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Thread: Why did baby diaper companies go cloth backed?

  1. #1

    Default Why did baby diaper companies go cloth backed?

    Something that has always made me curious but never found an answer to is why baby and now most adult diaper companies decided to go cloth backed? I mean what real advantage is there to them? In fact "cloth" backed diapers are in really just plastic backed with the "cloth" being finely woven plastic strands.
    If anyone has information or history on why the change occured I would love to know more about it.

  2. #2


    I think the main driving force was the environmental impact the fully plastic diapers had and a small sprinkling of 'improved comfort' to be used as a marketing tool.

    Whether the slightly less plasticy diapers are better for the environment I do not know, but I do know my babies prefer the fully plastic ones to wear as I do to use on them.

    Interesting topic, look forward to others input and thoughts.

  3. #3


    I can tell you 3 things that might be a little too situationally specific. I'm not sure. My sister has had issues with, we're not sure if it's skin breakdown, or her body responding as if the plastic is latex, even though there hasn't been latex in them in years, but some people's bodies go, "Oops, false alarm, but I didn't know, so here's some blisters."

    That and Alzheimer's patients don't try to tamper with the cloth-backed ones as much, or so I've heard. Me? I like the quiet.

  4. #4


    I think they did themselves a disservice because breathable means the liquid evaporates out and it takes longer to get full if you aren't flooding them. With plastic you have to change more often.

    Sent from my LGL31L using Tapatalk

  5. #5


    I think plastic back diapers safer for other people. If you sit down in a spot in a plastic diaper with plastic pants on and you wet It absorbs it all unless it a cheap diaper. Then feel the plastic pants it dry. Now cloth diapers back diapers if you put plastic pants over a good cloth back diaper and wet. Then feel your plastic pants it wet.

    Now think about this. If it just plastic back diaper or cloth back diapers and you sit in a chair.

  6. #6


    Someone here was posting not too long ago regarding buying "made to order" adult diapers in bulk from the manufacturer, and was told that the price goes way up if you want a plastic shell. So plastic is more expensive.

    And nothing gets a manufacturer to change their product faster than finding a cheaper way to make it.

  7. #7


    The material is less likely to tear or rip, it feels more comforting to parents and also on the baby's skin. Also I think it's cheaper to make.

  8. #8


    I think cloth-like backsheets are marketed towards the parent or care-giver. Cloth-like backing gives them the subconscious impression that these must be comfortable for the baby, because they are soft outside.

    It's nonsense, but in the same way, you can convince more people to buy something if you put it in nice packaging... even though they buy it and immediately throw the packaging away. People's perceptions of a brand are rarely based on any kind of conscious, rational decision.

  9. #9


    I don't think that the cloth-backed ones are cheaper to produce.

    I think the main reason behind the switch was that cloth-backing would be a bit more comfortable to the child wearing the nappy.

    Either way, I don't really buy it. I mostly wear a combination of Pampers Size 7 & various plastic adult brands, and I find the plastic ones better in the way of comfort.

    On a similar note, does anyone know when it was that the companies switched to cloth-backed types?

    I wore nappies full-time until I was bout 2/3 (1998/9) to bed until I was about 4 (2000) & the ones I wore at that time were plastic-backed.

  10. #10


    Goldberg, it was in the late 1990s/early 2000s

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