Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Many Faces of Wool Diaper Covers

This month Etsy Cloth Diaper Team is promoting Wonderful, Wonderful Wool and giving away Five Wool Soakers to one Lucky Winner! Enter our giveaway here:

Aside from the wool diaper covers that have actual faces, as in monster butts and sock monkeys, there are many styles of wool covers to try. They vary in cost, in care, and in construction.


1) The most economical wool covers to buy and to make would be repurposed wool covers. These wool covers are made by cutting up soft wool sweaters and turning them into cloth diaper covers. Any style cover can be made with a repurposed sweater: longies, sorties, soakers, and wraps. These can be gorgeous because of the patterns in the wool or because of the adorable embellishments added. You can purchase a basic repurposed wool soaker very inexpensively for $8-12, and embellished ones in the $15-20 range. Obviously you may be able to find these for more or less expensive, these are averages. If you can sew, a wool sweater can net you 2-3 diaper covers, depending on the size of the cover needed and the size of the wool sweater. Wool diaper cover sewing tutorials are widely available on the Internet.

2) A more expensive option in wool covers is hand-knit covers. These vary greatly in price because they also come in soaker, shorties, and longies styles and require differing amounts of wool, time, and expertise. They can also be knitted from various types of wool: lambswool, merino wool, wool alpaca blends, organic and natural wools. All of these elements affect the price. Hand-Knit covers usually start at around $20 and can be more than $75 (for longies). Again, these prices are averages. If you know how to knit, there are also free soaker knitting patterns on the Internet and good quality wool can be purchased inexpensively if found on sale.

3) A third type of wool cover is made from Wool Interlock. Wool interlock is also quite pricey. The benefits of wool interlock are trimness and some wool interlock covers are machine washable. There are different types of wool interlock. There is 100% wool, wool Lycra blend, and washable wool. Opinions on which of these is best differ in the cloth diapering community.


1) Most wool covers are hand wash and dry. The reason for this is that heat and agitation causes wool to felt and shrink. This process often makes the cover unusable. If you have ever shrunk a favorite wool sweater by mistake, you know what I mean! In general, wool covers should be gently washed in warm water with a lanolin enriched wool wash or washed and then lanolized afterward.

Despite the hand-washing, wool covers are easy to care for because they do not have to be washed after every use! Depending on your wool, and the number of covers you use, a wool cover can be washed as infrequently as every 2-4 weeks. If the cover becomes soiled, often a damp cloth is all that is needed to remove a small amount of poopy residue. Wool covers should be washed and lanolized only when they become smelly or are no longer waterproof. The smell test should be done after the cover has had a chance to air dry, not directly after removing from the child.

2) Some wool diaper covers have be pre-felted. This means that they have been shrunk to where they should not shrink anymore and can be washed in a washing machine. A word of warning: If you are wanting to prefelt wool to make your own, it often takes more than one washing to achieve maximum shrinkage.

As I mentioned before, some types of wool interlock are machine washable.

Here are some links from Etsy Cloth Diaper Team and team members to help with caring for your wool:

From Etsy Cloth Diaper Team
From Fancy Cloth Baby
From LayBebeLay
From Zany Zebra Designs


1) Wool Soakers: Wool soaker is an old fashioned term for a pull-on wool cover. This can be either repurposed wool or hand-knit. These are often embellished on the backside. Some have elastic or drawstrings in the waist, other do not. Often times they have an extra soaker layer sewn into the wet zone. Repurposed soakers of this kind provide excellent protection for heavy wetters. I never woke to another pee puddle in the crib after I started using wool covers.

2) Wool Shorties and Longies: These are shorts or pants either hand-knit in wool or sewn from repurposed wool sweaters. They usually have elastic in the waist or a drawstring, but some have neither. Many repurposed wool shorties and longies also have an extra soaker layer sewn in.

3) Wool Wraps: These are simply wool covers which are sewn or knitted in the same style as a PUL waterproof diaper cover. They usually have snaps, but are sometimes left plain to be used with pins or a Snappi. You can occasionally find them with a velcro style closure. They come in both sizes and one-size styles.

This Week's Promotional Feature: Wool Wraps! 

The following feature article on Wool Diaper Wraps is contributed by Etsy Cloth Diaper team member Amy from MamaBearBabyWear. Check out her shop for wool wraps and lots of other great items! 

'Wool Diaper Wraps from Etsy Cloth Diaper Team' by ClothDiaperClub

Wool Wraps in Easter Egg Colors!

Sweet Striped Easte...

MamaBear One Size W...

cloth diaper cover ...

MamaBear BabyWear O...

Thick Wool Custom W...

Wool Fleece Diaper ...

MEDIUM "Try Me...

Try Cloth Diapering...

Wool Fleece Diaper ...


MamaBear One Size W...

cloth diaper cover ...


Wool diaper covers have been around for hundreds of years, but are only now regaining in popularity as more people become concerned with the environmental and financial impacts of disposable diapering.

Wool is a renewable, and healthy alternative to plastic or PUL diaper covers. Wool breathes great keeping baby cool and dry and preventing diaper rash. When cared for properly (occasional lanolizing and gentle washing) it is a great moisture barrier since it is able to absorb up to 40% of its weight in water before feeling wet. High performance athletes have chosen wool because of it's great temperature and moisture regulation properties.

Wool diaper covers do NOT need to be washed every time they are used. The natural properties of wool prevent odors and bacterial growth. They only need to be washed every week or two or when they are soiled. Simply hang damp covers to dry and use them again! The lanolin in wool neutralizes urine leaving a fresh-smelling, leak-resistant cover time and again.

Wash in cool to warm water with a detergent made for wool. Every second or third washing you should add a dime-sized amount of all natural Lanolin (you can use Lansinoh or PureLan if you have it) or a Lanolin product made specifically for wool such as MamaBear Wool Wash or Eucalan.

The best thing about wool wraps is they enable you to use ANYTHING as a diaper, save money by laying in soft absorbent dishtowels, folded receiving blankets, old t-shirts, any absorbent material you have on hand! Snap, velcro, or pin the cover and and voila! The cover holds the soaker in place.

Because MamaBear covers are one-size fits all you could potentially spend less than $100 on MamaBear wool wraps and take care of all of your little one's diapering needs using soaker materials from around your house! With care these covers have been used on two or even three babies, tripling your savings!

All MamaBear wool items are pre-felted and then washed and lanolized upon completion so that when you get them they are ready for your BabyBear to wear right away.

Don't forget to enter our great March Wonderful, Wonderful Wool giveaway:

1 comment:

  1. I just realize that this information was cut and pasted from my listings. Thank you for including me and my shop!
    Amy from MamaBear BabyWear.


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