Friday, September 11, 2009

PUL or Wool Covers?

Cloth diaper covers come in all different styles and You have the choice of PUL or Wool (&Fleece) too. What to do?...Which is best? Upsides/Downsides?...
PUL, poly-urethane laminate, is the modern choice now for covers. PUL replaced the Vinyl pants my Mom used on me. A soft woven fabric outside with a waterproof layer on the backside. Most PUL can be dried on high heat in a drier, it helps reseal the bond between the Laminate and the woven fabric. Definitely check with the manufacturer before drying, some PUL should be lined dried instead. So check, otherwise your covers will delaminate and become leaky.
The upsides: PUL covers are quick and easy to use. They wash quickly and dry even faster. They can be used several times before laundering, just let air dry or use a wipe in a pinch to clean up any messes. The down side, PUL isn't very breathable and it's still plastic. Some Mama's really have a problem with plastic, since that is one of the concerns with disposables. BUT you can you them like forever and they can be past around from child to child and Mama to Mama.
Wool is the most Natural choice for cloth diaper covers. At first I was skeptical. How is wool going to stop the leaks? I test drove a upcycled pair of Wool longies I got on trade from a Mama, I was hooked! Wool in it's natural state is soft, not scratchy and when Lanolized, their waterproof.
The Upsides: Natural, organic choice. Wool can be used for virtually weeks before laundering, unless soiled by poo. Air dry the wool. You can rotate through a few pair of covers a day. Wool only needs Lanolized every 6 weeks-ish. I say ish because, depending on the fabric, amount of use and laudering style, your routine may very. I lanolize when I notice it starts to loose it's waterproofness. Always hand wash your wool. Some Mama's have fancy washers that have a delicate/Wool cycle, but I haven't heard any of them that didn't get bally (pilly) wool after using it.
Downsides: Wool is a bit more high maintenance to care for and it can be very expensive when purchased brand new and a few have allergies to it. Thankfully we have wonderful recyclers out there and an old wool sweater is PERFECT for a diaper cover. (Giveaway coming next week on Wool Sweaters for you to make your own wool covers)...

What we rock: We do both. It truly depends on where we are going and what my needs are. I can say that I have not had a night-time leak for months and months. My secret..... PUL and Wool. I double up. I use my phatest night-time diaper, then a PUL cover and Wool pants/shorts or a wrap.

Thanks to Fundawears Cloth Diapers and BusyBumbleBee
for pictures and links to Studios for the goods.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why use bamboo fabrics?

I offer diapers with both Bamboo Fleece and Bamboo Velour and often get questions as to which is better. I love them both but both appeal to people for different reasons.

Bamboo Fleece:

What is bamboo fleece? It is similar to the fabric used to make your favourite sweatshirt. The jersey side is silky soft and the fleecy side is fluffy soft. The fleecy side can get pilly initially, however I like using it both ways and my girls have never expressed a preference either way. The weight I use is extremely absorbent, moreso than the velour, and is slightly bulkier than the velour. Most of my girls' diapers are made with bamboo fleece. Banana Bottoms fitted cloth diapers will not need extra doublers. Of course, there will be the few exceptions to this but I use mine comfortably through naps and night time with no leaks.

Here is an example of a diaper made with bamboo fleece:

Bamboo Velour:

What is bamboo velour? Bamboo velour fabric is silky soft and very yummy. As a next-to-babe fabric, the softness can't be beat. (I have a skirt made from this and it is great!) This is very popular with diaper makers and with good reason. It provides a slim layer of absorbency, reducing bulk in a diaper. I don't find it's weight to be as absorbent as the bamboo fleece, so Banana Bottoms diapers are paired with bamboo fleece using velour as the inner layer and topper on the soaker, providing the softness of the velour and the super absorbancy of the fleece.

Here is a diaper made with bamboo velour:

Either way, you can't go wrong with bamboo fabrics. They are all highly absorbent, naturally anti-microbial and reduce odours with diapers. Bamboo fabrics are extremely soft and silky and are perfect for cloth diapers.