Felted vs. knitted wool diaper covers? - Mothering Forums
Arts & Crafts > Felted vs. knitted wool diaper covers?
tboroson's Avatar tboroson 02:00 AM 04-12-2004
Hi, all. Baby number two is on the way in a few months, and I'm contemplating diapering options. I'm a do-it-myself kinda girl, and want to try my hand at making covers this time 'round.

For my first kidlet (who is currently attached to my breast... makes typing fun) I used flat folds and prefolds inside various diaper covers. Eventually I decided that I liked the wool ones best, particularly Biobottoms and Nikkys. I liked that they were machine washable, and lasted really well as long as I treated them gently. I also liked that I didn't have to pin the diaper inside of them, just laid it in place and closed up the aplix. I tried Lamkins wool covers from Ecobaby. They were stiffer and bulkier than the other two brands, and although they said they were machine washable, they shrank and disintigrated in the wash (apparantly they've changed the labeling since then). So, I'm wary of trying to felt wool myself for making these kinds of covers, at least if I want to keep machine washing them.

I also bought one of the New Zealand machine knit soakers. We had a few frustrations with this one. Urine soaked through. I think it was just too thin. My husband hated pinning diapers - he always pinned them really loose because he was afraid of impaling his little girl... And, it wasn't machine washable. Later, I tried knitting a wool soaker that worked a bit better than the purchased one. As it was a bit tighter we didn't need to pin and it didn't leak. But my daughter hated the scratchiness - she was too accustomed to the softer, felted Biobottoms. And I don't think I'll ever be able to avoid the machine wash issue. At least I'm guessing that Superwash wool won't be as water repellant as untreated wool. But, then, Superwash is somewhat softer than regular wool too...

I prefer to stick with wool because it's a natural fiber. So, can anybody please comment on my musings? Has anybody tried any Superwash type wool for knitting a soaker? (As I recall, these wools have been treated to kind of glue down the scales on the individual fibers, to keep them from locking together and felting. Does anybody know anything about this chemical process?) Has anybody felted woven wool sufficiently and with soft enough results to make a Biobottoms type diaper cover? Or does anybody know of a commercial source for such felted wool?

I've been reading people's comments on using polyester fleece. On one webpage, I noted that the author said it was perfect for diaper covers because it was water proof... and later said it was perfect for diaper liners because it wicked moisture away from baby's bottom. Ok, how is it waterproof if it wicks moisture away? Is she talking about two different varieties of fleece?

Thank you!

mom2kbeth's Avatar mom2kbeth 02:19 AM 04-12-2004
As far as the fleece, yes, it's 2 different kinds. The heavier fleece is water repellant, so it doesn't leak as a cover (Polar tec, Malden Mills 100 or 200 wt fleece). The lighter fleece, microfleece, wicks mositure away from baby's skin so that baby's skin stays dry. Make sense?

On to the wool ... I have a New Zealand wool cover too, and we can only use it for short periods of time during the day. Holden is a very heavy wetter and the cover just isn't thick enough for us. But it's fine with a fitted with a super absorbant doubler for a short period of time. I have no experience with superwash wool yarn for soakers, but I have been making nice soft wool covers from wool flannel. Once felted (and even before felting) it's beautifully soft and I love it! You can find it in a lot of the fabric co-ops - if you search yahoo groups for fabric co-ops you'll turn up a bunch. I know there are at least 2 doing co-ops currently for wool flannel. Once it's felted, it is machine washable. Oh, and I mistakenly washed my New Zealand wool cover this morning (it fell in the laundry basket by mistake, so I washed it with the regular clothes, not even with the diapers!) and it didn't shrink or anything. Needs to be relanolized now, of course, but looks no worse for the wear.
saganaga's Avatar saganaga 10:26 PM 04-12-2004
As for an alternative to pinning the diaper there is the Snappi...
tboroson's Avatar tboroson 01:25 AM 04-13-2004
Thank you both for the advice. I'd read mention of the Snappis elsewhere here, and I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't looked them up yet I assumed they were a special diaper, not a tool for any diaper. They look really nifty and I will definately invest in a few this time 'round.

Bonnie, what product do you use for relanolinizing your wool covers? I read mention of wool shampoo type products, but have gone searching for them on the internet and can't find any. I read one set of directions that said to melt lanolin in hot water and soak the diapers. Logic told me that wouldn't work - the lanolin would float, not dissolve, and would end up patchy all over the diaper cover. But like a sucker I tried it, and sure enough I ended up with greasy patches instead of even, light, soaked-in coverage on the cover I tried. OTOH, I found that I was able to abuse the heck out of the diaper covers for a long time before it became apparant that they needed to be relanolinized.

Thank you again!
LuvMy2Kidz's Avatar LuvMy2Kidz 01:58 AM 04-13-2004
We do have a diapering board here the ladies on the board can give you all kinds of info on their prefernce for materials for covers
mamaMAMAma's Avatar mamaMAMAma 04:11 PM 04-13-2004
I add a drop of eucalan (wool wash) to the lanolin solution, shake it up and then lanolize the covers. You don't get the little globs of lanolin then. For day time, my favorite covers right now are actually the handknitted soakers, they work a lot better than the NZ soakers. They also dry in 1 day too. We have a pair of biobottoms, but they just don't fit dd#2 right. For nighttime (also dh's favorite), the aristocrats rule. They only thing is it takes about 2 daysto dry. We use UBCPFs and snappies. The snappies are really handy little gadgets.
There is a ton of info on the diapering board about wool covers.
mom2kbeth's Avatar mom2kbeth 04:14 PM 04-13-2004
Originally posted by tboroson

Bonnie, what product do you use for relanolinizing your wool covers?
I use Eucalan, lavendar scented. It's a liquid lanolizing wash. I got it from Fuz Baby www.fuzbaby.com