There are many different types of cloth diaper fabrics on the market! It can be hard to figure out which type of cloth diaper fabric will best fit your needs.
Why does it matter?? Choosing the right material for your child will make all the difference in the world! If you have a heavy wetter, you will want to choose a cloth diaper fabric that is very absorbant, however, you will need to make sure your cloth diaper will still dry in a decent amount of time.
Choosing cloth diaper fabric is especially important when you plan to sew your own cloth diapers. It will be important to know which types of cloth diaper fabric will provide a stay dry barrier, and which are waterproof, as well as what will make the best soaker.
Woven Cotton Print Diaper Fabric -
·Prints are generally cotton quilters quality fabric. While they are cotton, they are thin and don't absorb much. This fabric is generally used to provide a cute exterior for a cloth diaper. Some downsides to prints are that they can fade depending on the quality of the fabric.
Flannel Diaper Fabric-
·Flannel is a staple in the cloth diaper industry. It sometimes comes in prints and often in white or solid colors. Flannel can be used on the outside of a cloth diaper, but makes a very nice and soft inside. Flannel can also be used as the soaker part of a diaper, although more layers are needed than sherpa, hemp or terry. Some downsides to flannel are that it pills (forms small balls of lint on the fabric) and prints can fade.
Cotton Fleece Diaper Fabric-
·Cotton fleece is a super soft material. It is just like the inside of your cotton sweat pants. Cotton fleece washes and wears very well, staying soft for a long time. The downside to cotton fleece is that it can be thick, and take a while to dry. Cotton cloth diaper fabric can be used for any part of a cloth diaper. Some really soft and squishy diapers are made from all cotton fleece. Just be careful that the diapers are not too thick to dry in a reasonable time.
Hemp Diaper Fabric-
·Hemp is very popular in the diapering community. It is purported to soak up large amounts of liquid, making it the ideal system for a super heavy wetter. Hemp comes in such variations as: terry, french terry, fleece, and jersey. The downside to hemp is that it must be washed quite a few times in order to wash away the natural oils and reach full absorbancy. Hemp can be used for every part of a diaper.
PUL (polyurethane laminate)Diaper Fabric -
·PUL is generally a polyester knit or cotton print fabric that has been bonded to a urethane layer. PUL was developed for the medical community and was intended to be autoclaved. This means that PUL is meant to be washed and dried on very high heats! PUL is used as a water proof layer, the outermost layer or as a hidden layer, in cloth diapers.
Ultrex Cloth Diaper Fabric-
·Ultrex is a waterproof material that is used less commonly in all-in-ones and covers. I personally don't have any experience with ultrex and prefer PUL.
Procare Diaper Fabric-
·Procare is a waterproof material that is used less commonly in all-in-ones and covers. I personally don't have any experience with Procare and prefer PUL.
Birdseye Cloth Diaper Fabric -
·Birdseye is a woven pique fabric. The weave is slightly textured. Birdseye is extremely soft and durable. Many flat diapers are made from birdseye. Birdseye can be used to make any part of a diaper.
Polyester Fleece Cloth Diaper Fabric -
·Polyester Fleece comes in many varieties and used for different reasons. Micro-fleece and 100 wt. fleece is very thin and is used as a "wicking" layer to lock moisture in the soaker, away from babies skin. Most other types of fleece are used as water proof layers, in an all-in-one or cover. Some types of water proof fleeces include: 200 wt., 300 wt., windpro, polar, polartec, windbloc, and nordic fleece. The wonderful thing about fleece is its breathabilty. This means that air will circulate in the diaper, helping to prevent rashes. This is a great article about polyester fleece.
Wool Diaper Fabric -
·Wool is an amazing material for covers. It can absorb up to 30% of its weight in liquid without feeling wet and has natural anti-microbial properties. Occassionally you will find a WI2 (Wool in two). Because the care of wool is different than the care of other diapering materials, you will not find a one piece wool all-in-one. Wool comes in fabric, flannel and jersey, or yarn. You can read more about why wool is the most amazing diaper cover around here. The only downside to wool, is that it requires specialized care. Occasionally, wool can unknowingly get tossed in the washer and dryer and end up small enough to fit your hamster!
Woven Terry Diaper Fabric -
·Woven terry is generally used as a diaper soaker. It is easy to find, readily availiable at low prices and very absorbant. Most bath towels are made from woven terry so those looking to make cloth diapers even more affordable can use old bath towels as soakers. The downside to using woven terry is that it can get stiff and form lint balls inside the diaper. However, I have many diapers with woven terry soakers that are not extremely stiff.
Knit Terry Diaper Fabric -
·Knit terry is sometimes used to make baby towels. It is fairly soft, and does not get stiff like woven terry. Knit terry is very absorbant and can be used for all parts of a diaper.
Sherpa Cloth Diaper Fabric -
·Sherpa is a knit terry material with soft brushed loops. Sherpa is one of my favorite diapering materials. It can be used for any part of a diaper and makes a super soft and absorbant material.
Velour Cloth Diaper Fabric -
·Velour is a super soft and plush knit fabric. It can be used for any area of a diaper. I love to use velour for the layer next to baby's skin! Velour does not seem to fade much and stays looking new wash after wash.
Suedecloth Diaper Fabric -
·Sudedcloth is a thin polyester material that is used as a stay dry liner. It "wicks" moisture away from baby's bum and locks it in the soaker. Suedecloth is very nice and soft and stays looking new for a very long time.
Crushed Panne Diaper Fabric -
·Similiar to suedecloth, crushed panne is also a thin 100% polyester fabric that "wicks" moisture away from baby. Unlike suedecloth, crushed panne is a stretchy material and has a slightly shimmery "crushed" look to it. it is very soft, and holds up very well to repeated use.