Monday, March 31, 2014

Our Guide to Cloth Diaper Fabrics

We recently update our Cloth Diaper Comparison Chart with a quick reference to the types of fabrics used in cloth diapers.

Peapods Guide to Cloth Diaper Fabrics

Applications

Advantages

Disadvantages

Cotton Used in prefolds, flat diapers, and some AIOs. May be conventional or organic. Easy to clean, dries quickly, not prone to stinky buildup. Stains easily. Does not wick moisture away from baby.
Microfiber Synthetic fiber used in pocket diapers, AIOs, and inserts. Very absorbent & less bulky than other materials. Too absorbent to be next to baby's skin--usually kept under layer of synthetic fleece. Fibers tend to trap gunk and may require stripping after many uses. May leak if compressed.
Hemp Used in prefolds and inserts. Usually blended with cotton. Very durable and holds moisture well under compression. Easy to clean, not prone to stinky buildup. Somewhat rougher & stiffer than cotton. Higher cost than cotton.
Bamboo Used in prefolds and inserts. Rayon fiber derived from bamboo through chemical process. Often blended with cotton. Very soft and absorbent. Bamboo a very environmentally-friendly crop to grow. However, processing bamboo into fabric is very intensive and much less environmentally-friendly.
Synthetic Fleece Used in pocket diapers, AIOs, and inserts. Porous fabric wicks moisture away from baby's skin. Not absorbent but used in conjunction with microfiber or cotton. Keeps baby feeling dry. Useful for overnight and naptime diapering. Although baby may feel dry, diaper should still be changed as soon as possible when wet.
Polyurethane Laminate (PUL or TPU) Used in diaper covers and shells. Synthetic waterproof fabric. Most common fabric for diaper covers and outer shells of pocket diapers and AIOs. Not breathable. Avoid drying on high heat.
Wool Used in diaper covers. May be new or upcycled. Breathable alternative to PUL. Good for overnight diapering, allowing baby to remain comfortable even if wet. Requires handwashing. Natural lanolin oil must be preserved by using special wool detergent.

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