Babywearing Review: Bebe Sachi Monochrome Jati

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Size: 6
Fiber Content: 100% cotton
Warp (combination of thick & thin yarns): Natural grey/grey + black (variegated) with white
Weft: Natural grey + black (variegated). All yarns are hand-dyed.
Surface weight: 304.78 gsm
Width: 30 inches
Carries tried: FWCC, DH tied at waist, Ruck with CCCB
Wearee: Currently 4.5 months old and 6.5kg

Cons: Rough texture, requires breaking in, on the thicker side (so expect things like large knots), wraps short, and has the usual camphor smell of Bebe Sachi wraps in the beginning (it goes away after a couple of washes and lots of use - camphor is a necessity in Bangladesh where every Bebe Sachi wrap is lovingly hand woven, as it acts a repellent against nasty pests that like to feast on the yarn).
Pros: Easycare because 100% cotton (yay!), cushy on the shoulders, supportive and big-baby-worthy, very grippy, forgiving of sloppy wrap jobs.

When the folks at Bebe Sachi first shared photos of Monochrome Jati on their Facebook page, I knew instantly I had to have it. Not only is it in my colors (or non-colors, some might say), it's also made in the classic, supportive, and big-baby-worthy handwoven Jati weave. Plus, the Monochrome Jati wraps were woven by Munir, one of the Master Weavers with the nickname "Magic Fingers" because every textile he weaves has a special feel to it. I knew I had to have it, and kept checking back eagerly to jump on it when it would be released. 

So fast forward a couple of weeks later, I was back in Malaysia for a quick holiday, and was contacted by none other than one of the ladies behind Bebe Sachi (and - full disclosure - a good friend of mine) Rita Rahayu! She asked if Adam and I were willing to be models for the Monochrome Jati. I'm pretty sure not even a millisecond passed before I said yes, haha.

I was so excited to get my hands on this gorgeous wrap, I could barely sleep the night before the shoot. And when I got to the set, I anxiously awaited Rita's arrival, partly because I couldn't wait to see her again after so long, and partly (read: mostly) to finally touch, feel, and play with Mono Jati. 

And you know how I felt when I finally could? Terrified. Very afraid. A little overwhelmed. I kept thinking, how will I tame this beast?! You see, a Jati that isn't broken in, feels so rough and so stiff that you wonder if it's meant to carry babies or to turn into a burlap sack. Apparently I wasn't the only one - there are some alarming albeit hilarious photos of loom-state Mono Jatis on the Bebe Sachi Love chatter page of the stiff wraps completely holding themselves upright, haha!

But then I wrapped with it. And oh my, was I surprised. It seemed impossible, but Mono Jati was actually cushy! How does it manage to do so? Magic, probably. And the support - that famous quality that makes Jati wraps so sought after - is unbeatable. It wasn't a big factor during the photo shoot when Adam was teeny, but it's become a definite favorite in this house for long outings now that Adam's almost 5 months old and 7kg.

It's also one of the few wraps in my stash that defines the word "grippy". Single knots do not budge in this wrap. But grippiness is a two-edged sword - multiple passes lock in instantly almost like Velcro and are difficult to adjust. Fortunately, there is almost no sag at all, so combined with the grippiness, this wrap is very forgiving of sloppy wrap jobs, as evidenced by a particularly terrible my-cranky-baby-refuses-to-nap-and-is-super-cranky Double Hammock where the chest pass was so loose that it could be pulled 2 inches away from my body but the entire wrap job stayed put and stayed comfortable throughout a much-needed 1 hour nap.

I did a lot of things to break in this wrap - braided it, sat on it, slept on it, ran it through rings. But it stubbornly refused to soften up quickly. So I decided one day that I would use it for every up from then on until it was broken in. And man, let me tell you, two weeks later I could finally say I tamed the beast! She is still hardcore, and judging from my experience with other Jati wraps, will never be soft and silky, but she is moldable and even a little squishy!

She does wrap short and feels more like a 5 to me (I was quite alarmed during the shoot when I wore a 5 and was tying off a FWCC with the tippy tails!). So I would definitely recommend going one size up when looking to purchase Mono Jati in the secondhand market (she doesn't come up for sale that often though, so make sure to join the Bebe Sachi Love chatter group to make sure you can get your hands on one!).

I've grown to love this wrap now that it's all broken in. It reminds me a lot of me: a little overwhelming at first, very rugged and tough at the outset. Almost a little off-putting in her lack of softness. But give her time, get to know her, cuddle her, and trust her - and she will soften up, providing support and comfort unlike any other. I know for sure that I didn't think she'd be anything like the wrap she is now, but I'm so pleasantly surprised by how amazing she is, and I don't think I'll ever let her go.

For those who are not familiar with Bebe Sachi and their ethos, I think it's important to keep in mind that they are first and foremost, a social enterprise. Their hand-dyed, hand-woven wraps are produced entirely in Bangladesh and provide income for the weavers and their families (the current headcount is 11 families with 49 members in total!).

Oh, by the way, I just heard from Rita that they'll be releasing something very special - the first in the Silk Jati range! Do subscribe to their Facebook page so you can be alerted when that comes out!

All photos courtesy of Bebe Sachi. Photographer: Nur Atifi. You can see more photos here!

Note: This is a sponsored post, which means that I received the product and/or service in exchange for writing this post/review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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