Many wool questions! Let's talk about wool in depth! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 14 Old 01-21-2006, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Come on...you know you want to talk wool!

Sewing related questions: Can someone tell me about the different types of wool fabrics that can be used for covers (talking sewing here)? (pros and cons of them, layers needed, etc) Also, what doesn't work? Can you use suiting? Also...where to buy and/or how much would you typically pay for the different fabrics?

Knitting related questions: what should I look for in a yarn? What is the price range for good wool? How long does it take you to knit a soaker? What would you say is the cost of the supplies (needles and what not) needed just for knitting soakers? What are the basic supplies needed?

Do you think it's cheaper to sew or knit soakers? What do you like to use more? Pros and cons of each? What would you say is an average price for a knit or sewn cover?

A lot of questions, I know! I've been thinking of so many! Basically...I'm trying to decide if I want to focus on sewing or knitting wool covers. I made 2 recycled wool soakers and I really like them, but it's the only wool I've used. I don't have any knit ones. So, I'm trying to figure out if I want to learn to knit or if I should just focus on sewing. I really like sewing, but I see so many people like knitted soakers and I can't afford them. I really like cloth diapering and I know you guys won't think this is silly, but...I know that one day DS will potty learn and I won't be able to cd anymore! So, I'm thinking I'd like to be able to sell diapering related stuff in the future just so I can stay in this little community that I love so much.
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#2 of 14 Old 01-21-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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#3 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 10:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousLion

Knitting related questions: what should I look for in a yarn? What is the price range for good wool? How long does it take you to knit a soaker? What would you say is the cost of the supplies (needles and what not) needed just for knitting soakers? What are the basic supplies needed?
Yarn--I look for 100% wool (not superwash) and something that feels soft enough to be worn against the skin (although some wools are a bit rough but then soften up nicely when washed/lanolinized).
The price range for good wool is all over the place. You can get some really good buys at places like elann.com or knitpicks.com. You can also buy Lion Brand fisherman's wool for about $8 at JoAnns or Michaels (it's a big fat skein, you can use your 40% off coupon, you can dye it yourself). You can also buy very expensive hand-dyed wool.
basic supplies other than yarn--needles, stitch markers, yarn needle.
I love knitting soakers, but it takes a lot longer than sewing wool covers!
HTH
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#4 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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i knit for the enjoyment of the process. I use sewn wool (recycled mostly) for the bulk of my stash.
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#5 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 01:02 PM
 
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I THINK you can make sewn wool pants out of any wool fabric that is at least 80% wool, but you would want to use two layers if it was a thinner fabric like suiting. Anything cheaper than $5yard is a really, really good deal for wool. I can usually find wool suiting and crepe fabrics for about $5-7y on sale. www.fabric.com Jersey and interlock are harder to find and when I do find them (usually as part of a co-op) they run anywhere from $7-15y (that is co-op pricing). Remember to always buy more fabric than you plan on needing because when you felt it (to make it more waterproof), it will shrink.

I think knit soaker pants are really cute and there is a lot more choice in wool yarn than you can find in wool fabric BUT I think that the wool fabric is alot cheaper since to knit a pair of pants you would spend anywhere from $6-30 on the yarn and you can *probably* get more than one pair of pants out of 1y of fabric.

I usually see knit pants sold for about $40-60. I see sewn pants sold for $20-40. I think the difference is mostly in the amount of time it takes to make them. Sewn pants will take a couple of hours, knit ones will take a whole lot more.

Recycled soakers take the least amount of time, cost the least and look like a cross between knit and sewn pants BUT they also are the hardest to sale and sale for the least ammount of $$

With all this said I have yet to make either knit or sewn wool pants. I have wool fabric (hopefully) in the mail to me and will be starting on knitting my first soaker sometime next week so I'm obviously no expert. I just like to do research before getting started . I'll be watching to see what others say. Thanks for the great questions
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#6 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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Wool yarn is pretty cheap here...they are smaller skeins but big enough for a soaker if you use a contrasting color for the waistband and the leg cuffs. http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/yarn_...itemid=5420103
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#7 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 03:10 PM
 
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When any of you guys make wool covers with cloth,i.e not knitted,do you bind the edges?
if so what with and if you don't bind what do you do?
i have no mental picture ,all I have is a stack of BUMPy wool wrap from my now five year old which are a sorry state!!!!
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#8 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousLion
Can someone tell me about the different types of wool fabrics that can be used for covers (talking sewing here)? (pros and cons of them, layers needed, etc) Also, what doesn't work? Can you use suiting? Also...where to buy and/or how much would you typically pay for the different fabrics?
I once ordered a swatch of every type of wool fabric that I could find. I felted all of it, and the only kinds of fabrics that I liked the final result on were wool flannel, jersey, and interlock.

Wool flannel is my favorite because I can get it thick enough to only use one layer in my covers. As long as the diaper is absorbent enough, I can use a one-layer wool flannel cover for night. Jersey and interlock are thinner and need 2 layers for night, although for day, one layer is sufficient. Wool flannel is also easier to find. Check Ebay! I agree w/ the PPs on the pricing.

Quote:
Do you think it's cheaper to sew or knit soakers? What do you like to use more? Pros and cons of each?
Depends on how fast you can knit . Personally I'd rather sew them, because I can get one completed quickly and I enjoy sewing so much. The one and only soaker I knitted took me 2 weeks to finish and I didn't even like the final product! Pros and cons of each.... It's mostly going to come down to personal preference. Knitted soakers provide a more contoured, snug fit all around the diaper body and wear more like underpants yk?, while a wool cloth cover is, well, more like a diaper cover, gathered & stretchy at the legs and waist. One might argue that knitted soakers are more breathable, though I find that cloth covers breath nicely as well. I like that I can machine wash my wool cloth soakers, and I don't think you can machine wash knitted ones. I also like cloth because I can make one up relatively quickly (compared to knitting)... though with yarn you can do some funky dying on the yarn and then when you knit it up it's super cute.

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When any of you guys make wool covers with cloth,i.e not knitted,do you bind the edges?
Fold-over elastic is a good option, that way you can make it gathered in the leg openings & waist.
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#9 of 14 Old 01-22-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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They make wool binding that is great to use in wool covers. FOE can sometimes absorb urine and require more frequent washes. To make a single layer wool cover you would sew the elastic on the edge and then the wool binding around it. For double layer wool covers you can sew the elastic to the wrong side, t&t and make a casing.
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#10 of 14 Old 01-23-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JLav
They make wool binding that is great to use in wool covers.
Where can I find this?????

I was wondering if I could cut up the turtleneck and make binding out of it? Has anyone tried that? I know when sweaters are slightly felted, they do not tend to run (so the edges don't necessarily need to be finished). Is it the same for the turtleneck part where the stitching might be a little different (to allow more stretch)?
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#11 of 14 Old 01-23-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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I just made a couple of pull-on single layer wool interlock covers and bound them with FOE. Never occured to me that this might not be a good idea, but I can now see where the FOE might get stinky faster than the wool. I was wondering the same thing about the wool binding - where can you get it? Did a quick search and came up with this on www.thediaperhyena.com:

"Question: Hi, I've seen some diaper covers that are finished with wool or fleece binding as opposed to FOE which (in my experience seems to wick a lot of moisture). Is there a particular brand of binding you recommend? I am having trouble finding any wool binding. Also, if I wanted to finish my regular diapers with a bound edge what do you recommend using? Is there anyway to make binding at home? Thanks!

Answer:

Binding made out of Wool or Fleece is definitely homemade as it is not available premade in stores. To get the needed stretch for curves and leg fitting, you will need to cut the fabric on the bias or 45 degrees. The only downside to homemade binding is actually the amount of potential yardage to make bias binding.
For fleece I recommend a single layer, so cut the bias strips 5/8" or 1" wide to mimic the FOE you typically use. You can also make it your personal preferred width (the best part about making your own binding.
For wool and other fabrics that need the edges finished you will need to cut the bias strips 2 times the finished width + 1/4". So for 1" binding you would cut the strips 2 1/4" wide. You then connect the strips to the desired length (see below) and sew them into a tube RIGHT SIDES OUT / WRONG SIDES TOGETHER using an 1/8" seam allowance. Iron the entire length of the tube with the seam on top in the middle. When sewing the binding onto the diaper, you put the seam side of the tube against the edge of the diaper so it will be hidden.
You can piece the lengths together to get the needed yardage for a given diaper. Be sure to cut the ends of the bias strips at 45 degree angles so you end up with a long parallelogram. Then right sides together line up the strips so one is pointing at your left hip (right side up) and one is pointing to your right hip (right side down). The top flat side gets sewn together. This takes some practice to line up the edges off by about 1/4" (for a 1/4" seam allowance) so when they are straightened out (everything is right side up) the pieces line up.

You can also use PUL as a binding material, although the stretch is minimal in some PUL, so the curves and leg fittings might not come out as you prefer."


I also found these - anyone know if they would work better than FOE (except that you have to add elastic too):

www.wmboothdraper.com/Tape&Lace/tapelace.htm

http://www.woodedhamlet.com/tapes_br...ted_twill.html
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#12 of 14 Old 01-23-2006, 12:59 PM
 
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From the Diaper Pin article:
Quote:
sew them into a tube RIGHT SIDES OUT / WRONG SIDES TOGETHER using an 1/8" seam allowance. Iron the entire length of the tube with the seam on top in the middle.
This is the only place I've seen instructions to sew a tube first for binding. I think it would be bulky and unnecessary. I have several awesome covers with wool-bound edges and none of them have bindings cut on the bias or have a finished, turned-under edge on both sides. For knits, you do not cut on the bias anyway. You cut binding strips that are 3x the finished width across the knit grain, it takes next to no yardage. My Celtic wolf cover is woven wool flannel and the binding strips are also cut with the grain, not on the bias like you might with a woven. I think the felting prevents raveling just as a bias cut does.

All that to say I don't understand the point of the Diaper Pin instructions, I've been confused by them since I read them myself a year ago. Interesting though.

Janeysews, you can also serge the edges if you have a serger.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-23-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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I've bought fleece binding before (they have it at Joann's and I think at Walmart too)and I know you can buy wool binding. A friend of mine got some through a coop, I'm not sure which though. It's thin and soft and slightly stretchy...it is not as bulky as making your own binding out of wool fabric.
I'll try to find out where it came from.
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#14 of 14 Old 01-23-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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I just looked at the links...the wool binding looks similar to the chevron wool lace in the first link, except the wool binding I've seen is pre-folded.
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