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Choosing reusable cloth diapers is a big decision that can lead to a rewarding journey for you and your baby. But where do you start? Here are the most commonly asked questions on how to start your cloth diaper journey.

Nicki's Diapers is a family business founded by Nicki and later joined by her husband Jesse. As a husband and wife team, they worked together to ensure the highest quality products while following responsible environmental and social business practices. The company is now located in Akron, Ohio.

Understanding Cloth Diaper Fabrics

Understanding the difference between all of the different diaper fabrics can be challenging to say the least. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on all of the cloth diaper fabrics.

This list includes both waterproof diaper fabrics and non-waterproof fabrics.

Interested in Learning About One Specific Type of Fabric?

Click the fabric type that you are most interested in learning about to quickly jump to that section of this page!

  • Microfiber Fabrics
  • Cotton Fabrics
  • Bamboo Fabrics
  • Hemp Fabrics
  • Stay Dry Fabrics

Microfiber

Microfiber cloth is very absorbent (it can bear up to seven times its weight in water), rendering it an excellent moisture absorbent. Microfiber cloth is made from synthetic materials-typically a polyester-nylon blend.

Absorbent Properties of Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber is the quickest cloth diapering fabric to absorb, but not as absorbent as hemp or bamboo.Microfiber cloth should never directly touch a baby’s skin. A layer of natural fibers, chamois, or fleece must be on top of microfiber. This prevents a baby’s skin from drying out or becoming irritated.  

Pros of Microfiber Cloth:

  • Affordable
  • Absorbent 
  • Easy to Use
  • Great for Beginners

Cons of Microfiber Cloth:

  • Not eco-friendly
  • Cannot touch skin
  • Needs to be replaced every 1-2 years

Microfiber Inserts

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Cotton

Cotton is a smooth, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or defensive case, around the seeds of cotton plants in the genus Gossypium, which belongs to the Malvaceae family of mallows. The fabric is almost entirely made up of cellulose. Typically, the fiber is woven into yarn or thread and used to create a smooth, breathable textile.

Absorbent Properties of Cotton

Cotton diapers absorb slightly slower than microfiber but are more absorbent. Cotton diapers absorb an ounce or two more. Cotton diapers are a budget-friendly natural fiber option.

Pros of Cotton Cloth Diapers: 

  • Durable 
  • Absorbent 
  • Affordable 
  • Breathable, Soft, and Comfortable

Cons of Cotton Cloth Diapers

  • Anti-allergenic 
  • If it is not 100% Organic Cotton, it can be bad for the enrichment 

Types of Cotton Fabrics

  • Cotton Terryis a loopy type of fabric similar to a dish towel-soft, gentle, and locks onto moisture. This fabric does a great job of locking onto moisture. 
  • Cotton Muslinis a loosely woven fabric that quilts up after prepping and is very soft and breathable.
  • Organic Cotton is softer than bleached cotton as it doesn’t undergo any chemical processing and the cotton used was grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. 
  • Bleached/White Cotton is what your typical cotton t-shirt is made of. It’s still soft and breathable, but through bleaching it is now white.
  • Unbleached Cotton is nearly as soft as Organic Cotton, but the cotton used was not grown using organic methods.
  • Birds Eye Cotton is a fabric that is made on a dobby loom, which results in a small, repetitive woven pattern that resembles diamonds or more commonly thought, the eye of a bird. These diamond pockets lock onto moisture.
  • Organic Cotton Velour,more commonly referred to as OCV. Organic Bamboo Velour is a feel-dry material. This ultra-soft fabric will allow your child to feel dry, but the skin may retain some moisture to the touch.

Cotton Flats

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Cotton Fitteds

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Cotton Pocket Diapers

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Bamboo

Bamboo cloth is a natural fabric made from bamboo grass pulp. The bamboo used to make fabrics (not to be confused with Panda food) is readily replenished and grows without pesticides. Bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly plants because it grows rapidly, needs no pesticides or irrigation, and biodegrades faster than oil-based synthetics. 

Absorbent Properties of Bamboo

Bamboo cloth diapers absorb more than cotton and microfiber but slower. Bamboo cloth diapers are soft, gentle against a baby’s skin, and are the middle ground for affordability and absorbency.

Pros of Bamboo Cloth Diapers:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Antibacterial
  • Soft and Durable
  • Super Absorbent

Cons of Bamboo Cloth Diapers:

  • Expensive
  • Holds onto Stains 

Types of Bamboo Fabrics

  • Bamboo Terryis a loopy type of fabric similar to a dish towel-soft, gentle, and locks onto moisture. This fabric does a great job of locking onto moisture. 
  • Bamboo Viscosesoft looped fabric similar to terry, but much much softer- like butter. It’s important to note that most Bamboo Viscose is looped, but some forms will be flat and textureless.
  • Jersey Bambooor Woven Bamboo is a woven fabric with a thick, soft, and tight weave.
  • Organic Bamboo Velour,more  commonly referred to as OBV, is a feel-dry material. This ultra-soft fabric will allow your child to feel dry, but the skin may retain some moisture to the touch.
  • Birds Eye Bamboo is a fabric that is made from bamboo and cotton blend on a dobby loom, which results in a small, repetitive woven pattern that resembles diamonds or more commonly thought, the eye of a bird. These diamond pockets lock onto moisture.

 Bamboo
Flats

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 Bamboo Fitted
Diapers

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One Size Bamboo All in One's

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Newborn Bamboo All in One's

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Hemp

Hemp is sometimes referred to as a "super fiber" for the environment. Hemp fabric is constructed from the fibers of the cannabis sativa herbaceous plant. It's a high-yield crop that yields much more fiber per acre than cotton or flax.

Absorbent Properties of Hemp

Hemp diapers absorb the slowest out of all cloth diapering fabrics but also are the most absorbent. Because hemp diapers absorb more slowly, it’s best to be layered underneath a faster absorbing fabric such as microfiber or cotton. All hemp cloth diapering products are blended with other fabrics, such as cotton.

Pros of Hemp Cloth Diapers:

  • One of the Most Eco-Friendly Fabrics
  • Extremely Absorbent and Durable
  • Hypo-Allergenic

Cons of Hemp Cloth Diapers:

  • Can be Bulky and Slighly Scratchy
  • Not All Hemp Fabrics are Soft and Flexible 

Types of Hemp Fabrics

  • Jersey Hempis a woven fabric that is mega absorbent and smooth.
  • Hemp Fleeceis mega absorbent, can be slightly textured, and often includes cotton. This fleece should not be confused with stay-dry fleece; however, hemp fleece does offer feel dry capabilities.  

Hemp Inserts

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Hemp/Cotton Pocket Dipaers

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Stay Dry 

Stay Dry fabrics are moisture-wicking materials that can be used in cloth diapers to keep the skin feeling dry.

Pros of Stay Dry Fabrics:

  • Keeps Babies Skin Dry to Touch
  • Stain Resistent 

Cons of Stay Dry Fabrics:

  • Synthetic Materials
  • Pills Over Time

Absorbent Properties of Stay Dry Fabrics

Many Stay Dry fabrics are actually man-made, which makes them synthetic fibers. As mentioned above, Stay Dry fabrics have a wicking affect. Once water touches a stay dry fabric, the fibers will work quickly to absorb any moisture, and in turn drawing that moisture away from your little one's skin. The wicking aspect of these fabrics comes from the specific way these synthetic   fabrics are weaved together.

Types of Stay Dry Fabrics

  • Microchamois is 100% hypoallergenic that feels similar to fleece, but has a softer feel. 
  • Fleece is created by spinning very fine fibers into a light cloth and brushing it into a soft, dense fabric.
  • Suedecloth, also known as stay-dry suede, is made of 100% polyester. This is an anti-allergenic fabric.

One Size Stay Dry
All in Ones

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Newborn Stay Dry
All in Ones

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