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#1 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been trying for a few months now to make my own cloth diapers. I have spent over $200 on accessories, sewing notions, pul, microfleece, and the beginning notion of doing PF's with covers. I have YET to make a diaper that doesn't leak. I have tried hot water to seal the holes, washing tons of times to strip them (i used some diaper rash cream a few times and didn't know....) I have tried sewing the elastic into casings AND trying to roll it in enough. i have tried shortening the velcro tabs so that the diapers are tight enough. If i had known that it was going to be such a bust for me to make them I would have just bought some FB's for LESS than I have spent. I wanted to make my own cause a) it would be a fun project for my crafty pg hormones and b) supposed to be cheaper than buying them from an online store. As you can tell neither has worked out. AND to top it all off I found a great deal on sposies which was the ENTIRE reason for me to go to cloth SAVE MONEY..not spend hundreds and get nothing out of it.

Problem is I have like 8 yards of pul (pretty colors, uncut), 5 yards of microfleece, JUST bought new thread, more aplix AND have a lot of FOE left.

I honestly would LOVE it if there was someone who for a fairly decent price could just make these FOR me but I was wondering if anyone knew where I could sell the diaper stuff. Pretty much everything you need to make diapers (minus the sewing machine and KNOWLEDGE!!! )

Thanks for the help.
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#2 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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I would like to help u, but I need a few more details...

Exactly what is the problem? How r u getting holes in your diapers? How many have you made? What pattern are you using? Are you prewashing your fabric before cutting it?

My first 5 or 6 diapers, totally sucked. But I tried more and more, and used different free patterns off the net, until I got one that I really liked.

I also did not spend a lot on fabric, i mainly used fabric from old clothes from thrift stores and old receiving blankets...
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#3 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 06:53 PM
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Are you using 100% polyester thread? Cotton thread or even cotton wrapped polyester thread can make diapers wick.

Are you *drying* them on hot? I saw that you washed them on hot. I always dry them on hot every oncein a while and I never have a problem.

What are you using for inserts? 100% cotton or hemp works best. Some people like microfiber, but it leaks for us. I found that anything that isn't 100% cotton or hemp (or a combo) leaks terribly. In a good pocket, the insert should be completely saturated before the pee wicks to the outside of the diaper.

Can you tell if it's the microfleece repelling? Is the insert dry or just barely wet when it leaks? If it is the fleece, have you tried scrubbing the fleece inside and out with dawn, then doing hot washes (no detergent) to get all the soap out.

What detergent are you using? Some people find that free and clears make fleece repel badly. Anything with uv optical brighteners might too.

It sucks that you are going through all this, but there *has* to be a reason they aren't working. If it comes down to it, you can sell off the materials and get some of your money back.

If none of this solves the problem, PM me and maybe I can help you.
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#4 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wash and dry on hot. The "holes" are from the needle in the sewing machine. Somone said that they may cause wicking out. I use 2 layers of flannel and 2 layers of terry as an insert. I have tried just using one insert and using 2 inserts. Either it fills up WAY to fast and doesn't absorb it or with 2 layers (one layer long like a normal FB and the other i fold in half and put in the crotch area) one layer is soaked the other is somewhat wet. I have washed my diapers with soap and then immidiatly after that washed them with just water 4 times. I had been using ajax (it was at my moms....) and purex detergent. I just bought a bottle of ALL but haven't used it on the diapers.

I traced a FB to make my pattern, added about 1/2 for seams and then larger tabs for velcro instead of snaps.

I have made about 10-12 diapers, i only have about 8 that actually fit/have the right material/no "problems" tho. Some of the ones I made are better than others but marginally so.

Do you think putting this stuff on ebay as a diaper kit would sell? Or just list the items seperatly?
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#5 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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: I'm so sorry you're having a tough time! Maybe your inserts aren't absorbant enough - have you tried hemp?

If you're going to sell it, I'd list it individually and combine shipping. That way people can get only what they need, instead of passing by the package because they don't need FOE or something.
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#6 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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Are you already at the point of giving up, or would you like to try to fix a couple of them, or sew a few more with your leftover material to see what happens?

In all honesty, I don't think 2 layers of flannel, and 2 layers of terry is enough. let me direct u to this thread.

I'm not quite understanding what you mean when you say you use an insert to fold up in the crotch area? Do you think you could explain that to me?

I'm not the best one to ask about wicking thread. I can't find any thread that's not polyester wrapped in cotton, and use the kind that i have and never have any problems. I'm wondering, did you wash all the material (especially all the cotton material) before you cut the diapers? I'm wondering if that would have made a difference to the "holes" that you were talking about.

I use microterry (automotive clothes) clothes for the inside of my diapers, about 3 or 4 layers sewn together, with the flannel diaper outer, and the inside of an old sweatshirt for the inside wicking layer next to baby skin, or either fleece next to baby's skin, and they work great.

You know you have to use a cover right? Do you use wool? Wool, especially after it's (stupid me, i said "laminated"! I meant-) lanolized, is extremely waterproof, and you would never even know it was wet, and I never get leaks with it.

This stuff need not cost much, I get all my materials from wool sweaters and suits and pants, along with cotton flannel shirts, and sweatshirts from the thrift store.

Just a few things that I found helpful...

now nak...i'm hoping u don't give up yet!
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#7 of 33 Old 06-17-2006, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhinderliter
(one layer long like a normal FB and the other i fold in half and put in the crotch area) one layer is soaked the other is somewhat wet.
If there's is too much bulk in the crotch the legs could gape and cause the pee to run out instead of soaking into the second insert. Have you tried just two inserts flat, one on top of the other?

And FWIW, I haven't had any luck with flannel. I know it's 100% cotton, but it seems to absorb in one spot and then run out the leg instead of soaking the rest of the insert. I have really good luck with prefolds. The standard sizes are not too bulky but still *wonderfully* absorbant!
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#8 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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i traced a fb to make my pattern too, you only need to add 1/4 in and mine always leaked until i Boiled them for some reason they needed that really high heat to lock the holes up, after boiling they worked great, it is worth a try! i used the biggest pot i had a canning pot and boiled them for 10 minutes (brought the water to a boil, put the dipes in and brought back to a boil then 10 min) good luck mama, i think that if that doesnt work you dont have enough absorbancy, for a test you could pickup microfiber towels in the auto department at walmart, they are 4 something for 8 you could trifold 2 and use those for inserts, that is the cheapest i have found
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#9 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like really good ideas. I haven't tried boiling them...not sure why they would need to be boiled... not even sure if i have a pot big enough...

the "holes" were supposed to be from the needle passing through the PUL. someone had suggested that it could be leaking enough from those holes to be really wet.

i've tried two flat inserts and they usually only get half wet (the front half and the back half is dry and ds is wet through to his pants). the folded insert at the crotch/front was to see if i NEEDED 2 inserts but the "weight" of the pee was so much for that much cloth to absorb was to much and although PUL is waterproof it still gets wet..does that make sense? i have sewed a chinese prefold to the same size as my insert and it also leaks (tho i haven't used it in my "newest" diaper...)

the only last thing i could think of was that it was an insert problem. i am going to *try* my microfiber insert from a FB in a diaper i made. that will surely tell me if its the diaper or the insert. if it leaks i am soooo totally through. IF i get enough from my supplies i might be able to buy a stash for ds but i would have to save up more money for new dd.

gabysmom- the whole point of using PUL was so that i didn't have to use wool right?

i listed the "package" on diaperswappers but nothing yet. i can try these last few things but i just don't want to sew more diapers and not have them work.
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#10 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 12:56 AM
 
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Just wondering, are all of your diapers all in ones with PUL?
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#11 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yes i am only using PUL. wool seems way to hot, we live in AZ and ds loves the outside. i wanted something VERY light. don't have to worry about a lot of moisture build up either....the air sucks it out of you...
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#12 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 02:44 AM
 
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Okay, more questions...

What kind of needle are you using?

What kind of elastic are you using? (I'm confused because you said you tried sewing it into casings and "trying to roll it in enough" but you also mentioned having a bunch of FOE, so I'm not sure what you're using where.)

Do you have any pictures?
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#13 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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Danielle, wool breathes like nothing else (even cotton) in extremely hot areas.

Gutterman thread is poly only gabysmom... that's what I use with PUL.

A ball point needle would be what you'd want to use (it pushes the fabric aside vs. puncturing it and creating actual holes).

Is your PUL polyester (one color) or printed?

Would you want to try some hemp french terry to make an inner? I could send you enough for a diaper (for free) if you like.
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#14 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 10:25 AM
 
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I agree, I think you have a wetter who needs more absorbancy in the inserts. For a while, we had the best luck with hemp inserts wrapped in a microfiber towel. The towel grabbed the pee and the hemp locked it in for no leaks.

It sounds like some of your diapers do work? Is there a particular time of day that you get more leaks? Maybe switch to wool covers for naps and overnight, if you have more problems then.
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#15 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am using a reg. sewing machince needle i guess. I had to get a larger (?) size tho cause my machine hadn't been doing well through thick stuff. its a size 14 i think (my 16 i broke cause it caught a pin!!!) not sure what differences there are with sewing needles. i knew enough about sewing to know i could but not enough to do things right!! with pul and needles tho since the pul has a "laminated" feel to the back is a needle going to be able to "push" it aside? theres no holes or "threads" to go through...

my pul is polyester (one color).

i have a friend here who has hemp inserts and will see if she will bring them over (she doesn't use them anyways). ds is a heavy wetter and is even soaking through some of his sposies too. it doesn't happen all the time but still....

I am using FOE but not in that manner. i fold it over (as the name suggests) but not around the fabric (just a pain in the booty!!) I then Tack it down (heavely) on both sides of the legs (i learned this from another thread just a few diapers ago) and then turn the dipe right side out and pin the FOE as close to the edge as possible and then sew AROUND the FOE so that it creates a "case" of material but its not sew TO the material. supposed to be easier to wash (no prob before) but its also easier to do than stretch the foe and sew and hold on to the fabric and guide it through. thats the "casing" i was refering to.

birthfree-wool may have been a better choice if i had a chance (or money) to experiment with it but since i already have 8 YARDS of pul (an easy 10-12 diapers) i think i will stick with it. plus its thinner.

so hemp doesn't grab pee quickly? i should have something else in there? i have the microfleece liner is that enough with JUST a reg. hemp insert? is terry a "grabber"? i would be able to pull apart my inserts with the flannel and use the terry if needed. i am also going to experiment with the microfiber insert from the FB in my diaper and if it works i am just going to order enough to fill my diapers. then i won't have to sew more stuff.

gotta wash it tho.....
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#16 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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The reason why I asked if all of your diapers were all in ones, was because I was just wondering whether or not u experimented with different things, different kinds, etc. LIke, maybe if the AIO's were just not working for u, then make just a regular plain fitted, and then make a PUL cover to go over it? Or maybe spend a dollar or 2 at your local walmart (or wherever) to get a different kind of elastic to try? Or try making a PUL cover, and making some type of binding around it?

Making your own cloth diapers is all about experimentation. It's best to make maybe one diaper at a time, try it, and change what you don't like when u make the next diaper, until u get to a method that really works for you that you like. THEN make it in mass quantities u know?

Oh, one more thing about wool. :

I get my wool for about $1.00 a sweater or $1 a pair of wool pants or skirt (much thinner than the sweaters). I mean if worse comes to worse, what would it hurt to try?

<don't knock the wool baby! : )
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#17 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 02:06 PM
 
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Microfleece could be your problem. For some babies it just doesn't wick fast enough (my baby is one) try buying a small piece of velour and making one and seeing if it works. I had to make all of my pockets with velour, because microfleece was super leaky for me.

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#18 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhinderliter
I am using a reg. sewing machince needle i guess. I had to get a larger (?) size tho cause my machine hadn't been doing well through thick stuff. its a size 14 i think (my 16 i broke cause it caught a pin!!!) not sure what differences there are with sewing needles. i knew enough about sewing to know i could but not enough to do things right!! with pul and needles tho since the pul has a "laminated" feel to the back is a needle going to be able to "push" it aside? theres no holes or "threads" to go through...
Okay, it sounds like right now you're using a size 90/14 needle, which should be fine, but you really want it to have a ball point end on it, so I'd check the package and see what it says. The ball point end will go through PUL, don't worry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhinderliter
I am using FOE but not in that manner. i fold it over (as the name suggests) but not around the fabric (just a pain in the booty!!) I then Tack it down (heavely) on both sides of the legs (i learned this from another thread just a few diapers ago) and then turn the dipe right side out and pin the FOE as close to the edge as possible and then sew AROUND the FOE so that it creates a "case" of material but its not sew TO the material. supposed to be easier to wash (no prob before) but its also easier to do than stretch the foe and sew and hold on to the fabric and guide it through. thats the "casing" i was refering to.
So, it sounds like you are trying to use FOE where one would normally use a regular polybraid elastic? That's not really how it's supposed to be used, but I've never tried it like that, so I can't say for sure if it's contributing to the problems. That said, FOE does shrink when washed, so if you didn't prewash your FOE, that can have an impact. I may be completely misunderstanding, though, I'm really a visual person, so I have trouble when I can't see exactly what's going on.

I hope that helps some, though.
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#19 of 33 Old 06-18-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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I think hemp is highly absorbant... hemp french terry in particular is supposed to hold the highest amt. of liquid for weight/size. My boys pee a LOT (like probably 2x the normal child) so I know about heavy wetters and for us flannel is useless... (but I'd rather buy pricey-er fabrics and get the silly diapers to work than wasting my time/money). It sounds like you have a heavy wetter too.

Yes, you want a ball point needle - it will push away the laminate - I use mine and it works great.

I'm thinking your use of FOE sounds different - do you have regular elastic you can try? FOE (esp. 1" FOE) wicks b/c it has cotton in it (vs. polybraid or lastin) and while that may not be what is causing it... it would still draw your moisture to where it's sewn in. Just brainstorming.

You've got lots of excellent advice here, I hope some of it helps you!
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#20 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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FOE has cotton in it? WT heck? That could be part of the problem. Why the heck would they recomend using FOE if its cotton?....ok i made one diaper with regular elastic from walmart but i have NO idea of what kind, brand or anything as it was in my sewing box and i decided to try it. i can buy some elastic (its not to huge of an expense) if you guys think that theres a kind that would be much better than FOE. If FOE shrinks when wasted it would just make the FOE more stretchy wouldn't it? i KNOW it hasn't broken in any of them and they still stretch....BTW my FOE is 1.5" or its supposed to be....

Ok so i tried my microfiber insert (officially from FB) in MY diaper....didn't wick and got wet ALMOST to the end (it was kinda damp but that could be sweat not sure). Get this tho.....I used 2 of MY inserts in the FB diaper.....it didn't wick or leak.....so that gives me NO solution!! I then tried 1 layer in my own diaper and the first pee wicked/leaked out....ARGH!!!! Just my luck.....

I will wash the microfiber and FB again to try tomorrow and use the FB insert in a different diaper that I made to see if it wicks at all. Ds didn't seem to have a heavy wetting day today so I don't want to get false results!! I just wonder tho if I get the same results tomorrow AND its a heavy wet day then I have no idea what to do. Basically that just tells me that if I made it ALL (the entire pocket diaper) its bound to fail but buy one piece (out of 2) commercially then it will work...doesn't make sense.....

oh and does microfleece in a FB differ that much from microfleece from joanns? i bought it there cause it was cheap and b/c it was "cheap" it should "leak" better....
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#21 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 03:41 AM
 
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I think hemp is highly absorbant... hemp french terry in particular is supposed to hold the highest amt. of liquid for weight/size.
I agree, but sometimes the pee comes at it faster than it can absorb. Microfiber can absorb faster. Wrapping a layer of mf around a hemp insert can help because the microfiber catches the pee while the hemp absorbs it. We used to have hemp inserts that were wet in one spot and the pocket leaked, using mf too solved the problem.

Danielle, I think maybe your inserts are too wide for your pockets after reading your experience today. Are they wider than the MOE insert?

Can you do pictures? It might help us figure out what is going on faster.
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#22 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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i use microfleece from joans i like it the best actually, you cant buy the FB kind, they have it specially milled
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#23 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My inserts are wider and a little shorter than the MOF. I made them so that they basically filled between the thighs in my diapers. Pictures

This is just one. I have a few that are a little different but you get the idea.
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#24 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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I would think that the inserts are too wide -- When the insert is wide enough to push at the sides, it basically puts wet fabric right beside thighs & squishes it until it leaks -- that's why most inserts are around 4 inches -- yours are looking more like 6, I think. In the pic with your son do you see how some of the fabric is bunched/folded on either side -- touching his leg? Soaker material in that area will absorb quickly and then just sit and press/strain against the waterproof barrier until it leaks -- especially if he is wearing anything remotely snug fitting over it (jeans, for example).

It also looks like your elastic is too tight -- which means you are probably getting little gaps and/or maybe red marks on your ds. Here's how I do the elastic: I put the "right sides together" of my 2 layers, then stitch around all the elastic areas (other than the pocket, etc.), then turn it right side out. I mark where I want the leg elastic to start/stop, and place the (cheap polybraid) elastic under my mark and sew it down securely at the beginning. Then I go to the other end and do the same. To make it a casing, I sew right beside the elastic (making sure not to catch it) all the way to the other end. I use 5/8 width elastic. I try to size my soakers so there is at least a 1/2 inch of wiggle room on either side of the soaker -- when it's IN the dipe -- not when it's sitting on top (because you have to take the height/thickness of the soaker into account).

Anywho, just my .02 -- good luck!
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#25 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can try cutting the soakers down. i didn't think the wideness would do anything...yeah they are about 6 in. the elastic is in a casing like you explained and i have seen a few red marks on ds but its more at the top where the pieces come together and i may pinch his skin when i am closing the diaper. i try not to but that chub just gets in the way!!

with the width issue tho...why did the inserts work just fine in the FB and not my dipes? oh well. if all i need to do is cut them down then thats easy.
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#26 of 33 Old 06-19-2006, 06:28 PM
 
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If you decide to give up on sewing them, I would love to buy the supplies from you!
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#27 of 33 Old 06-20-2006, 12:45 AM
 
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Could it be that the diapers aren't wide enough? I've had that issue before, the crotch area needs to be at least the same width as the crotch area in an FB here or we have leaks in the leg area.

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. It's so easy to get discouraged! I'm feeling it too, my last two have had leaks. I'm going to try the ball point needle, I had no clue about that!
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#28 of 33 Old 06-21-2006, 12:44 AM
 
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I have a theory (well, I'm pretty sure I know what at least part of your problem is, because it happened to me!)

FB are made with pul that has DWR applied to it- waterproofing. They will not wick to the outside very easily because the outside is very water repellant. Regular pul that most people buy is not DWR treated, although you can find the stuff....

I had wicking diapers that I made very similarly to yours. I ended up just buying a spray bottle of permanent water guard and DWR-ing the things myself. Then they worked perfectly for like a year, until the PWG wore off, they started to wick a bit around the legs again. So I re-applied. It was $10 and made me feel like all that time in front of the machine had not been a total waste- it's SO frustrating to make leaky dipes!!!

I'd try it- www.atsko.com . The permanent water guard is VERy good stuff, not smelly, etc...I found mine locally for like $10.
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#29 of 33 Old 06-21-2006, 12:46 AM
 
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oh, and I've used the Jo-anns microfleece, and it works great IMO. I could hardly tell any difference between it and the malden mills stuff, except the jo-anns does pill quicker.
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#30 of 33 Old 06-21-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Do you need to wash the dipes you put the water guard on any differently? If boiling mine doesn't work, I think I might try waterproofing the PUL.
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