A legacy was born in 1972…Didymos.
Didymos is know as the Pioneer of Modern Babywearing. They were the first modern wrap manufacturer in the market, created in the early 70’s. Didymos was created in 1972 by Erika Hoffman. Just like many parents and caregivers today, the struggle to meet household and older children’s needs in addition to carrying for new babies was a challenge that Erika was determined to find a solution for.
After discovering a traditional carrying cloth from Central America, Erika began experimenting with carrying her twins in this cloth and developed her own front carrying method. The interest from her community grew and subsequently, “Heilbronner Stimme” and “Stern” magazine published articles about Erika and her children. They were amazed that Erika could be intimately attached to her babies and still carry on with her day. People wanted these carrying cloths but they were difficult to import at that time. In addition, with Erika’s new ideas on tying methods and the need for a fabric with elasticity to make the carries more comfortable, the imported fabric did not meet all of her needs. Erika also wanted environmentally friendly textiles which was a rarity to find in the early days.
Therefore, she created Didymos – Greek for twin. The success rapidly grew in Germany
and Didymos subsequently became internationally known with a reputation for an environmentally friendly baby carrier with impeccable quality.
Didymos began its journey with creating and producing purposefully woven baby wraps and then later introduced the didysling and didytai made from the Didymos wrap fabric.
Over the years, Didymos continued to develop new carrying methods, adjusted the length of the wraps to suit the new carries and designed new patterns.
The first wraps that Erika had made featured a simple striped pattern with tassels/fringe that were initially sewn on and then later woven in. She named them after her four children Tom, Anna, Lisa and Tina. Shortly afterwards she designed jacquard patterns in many colours and fibre combinations.
New tying methods were developed ‘around the kitchen table’. After the ‘hip carry’ came the ‘rucksack’ and the ‘kangaroo’ carry methods. It soon became clear that taller people were finding it difficult to tie the short wraps in sizes 1 (approx. 220 cm) and 2 (approx. 270 cm). Therefore sizes 3 and 4 were created and produced. Nowadays, this sizing method developed by Erika Hoffmann has become a standard that is used by many other baby carrier manufacturers up to size 8. But that wasn’t the only standard that Erika set for baby wraps. By extending the product range to include four sizes, it became increasingly difficult to weaves tassels into the ends of the wraps as it was too difficult to divide the woven products. Something new was required. Erika, the daughter of a tailor, was quick to find a solution. A tailor will cut curtains on a slant so they will fall better when gathered. The typical parallelogram shape for the wraps was created which is also used by many other baby carrier manufacturers.
In the mid-1980s, the short cross carry tying method was invented and it proved very easy to use. Two crossed lengths of fabric hold the baby tightly. This method evolved into the front wrap cross carry method. Today there is a wealth of variations and versions of all these basic carrying methods.
At the end of the 1980s, Erika decided to trial fabrics that were not woven from pure orgnanic cotton, but featured weft threads of other natural ethically sourced fibres such as hemp, linen and wool. These are fibres that are now essential to the DIDYMOS range and offerings we see today.
Erika Hoffmann was always open to new things and was always very curious. As the internet slowly began emerging from the crevices of science in the mid-1990s and becoming more accessible to the general public, she had to have one of those so-called ‘websites’. In 1996, the DIDYMOS homepage www.didymos.de was launched. The incredible development that the internet has made since then doesn’t need to be explained here. However, its significance for ‘baby wearing’ is enormous. Extensive information on the topic was suddenly available everywhere and created a real breakthrough for baby wearing. Finally, after 25 years, the idea become popular everywhere.
From 2005, Erika and Tina Hoffmann , one of the twins, shared the management of the company. In this way, Erika was able to introduce the second generation to continue the company. Up until her death in 2015, Erika put in a few hours every day designing patterns, writing texts and advising customers. Her idea of ‘wearing’ our children and carrying them out into the world was her life’s work.