View Poll Results: What do you prefer?

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  • Non-woven backing (textile backing)

    8 17.39%
  • Plastic backing

    33 71.74%
  • Don't know/Don't care

    5 10.87%
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Thread: How come all the diapers are going non-woven?

  1. #1

    Default How come all the diapers are going non-woven?

    Just some years ago, most premium diapers was plastic backed. But somehow something changed, and many of the manufacturers has started to use non-woven materials instead of plastic.

    I know that there's an environmental reason for this, but I still don't get how and why they're starting with the diaper-quality.

    So, it seems to me like they're trying to compensate the leaking from the non-woven materials by adding more SAP. This just make the diaper slower to absorb the liquids, so that the poor leak guards in the sidings are tested to the limit with every wetting, and this makes the diapers worse than ever. And it's even worse than that.
    Out of the package, the diapers seems soft and to say it right out; comfy. But because of the added SAP's, it isn't. If you're wearing these diapers for about half an hour or so, without wetting, the polymers are getting hard and rigid from the sweat. Almost like wearing some hard plastic pants. This gets better if you wet them once or twice, but because the new non-woven material is "breathing", the diapers almost always is going to spread out small puffs of used diapers and pee.

    So if you really need to go, and can't hold back just a little bit, there is almost certainly a pee stain on your pants, because the polymers are to slow to absorb and there is too little "fluff".

    The thing that is really bothering me about this environmental crap is that they're still using the same packaging on the diapers, instead of using air-tight paper, so they really started the process the wrong way around by making the diapers worse, instead of just saving a lot of plastic by just changing the packing.

    And then I read an article (have been trying to find an English article about this, but only Norwegian this far)... The reporter who made this article, claims that the new non-woven materials is more expensive to the manufacturer than the plastic backing, so it's driving the prices through the roof for us consumers (this article was on baby diapers, but I think this also means that the adult diapers industry is doing the exact same thing).

    I know there is a lot of places around the world that is polluted with used diapers lying around. This is really sad, but I think there is another way around to solve this problem. Here in cold and arctic Norway, where I live, we are burning all garbage, to make electricity. This comes in handy as we use almost as much electricity as americans (per consumer). Especially in the wintertime.

    So I'm just wondering, where are the pros for using non-woven materials in diapers? Any thoughts?

  2. #2


    I think they are going to the non-wovens because the nursing homes and long term care facilities are demanding it. Most of the caregivers there are moms, and cloth-like is what they put on their babies, so that's what they'll put on Grandma and Grampa too. I also read AbenaLeaf's thread, and he states that government mandates in Europe are demanding cloth-like backings for medical facilities, too. Again, it's most likely because of the nurses being mommies, demanding that they use the same thing for their patients as they do for their babies. The actual customer doesn't get much of a choice.

  3. #3


    I prefer plastic simply because I know I'm not going to leak and I won't end up sitting in a cold, clammy diaper. My experience with the Abena Air Forms only served to confirm this. It's not so much that I love plastic backing so much as hate the cloth style. :P

  4. #4


    I guess we'll just have to start wearing plastic pants over our disposables, which does defeat the object of having disposables to some extent...

  5. #5


    People like the cloth like backing because it creates the illusion that the product is environmentally friendly.

  6. #6


    Environmental impacts aside, I agree, it's not so much the plastic backed ones are great, its that i've been proven time and time again every time I get some to see if any improvements have come along, is that the non woven cloth (also plastic) product is generally inferior. let me list the reasons why

    1. the cloth product chafes the inside of my thighs badly, plastic backed does not
    2. I have yet to have a cloth backed product that actually held up to even half a day at work; not the wetting, the wear through
    and getting diaper stuffing everywhere. I hate cleaning up wet SAP out of my shoes thank you very much. leaving that mess all over a customers' floor, or worse, rare persian rug is simply unacceptable
    3. the wetting, when I have an impending leak (or even just a little one) with plastic, I know it, normally BEFORE it becomes an embarrassing problem, I've tried lots of the cloth backed ones, and I simply couldn't tell when the sucker was at capacity, wrecking furniture along the way.
    4. the all cloth (non woven plastic) diapers have these velcro like tapes that irritate the daylights out of my skin on contact. while having a regular diaper tape stick to my skin isn't that pleasant, those micro velcro buggers seem to want to slice me open when an edge of them rub on my skin.
    5. the smell.. they start to reek WAY TOO early

  7. #7


    as huskvarna says its illusion plus they can use thinner plastic on the waterproof backing as the NWE(Non-Woven Element) provides some strenght to the plastic.

    in fact there is actually 4% more plastic in cloth feel then the old style plastic backing

  8. #8


    I prefer the cloth-backed diapers, mostly because they seem to be the only ones with the velcro fasteners. Plastic-backed diapers seem to be married to conventional adhesive tapes, even though they're one of the most universally complained-about features. Even on many of the expensive diapers, they're non-adjustable (unless you're really careful). If somebody made a plastic-backed diaper that had velcro tapes and the requisite velcro landing zone applied to the front, I'd probably like those.

    Quote Originally Posted by huskvarna View Post
    People like the cloth like backing because it creates the illusion that the product is environmentally friendly.
    It's not really an illusion. They are *more* environmentally friendly, anyway. Sure, if the diaper was just a normal plastic diaper with a cloth-like backing applied everywhere, it would be an illusion, but most cloth-like diapers aren't made that way. If they're two layers, the inner layer of plastic is much thinner since it's only for waterproofing, not strength. The cloth-like backing uses less material and has a much larger surface area for degradation than a solid sheet of plastic does. That, and once the manufacturing R&D is paid for, it costs less to make (because of the less material used).

  9. #9


    Environmental issues have nothing to do with it. The "cloth-like" backing contains nearly the same amount of plastic as standard plastic backing.

    It's all about marketing, and being able to advertise the "underwear-like feel." It sells more to the target market: true incontinent people who want something as far away from a diaper and as close to underwear as possible. I'm sure that the diaper companies have more than likely proven that the cloth-like diapers sell better than the plastic backed. I can't imagine any other reason why there's more cloth-backed diapers than plastic backed out there.

    You also have to consider that a good amount of adult diaper companies probably prefer AB/DL's to not buy their products. AB/DL's are generally looked upon as creepy and abnormal to the public, and I'm sure diaper companies marketing to hospitals, nursing homes, and people with sick and disabled family members don't want association with a fetish.

    I am personally divided between the two. Usually I like plastic backed for the feel and functionality, but certain situations, such as with baby diapers like Pampers or Huggies or the ABU Cloth-like Cushies (which mimic modern baby diapers), I like the cloth like covering. Though I absolutely HATE the traditional underwear-like "granny panty" pullup style diapers.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by IantheFox View Post
    Environmental issues have nothing to do with it. The "cloth-like" backing contains nearly the same amount of plastic as standard plastic backing.
    Eh? Definitely not. Just like a foam packing peanut uses less plastic than a solid peanut of the same size. Just like the hair on your head uses less material than a solid block of dead skin cells with the same volume as your hairdo.

    Quote Originally Posted by IantheFox View Post
    It's all about marketing, and being able to advertise the "underwear-like feel."
    Again, it's pretty obvious that this is not universally true. Baby diapers were what started the whole cloth-backed thing AFAIK, and neither a baby nor its parents cares whether a baby diaper feels like underwear.

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