My first encounter with a Soul Meh Dai was way back in June 2016. We had a beautiful blue one visit the library. It arrived to my house and obviously was tried out as soon as the package was ripped open!
From that moment I knew I wanted one of my own. I had been using various Meh Dai since the twins were about 4 months old and had always loved them. But there was something different about this. Despite the padded shoulder and the extra wide wrap style straps it didn’t feel like it was loaded with gimmicks. It felt like a panel and four straps. Simple but elegant.
So lets first talk numbers. Suitable from 15lbs to 40lbs (aprox.). The body panel is 15″ across and 16″ high (from the top of the waist band. The straps are padded at the shoulder but also include wrap width fabric at the same point offering the comfort of padding along with support offered by wide straps. Produced in linen, woven wrap fabric cotton and cotton there is a Meh Dai suitable for everyone.
So let’s get back to me and my Meh Dai.
I’m a huge fan of wrapping. I love it. It took me a long time to learn. It’s a skill like all forms of carrying. But you can be creative with wraps in a way you can’t be with buckles for example. The same is true of many Meh Dai.
As much as I loved that traveller I couldn’t afford to buy beyond what I currently owned. So it was forgotten about. A few months later I tried a different brand also with wide straps and a seat the same width as the Soul one and it longer fitted so I put it out of my mind. With a slight hurumph and foot stamp! 😉
Fast forward to 5 months ago and I saw a video of someone using the wide wrap straps to effectively create a larger seat for their pre schooler. By this time we had added several Soul carriers to our library but Meh Dai’s had never been popular so we had overlooked it. But now? My desire for a Soul Meh Dai had been rekindled and I knew exactly which one I wanted.
I fell in love with this design straight away. The black and the white are great but the addition of grey straps instead of black just work perfectly. So I searched it out discovered its name was Eclipse on Grey and went off to try to get my hands on one. I put out a request on the Soul Family UK page and it was answered almost immediately. Within a few weeks I had the carrier. It was as beautiful as I had expected. Made from 100% cotton. But not just any cotton. This is described as Ikat cotton. Ikat cotton, from my limited (so far) reading is a form of resistance dying. Instead of the already woven fabric being dyed the yarns are dyed before the weaving process. This process is repeated several times and then woven. The alluring blur comes from the intricacies of lining up the dyed yarns to form the desired pattern. I can’t do justice to this elegant art form with just a few sentences but needless to say like their hand block printed full buckle carriers this cotton beauty is art as well as function. Needless to say I was smitten and wore it a lot over the next several weeks. A lot!
I got to know what it was capable of over those weeks. Saw its versatility, experienced its comfort. I wanted others to see how amazing it was. So I took photos, I made videos, I took it to sling meets. Hopefully I am showing people this style of carrier has it’s place here in Salford. That Meh Dai carriers like this, with those wide straps, can offer so much.
They can actually be a great way to learn how to wrap or even to improve wrapping for those already experienced in it. I learned to wrap while using buckles. I would practice at home but buckle when out. Then I would venture out in my wrap but have a buckle for the way home. What a wrap strap Meh Dai can offer is the comfort of knowing there is a seat already there securing your child but the straps to practice the technique of a ruck or double hammock for example. For me having that seat firmly in place has helped me revisit and improve on carries that I couldn’t make work like the Strangleproof Ruck. Knowing that there won’t be slack while I take the pass across my chest has been an amazing aid to my learning.
So what about some fancy finishes? Carrying has been one of my most valuable parenting tools. But it’s also been amazing fun and has let me express my creativity and truly taken me out of my comfort zone. I love fancy finishes. I have run fancy finish workshops. Made videos. Made friends. All because of fancy finishes. People love them. But they also don’t think that you can do those things with a Meh Dai. I want to show them they can! That a Meh Dai can be a way to practice for wrapping but that it can also be all you need.
So I did some videos. Firstly just showing how to use the straps to widen the seat with a Tibetan Finish. Then followed a Strangleproof Ruck with a ring added. You know. because rings are always fun! Then a Heather Finish. Then Rapunzel. Then removing the waist band and doing some fancy side plaits! (video for some of these on my Facebook page and YouTube linked below) I have barely scratched the surface of what this carrier can do. I am looking forward to getting to know it even more.
I was lucky enough to receive a Jacquard Woven cotton version of Soul’s Meh Dai recently. Tor has only just arrived and has so far stayed in bag on our adventures out this Christmas. But with the return of our commute I am really looking forward to trying it. It feels different to the others.
They all have a lovely weight to them. Weight is the wrong word in this instance. They aren’t heavy. They drape. The “weight” makes them fluid. Especially with the Jacquard. The linen is thin but sturdy as you would expect from linen. The cotton slightly thicker, a tight weave but still so airy. The Jacquard woven thicker still but soft and mouldable. And all three offer a comfort that I haven’t experienced from any other Meh Dai inspired carrier. The size of the panel, the width of the straps offers such incredible support that my 30lb boy shaped twin felt weightless. Truly. I loved my first Meh Dai. It really was a just panel and four thin straps. But for me it stopped working. So to find something so versatile, so well made, so comfortable, so beautiful that I can use now, with my twins over 3 years old is just amazing. Never mind the wrapping. Never mind using the Meh Dai as a learning tool. Never mind the buckles. The Meh Dai alone can be enough.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Soul. So much so that I became a brand Ambassador for them on September 2017. My association with them in no way influences my opinions in this post. ❤
My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/millyshugs/
Wikipedia page about Ikat: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikat