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Thread: What is moisture wicking?

  1. #1

    Default What is moisture wicking?

    What exactly is moisture wicking?

    and what does PUL Pants do? are they wicking and non-wicking?

    and which of these is beneficial? Wicking or non-wicking?

  2. #2

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    "Wicking" is the process by which moisture is drawn through an absorbent material. If you take an absorbent material (say kitchen roll or toilet paper) and dangle it so that one end is in a puddle of water, you will notice the moisture spreading (i.e. wicking) so that parts of the paper that are not directly in contact with the water become wet. Try it again with something non-absorbent like tin-foil, and you will see no wicking at all -- the only bits of foil that are wet are the bits that are directly in contact with the water.

    As far as diapers are concerned, if they didn't wick moisture, the moisture won't spread throughout the absorbent material, meaning that one part would become saturated more easily (and prone to leaks) whilst other parts of the diaper would be dry. Wicking effectively increases the amount a diaper can absorb by ensuring that the moisture is distributed throughout the absorbent material, rather than keeping the moisture in one place...

    I haven't seen PUL pants, but I think they are made of absorbent material bonded to a rubbery plastic layer.

    Does that help? (Or have I just confused you?! It's harder to explain than I thought!)

  3. #3

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    Pul pants are a variation of plastic pants. The PUL material is a polyurethane laminate which is breathable and a moisture barrier.
    The lining is a absorbent material which will take care of minor leakage. PUL pants are a lot cooler to wear in hot weather.

  4. #4

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    @tiny:
    makes sense...but according to 2-3 definitions on the internet...they say that wicking is the process by which a layer of cloth transfer moisture from itself to the outer layer..they donot say the transfer from a part of cloth to another part of the same cloth...

  5. #5

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    As far as wicking and pants go: It is often not the PUL or plastic that is the problem, but rather the leg cuffs and waistbands, which are sometimes wrapped in an ordinary, non-waterproof material to make them more comfortable. If the wet diaper comes into contact with this material, the moisture can wick around to the other side (outside) of the cover. Moisture can even wick through the stitching on the elastics, although I don't find this to be a problem in practice owing to a combination of frequent diaper changes and pants that are sized such that the elastics don't come into contact with the diaper very often.

    Some PUL covers seem to be more porous than others, though. Like cloth-backed disposables, these porous PUL covers can allow water vapor emanating from warm urine to get through onto clothing and make you feel damp. This isn't wicking and it isn't leaking, but it can be a little unnerving.

    I had little ones in cloth diapers just a few years back, and we used PUL covers and PUL-covered AIO's often. Never had the covers get moist, although we did have some that wicked around the leg gathers due to use of non-waterproof materials there.

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by panther View Post
    @tiny:
    makes sense...but according to 2-3 definitions on the internet...they say that wicking is the process by which a layer of cloth transfer moisture from itself to the outer layer..they donot say the transfer from a part of cloth to another part of the same cloth...
    It's the same thing.

    The word "wicking" refers (as you say) to the process of moisture transfer. A process is defined as something that happens over time. Wicking doesn't suddenly occur at the precise moment that moisture is transferred from one material to the next, it happens the moment the moisture starts to spread.

    Wicking can be compared to travelling. Travelling is the process of getting from one place to another. But that doesn't mean that travelling has only occurred when you arrive at your destination. It's a continual process -- it happens from the moment you depart.

    Hope that helps! :-)

  8. #8

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    As Oleman72 wrote, PUL is poyurethane plastic laminated inside another fabric. I find them very uncomfortable and prone to leaking, with the pants getting damp even away from the elastics. Thus, I always wear a "regular" pair f plastic pants over the few PUL AIO diapers I have. The PUL pants will NOT be replaced when they finally"expire". I'll stick to plain old vinyl diaper covers from now on.

    However, YMMV, and you may find PUL to be acceptable ...

    My best to you,

    Binkey (who has been diapered 24/7 for 30+ years)

  9. #9

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    PUL has been wonderful for me.both as covers and as backing to pads.

  10. #10

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    Think they could use a slogan for that? "putting the wick into a wickedly good time"

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