All diapers are constructed from one or more of the following fabrics:
Hemp French Terry, Hemp Fleece and more
Cloth Diapering Dictionary
For those new to cloth diapering, all the new vocabulary and acronyms can be overwhelming! We decided to gather common terms and create a dictionary for you! Knowing these basic terms will make your cloth diaper shopping a much less confusing task! If you need the defination of something not on our list, email us and let us know!
AIO ~ All-in-one Diapers- all-in-one diapers are fitted diapers that have an outer waterproof layer. Often they have fewer absorbent layers than their counterparts. These diapers are ideal for situations in which people unfamiliar to cloth diapers will be changing baby’s diaper, like the nursery, and for people who want the ease of a one-piece diapering system.
Breathable– Air is able to circulate through the material allowing some urine to evaporate and helping to prevent rashes.
Contour diapers– Contour diapers are hourglass shaped but have no elastic in the legs.
Diaper Covers- Covers come in several styles. They may be contoured and fasten with snaps or Velcro. Some covers pull-up, like underwear. They can also be made from numerous materials such as: polyester, vinyl, fleece or wool. Fleece and wool are both breathable materials. Covers are needed over all diapers except AIO’s to prevent the wetness from leaking on to whoever holds baby!
DSQ ~ Diaper Service Quality– DSQ is an industry standard term for high quality prefolds. Prefolds that are not DSQ are usually not durable or absorbent enough to be used as diapers; however, they make great burp cloths!
Doublers– Doublers are pads that fit easily into a diaper, and can be added to a diaper to increase absorbency. These are great for at nighttime or anytime that you need extra absorbancy!
Fitted Diapers- Fitted diapers resemble disposable diapers. They have a contoured shape and elastic around the legs. Instead of tape, they fasten with Velcro or snaps. A waterproof diaper cover is necessary when using a fitted diaper. Fitted diapers are more expensive than pre-folds ranging from $4 to $11 each. However they are much easier to use. If you purchase those with Velcro closures, look for wide Velcro strips and fold back laundry tabs.
Flat or Square Diapers-Flat diapers refer to the single-ply square shaped diapers that our mothers and grandmothers used. The flat diapers that you find in a store, such as Target, are not effective for use as cloth diapers, but make great burp rags!
Hemp- Hemp is a course fiber made from the inner bark of the hemp plant. It is becoming increasingly popular for use in diapers because of its durability, absorbency and natural anti-microbial properties.
Pre-folds- Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that are thicker in the middle. The sides usually have a thickness of 4 layers. The middle section can have 6 or 8 layers. This gives pre-folds greater absorbency in the middle. You will often see prefolds defined as 4-6-4, 4-8-4 or more rarely 2-4-2. These numbers refer to the layers of cloth in each section from left to right. Pre-folds are the cheapest alternative in diapers. They can be enclosed in a Velcro or snap fastened cover or they can be pinned with diaper pins or snappi fasteners.
Pocket Diapers- Pocket diapers are the newest types of diapers to hit the cloth-diapering world. Tereson of Mother of Eden holds a patent on pocket diapers. Pocket diapers are like customizable AIO’s. They usually have an outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a stay dry material, like microfleece, or suedecloth. Pocket diapers are sewn with the back or front open to form a pocket. In the pocket you put an absorbent insert. Many pocket diapers are sold with an insert, or you can use a prefold. Pocket diapers are great for nighttime use, because you can customize the absorbent material. During the day you might use 1 insert, while at night you might use 2. Pocket diapers also close with snaps or Velcro.
PUL ~ Polyurethane Laminate– Polyurethane Laminate is a fabric in which a waterproof laminate has been applied to the back. This makes for an extremely thin, soft fabric that is also waterproof and easy to care for.
Quick-dry– Quick-dry products open up or come apart to dry quickly in the dryer. For example, a quick-dry diaper might have a snap in soaker that you can take off for washing and drying. This may cut your drying time in half.
Soakers- The term soaker is used for two different things in the diapering world. The term can refer to the middle part of the diaper. This part is made from an absorbent material such as cotton, and is anywhere from 2-6 layers thick. Soakers may be sewn into the diaper, snap onto the inside of the diaper, or lay inside the diaper. Sometimes snap in and lay in soakers are referred to as “quick-dry”. The term soaker is also used in reference to knit wool diaper covers.
Wool- Wool is a fabric made of fleece of sheep or lamb. Its water repelling properties and breathability are what make it popular for use as a diaper cover.