Hello! And welcome to the last part of my nappy making fabrics guide. Last up we’re going to talk about “Stay Dry” fabrics which are often used as the inner layer of a nappy. We have up to 20% off all fabrics in our “Stay Dry” section and all orders placed over this week that you’ve asked us to hang on to will be dispatched today. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long.
What is a Stay Dry Fabric?
A stay dry fabric is generally a man-made fibre which feels (almost) dry to the touch after it’s gotten wet. These fabrics are said to have “wicking” properties, which means they draw moisture away from the skin and out in to the atmosphere so the moisture can evaporate. Let’s be real here, if you pour water on to any fabric it’s never going to be 100% dry but on these types of fabrics it will feel much dryer than an a natural fibre absorbent fabric which will just be sopping wet.
Why is this important in a cloth nappy? So your baby isn’t sat with wetness against his or her skin for any period of time. So how do stay dry fabrics do this? It all comes down to the wicking…
Most wicking fabrics are made from polyester blends, and synthetic fabrics don’t retain moisture like natural fibre fabrics do. Polyester holds on to a tiny 0.4% of moisture where as cotton retains about 7%. All polyester fabrics are not wicking fabrics, the wicking properties comes from the weave. The fabrics are constructed in such a way that the moisture is forced into and through the gaps in the weave
So there are a number of fabrics that can be used as a stay dry layer and each can perform differently. Our most popular choices are microfleece and suedecloth but some people choose to use cuddlesoft or plush too.
Microfleece is probably the most popular nappy lining fabric we stock, it’s a fleece fabric which is incredibly soft, thin, comes in a variety of colours and wicks moisture very well. No fabric will be completely dry when liquid is added but microfleece is one of the best at pulling the moisture away from the skin to the outer of the fabric and letting it evaporate and keeping you cool and comfortable. Because of this it’s also a popular choice for exercise clothing. We also stock an ultra thin microfleece which has a smooth knit on one side and fleece on the other, it’s a great choice for slimming down your nappy even further.
Suedecloth is a 100% polyester fabric which has a very short, fuzzy nap on one side and a smooth knit on the other. It’s much thinner than regular microfleece and is cheaper too. It works very well as a wicking fabric and is the fabric used as an lining fabric in many mass manufactured cloth nappies. It’s a popular choice as it comes in a wide range of colours and is only £3.99pm!
Other Stay Dry Options
Some people line their nappies with plush (minky) fabric. I had several nappies lined with plush and due to its luxurious and tactile nature it certainly made the nappy feel very special. Lining with plush does add bulk and in my experience it doesn’t feel quite as “dry” as microfleece or suedecloth but the performance is still adequate and it does have the bonus of feeling extra special.
Cuddlesoft is in essence a plush fabric without a brand name behind it. This means the quality isn’t as good as something like Shannon’s cuddle fabric, but it’s still lovely and tactile and usually a bit thinner so it makes it a good choice for a nappy lining fabric. In my experience it performs a little less well than microfleece or suedecloth, but it’s perfectly fine.
Well that concludes my series on cloth nappy fabrics and I hope you may have learnt something or perhaps been tempted to give cloth nappies a try. It’s by no means exhaustive and there are so many other ways to use the fabrics too, I’ve just mentioned some of the post popular. If you have any other questions or have an area that’s puzzling do get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.