Babywearing Review: Ankalia Dendros

Size: 4 (Base -1 for me)
Fiber Blend: 59% fine cotton, 41% raw neps silk
Carries Tried: FWCC w/slipknot, FCC, Kangaroo, Poppin's, DH w/ CCCB, Ruck w/ CCCB
Wearee: 7 months

There is still, in this day and age, a lack of awareness about the pervasiveness of Post-Partum Depression (PPD) amongst new mums. In Australia, it affects 1 out of 7 women who give birth each year. That's how common it is! And yet, it's still not something we speak openly about. It took a lot for me to share my own experience with it and even then I was afraid of sharing too much for fear of being judged. I experienced PPD with my first and third births. Having been able to experience one birth without it, I can tell you the difference is immense. PPD affects not just the mother's mental state, but also her relationship to her partner, her baby, and indeed to life itself.

Ankalia Textiles is an Australian company that is committed to producing baby carriers with a message. In producing Dendros, they worked with Mel of Scribble Bee Design, who has this to say about the inspiration behind the pattern:
After his birth, my son and I had an extremely difficult time bonding, due mainly to my struggles with postpartum depression. I always visualise our journey of connection as a process: building layers upon layers of love, surrounding what use to be a weak core but now something I'm so proud to call strong. Similarly to this vision, the Dendros design came to being - layering these spirals, towards the strength of the core. 
The word Dendros specifically refers to the use of growth rings in trees. Dendrochronology, or the study of tree rings, tells us a multitude of things about environmental issues and conditions. I like to think that the journey of parenthood can be spelt out in a similar way, and tell a story like the tree rings; a story of growth and love, that builds upon itself, as you grow as a parent.
This wrap is beautiful with either side out. Or even better, both - I just had to show that with the Poppins hip carry in these photos! I love the contrast between the black and ecru within the pattern of the tree rings, and indeed the contrast between each side of the wrap itself. It's no secret that I'm a fan of monochrome, so I loved having this in my stash, if only for a few days while it holidayed in our home. I'm definitely more into geometric patterns, but the scale of the fauna-themed patterns is large enough that it looked abstract when worn. Long story short - I like the way it looks!

Dendros came to me already beautifully broken in after a few weeks of traveling. It is medium thin in hand, with a lovely drape to it. While it does have a dense weave, it didn't feel too overwhelming even in the summer heat here in Melbourne. And during a random cold spell that saw my neighborhood having a month's worth of rain in a single night, and the temperature dropping to 15°c, I was grateful that this wrap kept us warm while dropping the older boys off to school in the morning. So it's not too warm, not too cool. Goldilocks would love it, because it's just right, haha.

This wrap is textured on one side (the raw neps silk, which is undyed and is a light grey hue), and smooth on the other (the cotton, which is black in color). You can see the nubs and slubs of the silk side, which gives the wrap character, I think.
The majority-silk side (light grey) is definitely grippier than the majority-cotton side (black), which is something I kept in mind when deciding which carries to use. Multi-layer carries were best supported with the grippier side in, so passes would lock in against themselves. Bear in mind that the grippy side was still easy to adjust, so the passes were easy to make. It's just that the texture meant that wrap jobs stayed put without a single adjustment required (even during a much-needed but much-resisted 2-hour nap).

Let it also be known that the cotton side isn't too slippery either - it had enough grip to hold a slip knot, and enough slipperiness to make that slipknot easy to adjust. Speaking of slipknots - I usually dislike them (often opting for a ring finish instead), but they were so easy to make and ended up fairly small while using this wrap, so I did end up using slipknot finishes several times.
I do wish this wrap had a little more cush, but it certainly never resulted in any shoulder pain from digginess or anything. That being said, what it lacks in cushiness, it makes up for in support. This wrap is unbelievably supportive even in a single layer carry. I used it several times in a rucks and kangaroo carries, and Adam felt weightless the whole time. This is definitely a huge plus now that he's getting bigger!

While Dendros does have some stretch, it was enough to just make it easy to make a seat in a ruck. There was never any sag at all, which was much appreciated with my leg-straighening, leaning, "toddler wannabe" lol.

Don't forget to follow Ankalia Textiles on Instagram and Facebook, and please join their chatter group at Ankalia Embraced so you can stay in the loop should you be interested in getting Dendros off of the secondhand market!

See more of my Babywearing Reviews HERE.

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