Types of Cloth Diapers: Different Fabrics

Are you wondering what bamboo fiber is? Are you wondering which one is best: Cotton or hemp? Is there a battle going on in your head about Fleece VS Microfiber? Cloth diapers are not only economical but are also eco-friendly.

But the question remains which fabric of cloth diapers is best when there is a variety of fabric types for cloth diapers to choose from. It is especially puzzling for first-time parents or parents who are new to cloth diapers. Just remember one thing: whichever fabric you are using, the underline goal will always be: best absorbency and no leak.

Read on to learn about the different fabric types of cloth diapers available in the market. I will be addressing various confusions you might have related to different fabric types of cloth diapers for better understanding. Once you have read our guide about the fabric types of cloth diapers, I am sure it will be easy for you to decide the best one for your kid.

Different Fabric Types of Cloth Diapers:

Natural Fabric

Cotton

Cotton is the most famous natural fabric and equally popular of the types of cloth diapers. It is very absorbent and absorbs quickly. Due to its popularity over the centuries, it has been mass-produced. To achieve this high demand for cotton, cotton is raised using genetically modified seeds, pesticides, and water for irrigation. These factors make it less environmentally friendly.
Best Used For : prefolds and flats.

Organic Cotton

In order to address the non-environment-friendly aspect of cotton cloth, manufacturers are now focusing on using organically grown cotton for cloth diapers. Thus making it the most sought-after type of cloth diapers. Organic cotton is grown without the use of genetically modified seeds as well as fertilizers and pesticides. This makes it the best option as it is soft, absorbent, and does not irritate the skin.
Best Used For : prefolds and flats.

Hemp

Cloth Diaper Insert Booster Raw Material

Hemp is a natural antimicrobial fabric. It is very absorbent. The only negative point is that it absorbs at a slow rate which might cause leakage. To avoid this, the cloth diapers are never made of hemp alone. They are always a blend of hemp with some other fabric such as cotton or bamboo thus making it one of the best options of fabric types of cloth diapers.
Best Used For : Inner layers.

Wool

Wool is another one of the best types of cloth diapers. It is not only natural and water-resistant but it is also anti-bacterial and breathable. All these features make it the best option for diapering. A wool inner and outer layer works best for babies at night especially for those who are prone to rashes.
Best Used For : Inner and Outer layers.

Bamboo

BumGenius-Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts

Bamboo fabric is a very good option with respect to its absorbency and antibacterial features. The cloth made from it is very soft, silky and it also absorbs quickly. However, it is not as environment friendly as it is usually advertised. It grows quickly thus requiring less water making it environment friendly. On the contrary, the whole manufacturing process of converting it into a fabric is laden with chemicals. Added to that, it is also a costly option.
Best Used For : Inner layers.

Velour

Velour is very soft and absorbent and breathable natural fabric. It has a velvety sheen and feel. The three types of cloth diapers made from velour fabric are silky bamboo velour, organic cotton velour and regular cotton velour.
Best Used For : Inner layers.

Modal

Modal is a natural fabric made from the pulp of beech tree. It is very absorbent, soft and silky. The plus point of modal fabric as compared to other fabric types of cloth diapers is its ability to retain its softness even after multiple wash. The only negative point is that it’s not organic because of the manufacturing that it has to go through from wood pulp to cloth fabric.
Best Used For : Inner layers.

Synthetic Fabric

Fleece

Fleece is a form of polyester. It is available in different weights meant for different functions. Fleece is a highly absorbent fabric making it one of the best fabric types of cloth diapers. It is breathable, water-resistant and the quality to stay dry. The only negative feature is the compression leaks which may happen when the fabric is too full of liquid.
Best Used For : Outer Covers.

Microfleece

Similar to fleece mentioned above, microfleece is thin and weigh less. Thus, it will have less absorbency. However, it is light and soft. They are a best option when paired with an absorbent outer cover. It takes away the moisture from the baby’s bum thus keeping it dry.
Best Used For : Inner layers.

Microfiber

Nano Microfiber Cloth Inserts for Baby Cloth Diaper

Microfiber is highly absorbent fabric. It keeps the skin dry while keeping the liquids locked in, preventing any leaks. Care must be taken in its use as it will dry out the baby’s skin causing irritation. Therefore, it should not be used close to the skin.
Best Used For : Inner layers, soakers and outer cover.

Suede Cloth

Suede is another good choice from the synthetic fabric types of cloth diapers. It is soft, absorbent, and absorbs quickly, just like microfleece. The added advantage is that it keeps the baby dry and is stain resistant. As it does not hold poo inside, it is easy to wash and clean. However, due to its high absorbency, it must not be directly in contact with the baby’s skin.
Best Used For : Inner layers.

Burley Knit Terry

Burley knit terry is a stretchable fabric manufactured with loops inside it to make it highly absorbent. It is not only absorbent but also soft and durable.
Best Used For : Inner layers and soakers.

Zorb

Zorb-fabric

Zorb is a non-allergenic and a highly absorbent fabric types of cloth diapers. It is manufactured with the blend of cotton/hemp/bamboo with poly micro fibers. It has a ten times high absorbency and rate of absorbency as compared to bamboo, cotton, hemp or any other diaper fabric. It is manufactured in a manner to avoid compression leaks which is a common case in the case of fleece, microfleece and microfiber.
Best Used For : Inner layers and soakers.

Sherpa

Sherpa is similar to burley knit terry. The differentiating feature is that it is very soft. It can be called a cross between terry fabric and fleece. Since it is manufactured with loops inside just like burley knit terry fabric, therefore it is highly absorbent. Its softness does not go away even after many wash.
Best Used For : Inner layers, soakers and fitted diapers.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a synthetic waterproof fabric. It is manufactured with a heat process. It is not only soft and stretchable but also breathable. Care must be taken when washing. It must be washed in a water with low temperature and never in hot water.
Best Used For : Outer Covers.

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) is also a waterproof fabric. Its manufacturing process differentiates it from Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) as it is manufactured though a process involving harsh chemicals.
Best Used For : Outer Covers.

Polartec Windpro

Polartec Windpro is a fleece fabric which is manufactured to keep wind and water away while still being breathable.
Best Used For : Outer Covers.

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