Making my own Nappy inserts

parcelboy2

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As the quality and size of some nappy inserts are so bad or to small or to thick and small 👿 I thought I would make my own
So I researched the best fabrics that were light weight but very absorbent and came up with 2
Bamboo , lightweight , absorbent and quick drying
ZORB , Light weight , very absorbent , quick wicking and drying
I’ve already purchased the fabrics and have cut up the Bamboo in to rectangles ready.
This is the colour I’m using and will update when I’ve sewn some
image.jpg
 
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Belarin

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Yay for making your own, best way to get the result you want, and best way to customise what type of absorbency you need.

This is a good table to go by.
Insert TypeAbsorption AmountAbsorption Speed
Microfiber💧💧💧💧💧💧💧
Microfiber/Bamboo blend💧💧💧💧💧💧
Cotton💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧
Bamboo💧💧💧💧💧💧
Hemp💧💧💧💧💧💧
Zorb💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧

However it doesn't account for compression leakage. Most to least lossage would be:
Microfiber.
Microfiber/Cotton/Bamboo Blend.
Bamboo.
Cotton. (not a lot in it between cotton and bamboo though I feel cotton just slightly outdoes it).
Zorb.
Hemp.

A few tips I'll share from my own experience making inserts/diapers.

1) Never use more than 4 layers on one insert, 3 is ok, 4 is on the edge. More than that and you run the risk of it not fully washing, rinsing out detergent or drying. Allowing bacteria / mold to grow.

2) Depending on what diaper/cover you are using rectangles are a good bet for shape, an hour glass with wider back end can be good if the diaper/cover is designed for it and can also help to spread out the ridge that can show through thinner clothing to make it less noticable.

3) You can actually use half as many layers as you want if you make the insert twice as wide, e.g. want a 4 layer insert 18cm wide, cut 2 pieces 36cm wide (with seam allowance) and sew them together around the edge. You can now fold this in half to make your insert and after washing you can open it out to dry much faster.

You could also make thicker inserts this way (remembering the 4 layer rule), cut 2 pieces 36cm and 2 pieces 16cm wide and about 2cm shorter. Lay out one of the larger pieces and sew the 2 smaller ones onto it equal distance from the edges with about 1.5cm gap between them, now place the other large piece on top and sew the 2 larger pieces together all round. when folded you have 6 layers but for washing and drying it's in the nice safe zone of 3 layers.

4) Zorb can supposedly replace 2-3 layers of bamboo/cotton Terry and is very thin but lots of layers of it can get quite stiff. Use the 3D Zorb over any of the others as it is already between another fabric and just needs the outer edges serged.

5a) Depending on your usage having the right type of absorbency is better than just having lots of absorbency. Enough layers of bamboo might be able to hold 1800ml but If you are weeing like 7-800 ml in one big go and if it can only absorb say 200ml in 10 seconds you are likely to have leaks still as it can't soak it fast enough.

A good mix of fabrics can prevent this if layered correctly, fastest soakers on top (close to skin) and most capacity/compression hold on the bottom. so from the table above:
Microfiber on top of cotton, or microfiber on top of Zorb on top of bamboo.
Zorb is an odd one in that it is fast and holds a lot but it tends to be best in the middle.
It is often good to have at least one or 2 layers of microfiber on top of the stack, it is terrible at holding with compression but will very quickly soak up wee as fast as it comes out and pass it down to the slower absorbing but better holding layers.

You don't need some of everything just pick a strong holding fabric (Hemp>Cotton>bamboo) and use either Zorb or microfiber as a fast acquisition layer (think like the ADL in disposables).

5b) Again depending on what you are inserting them into it can be good to make a couple of "Top Layer" inserts. These are thinner inserts that have a dry feel fabric on one side, not much point though if they are going into a pocket diaper that already has a built in stay dry layer inside.

There are several options to choose from including microfleece, suede cloth, serpa and my latest favourite athletic mesh. These inserts are meant to be used with other more absorbent inserts but with the stay dry fabric on top against your skin for comfort and cleanliness.

If using separate loose inserts these are best done with one or two layers of microfiber to get that fast absorb on top with a dry feel and with the rest of your inserts under them being bamboo/hemp/cotton/Zorb etc. Or you can make them as a tube as shown in the next tip where the stay dry fabric will be attached to your highest capacity/best compression holding fabric.

6) Make a tube / insert holder. These will be about 2-3cm wider than your other inserts and consist of a couple of layers of high capacity/holding fabric sewn together at the front and back with a single layer then placed on top and everything sewn down the sides together. This creates a tube into which you can place additional inserts (possibly different fabrics) to keep everything together and prevent them moving around and twisting.

It also helps with rapid changing as you can prepare one of these with however many layers of inserts you want and fold it up ready, when needing to change just lay it out in place and off you go rather than having to prep each insert as you change.

This is best done with the stay dry layer on top as mentioned above, 3 layers of Bamboo or cotton Terry and some athletic mesh on top, this way no matter what other inserts you put inside to bulk it up you will have a good holding fabric on the bottom and a stay dry layer next to your skin.
 
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todderhr

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I wonder if a modified cloth baby diapers could be more cost effective?
 
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Belarin

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todderhr said:
I wonder if a modified cloth baby diapers could be more cost effective?
Baby flats and prefolds can easily be turned into inserts/boosters, but other kinds (contours, fitteds, AIO's AI2's etc.) not so much use.

A 60x60cm terry flat for a baby would possibly make one wider (approx 19cm) 3 layer insert or a thinner (12-13cm wide) 4 layer booster, Amazon has a 12 pack of cotton flats for £38 thats about £3.16 each. Expect prefolds to be more expensive due to the work to make them.

1 meter of Bamboo terry is about £16, 1 meter cotton terry is about £10 and 1 meter microfiber terry is about £8, (possibly get it cheaper depending on the shop), and should give enough to make 5 x 4 layer inserts (15cm wide) or 7 and 2/3 3 layer inserts which going by cotton price to match the baby flats is about £2.00 each for the 4 layers and £1.42 for the 3 layer inserts.

Adding the cost of a cotton reel for sewing (£1-2) which will do all the meters worth of inserts and it's still just slightly cheaper to buy the materials not the baby diapers.
 
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todderhr

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Belarin said:
Baby flats and prefolds can easily be turned into inserts/boosters, but other kinds (contours, fitteds, AIO's AI2's etc.) not so much use.

A 60x60cm terry flat for a baby would possibly make one wider (approx 19cm) 3 layer insert or a thinner (12-13cm wide) 4 layer booster, Amazon has a 12 pack of cotton flats for £38 thats about £3.16 each. Expect prefolds to be more expensive due to the work to make them.

1 meter of Bamboo terry is about £16, 1 meter cotton terry is about £10 and 1 meter microfiber terry is about £8, (possibly get it cheaper depending on the shop), and should give enough to make 5 x 4 layer inserts (15cm wide) or 7 and 2/3 3 layer inserts which going by cotton price to match the baby flats is about £2.00 each for the 4 layers and £1.42 for the 3 layer inserts.

Adding the cost of a cotton reel for sewing (£1-2) which will do all the meters worth of inserts and it's still just slightly cheaper to buy the materials not the baby diapers.
got it, I didn't know if the baby diaper manufacturer might be able to get reduced prices due to volume. They probably do but add that to their profit margin. Thanks for working that out.
 
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Belarin

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todderhr said:
got it, I didn't know if the baby diaper manufacturer might be able to get reduced prices due to volume. They probably do but add that to their profit margin. Thanks for working that out.
They will definitely get their materials at a reduced price buying in bulk from a manufacturer, also won't be paying VAT (or equivalent tax) on it as it's business use. Though if you planned to make enough you could probably get a similar price as them.

Just on a very quick search I found a store selling a roll of bamboo terry (25 meters) for £118.75 thats £4.75 per meter, for bamboo!
 
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parcelboy2

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@Belarin Heres my current set up , I’ve got 8 pocket covers from Aliexpres , so a top layer is not needed and they work well
Inserts I’ve got various eBay Amazon rectangular ones but I find these vary so much in performance
Then I’ve go some high GSM hand towels
On to the fabrics I’ve got for my new inserts Gen 1 Zorb fleece and Bamboo terry microfibre
I’m gonna sew the Zorb in to the bamboo
I also gonna get some Zorb 3D to make a top soaker
 

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Started to cut my Bamboo fleece up in to strips and my roll of Zorb
Also bit the bullet and brought a interlocker machine from Amazon 😲
D3131256-20BE-461C-93C9-EB3967A4CAF3.jpegF281F682-8E9B-46D5-B745-8C892F2678C1.jpeg5CE592D2-A0B3-44C2-814B-1C8818CE19AE.jpeg
 
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parcelboy2

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I’m putting 2 layers of Zorb in the middle of Bamboo fleece also ordered some 3D Zorb to make some more soakers
 

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parcelboy2 said:
Started to cut my Bamboo fleece up in to strips and my roll of Zorb
Also bit the bullet and brought a interlocker machine from Amazon 😲
Do you mean overlock? or interlock there is a difference between the two.
parcelboy2 said:
@Belarin Heres my current set up , I’ve got 8 pocket covers from Aliexpres , so a top layer is not needed and they work well
Inserts I’ve got various eBay Amazon rectangular ones but I find these vary so much in performance
Then I’ve go some high GSM hand towels
On to the fabrics I’ve got for my new inserts Gen 1 Zorb fleece and Bamboo terry microfibre
I’m gonna sew the Zorb in to the bamboo
I also gonna get some Zorb 3D to make a top soaker
Yeah pockets generally won't need a stay dry layer unless it is an open pocket (inserts laid into an open pouch rather than passed into a tube pocket).

The inserts from eBay/Amazon will vary in performance and don't usually tell you what fiber it is, Bamboo, blend, microfiber etc. which makes it harder to compare them. Similar with the hand towels they might be high GSM (which is generally a good thing) but do you know what fiber thay are made from?

The gen 1 zorb is fine if it is hemmed in well between 2 layers, I just prefer the 3d as it is already sandwiched and I just need to serge the sides.
It may look like a fleece but technically the Gen 1 is a nonwoven fabric so it's not a fleece, also you said bamboo terry microfiber, is that a bamboo microfiber blend? or is it just bamboo terry and you added microfiber?

2 layers of the Zorb in the bamboo should be good, but if you do get the 3d stuff there is no need to use the bamboo around it.
 
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parcelboy2

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Belarin said:
Do you mean overlock? or interlock there is a difference between the two.

Yeah pockets generally won't need a stay dry layer unless it is an open pocket (inserts laid into an open pouch rather than passed into a tube pocket).

The inserts from eBay/Amazon will vary in performance and don't usually tell you what fiber it is, Bamboo, blend, microfiber etc. which makes it harder to compare them. Similar with the hand towels they might be high GSM (which is generally a good thing) but do you know what fiber thay are made from?

The gen 1 zorb is fine if it is hemmed in well between 2 layers, I just prefer the 3d as it is already sandwiched and I just need to serge the sides.
It may look like a fleece but technically the Gen 1 is a nonwoven fabric so it's not a fleece, also you said bamboo terry microfiber, is that a bamboo microfiber blend? or is it just bamboo terry and you added microfiber?

2 layers of the Zorb in the bamboo should be good, but if you do get the 3d stuff there is no need to use the bamboo around it.
The Bamboo is 90% bamboo 10% poly https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/26553231...w1LKMYJQRu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY
As for the 3D yes I have ordered some to make a top soaker
Also got my eye on some PUL fabric from same place I got my 3D from as I’m looking to make some night time nappies in multi layer with a cover
Even brought a set of left handed scissors 😳
And yes I mean overlocker 😳😳😳
 
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Belarin

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parcelboy2 said:
The Bamboo is 90% bamboo 10% poly https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/26553231...w1LKMYJQRu&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY
As for the 3D yes I have ordered some to make a top soaker
Also got my eye on some PUL fabric from same place I got my 3D from as I’m looking to make some night time nappies in multi layer with a cover
Even brought a set of left handed scissors 😳
And yes I mean overlocker 😳😳😳
Pretty much all bamboo terry will have some poly. That's not too bad a price though I pay £16 per meter for mine (though it is a slightly higher GSM at 370) less if it goes on their weekly random sale.

I'm guessing being UK you probably got the Zorb from cuddleplush? Wazoodle are the makers of it and cuddleplush is their UK presence, For PUL they have a pretty decent selection of solid colours and a couple printed but you can probably get more prints and maybe cheaper elsewhere. I trust the quality of cuddleplush though since their main focus is on nappy fabrics.

PUL can be a bit funny to sew but there are some tips when it comes to it if you have any troubles.

Getting some interesting results from initial comparrison testing between Bamboo and Microfiber though, needs maybe a little more time as the microfiber i've been using has been washed (primed) and used multiple time and the bamboo only had one wash so far.
 
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parcelboy2

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Belarin said:
Pretty much all bamboo terry will have some poly. That's not too bad a price though I pay £16 per meter for mine (though it is a slightly higher GSM at 370) less if it goes on their weekly random sale.

I'm guessing being UK you probably got the Zorb from cuddleplush? Wazoodle are the makers of it and cuddleplush is their UK presence, For PUL they have a pretty decent selection of solid colours and a couple printed but you can probably get more prints and maybe cheaper elsewhere. I trust the quality of cuddleplush though since their main focus is on nappy fabrics.

PUL can be a bit funny to sew but there are some tips when it comes to it if you have any troubles.

Getting some interesting results from initial comparrison testing between Bamboo and Microfiber though, needs maybe a little more time as the microfiber i've been using has been washed (primed) and used multiple time and the bamboo only had one wash so far.
Yes I’ve got 3D off Cuddleplush , and that Bamboo is lovely and soft so I can use it on its own if need be
My main reason for going cloth and making my own is
1 disposables are getting dearer
2 , some of the ready made cloth stuff for the price is dire quality
 

Belarin

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parcelboy2 said:
Yes I’ve got 3D off Cuddleplush , and that Bamboo is lovely and soft so I can use it on its own if need be
My main reason for going cloth and making my own is
1 disposables are getting dearer
2 , some of the ready made cloth stuff for the price is dire quality
Yeah I'm similar in that, I was raised (like 80%) in cloth so there is some nostalgia there, but I've been wanting to go at least close to 24/7 for a while and disposables are just too expensive for that, I could afford it but would rather save the money for other things. Not to mention the amount and weight of trash then being thrown out (especially as the collection is every 2 weeks), plus I just like how cloth feels.

Cuddleplush is a good store, not the cheapest definitely but good quality and all the fabrics you might want for diapers in one place. and probably is the cheapest for Zorb as they are wazoodles official UK/EU distributor.
 
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parcelboy2

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@Belarin forgot to say another reason is I may wear cloth on a Friday at work as I would be back home that day so would need more inserts and covers to cover that extra day , over 4 weeks that’s a pack of nappies saved 😲
 

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todderhr said:
I wonder if a modified cloth baby diapers could be more cost effective?
When I'm in the mood for a little extra thickness I use 3 flat infant diapers in the largest size folded in 3s. I also have flour sacks that I use too, also folded in 3s. The flour sacks are 28"×30" so I get an almost full diaper length insert with these.
 
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parcelboy2

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Nowididit said:
When I'm in the mood for a little extra thickness I use 3 flat infant diapers in the largest size folded in 3s. I also have flour sacks that I use too, also folded in 3s. The flour sacks are 28"×30" so I get an almost full diaper length insert with these.
If I was wearing occasionally I would go down that route but as I’m wearing 24/7 the way I’m going is easier for me to play mix n match for levels
 

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Well I’ve had a play with my new toy today , My Brother overlocker machine 😀
Threading it was hard 🤓but it’s easy to use and get carried away with 🤣🤣
11F6381C-2DBD-486E-BB44-8979A1AFD7C0.jpegAF4A14D9-F51B-4674-BCEE-9C5D6FBB7CD2.jpeg
My 1st insert
021E99ED-09AE-4833-B148-2EFE906DE5A9.jpeg
Off cuts
3E401D24-DC26-4B86-8A33-872A6EFDCF28.jpeg
 
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Belarin

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Nice, you went for the same one I did lol.
 
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