Friday, February 19, 2010

The Modern Cloth Diaper Glossary by StarBunz


Styles of Cloth Diapers:
- Pocket Diaper: A cloth diaper that requires an absorbent pad to be stuffed in. Absorbent pads are often called soaker pads, inserts, and doublers. Do not assume a pocket diaper comes with the needed insert.
- All-in-one: Also commonly referred to as an AIO, an All in one cloth diaper consists of a waterproof outer fabric, a stay-dry inner fabric and an absorbent soaker pad.
- All-in-two: A cloth diaper that consists of a waterproof outer, a stay dry inner and a snap in or lay in absorbent soaker pad.
- Cloth Diaper Cover: A water-proof garment used to cover a cloth diaper. "Fitted" diapers and Chinese pre-folds all require a diaper cover.
- Fitted Diapers: This type of diaper is made completely out of absorbent materials. It has a built in soaker pad either internally sandwiched between layers or externally, sewn directly to the inside of the fitted diaper. All fitted diapers require a cover.
- Chinese Pre-fold: These are flat diapers that consist of multiple ayers of cotton gauze. They are divided into three sections that can be distinguished with stitch lines going through the garment. They may be referred to with three numbers - such as 4-6-4. These numbers will help you determine your absorbency level. They stand for the number of layers in the three sections on the diaper. 4-6-4 means there are four layers of gauze on each end and six layers in the middle.



Materials Commonly Used in Cloth Diapers:
- Microfleece: This is the "stay-dry" material most referred to in modern cloth diapers. It is a specially milled fabric that caters to teh diapering industry. The weave on the right side of the fabric is crafted in such a way that water is able to freely pass through it, but the weave on the wrong side of the fabric is not, so water is passed through to the inner soaker and trapped there. This creates the stay-dry feel that you may hear about. The right side of the fabric (The face, or part that touches the baby) is buttery smooth. Also can be called Microfiber Fleece. Microfleece is 100% polyester and very prone to repellant if washed wrong. Never used any detergent with oils or enzymes in it, and never use fabric softener. This will leave a thin layer of residue on the fabric and cause the material to repel water rather than pass it though, and possibly seal the fate of your cloth diaper.
- Microfiber: A term used to describe a very fine weave in polyester fabric, that weighs less than one denier per filament. Seen in the cloth diaper industry as Microfiber Terry or Microfiber fleece. Then further shortened in the cloth diaper community as Microfleece and Microterry.
- Microterry: This is the fluffy white fabric that is used to make soaker pads and pocket diaper inserts. It looks like a towel, but is not made of cotton. Normally a pocket diaper insert is only three layers thick, which is not ideal for use in a cloth diaper. Even if the diaper comes with an insert, typically two are needed. 5-6 layers will absorb enough for daytime use of about 3-4 hours. It is highly absorbent, but very prone to repellant if washed wrong. Never used any detergent with oils or enzymes in it, and never use fabric softener. This will leave a thin layer of residue on the fabric and stop its absorbing capabilities completely.
- Sherpa: Sherpa is a brand of terry cloth, like your bathroom towels. It actually looks more like sweatshirt fleece though. A towel is a length of woven fabric with loops weaved all through it for absorbency. In sherpa, the woven fabric is polyester unless stated that it is organic, and the loops are weaved on one side in cotton. The terry cloth is than set upon with wire brushes to scratch the loops into oblivion. This results in a fluffy soft short mess of cotton, which is very soft and appealing to cloth diaper users.
- Hemp: All hemp fabric found in the cloth diaper environment are a hemp cotton blend. Usually the hemp is 45% and the cotton is 55%. Hemp in itself it too flimsy to have a 100% hemp fabric made out of it. Especially if you want it to have a bit of stretch to it. Hemp is amazing because its absorbent properties are better than cotton, it has anti-microbial properties to it, and it remains usable longer than a micro-fiber usually does. The downfall it that it costs a it more.
- Bamboo: Fabric made from bamboo is blended with cotton to help hold the fibers together. Like hemp, Bamboo by itself is not strong enough and will break down too rapidly if left without a partner. It is amazingly soft, which is why cloth diaper users often salivate over it.

Sourced from Starbunz.com
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