Minako Wrap Manufacture's first release happened in July of 2015 so when I got to host this wrap, it was the first I had ever touched from this company. I love the growth that the babywearing industry is taking but that does not mean that I instinctively welcome every new name. When I hear of a new company, I do not to rush forward with stars in my eyes. I try to ask myself not only whether I will be drawn to their products but what they have to contribute to the industry and the market. Moreover, I always want to know if I will refer them to others and for what reasons. I told myself that I was only hosting a Minako wrap so I had a point of reference for the company in the event that I had clients or friends ask me about them. Edmonton has a huge high end babywearing community after all, so I wanted to be prepared. After spending a week with this wrap, I couldn't deny that I fell to its seductive spell that combines beauty and comfort.
The tester I got is from their Naomi pattern, which was inspired by the tail feathers of a peacock. Peacocks are renowned for their striking appearance and many wrap companies have used them as inspiration for enchanting designs. Each puts their own spin to it adapting the design of just the eye or of the whole feather or, in this case, in between the two. Minako uses the eye of the feather and three pairs of barbs before flowing into the following tailfeather. The design becomes a sea of feathers that flow from one to the next along the width of the wrap. You can see from the photos this means that the feathers go across your body instead of standing up and down. And just as a peacock has one side that is more vibrant than the other, the coral colour of the feathers is more vibrant from one side to the other. I don't just mean that on one side the feather is coral and on the other, it's grey. This is true but there are really 4 different colours on the wrap - a deep coral feather with a light grey fill then on the other side it is a slightly darker grey feather with a pale coral fill. Don't be fooled by this pretty lady, though! Naomi's intrigue lies not only in its inviting interpretation of peacock feathers but with its blends and weave.
My wrappee is now well over 2 1/2 years old so it takes quite a wrap to be able to easily hold up to her weight. This can sometimes mean an especially "beastly" wrap. That means a wrap that is thick, coarse to the touch and even difficult to wrap with. Many of my friends with toddlers are now having more children and for those who wear their babies, they want something that they can be used interchangeably between the children they wear. It is rare to find a wrap that is both the smooshy wonder you want to use to snuggle your newborn and the powerful workhorse that can carry your toddler through a nap. Thanks to one of these friends who has had more babies, we had a toddler playdate and I got to wear one of her newborn twins. Her newborn daughter slept with me in the wrap for 90 blissful minutes. I wore my toddler and the newborn for the same amount of time in the same carry (Front Wrap Cross Carry) and I can honestly say that my level of comfort was not compromised. This is quite a rare feat for a wrap. This tri-blend Naomi can compensate for a quick wrap job, even with a child who is over half your height. I found that the layers of the pillowy weave combined with the blend of fibres meant that it had a downy feel on my shoulders and even if it crept up on my neck, there was no discomfort. I can confidently say that this wrap is perfectly suited to a newborn and can say with equal confidence that it will be perfectly suited for a toddler.
So far, I have seen Minako offer high end wraps of modern whimsy. This tester has shown me that they are putting the quality behind their product that one would hope for when making a big purchase. While these wraps are not inexpensive, they can offer the versatile use that will mean you can keep this wrap for years and use it for multiple children. They have relased many different blends so far with some including luxurious Tsugumi silk or beautiful downy merino. I believe in practice before product but it is obvious that some products make comfort effortless, and this Naomi tester was indeed one of those wraps. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to other high end wrappers or to try to snag one for myself when a new squish comes our way (which is not right now) because I know it will likely be the wrap with the most longevity.
How can you get your hands on a Minako wrap?
Minako announces releases from their Facebook page. So far they have done a combination of timed releases in their Etsy Shop or draws to purchase using a Google Form. If you are looking to buy a wrap from a previous release, one of the best places to look will be the Minako Chatter Group on Facebook.
I was not paid or compensated in any way to host this wrap or write a review of Naomi.
Brittney Pederson is a babywearing educator in Edmonton, Alberta. She does individual and group consults to help others learn how to use baby carriers, helps to develop baby carrier-friendly workouts, and plans the Canadian Babywearing Summit.