Danu are a lovely Northern Irish company who create slings themed around fantasy, fiction, mythology and most recently science! Run by the founders of Baba Me and Sling Heaven, Danu creates affordable slings that are quirky and different.
This sling is from their new patten, Cloth of Heaven, and the blend is linen, cotton and merino (48%/26%/26%). It is inspired by the W.B Yeats poem “Aedh wishes for the cloth of heaven.” The colourway “Raphael” is based on the archangel Raphael who is the supreme healer.
Out of the box thoughts
As Raphael is 26% merino, it arrived unfinished, as the company uses a commercial laundrette and did not want to risk a whole batch of slings being ruined. As soon as I opened the box, the smell of the finishing chemicals hit me, and it was stiff as cardboard, so it was straight to the washing machine. (This is always recommend because the chemical used to stregthen the fibres to make them easier to weave can be unpleasant on the skin.) Once the wash (30degrees with low spin) I put it flat on a clothes horse, and left it over night to dry before I could wrap with it the next morning.
Over all I like the design. The feathers are beautifully detailed, the colour is intriguing , and I think it’s going to look very different in different conditions, and I look forward to exploring that.
With 48% linen, this wrap is going to need some breaking in! The merino does counteract the harshness of the unbroken linen, and make it pretty wearable straight away. The genius of the blending means that the two fibres shink at different rates. This leaves the previously flat sling looking textured, and the details of the feathers stand out on one side, and are in relief on the softer fluffier side, giving two dramatically different looks. The linen is wet spun, meaning it is lovely and shiny white, compared to the blended merino (grey) and cotton (purple) which are soft and cushy, and the burst of purple in sunlight makes it a really interesting sling to look at.
The first time I wrapped with Raphael, I was surprised just how thick it seems. Also it feels very wooly. It was a beautiful spring day here in Coventry, and I soon found myself too hot in my jacket, and at 290gsm I shouldn’t be surprised by how thick it feels. It wraps really easily, and is grippy and textured as well as supportive. It made light work of my 25lb 2year old in a front carry, as she soon fell asleep! I was pleased that once wrapped I did not need to make any adjustments, it was a solid and cushy carry which remained in place for nearly two hours of walking.
The following day, I wrapped on the alternate side ( Danu come with flipped rails, meaning there is not right or wrong sides). This side is predominantly linen, and shiny. It meant that the wrapping quality was quite different. I again tried a front carry (kangaroo) but found the adjustment were a little tricker, and athough it slid easily, it also loosens easiy, meaning that I readjusted the wrap three times in a half an hour walk. It was still comfy, but my toddler was not as happy (although I have to say she still felt light as a feather!)
I feel that the design is stunning, the detail of the weave and blend are really lovely. The fact that the blend enriches the design is genius, but I feel that it may have been more suited for a winter release rather then spring. Wool is meant to help regulate temperature, but I felt it was more like having a big jumper which would have been great in previous months, or maybe other countries, but in the Uk at the moment, the weather is mild, the sun is coming out and the flowers are starting to bloom. In the same vein, I personally would look for something in other colours, pale blues, greens even lilacs at this time of year to reflect the season but maybe I’m old fashioned! Of course, Cloth of heaven has already been released it two other colourways and I’m sure Danu will have new ones up their sleeve! Of course, I might just hoard this until next winter! All I can say is watch this space!
For other designs, blends and future releases, please vist www.danuworld.com