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SAB Emily (330 g/m2, size 3): NHIndia was the stiffest, roughest beast I’ve ever felt (think burlap sack) straight out of the box… However, with just a single wash and steam iron, this was well on its way to its current smooshy, soft, wonderful state! I have a thick version and absolutely love it — the perfect shorty for my 25lb+ baby H. As baby gets bigger, my tolerance for ruck straps is waning, but in this wrap, ruck straps still feel great. Hemp has a great reputation for being cushy and supportive, particularly in more dense weaves, and NHIndia definitely delivers both support and cush. Our favorite carry with this wrap is double hammock, double rings (DH-DR, video here) — baby H is weightless in NHIndia in this carry! Part of the reason I prefer this carry for NHIndia is because it’s knotless; the knot this beast makes is absolutely massive and makes it wrap a bit short, which would be my only complaint about this otherwise fantastic wrap!
SAB Mae (342 g/m2, Size 7): I received my India last week, so haven’t had as long with it as most of the other participants on this review. By my calculations (which have been double and triple checked) this thing is THICK. It really is a beast of a wrap. I’d heard the comparison of brand-new India to a burlap sack, so I can’t say I was completely surprised when I opened the box. She went straight into a hot washing machine and dried/ironed. After the bath, she was already like a different wrap. This thing has rock solid support, and just the right amount of bounce to it. The only thing I don’t love about it is the giant knot. I very much look forward to seeing how this beauty breaks in. After just a few wears, I have really high hopes for it. I have a bad back, so having a good, solid wrap is very important. I’m hesitant to make this comparison, but the only thing that I’ve felt this supported in so far has been my Uppymama! I bought this with the intention of getting it chopped into a ringsling and shorty, but am already debating keeping it long and just buying another in a size 3 — as I haven’t found shorty love yet, but if I ever do I’m sure it will be with this wrap. Please don’t get me started on all the dye options either… I know it’s early in our relationship, but, India, I am in love!
SAB Rachel (344 g/m2, size 6): I didn’t even attempt to wrap with this straight out of the box! It feels very much like a thick, sturdy canvas. However, it has now been washed twice and worn a handful of times, and it is already considerably softer – not nearly as difficult to ‘break in’ as I was fearing. Don’t let the words ‘thick’, ‘beastly’ and ‘burlap-sack-like’ put you off; I actually found NHIndia remarkably easy to wrap with after just one wash! Often, wraps that are not ‘broken in’ have too much grip; this means that when you try to pull the wrap over itself – as you do in any multi-layer carry – it sticks and is difficult to tug to tighten. NHIndia’s texture causes it to have neither too much grip or too much slip – the passes glide nicely, but hold secure. I find with thin wraps I have to wrap very carefully; if there is any slack in the top rail, I have pain in my shoulders. With my first wrap job with NHIndia I had an extremely slack top rail, but there was no pain.
The wrap is dense and heavy; not as thick in hand as you might think from the grams per square metre. Although extremely comfortable, I wouldn’t say this is as cushy on my shoulders as other similarly thick wraps. My Didymos OS Gold has, in my opinion, ever-so-slightly superior wrapping qualities, as it is just as supportive and comfortable, but cushier. However, OS Gold is a wool/alpaca/cotton blend, and requires special care; a significant part of NHIndia’s appeal is that it will take abuse.
SAB Lindsey (350 g/m2, size 6): I had the pleasure of having SAB Erin’s NHIndia 6 come for a visit! It was the first hemp blend wrap I tried. Before wrapping, I was worried I would be a bit overwhelmed or eaten up, it was so thick! But I found it pleasant to wrap with and very supportive while wearing my almost-one-year-old. It also seemed rather forgiving of less-than-perfect wrap jobs. I really enjoy the natty look. I wouldn’t normally choose a wrap with critters, but it’s very subtle in the natural colorway. My overall impression is that I need a hemp wrap of my own – the thicker, the better!
SAB Rodney (350 g/m2, size 6): I really enjoyed wrapping with the NHIndia. This was the first hemp wrap I’ve been able to get my hands on, and since trying it out, it seems to be very supportive and extremely comfortable. After putting my daughter on my back, I was very surprised at how light it felt. I was expecting hemp wraps in general to be bulky or a little too thick but after trying this out I am convinced hemp/cotton is one of the better wrap types I’ve used. Since trying SAB Erin’s NHIndia, I’ve decided that I will definitely need a hemp wrap for my stash as well.
Guest Asma (318 g/m2, size 3): I wasn’t at all interested in this release when I first heard about it. The chatter surrounding it was pretty heavy on speculation on how great a dye blank it would be, and frankly, dye scares me. I couldn’t ignore how fast the NHIndia thread on TBW was growing, though, so I peeked inside and saw that as people started receiving theirs, the conversation shifted from its dye potential to how incredibly supportive it is. On top of that, posters were reporting receiving three (or more?) different versions of the wrap, with different thicknesses, wrapping qualities, and slightly different looks. I was intrigued, so I decided to give it a shot and bought a brand new size 3 from a local mama.
My first impression was that it wrapped like a piece of cardboard, and washing improved it only marginally. I took an initial density measurement at 318 g/m2, which places it somewhere between medium and thick from what I understand. I’ve had this wrap for a little over a month now and I’m still trying to become friends with it. It’s still fairly stiff, though I’ve been trying to wrap with it at least a few times a week and have steam ironed it a few times and that seems to be helping some. It is definitely supportive! Certainly far more supportive than the much-touted Didymos Black Hemp Pfau (BHP). I can very comfortably carry my 21+ pound son in a rucksack tied Tibetan (knotless) or short back cross carry while I try to get things done around the house, and it absolutely rocks a one-shoulder hip carry (semi-front cross carry at the hip). I’m interested in seeing how it breaks in, and how much support (if any) it loses in the process. I have no doubt that once broken in, the hemp side will be even silkier than the cotton side. Because of its heft, it wraps a bit short.
A last note on its looks – when I unpackaged it, my husband, Kaiser (also a babywearer!) called it a tablecloth. Yes, it does look like a tablecloth, especially in its natty state. This, along with the fact that it’s a very light colored wrap, makes it difficult to wear out of the house. My neighbors probably already think I’m tying my child up with random household fabric, and this wont help matters. I’ve been reluctant to dye it, though, because its natural color is actually lovely, and has a beautiful sheen to it. But between the staining danger of wearing raw denim (indigo transfer), wrapping on urban sidewalks, and generally not babying my wraps, I’m pretty sure that I will face my fears and stick this wrap in the dye pot soon enough.