Diva Milano is an exciting new brand designed and made in one of the fashion capitals of the world - Milan, Italy. Using highest quality yarns of Italian origin in cotton, wool (with linen and silk to be included in upcoming collections), all fibres are compliant with Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
The factory that produces Diva Milano has a 30-year history of making domestic fabrics for many world-famous fashion houses (Versace and Armani among others).
The first Lace collection (autumn/winter 2011/12) includes 100% cotton and wool blend models in 3 patterns and 9 colourways with an ecru cotton weft:
Finely Woven's review:
I have tested three of the Diva Milano wraps from the first collection - one in wool: Merletti Diamante (two colour), and two in 100% cotton: Merletti Blu Marrone (tri-colour) and Reticella Canella (two colour), and three from the second collection: one in 46% linen/64% cotton (Merletti Eminzenza), one in silk/cotton (Veneziano Oro Nobile), and the 100% cotton Tramonto Dorato.
I am quite sensitive to wool, and did find the Merletti Diamante slightly scratchy against the skin, however, after a wash and condition it has become much softer. Out of the box the tri-colour wool feels softer against the skin and is slightly thicker than the two colour weave, and compared to the Merletti and Veneziano weaves, the Reticella weave felt softer and smoother on the cotton side - similar to the Didymos double faced linen wraps. I have tested the Merletti Diamante with my 20 month old in a Ruck Tied in Front, Double Hammock, Robin's Hip Carry, Front Wrap Cross Carry, Poppin's Hip Carry and Rebozo Hip Carry. I found it cushy on the shoulders, much softer on the shoulders than many other wraps of similar thickness, and was cool to wear in the heat. The wool was grippier to wrap with than the cotton, and had typical wool bounce. I found it supportive in both single and multilayer carries, but didn't wear it in a ruck for longer than about 25 minutes. The wool has an edge over the cotton in support. It would be quite cuddly in winter, but is also thin and cool enough for warmer months, slightly thinner than Teviot, and a little cooler. I have worn it in North Queensland summer in a single layer carry, but preferred it in air-con (about 26 degrees) as it was a little warm in the high humidity. It's an excellent choice for those who like the bounce and cuddliness of wool in a thinner, more mouldable wrap.
The 100% cottons from the first collection are extremely thin, similar in thickness to a Didymos Jim Salvia or Vatanai stripes weave, but more densely woven. I tested both wraps with my then 20 month old in single layer carries and in multilayers (FWCC, Ruck Tied in Front, Robin's Hip Carry, Poppin's Hip Carry, Kangaroo Carry, Double Hammock, Rebozo Hip Carry). I found that pre-wash, it was very, very soft, but a little diggy in single layer carries when not wrapped with precision, however, I felt it more in my back in a careless ruck than I did in the shoulders. It has surprising cush for such a thin wrap, and feels very soft on the shoulders. When worn in a double hammock for an hour, it was weightless, and did not sag. Post wash, it felt slightly softer in the shoulders in a ruck; though I didn't wear it for longer than twenty-five minutes, it was comfortable throughout the wear. After regular use, the cotton fluffs up and is much cushier and softer. Personally I prefer a thicker wrap for single layers, but my wearees are 20 months old and four years old. I think the 100% cottons are more supportive than wraps of comparable thickness, with the possible exception of B/W Pfau. Like any thin wrap, they require wrapping with precision to experience the full benefit of support, but are very mouldable and easy to wrap with, even the grippier Merletti slides easily in multilayer passes. They make an excellent summer wrap.
The 100% cotton from the 2nd collection (Tramonto Dorato) is of a slightly thicker cotton to the first collection and is cushier with better support.
Being a tropical dweller with a toddler, I eagerly anticipated the release of the linens. At 82cm wide, they are much wider than most wraps, and are fantastic for getting a good deep seat with a toddler or preschooler. They are very thin and airy out of the box, and unlike all other Diva Milanos, are comparatively stiff. However, a hot wash tightens and fluffs up the weave (whilst I have not heard of the Diva linens being prone to thread shifting, I recommend a hot wash pre-wear with all thin linens as a preventative measure), and they soften to lovely, cool floppiness very quickly with wearing. Despite their thinness, the width adds to their cushiness on the shoulders, and they are very supportive. I use mine predominately in multilayers, but find it supportive in a ruck for shorter periods. They are grippier than other Diva Milanos, with no sag. Multipasses do not slide into place quite as easily as with the cottons (although they get less grippy in time), but they do not budge once there. This is going to be my go-to wrap over summer.
I have only tested the silk relatively briefly, and in the Veneziano pattern. Having felt the Reticella, it feels markedly different to the veneziano, which is a little grippier. It has a very flat, smooth, soft, almost fluid finish to the weave, and is very slidey compared to other Divas. It is also the thinnest of the Divas produced so far. When I first felt it, I was initially disappointed at the thinness, thinking that it would not offer sufficient support for my two year old (still only around 11-12kg). But like all of the Divas, it's deceptive - the density of the weave makes it much more supportive than one would expect. It does require very precise wrapping, and I have found that although it is incredibly mouldable and falls into place easily, I have to pay more attention to my wrapping as I am used to much grippier wraps. I also choose multipass carries (FWCC with spread passes rather than bunched) for greater support. The longest I have worn it for was about 40 minutes with a sleeping two year old in a spread pass FWCC, and it was comfortable with no sag or dig, but I did adjust the shoulders midway through to avoid a small pressure point. I have found it diggy in a DH tied carelessly. I think it is ideal for smaller babies and would be absolutely sublime with a newborn, but can be worn with a smaller toddler with care. It's definitely one for the thin wrap lovers, and will be a superbly cool summer wrap. ** Note: these impressions are based on pre-wash - I have not yet tried one post wash, and will update my review when I have.