Has anyone written a guide to choosing fabrics? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-10-2006, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone written an in-depth guide to choosing fabrics for diapers? If not, someone should!

I'm sitting here trying to buy fabric and I don't know what to buy. I'm new at sewing and there's so much I don't know. I mean, things like...Are there fabrics I shouldn't use together for some reason? (my grandmother thought I was crazy for making a diaper with a woven outer and knit inner...I don't understand why ) What's most absorbant? How many layers of which fabrics should I use? What fabrics are nice and comfy for inners? What kind of fleece is that nice white fleece in Fuzzi Bunz? What doesn't work or doesn't last? What stains badly or tends to not stain? Can I use any cotton, for example: quilter's cotton? And even things like...help a beginning sewer choose what machine needles to use on different fabrics and number of layers. (ok...not about fabric exactly, but I am so confused about that!)

And those are just some of the questions I have! So...anyone know of a good guide to choosing fabrics? Or anyone up to the challenge of writing one?
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#2 of 14 Old 01-11-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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You have some good questions here! I'd like to know the answers too!

I am also in search for Fuzzi Buns like fabric because I wanna make pocket diapers and I think I'v read somewhere here that Fabrite sells that kind of fabric. So I did contacted them and they confirmed that they do sell 1 mil PUL fabrics. They asked me what kind of prints I'd like and I have not heard from them back yet (2 days ago) so I am still waiting for their answer.

The inside of Fuzzi Buns is MM microfleece I think or any microfleece will do IMO. And there you go!

As for fitted diapers I have no idea. I don't think I will make those anyway. But I'd like to make some AIOs, so I'd like to know what fabrics work best for those as well.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-11-2006, 09:07 PM
 
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No guide here, but I can try to tackle your questions!

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Are there fabrics I shouldn't use together for some reason?
I honestly can't think of any right off hand. Obviously you shouldn't make a diaper out of anything that isn't washable, and pre-wash your fabric so your diaper doesn't shrink all funny the first time you wash it, but other than that I really think anything can be a diaper... I've even seen satins!

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What's most absorbant?
Well, I think a better question would be what fabrics are best for absorbant layers. Just becuse something is the "most absorbant" doesn't really mean it will work for you. For inner layers *I* am using flannel, and I'm using terry cloth & microfiber towels for my soakers. Lots of people use flannel & terry or hemp too.

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How many layers of which fabrics should I use?
Depends on what you are making! For a fitted you are going to want an inner layer (anything from cotton to micro fleece to velour) a middle layer (flannel or ???) and an outter layer... pretty much anything cute If you are doing an AIO, the outter layer needs to be waterproof (PUL, Fleece, etc) If you are talking about a soaker it depends on what kinds of fabric you are using.

Quote:
What fabrics are nice and comfy for inners?
I am going to use alova suede, it keeps baby's bum dry. I'll probably use some velour just because it feels so yummy, but it doesn't keep moisture away from baby's skin at all. Alot of people use micro fleece too.

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What kind of fleece is that nice white fleece in Fuzzi Bunz?
I would guess micro fleece.

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What doesn't work or doesn't last? What stains badly or tends to not stain? Can I use any cotton, for example: quilter's cotton?
I personally wouldn't use quilter's cotton, it's just not made to withstand all those washings, You are probably better off with softer cottons like flannel.

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And even things like...help a beginning sewer choose what machine needles to use on different fabrics and number of layers. (ok...not about fabric exactly, but I am so confused about that!)
Got me there... I just use what I have, and if the needle breaks then I worry about it

Hope that helps a little!

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#4 of 14 Old 01-13-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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Helpful. Thanks!!

Peggy: full-time shift-working mama to Kiddo (Nov|04) and Babygirl (May|11). Fiancée to Babe. Step-mom to Tween, my bonus daughter (Sep|00). Currently TTC - http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/3c1739

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#5 of 14 Old 01-14-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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Hmm, I have heard that regular cotton flannel gets ratty quickly in diapers, I wouldn't really know for sure though, as the flannel diaps I have are pretty new, and I don't really know if it's regular flannel you get at WalMart or if it's diaper flannel

You dont' want anything polyester for your absorbant part of the diaper, poly will not absorb, but microfleece wicks and regular fleece can be waterproof for a cover. So I've heard lol

I've heard anything over 80% cotton content is good for your absorbant parts of diapers.

Oh, and you can get 1mil PUL at alot of places, try the sticky at the top of this forum on diaper supplies. OSDS, diaperfabric.com are just a couple places you can get it.
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#6 of 14 Old 01-14-2006, 01:24 AM
 
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I recently purchased a yard of the Quilters 100% Cotton, its called Warm and Natural and is suppose to withstand multiple washings. I'm only using it as inserts though not as actual diaper layers. Its SOOOO soft but don't want to tempt fate by making it a diaper layer. Great soakers though I bet.
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#7 of 14 Old 01-14-2006, 02:48 AM
 
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Do you mean woven cotton fabric like you would see on the top of a quilt when you say quilter's cotton or do you mean the stuff you would put in the middle of a quilt (the batting)? Batting will fall apart after multiple washings (which is why you have to quilt the quilt!) It's designed to trap air between the fibres to keep you warm which is why it feels all squishy. If you're talking about woven cotton prints, go for it! They're not very absorbant but they look great on the outside of a diaper.

Just remember that wovens don't stretch. That might mean that you want to cut the diaper a bit fuller and add more elastic to compensate or recognize that it's not stretchy (which is fine too!) Your Grandmother was probably wondering why you'd use a stretchy fabric with a non-stretchy fabric since they do different things. But there's really no problem with that, They just are what they are!

Dark colours don't show the stains as much. microfleece hardly ever stains. Malden Mills 100 Weight fleece can be used interchangably with microfleece. 2 layers of 200 weight will make a cover or 1 layer of 300 weight (windpro ups the effectiveness but can be very, very expensive.

The One Stop Diaper Shop has really good descriptions of diaper fabrics and they usually tell you how many layers you need of each fabric for soakers etc.

Flannel is very easy to get your hands on. In my local stores diaper flannel is more expensive per sq inch than regular flannel and as far as I know, they both work just as well. Flannel loses some of it's nap over time (the fuzziness) but still absorbs.

I love terry for absorbant layers but flannel is so cheap and comes in so many nice prints that I find it hard not to just really want to work with flannel!
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#8 of 14 Old 01-14-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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I am thinking about using a microfiber towels I bought at Costco as the absorbent part for AIOs. There were $10 for about 30 towels and they hold SO MUCH water!
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#9 of 14 Old 01-14-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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I think it is pretty easy once you know the basic rules. Anything that is 75% or so cotton is great for any part of the diaper, and you can put anything you want on the outside, including brocade or satin! Some things don't hold up as well with mulitiple washes however.

I love using cotton interlock (stretchy and sooooo soft), velour (stretchy and very soft, and does not stain easily), flannel (soft but does get worn and stains pretty easily, but cheap), and microfleece (poly but does wick moisture away from the baby, but has a tendency to get detergent build-up and can cause rashes) for inners. For outers I have used some of everything including woven cotton prints (my fav right now because it is oh so cute), cotton knits (stretchy and nice, and can use old shirts), blue jeans, fleece, PUL, velour, flannel, and the list goes on.

You can totally mix stretchy and non-stretchy, but like they said above, the diaper will fit differently with different fabrics. My favorite right now is cotton woven print outers (easy to cut out and so cute) and cotton interlock inners (so easy to cut, very soft, and does not seem to stain much). I have made all flannel pockets, but after several washes they do get a bit worn looking and I prefer my diapers to look new wash after wash. But flannel is so cheap and the prints out there are so cute... You can just make more diapers and wash them less. I buy much of my fabric at local stores, but I also love love love www.diapercuts.com and www.onestopdiapershop.com has an excellent selection with descriptions of every fabric which is so helpful.
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#10 of 14 Old 01-15-2006, 05:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yin Yang
I am thinking about using a microfiber towels I bought at Costco as the absorbent part for AIOs. There were $10 for about 30 towels and they hold SO MUCH water!
So here is the tricky part, just to add more confusion: microfiber is polyester! Usually polyester is not good for holding liquids, but in this case it is more absorbant than cotton!


Are those the yellow towels from the auto section? I have bought them before, but thought they were about 70-80 cents each. Looks like yours are about 30 cents each -- is it a new product? If so, what are the dimensions?
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#11 of 14 Old 01-15-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Yes, it is from that auto section. I don't remember how much they cost exactly, but I know it was not more then $12. There is 20 of them and they are 16" x 16" large.
Do you think it's ok to use it then? I LOVE how absorbent they are, but I can't stand how they feel when they are dry! If your hands are too dry then it "catches" the skin and it gives me goose bumbs all over my body. :
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#12 of 14 Old 01-15-2006, 08:17 PM
 
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#13 of 14 Old 01-15-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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Lots of us use microfibre clothes! No problem. Make sure they don't touch your baby's skin as they're so absorbant they can cause dry skin on their bum. Other than that though, go for it!
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#14 of 14 Old 01-16-2006, 01:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beepsmnms
I recently purchased a yard of the Quilters 100% Cotton, its called Warm and Natural and is suppose to withstand multiple washings. I'm only using it as inserts though not as actual diaper layers. Its SOOOO soft but don't want to tempt fate by making it a diaper layer. Great soakers though I bet.
Besides being a knitter and diaper-sewing dabbler, I am also a quilter. On that authority --Warm and Natural is batting--it isn't meant to be used as an outer layer. It can withstand gental washing unquilted, but for any routine use, it needs to be quilted. Here are the manufactor's washing instructions:
"Hand wash in a basin or tub with a mild detergent. Do not agitate or spin in your washing machine.
Soak for 20 minutes, then rinse several times.
Squeeze water out. Rolling in a towel will help to remove excess water.
Dry in a cool or warm dryer or allow to dry flat.
Once quilted (my emphasis) Warm & Natural cotton batting can be machine washed again and again without fear of separation or bunching."
I don't know about you, but I do not hand wash my diapers!

If you want to use it for diapers, I would sandwich it between two layers of flannel (or any cotton) and quilt it. W&N only needs to be quilted every 10", so you wouldn't have to do much--it could be as simple as sewing an "X" through all the layers (sew from corner to corner in both directions), then zig-zagging around the edges to keep it from fraying. Actually, you could do really cute stuff with it, if you have the time or inclination, basically a mini quilt for baby's tushie--"mama beepsmnms's quilted poop catchers"

So yeah, it is great stuff and very soft, but it will start to fall apart under normal washing conditions. Hope this helps!

Marjorie
wife to my best friend, Stephen, mother to Alec 5/02, Ian 2/05 and Kathryn 9/09
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