Cloth 101: absorbency

This week I wanted to chat a little about absorbency, we had lots of emails this week about leaks and I wanted to do a brief 101 on insert and fabric density, next week we will get into more specifics. In cloth diapers, there are 3 basic “groups” that I put fabrics into.

1)microfiber/microterry, 2) cotton/bamboo (other organic velours and cotton blends fall here) 3) hemp

You can have variations of these groups, but for discussing density these three will do 🙂

These three groups will behave differently in wetting situations. If I laid out a microfiber insert, a cotton prefold and a hemp insert (all prewashed),
and tossed a cup of water on them, the microfiber is going to slurp it up wherever it hits, but hold the least amount overall. The cotton prefold will soak up most of it, some will roll off before it has a chance to absorb, but will hold more overall. The hemp insert will likely “catch” the least amount, but if it has time to absorb will hold the most overall. This is why layering is important in fitteds and pockets. Now, many times fitteds will have the hemp blended with another fabric to “catch” faster, so this isn’t so much of a deal as just putting plain hemp inserts inside a pocket by themselves. If you have pocket diapers, putting microfiber on top of a hemp or cotton insert will help catch fast wetters. If your baby or toddler is a slow wetter or light wetter (meaning they pee a tiny amount every few minutes rather than flooding the diaper once or twice an hour), denser fabrics will work more effectively by themselves. For quick wetters or flooders you may find you need the microfiber to catch it initially and give the hemp a chance to absorb it all. Next week we will get into some specific layering advice, what is “too much” for a pocket diaper, and why pockets don’t usually work for super heavy wetters at nighttime and naptime, even if layered correctly~

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October 14, 2011. cloth diapers, FAQ, night time diapering, Night time solutions.

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