To The Loom & Back is a handweaver based in Wakefield. Using two floor looms (amusingly named Frank and Gertrude) Sian of TTL&B creates beautiful handwoven wraps that she aptly describes as ‘textile art.’
I was fortunate enough to be able to test out Rocking Pink, a 4.2m long piece of hemp and Egyptian cotton gorgeousness. RP came in a tote bag, with the TTL&B logo tastefully displayed in the corner. The wrap itself is quite overwhelmingly vibrant pink initially, but closer inspection reveals shades of teal and purple woven in also. RP is a 4 shafts crackle weave, and Sian went for this as this particular draft was something she’d not done before and was keen to try out.
Rocking Pink was originally going to be named ‘Boys Rock Pink Too’ as Sian’s second son always insisted on being wrapped in pink. While I do like that, Rocking Pink is a little less wordy and easier to type!
Crackle weave is so named because of it’s resemblance to crackle effects on pottery, and that’s definitely reminiscent in RP. Every part of the wrap is different to it’s neighbour, and it’s fairly easy to lose yourself in the pretty pattern. RP features quite thick threads, with no long floats that may be prone to pulls. It still has plenty of movement however, and in hand there is quite of lot of give diagonally. I can also see the outline of my hand if I hold RP up to the light, so it’s definitely not as dense as it first appears.
Crackle weaves can have a lot of variety when it comes to aesthetics, but they all tend to have similar wrap qualities, offering lots of grip and making for a solid wrap job. RP certainly follows suit here, offering a remarkably solid wrap job for my almost two year old. At 74cm in width, and blunt tapers, it can certainly feel like an effort to wrap sometimes – there is a lot of wrap here! But it absolutely repays in spades. The weave, the width, and the hemp all combine to make a wrap that I could probably wrap my husband in and it still be supportive. This is a beast perfectly capable of carrying even the biggest kids comfortably. Once those passes are in place, the fabric grips onto itself and they just do not move. We tested this out when in a ruck tied Tibetan by bouncing her up and down – she thought it was madly funny and we didn’t even come close to losing the seat or loosening the passes.
We tried Rocking Pink in a RUB, RTT, FWCC, and a torso carry. RP handles single layer carries beautifully, making it quicker to wrap and secure my sometimes unhappy toddler. It’s beautiful but hard wearing; this is a wrap I’d feel comfortable using almost anywhere as I’m not concerned about it getting damaged or stained. It feels to me like a workhorse, something that will keep on giving and giving no matter how big they get.
As mentioned above, RP is a wide wrap with blunt ends. It also features traditional hand woven selvedges, although the ends are hemmed. The labeling is good quality and contains necessary wash care and fibre content info, although the middle marker looks like it could have done with a little more care. Similarly, the hemming on the ends is a little rough. I have spoken to Sian who assures me she is aware of these issues and since weaving RP she has changed the middle markers and the hemming style to make them neater.
However, these two things are literally the only flaws I could find with RP. The weaving is impeccable and that’s really the most important thing. In actual fact, I liked Rocking Pink that much that it ended up becoming part of my personal stash!
For more info on To The Loom & Back, you can find their Facebook page here.