Mokosh is a Russian brand of high quality jacquard wraps and Amata, who runs the business, draws on a lot of natural and folk references for the interesting and often intricate designs. Mokosh is a Russian brand of high quality jacquard wraps and Amata, who runs the business, draws on a lot of natural and folk references for the interesting and often intricate designs.
It has to be said, I’m quite a fan of the thistles and this is my third wrap in this design. I bought Pepper in loom state from a mama who hadn’t had a chance to use it. So it came to me all shiny new, in its bag with the accompanying design card and wooden heart. Pepper was an impulse buy, partly in consolation for having to return to work from maternity leave but also because I am wool curious.
The year is turning to Autumn so woolly wrapping was on my mind. I have a cashmere/silk blend (Fire Malachite) but it is quite thin. I wanted to try a wool/cotton only blend and thistles is a good one to go for as all the wraps typically weigh in about 270g/sq.m – so medium thickness. It’s a tri blend of 65% cotton, 30% merino wool and 5% cashmere. As such it felt soft from the bag and promised to be ultra floppy after breaking in. This one is a size four which in the past had put me off, being neither a shorty or a full length wrap (my base size is a five). I got to test Ayiri Sea Island and that was in a four so, having experimented with that a lot, felt more confident I could make use of this size. The seller extolled the virtues of fours and I am beginning to see her thinking.
The thistle design on Pepper is much smaller than Midnight, closer to the sizing of Titania and henceforth is more detailed. The colours of Pepper are pretty much Christmas in a wrap as the “right” size is a vibrant forrest green and the “wrong” side is a lush and rich red. Like Titania, the thistles are also accented in black which gives more definition and texture to the design.
As it came to me in loom state, Pepper needed a gentle bath, a slow dry on an airer followed by a careful iron before it was ready to be worn. It was a really interesting process as the texture of Pepper was utterly apparent. As Midnight smelt strongly of silk so Pepper smelt strongly of damp woolly jumper during its bath. As someone who is very interested in fabrics this wasn’t off putting.
Working with Thistle Pepper
Impatient to try Pepper and totally missing carrying Smallest every day I had a very quick first experiment by carrying her home from the childminder’s in a front wrap cross carry tied under bum. Gosh was I shocked at the elastic bounciness of this wrap. It felt like I had her in a stretchy newborn wrap and it had significantly slackened by the time I got home. Determined not to be phased I tried her in a few hip carries and a very poorly executed ruck. Damn this woolly wrap was going to be a challenge, so used am I to the relative rigidity of some silks or the rougher grippiness of natural silks.
Determined not to make my mind up without a full trial I made sure I put aside the weekend to as much carrying as possible. Being back at work it feels like a critical part of mothering has taken a back seat and that is difficult. So getting to know Pepper was a welcome activity as it also enabled me to reconnect with Smallest. Ok, thought I, I need to see how this four will ruck; can I get it tight enough? Will it feel secure?
Yes. Yes. YES! The first ruck was too tight as I paid special attention to tightening through every strand and then tied it off Tibetan style hoping to minimise any slippage. Stupid fool. I felt like I had a strait jacket on. Still, I was heartened that I could tame the elasticity. I managed to readjust it and carried Smallest for a good few hours in total comfort. She felt secure, the passes had glided into place and stayed put and no seat was popped. Another ruck later and I was getting the hang of the wrap and realised how gloriously cushy it is on the shoulders. Just how I had hoped a good wool blend would be. Smallest fell asleep, snuggled into my neck.
The next day we went to visit Dunham Massey during a break in the autumnal rain for a mooch about the grounds. Smallest was in the wrap, rucked up, for another good few hours and this time it was heaven. Outside in the cold, she was snuggled up and happy as a clam. She felt weightless and I was able to run about with my toddler, kicking the leaves around. I was falling in love with this wrap not just for its rich good looks but for its brilliant wrapping qualities. I’d managed a ruck that was rock solid, comfortable, and held true whilst stood in a wet car park. A testament to the wrap.
Since then Pepper has been breaking in nicely though it has never been a challenge; I know it will end up floppy and blanket like when it’s been fully beaten up. People describe cush in a wrap and for me Pepper is the epitome of cushy as it’s ultimately comfortable to use and the diagonal stretch lends moldability and wonderful drape. Though it is a medium weight wrap it feels airy to wear and I’d have no hesitation to use this year round. Wool is often feared for its potential to itch like crazy but merino is such a wonderful soft wool that this isn’t an issue with Pepper. I have a silk and merino cardigan and Pepper feels like the luxurious wrap version, the silk replaced with cashmere.
Using Pepper has been a revaluation in my wrapping journey (it wraps itself) and I’m so very pleased to have it in my “stash”. I miss Smallest so very much and weekends are highly anticipated for carrying her in this wrap. Last weekend I was carrying her on my back whilst cooking as she was having a clingy day though fighting sleep. Pepper defeated her.
If you can get your hands on one of these, do. I’m expecting Mokosh to release some more wool blends over this season so if not Pepper, perhaps something comparable will be out.
You can read more about the release of Thistle Pepper here: http://slingofest.com/wrapPage?modelId=12557. The Slingofest link also links to the original release information on Mokosh’s Facebook page.