Thursday, June 10, 2010
If you're looking for the most natural cloth diapering system, unbleached prefolds or fitteds made from natural thirsty fibers along with a wool soaker is for you.
Wool is a protein fiber from members of the Caprinae family, such as sheep, goats, alpaca, llamas, and others, and it's nothing short of magical.
Wool makes for the best natural choice for diaper covering because it's water repellent, hydroscopic, fire resistant, breathable, hypoallergenic, bacteriostatic, and renewable, all at the same time. Tell me that's not magical.
Wool all on it's own isn't water repellent, but with its super sidekick lanolin, it will stay dry to the touch for weeks.
Its also hydroscopic; it can hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture before it ever begins to feel wet. This makes it a great nighttime diper cover.
Wool is also fire resistant! Wool extinguishes itself when met by spark or flame, and is the only natural fiber with this ability. This is why the military and firefighters wear wool and carry wool blankets for victims. Wool jammies are a great natural alternative to the sleepwear made with heavily treated fabrics that are available on the market today.
Wool is breathable and comfortable to wear during both warm and cool seasons. This is because of wool's absorbency. When the air is cool and damp, wool will absorb moisture and keep a layer of dry insulating air next to the skin. When it is warm, that same absorption capacity takes perspiration and keeps insulating dry air next to the skin, working with the body's natural cooling system. This is good news for babies suffering from diaper rash.
Wool and all the amazingness that comes with it can be a little intimidating, but fear not. Wool is easy to care for, and is a wise investment. Properly cared for, it'll last through several children. You can buy or DIY your woolies easily.
Wool covers are very easy to care for, and only need your attention once every couple weeks. Wool covers do not need to be washed after every use, only aired out, or unless soiled. About every 2 weeks, wash and lanolize your wool.
If you ask 10 people how to care for wool, you'll get 10 different ways. This is just my way.
To wash, I fill my washing machine or sink, with warm water, and let my covers soak for about 10 minutes. If I'm washing in the sink, I just suds' up my wool wash bar onto the covers (I'm currently using Apple Valley's Natural Soap's Wool Wash Ewe Bar) if I'm washing in the machine I grate a little in there. Then I wash, wash, wash. Machine on gentle. If you're washing in the sink, to rinse, I drain the water and squeeze the excess water out against the sink, then refill again. So Squeeze, rinse, repeat. To dry, I lay my covers on a beach towel and roll them up and sqeeze, or run the spin cycle a second time. To try, I either air dry flat, or toss them into the dryer, no or low heat.