Hello! And welcome to part 4 of my nappy making fabrics guide, you can read the other parts in this series here. Today I’m taking a break from the fabrics today to talk about some of the notions and fastenings you can use when making cloth nappies. Today you can enjoy up to 20% off KAM snaps, lastin and Aplix/ Touch tape hook & loop. Wondering what an earth these are? Fret not! All is to be revealed…. If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer this week but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long.
Fastening your cloth nappy
Hook & loop fastening
Hook and loop is the generic term for “Velcro” (you know, like “Hoover” is the brand that has become the household term for “vacuum”) – one side of the fastening is covered in tiny hooks the other is fuzzy and made up of tiny loops and together they stick to form a firm fastening. You can’t just use any old hook and loop in a nappy though, you need some special stuff that can withstand the high volume of laundry that a cloth nappy goes through. Normal “Velcro” will just lose it’s stick after a few washes and won’t be any use to man nor beast. In a cloth nappy you need to use brands such as Aplix or TouchTape.
Hook & loop fastenings have their advantages in a cloth nappy, especially at the beginning. You don’t need any special kit to apply it, just a regular sewing machine and at change time they are super speedy (and often favoured by men!) but the disadvantage of using hook and loop is that as your little ones grows they will learn to be able to undo this type of fastening much quicker than using KAM snaps.
The nappies above have a hook and loop fastening, can you see the white hook and loop at the front?
KAM snap nappy fastening
KAM snaps, oh KAM snaps… oh how I love thee! Anyone that’s got busy with these wonderful fastenings will confirm how ace they are and SUPER useful for many things. KAM snaps are for life, not just for nappies.
The downer for a beginner in the nappy making world is that you need either some pliers or a press to apply these “poppers” so it adds to the initial cost BUT they really are super useful little fellas and I’ve used them all over the place. You can use them instead of buttons, press studs and even zips. They come in a mind boggling array of colours and also different sizes and shapes. For a nappy you need a size 20 snap, rather than a size 16. A size 20 KAM snap can’t be undone easily by small hands and they are also incredibly strong and are weight-bearing. A large wet bag full to the brim with dirty laundry will easily have its weight supported by one size 20 KAM snap.
As well as providing the fastening for a nappy KAM snaps are also very handy at providing a fitting adjustment in the rise of the nappy as seen in the photo below. The snaps on the rise can be popped together for the shortest rise setting when your baby is small and let out as they grow to make the nappy larger.
Lastin vs Elastic
There are generally two areas of a nappy you need some kind of elastic – around the legs and at the back. There are two main types used – Lastin and Polybraid elastic – and I can’t say that one is better than the other, it comes down to a personal preference.
Lastin is a clear, flat elastic which has an amazing stretch and can elongate to 300-400% and it’s stretch recovery is amazing. Lastin is resistant to chemicals and doesn’t absorb any moisture so is equipped to stand up to the laundry demands of cloth nappies. Not only is it great for nappy making but it’s great for garment making too and is used to reinforce neck lines, arm holes and is great for seam re-inforcement. You should use Lastin brand in nappies and not just a generic clear elastic which might not be strong enough to hold shape or withstand the laundry regime.Lastin has a soft return on the stretch and is less likely to mark your baby’s skin and it creates really great looking leg gathers, not always possible to achieve with polybraid elastic.
Lastin was my personal choice when I was making nappies but some people find it difficult to use and experience breakages. The trick is to give it a bit of a pre-stretch before you sew it and then NOT to over stretch theLastin when you are sewing it. If you over stretch it under the needle its likely to break. It can take practice as Lastin is super stretchy and will stretch more than elastic will so there’s not an easy “stop” indication. Practice makes perfect as they say!
Cheaper and more readily available, there’s nothing wrong with using good old polybraid elastic. It has a good return but it can be a little harsh on larger legs and can leave marks on your baby’s skin. It will still hold up well to frequent washing.
The only way to find out which you prefer is to try it and see which you get on with.
I hope you’ve found this useful. Join me tomorrow to talk about the outer layer of a nappy.