I have been so excited to try the “Carry Me” stretchy wrap by Fornessi because its made from 100% modal. While I have tried a great number stretchy wraps made from cotton, bamboo viscose and even one made from Tencel, I’d never even heard of Modal until a couple of weeks ago. So I was really intrigued to learn more about it and what its like as a stretchy wrap.
It arrived in probably the most beautiful packaging I’ve ever opened, and inside was this absolutely gorgeous pink wrap. I am not normally a pink fan but I will make an exception here – their “Piglet Pink” is absolutely beautiful and Rachel and I have had so many positive comments while wearing it out and about. In fact in the 3 weeks its been here several clients have picked it out and asked to hire it…! Its been a real shame to have to say, I am really sorry that one isn’t mine to hire out. They come in a range of ultra-chic up to the minute shades, all of which are quite different to the normal blacks, greys, and dark blues that stretchy wraps most commonly come in.
Looks aside what does is it feel like? It is very thin and very light. It feels super soft and smooth but pretty strong considering how thin it is. It feels cool to the touch. That sounds a bit weird but think like a swimming costume or gymnastics leotard … cool to touch and won’t make you over warm while walking, getting on with jobs etc. I have to say I really like this as I am very prone to over heating, especially while wearing my daughter.
How easy is it to wrap with? Like most stretchy wraps its pretty easy once you’ve got the hang of it and done it a few times. Ease of wrapping with a stretchy wrap all comes down to the stretch. In general wraps that stretch in 2 directions (both vertically and horizontally) are much easier to get the hang of than wraps that only stretch in 1 direction (vertically only). The Fornessi is a 2 way stretchy, however, it stretches more vertically than it does horizontally… so more like a 1.5 way! Consequently, its a little stiffer than brands with true (equal) 2 way stretch such as the Hana Baby, Boba or JPMBB. This is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself but it also has very little “ping” back. A true 2 way stretchy wrap can be stretched outwards to give more space as your putting baby in and then “pings” back around baby and giving a characteristic bounce as your walk. The Fornessi doesn’t have much elasticity, which means it is more supportive as baby grows but means the window between too tight and not tight enough is a little smaller. And I mean only a little smaller … its still very easy to use and still a much much wider window than 1 way stretch brands (such as the Moby, Liberty, ByKay etc), and thus much much easier to use than these. Plus the lack of ‘bounce’ compared to others is certainly something I appreciate while walking with my 9kg 10 month old! In fact considering how thin it is, I was pretty surprised by just how supportive this wrap is. Deceptively strong! While I would say stretchy wraps are best from birth to around 4-6 months, the Fornessi is certainly strong enough to continue used to around a year if you have a baby like Rachel who likes to take her daytime naps snuggled in!
The real selling point of this wrap, compared to others on the market is the fabric its made of. Modal is a semi-synthetic fibre made by spinning cellulose extracted from beech trees into a fibre. The resulting fibre is a type of rayon/viscose – an artificial silk like fibre. Its a good choice for a stretchy wrap because like silk it is soft, thin, strong, has natural elasticity and heat regulating properties. But better still it has serious ecological credentials… beech trees can be grown sustainably and the solvents used to extract the cellulose are used over and over and over in a closed loop system which means very little wastage and no disposal of potentially harmful solvents. Which means this fabric has a much smaller ecological foot print compared to cotton or bamboo viscose. Interestingly, Tencel is also produced from wood pulp via the same process, resulting in a very similar fibre that shares the same advantages.
So its not at all surprising that the wrap I’d say the Fornessi Carry Me is most similar to is one made from Tencel – the Lillebaby Tie the Knot. When compared to cotton wraps, both are very light and thin (two of the lightest and thinnest wraps currently on the market), and very strong. Both have this “1.5” directional stretch, but the Fornessi is more stretchy than the Lillebaby and consequently a good bit easier to tie. And while both are soft, the Modal fabric of the Fornessi is not as slippery as the Tencel of the Lillebaby and thus is much easier to physically handle.
The one thing I don’t like about the Fornessi wrap is its width. It is too narrow. At 50 cm its one of the narrowest stretchy wraps I’ve ever encountered. Added to this it rolls up at the edges which makes its functional width even narrower – you lose a cm or two at either side giving a functional width of only 46/47cm. The advantage of a narrower wrap is there is less fabric to deal with when tying, which can make tying a little easier. But the disadvantage is there is less to spread out over baby and across the parents shoulders and backs. I found while wearing the Fornessi, I kept unconsciously picking at the material in an absent minded attempt to spread the material out further. Having tried wraps ranging in width from 50 to 70 cm, I find a functional width of 55-60cm to give the best of both worlds in this regard.
All in all the Fornessi Carry Wrap is a lovely thin, soft wrap that works brilliantly from newborn to 6 months and maybe even a year. Its an great choice for anyone expecting a summer baby, anyone looking for a stretchy that may last a little longer and for the environmentally conscious. Cost is at the higher end of the stretchy wrap market at £59, but this does include free next day delivery. For more on how this wrap compares with other stretchy wraps see my full comparison article.