing a Trillusion wrap, which I believe is a similar weave, and which I love the geometric pattern of. Unfortunately I didn’t take as many pictures of our time wearing the Poinsettia FSF ring sling as I had hoped (living in NE Scotland means the lighting is so poor most of the time, at this time of year!), however it is thoroughly beautiful and was well loved for its visit here.