Frequently Asked Questions
I'm always happy to address individual questions and needs, but to save us both time you might find the information you are looking for here, take a look at some of these commonly asked questions and answers.
What does it mean?
WOOL WEIGHT or THICKNESS
The "weight" of the cover refers to the thickness of the wool used.
Thick/heavy covers are really great for very heavy wetters, overnight, long car rides, etc. any time compression leaks (leaks through the cover from a SOAKED diaper) are likely. They are generally too thick to go under fitted clothes but work great under pj's, skirts, and sweats. Because of their bulkiness, they are often not a good fit on tiny babies.
Midweight covers are great all-purpose covers. They are trim enough to go under a lot of different clothing but thick enough to work for overnight and naptime for most babies. These are what I generally recommend for first-timers to wool unless they know they have a VERY heavy wetter. Even if you're babybear generally leaks through covers, you can still use midweight and just bolster the absorption of your diaper by adding a soaker layer down the center. This weight also tends to provide the greatest variety in colors and patterns as it is most common.
Thin/lightweight covers are just that. These fit best on little babies and newborns because they are not bulky. In general they require frequent changes to prevent leaks although some trim wools actually provide very good protection. These include Merinos (which are ultrafine wools and so are densely knit yet lightweight) and Meltons (a dense, spongy, felted wool similar to what you find in outerwear like Pea Coats).
One other important note: all weights may be either stretchy or woven (non-stretchy) wools. Non-stretchy wools retain their shape well and hold up better if accidentally washed and/or dried, but they will not fit as large of a size range because they have very little 'give', while stretchy wools will fit larger babies and toddlers.
How do I choose?
SNAPS vs VELCRO vs SNAPPIS
As for closures systems, I myself, through years of personal use, have come to prefer snaps - while they limit the adjustability, they are more attractive (in my opinion) and remain so over time, as well as maintain their functionality darn near forever. The other downside is that they are 'slightly' harder to put on a wiggly baby. This isn't a problem for someone who changes babies often, but for a parent who rarely does or grandparents/babysitters this might be a complaint. Velcro is quick, easy to use, and infinately adjustable, but it WILL wear out. If you are very careful about attaching it to the laundry fold-back tabs prior to washing so it doesn't hang up in the wash, clean out the hook side frequently, and don't get too rough with it, it might last you 2 years, but it will wear out before the cover does, and under normal use conditions will wear out after about 12-18 months and will need to be replaced. Fortunately this is fairly easy to do for even novice seamstresses, but you would want a sewing machine. Snappis provide the infinate adjustability of velcro and the added bonus of making your cover reversible. They can also make your cover fit a wider range as you can literally make it as small as you want for tiny newborns. However, they will pull any fabric over time. These are better on woven wools or tightly knit/dense wools than bulky loose ones, and you can reduce wear and tear by NOT pulling the snappi to the absolute tightest it will go, just get a "just snug" fit...
Really it is purely a matter of personal preference which you choose. Many people swear by one type of closure or another (some even swear by pins!) that's why I offer you a choice. I hope this helps.
How does it work?
How it works:
To get started you let me know how many trainer conversions you want and what (if any) extras you'd like (such as dyeing, pul, etc.) and then I'll set you up a custom listing meeting your specifications. You mail your prefolds to me and when I get them I let you know, then you pay for your listing and I start work! You are welcome to wait to pay for your listing until I receive your prefolds, however I work orders in the order in which they were paid - so if 10 orders came in between the time you mail your prefolds and the time you pay for your conversions, you will be number 11 in line for completion.
These are based on a generic pattern I've created, however the actual sizing is related to the size of your prefolds. Generally infant prefolds are going to have a shorter rise and slightly smaller waist and thighs while premium and regular prefolds will fit the pattern exactly. Toddler prefolds will have a slightly longer rise and some brands will have a bigger maximum waist measurement.
You can basically determine the measurements they are going to be this way: take your prefold width, multiply by 2 and subtract 1.5" - that will be the maximum waist measurement. If you subtract approx. 3-4 inches from that that is the smallest the waist will be. The rise is the length of the prefold (though of course it is scrunched up a bit by the elastic).
I can cut prefolds down to fit smaller babies (at NO additional cost), and can even enlarge smaller prefolds by adding additional fabric (at an additional cost), depending on your needs. Many EC'ing parents want tiny trainers for their little ones - in that case infant prefolds may work as is.
You are welcome to specify colors for the trim and any embellishments, but be aware that while I try to keep a large selection on hand I do occasionally run out of some colors. In that case I can either substitute or you can request that I hold your order until new materials come in.
Once your order is completed I let you know and ship it back to you. Turn around time on custom orders may vary from 1-14 days depending on the size of the order and the number of orders in line.
How does it work?
How often do you have to wash wool diaper covers? Is it true that if they get a little wet it is possible to simply dry them and then reuse them?
How frequently you have to wash wool covers depends on a number of factors such as how often you change, the weight/thickness of your wool cover, the absorbency of your diaper material, the chemical strength of your child's urine, and how heavily you lanolize. Lanolin is the natural sheeps' oil in wool fiber that makes it so great as a diaper cover. It helps the fibers keep moisture locked inside, and also combines with urine in a chemical process similar to saponification - leaving the urine neutralized. However, this process also uses up the lanolin, so that it has to be replaced from time to time - this is the process called "relanolizing" in diaper-speak. It generally involves using a soap that contains lanolin, or melting pure lanolin in water and forcing it back into the wool fibers. Some people prefer a light lanolizing and more frequent washing, others like to actually get the fibers "greasy" (you can actually see and feel the sheen of lanolin) so that they rarely have to lanolize and can go longer stretches without lanolizing. It's really a matter of personal preference.
Overall, if you use a good, absorbent diaper with sufficient soaking power (the harder the diaper works, the less hard the wool has to), have a decent mid-level application of lanolin, and change every 2-4 hours, rotating your wool covers so that they can dry completely, you can use one for about 2 weeks before having to relanolize. If you are using a woolen for overnights - a great choice - you may have to lanolize a bit more frequently, like every 3-4 uses. Again, having good diaper material underneath and a thicker/heavier weight of wool will reduce how often you have to do this, even for overnight.
If the diaper is soiled with feces you should wash it before reusing. You may not have to lanolize again yet, but a good rinse with some baby shampoo in the sink would be suggested.