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Tell Me About Fleece

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've seen this a lot, and actually just got an AI3 from a WAHM that was "garunteed not to leak overnight" Is it that fleece soaks up moisture like wool? Or is there some sort of inherent water resistance to it? Also, does this apply to the kind you can find at Walmart with all of the cute kid patterns on them or is it a special kind? And how about the heat? Would fleece be appropriate in a very hot climate? (like... SC with no air conditioning )
post #2 of 16
Fleece doesn't absorb moisture. It is made from polyester.

There are two different "kinds" of fleece that are used in diaper making. The first kind, Microfleece, is used for inner "wicking" layers (the layer inside a pocket diaper is normally made from Microfleece). Microfleece is thin and and porous enough to allow liquids to pass through it, where the moisture is trapped by a soaker/stuffer pad made of some kind of absorbent (cotton, hemp, etc) material. The Microfleece retains its dry feeling (since it didn't absorb any of the liquid) and therefore "locks moisture away" from baby's skin.

The second kind of fleece is known by a few different names, depending on the manufacturer and where you buy it--Polar fleece and Alpine fleece are a couple of the most common names. This is the "heavy" fleece that is used for
the outsides of pocket diapers or is used for making covers (the stuff they sell at Wal-Mart for making blankets and coats that comes in cute kid patterns). It is not technically "waterproof" (it doesn't totally repel moisture), and occasionally you will have compression wicking with fleece covers (moisture will wick through an area of fleece where the fibers are compressed--for example, by a carseat strap/buckle or tight clothing--but in my experience this only happens when the dipe is **WAY** wet or DS has a heavy wetting moment ) This type of fleece comes in different "weights"--the two most commonly used for diaper covers/pocket diaper outers are 200 weight and 300 weight.

The "best" fleece is made by Malden Mills. They invented fleece, and the brand-name fleeces that outdoor clothing is made from are their products (Polartec and Windpro are two examples). Malden Mills fleece is generally not available in retail fabric stores (like Joann Fabrics), but you can order it online from many diaper-making sites or directly from the company via their website. The "100 weight" is microfleece; as I said before 200 and 300 weight are most common for diaper covers, and you can also use Windpro for a cover. The website for Malden Mills is http://www.maldenmillsstore.com/defa...24116228855211

Now that I've told you all about how great Malden Mills is, all of the pocket diapes and covers that I've made recently for DS are made from microfleece and alpine fleece that I bought at Wal-Mart. The "alpine" or "polar" fleece that you buy at Wal-Mart or Joann Fabrics seems to be the same thickness as 200 weight Malden Mills fleece; the only difference that I have been able to find is that Malden Mills fleece is coated or treated somehow to resist pilling and fiber loss, so it lasts a little longer.

Fleece is a surprisingly "breatheable" fabric--much more so than PUL! I live in Arizona, and DS stays cool and comfortable during the day and warm and snuggly at night
post #3 of 16
Wow, what a great explination! I always get sooooo confused about fleece. Now that I know, I can make some covers WITHOUT having to order online. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I can't tell you how happy I am with your explination! s
post #4 of 16
That is a great explanation of fleece! I wanted to add that if you make covers from fleece, try a couple to see if your baby needs two layers. Mine needs two layers for nighttime covers!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thats awesome. Thank you so much for the great explaination. One of my favorite things about sewing is finding that hidden fabric in the $1 pile at walmart or joanne's etc that is just perfect for my next project... or sneaking in an extra yard when we go grocery shopping and DH isnt paying attention.

Buying online seems to be so much more of a commitment than buying at Walmart for some reason. Now I cant wait to go get some and see how it works out. I have ordered some PUL on a co-op list too though I am thinking it will be a month before I get it, so will be able to test them both out.
post #6 of 16
Renee--that was an awesome explanation!!!!

I decided to go with fleece for my first attempt at CDs too (my first is due anyday , so I haven't actually gotten a chance to try them out yet though!). I made AIO pocket diapers using either microfleece for the inside or microsuede. For the outside, many moms on here recommended 2 layers of fleece, which I did (just not on the wings or it is way too bulky there!). I bought the anti-pill fleece from Joanne's and I would def recommend it over normal fleece. I bought a little of the normal fleece because the pattern was so cute--and when I prewashed all the diapers, I could REALLY tell a difference in the anti-pill kind! The normal kind has little lumps all over it--and that is with only one washing! Joanne's has been having all kinds of sales recently on their anti-pill fleece as well--normally it is $7.99 a yard, but a few months ago it was 50% off, and then the next month it was $3.00 off a yard and then it was 40% off--so it ended up being even cheaper than the normal fleece!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
The ai3 I just got leaks like crazy right through the fleece Now I'm afraid to use fleece again, lol, even though its so nice and soft.
post #8 of 16
what a awesome explaintation on fleece!! I was so confused when at Joann's on wednesday! next time i'll know what i'm actually looking for!
post #9 of 16
Renee, great explaination!!!

BTW, to make a great nighttime cover use one layer of regular fleece backed by one layer of microfleece. It is more trim than 2 layers of regular fleece but works great.
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by amberthesugarcat View Post
BTW, to make a great nighttime cover use one layer of regular fleece backed by one layer of microfleece. It is more trim than 2 layers of regular fleece but works great.
Some of DS' covers are pocket diapers that I forgot to sew velcro on the tummy panel of before sewing the layers together and they work great.

I'm glad everyone found the explanation helpful...I researched the heck out of fleece when I started sewing my own dipes
post #11 of 16
thanks, cleared up a bit of my confusion too.
post #12 of 16
I was JUST informed of this tonight at a gathering I went to! I made DS2 2 fleece covers for nighttime. The ladies said I could use regular prefolds inside those. Are those the ones I can get at WalMart in the baby section?

I suppose I could just use them instead of ordering more PUL! That stuff gets SPENDY! Actually, I am wide awake and going to try to make an AIO with it now! Microfleece inside, hemp soaker and anti-pill fleece outside. We shall see how this works!

Thanks for the excellent info!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I dont like the kind of prefolds you can get at walmart. They dont seem to fluff up well at all. (assuming you are talking about gerber brand, which is the only kind I've ever seen there) prefolds are an awesome staple though to any baby diaper wardrobe I love them.
post #14 of 16
Most of the B&M stores selling "prefolds" have the Gerber brand, and you have to be careful with Gerber--some of them have polyester batting in the center "soaker" section. Some of them don't. You have to read the package carefully to make sure you're getting 100% cotton with no poly, otherwise they're not good diapers--not absorbent.

But if you want yummy, quilty, soft prefolds, DSQ or Chinese prefolds from a diaper service or one of the diapering websites is the way to go!
post #15 of 16

FYI on prefolds

If there is a diaper service in your area, a lot of them sell the diapers that are beginning to wear out for really cheap.
post #16 of 16
I just wanted to add that I made some pull up style diaper covers out of Malden Mills fleece. The 300wt is a bit on the thick side, but awesome! When it does occasionally get a compression leak it dries out so quickly! The 200 wt is good for during the day, and keeps the air flowing through the diaper. Plus I find that my fleece covers don't smell nearly as bad as my motherease airflow covers. They can go for weeks without being washed, and not get stinky!

Love fleece! Especially with the heat lately. You'd think its hot, but really the fleece is so much more breathable!
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