Confession… I am a little bit excited to write this wrap review. I wear my Daiesu Tatami wrap all the time, and I have a reasonable selection to choose from.
But… you may or may not love this wrap the same way I do. It will depend on your wrappee, preferred carries, and favourite wrapping qualities. So I’ll try to give you as much detail and geekery as possible to help you decide if this is the wrap for you too!
When I first got a Daiesu Tatami, I believe my wrappee was about 7 months old. We’ve been consistently wrapping with Tatami Lavender since, and then later, Tatami Blue Stone, and he’s nearly 11 months old now. In that time, his weight has ranged from around 8kg-10kg.
We tend to babywear a few times a day, and sometimes for an hour or two at a time. I’ll often put munchkin up in the wrap while I hang washing, do housework, for day-naps, and usually when we go out.
I mostly do ruck carry, as it means munchkin can watch things over my shoulder and I can get things done without him in front of me. But I also regularly do front wrap cross carry, kangaroo carry, and double hammock.
Mostly I prefer single layer carries because they are quicker (a wriggly little seat popper lacks patience for much else), and cooler in the Australian climate. Quick carries also mean that I often end up with a sloppy wrap job, which is more obvious in some wraps than others.
When you’ve got that much weight on your shoulders in a single layer carry, the ULTIMATE wrapping quality is cush. Second to that, I prefer wraps with decent grip, as my wriggly child is getting good at popping his seat, so a wrap that pins the seat well, and grips to my child’s clothing a bit too tends to be a plus. So I tend to go for thick, grippy shortie wraps (size 3-4).
For multi-layer carries, I like a bit more glide and moldability, and some decent stretch/recoil. So I go for these wrapping qualities in base-size wraps.
Visually, I prefer wraps with geometric patterns. I like them to be fairly understated and not too bright or loud. I find they fit well with my own colours and my existing wardrobe if I stick to those rules. Maybe you’re the same? Or maybe you prefer to make more a statement. :-)
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’ve maybe seen pictures of Tatami but haven’t had the chance to touch or wrap with one.
But I’ll state the obvious – the pattern is geometric, woven on an ecru warp, and available in a couple of different colourways (spice, bluestone, apricot, lavender, and rose wefts). It is woven in 100% cotton.
Daiesu's products come in a handy canvas carry bag!
This picture of my Blue Stone Tatami on the line drying really shows how the texture and pattern pops!
When I first took my Tatami Lavender out of the bag, I was struck by two things: its texture and its weightiness. It had an almost roughness to it. After an initial wash and iron, it fluffed up magnificently, with each line of the pattern forming a raised texture. In hand, it was still heavy and a little bit rough.
Daiesu Tatami Lavender loom to bloom shot. On the left, you can see the loom-state wrap. On the right, the wrap washed and then folded.
This is a wrap that takes some breaking in. But if you are a fairly experienced wrapper, you’ll know that often thick 100% cotton wraps will reward you beautifully if you put in the work… so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Our first attempt wrapping with Tatami - we went with Kangaroo Carry. You can tell it needs breaking in from the way the fabric struggles to mold around us. I can remember being shocked at how weightless it felt though!
This wrap became a favourite of mine very quickly. I had it in size 4, which is a size I reach for a lot, and perfect for my favourite single layer carries. Since I was using it very regularly, it broke in pretty well within a few weeks, and I’d say it reached peak softness about a month or so in.
This picture was only taken the next day, but you can already see the effort I put in (braiding, sitting, ironing, hammocking, etc.) paying off. The fabric is starting to soften nicely.
The difference between a broken in Tatami and a new, unworn one is incredible. My broken in wrap is silky soft and mouldable. Because I loved it so much, I actually ended up getting a Blue Stone in a size 6 as well. This is when I was really able to see the difference between a broken in wrap and a new one. My size 6 hasn’t been reached for as much, because I mainly use thicker wraps as shorties, but I anticipate that this one will be a massive favourite as my little one gets even heavier, and I go for thicker wraps in multi-layers.
BIG difference between my broken in Tatami Lavender and my unbroken in Blue Stone. See how the fibres blur together more in lavender and look softer?
Another very important feature of this wrap is price point. It is most definitely in the affordable end of the spectrum, at around $120. Budget woven wraps are a growing market, with more options all the time, BUT I have yet to find a budget wrap that compares to Daiesu Tatami’s thickness and support. Most budget wraps are on the thinner side, which is perfect for newer wrappers and small babies, but big baby/toddler wearers will appreciate being able to get a thicker wrap at an affordable price.
So, let’s delve a little deeper into the geekery. What exactly are Tatami’s wrapping qualities?
First of all, CUSH. Ohh my goodness, the cush. This is a wrap that you could wear for hours. The higher GSM combined with the raised texture of the pattern and airy weave really delivers. This texture also gives the wrap a whole lot of grip for pinning that seat, as I mentioned earlier. The thickness, grip, and cush means that you can put together a quick, sloppy wrap job and you won’t be punished with as much sagging and dig as you might if you did the same wrap job in a thinner, slipperier wrap. On the flip side, it can be a little harder to tighten the wrap as precisely because of this.
Compared to a lot of other wraps I’ve tried, Tatami hasn’t got a lot of stretch or bounce to it. This makes it really supportive and the wrap job won’t budge too much once you’ve tightened and tied off. This factor, combined with the thickness and grip can make it more challenging to do multi-layer carries like Double Hammock though.
A mixture of unbroken in, grippy wrap, a wriggly baby, and still-to-be perfected wrapping skills led to this. Too much slack and some awkward shoulder passes. I won't call it a total disaster because... well... #sleepydust.
I would say that my initial impression of Tatami was that the wrap was quite dry, but since breaking in the fibres, it actually gives a soapier feeling.
I think this wrap absolutely shines for bigger babies (7kg+) through to Toddlers in single layer carries. It makes an amazing shortie! But if you are a very experienced wrapper with a bigger wearee, you’d also appreciate the support it can provide in base size with multi-layer carries like a double hammock.
I would probably not recommend Tatami to new wrappers or wrappers of newborns or tiny babies unless the wrap was already well broken in.
You’ve probably already guessed it, but if you have similar wrapping needs and preferences to me, YES! This wrap is sure to please, and at that price, you really can’t lose.
Wearing at a local cafe! Tatami looks pretty classy, right?
And wearing around the house and garden. We lived in Tatami while I was moving house a few months ago!
The thing is, I have a decent stash of beautiful wraps (some are a fair bit higher end too), and I tend to reach for my Tatami more than anything else. I’ve churned quite a few wraps since I started my babywearing journey, but I don’t anticipate selling these on any time soon. Maybe ever… but never say never when you’re a serial churner ;-). Either way, they are currently the longest standing wraps in my collection.
If you’re interested in a Daiesu Tatami, you’ll need to be quick to snap one up. These are no longer being made, and so it’s only possible to buy them from retailers that have stock remaining. I believe we still have a few in stock here at Brooke Maree (check them out here: Blue Stone, Lavender, and Spice). Otherwise, you might have to stalk the secondhand market. Other than wraps, you can also find it in ring sling and Meh Dai form.
I’ll be watching the brand Daiesu to see what they put out next. They’ve got a bunch of other gorgeous patterns and colourways, and I’m sure that there’s much more to come!
Final thoughts? In my opinion, this wrap is well worth the investment. You won’t find a better affordable/budget wrap that offers this much support for older babies, toddlers, and kids.
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