Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Prefold Diapers

Hmm, I had to start with the hardest one to qualify right? I consider prefolds to be a "generic" item, since if you're shopping on cloth diaper etailer websites and searching only for DSQ prefolds, they're all pretty much the same. I've included where I bought mine just FYI, but it doesn't really matter that much.

Quick Prefold Glossary
prepping: washing new prefolds; unbleached require more prepping than bleached because of the natural oils still present in the fibers, but can be soaked overnight to cut down on prep washes; wash on hot with or without detergent in a wash-wash-dry pattern for a total of at least 6 washes; this IS neccesary in order for diapers to absorb wets
quilting: when you buy new prefolds, they look flat and not at all like you imagine prefolds to look; once you've prepped them, they bunch up, shrink up to their size, and become softer and more absorbent; see the pics in my folding tutorial in this post to see what a quilted up prefold looks like

Unbleached Chinese Prefolds (UBCPF)

I love UBCPFs. They are total workhorses. Super absorbent and really sturdy serging. They quilt up quite nicely after the initial prep, and they only get softer with each wash. I chose unbleached because they haven't gone through loads and loads of chemical bleaching processes. I also figured that...well, they're diapers, and the bright white bleached ones would acquire some rather unattractive stains after a while. Some people say that UB are softer than bleached, but I don't really think that's so. I have bought infant, standard infant, regular, premium, and toddler-sized UBCPFs from Nicki's Diapers, Tiny Tush, and Green Mountain Diapers. The diapers are all the same in quality, but if you're new to cloth diapering, Green Mountain has, in my opinion, the most helpful and comprehensive guide to all the different sizes.

Bleached Chinese Prefolds (CPFs)

I also bought a few bleached CPFs because one day during my diaper sewing excitement (I have turned several prefolds into fitteds), I had the cute idea to dye some prefolds before I sewed them up! The principles of dyeing fabric a vibrant color are the same as dyeing your hair a crazy color: you gotta bleach it first. So I ordered a few bleached CPFs and prepped them. They quilted up really nicely and are very soft. I truly can't feel any difference between them and the unbleached. But I have never used them as diapers and (shame, shame) still haven't gotten around to dyeing them, so I can't answer to how well that process would go. If you think you want to try it out, you need to get high quality fabric dye from somewhere like Hancock or Joann's. The Rit stuff you get at WalMart just won't cut it. I think I got the bleached CPFs from Jillian's Drawers.

Bleached Indian Prefolds (IPFs)

I have a dozen bleached IPFs in size 'newborn'. The only reason I went with the bleached IPFs is because that's the only way I could find the newborn size prefold. They are super soft and teeeeny tiny! I never really used them as prefolds for Miss R, but I used them frequently as doublers in pockets or with fitteds for her longer sleep periods until her wetting needs outgrew them when she was around 2 or 3 months old. I got my bleached IPFs from Nicki's Diapers.