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Diaper Fabrics


Cloth Diapers > Diaper Fabrics • Diaper CareDiapering Gear

stack of multicolored diapers There are three basic parts to a cloth diaper:  an outer waterproof or water-resistant layer, a soaker layer of absorbent material, and an inner layer that touches baby's skin.  Of course, different fabrics are best-suited for each part.

Outer Layer

Polyester with a polyurethane laminate (PUL), fleece, and wool are the primary fabrics used for covers.  Each material has benefits and drawbacks.  PUL is completely waterproof and machine-washable, but not very breathable.  Fleece is water-resistant and breathable, but can wick moisture onto clothes if compressed for long periods, such as when your baby is in a car seat.  Wool is highly breathable option, but it must be laundered gently to protect the fibers.  Uniquely, wool is both water-resistant and absorbent; it can absorb up to 30% of its weight before ever feeling wet.

Soaker Layer

Microfiber and burley knit terry are popular soaker fabrics for fitteds, AIOs, and pockets.  Flats and prefolds are usually made from cotton twill or birdseye cotton.  Hemp terry and fleece are also popular for their antibacterial properties, trimness, and absorbency.  Bamboo fabrics are the newest offering, rapidly gaining popularity for their softness, antibacterial qualities, and eco-friendliness.

Inner Layer

AIOs, pockets, and some fitteds are lined with fabrics chosen for comfort against baby's skin.  Cotton and bamboo velour are soft and cuddly; polyester microfleece and suedecloth wick moisture away from the skin to keep baby dry.

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Sewing Your Own Cloth Diapers

Diapers are not difficult to sew, but many of the materials used for diapers are difficult to find in traditional stores.  Take a look at the sites below for diaper patterns and fabrics.

  • offers patterns for various diaper styles, plus a wide selection of diaper fabrics and accessories.
  • is another vendor that offers diaper patterns and fabrics.

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Diaper Fabrics - Diaper Layers - Sewing Cloth Diapers