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Bamboo Fabric for Diapers

You've probably seen lots of diapers made with bamboo velour, bamboo fleece, and bamboo terry fabrics recently.  If you want to sew your own and you may be wondering which bamboo fabric is the right one to use.  Each of these fabrics have their own unique properties that make them ideal for particular styles or types of diaper sewing, and here we've broken them down to help you choose what is best for your project.

The most popular type of bamboo fabric is the bamboo velour.  This soft, creamy fabric is primarily used for the outer or innermost layer of diapers.  It does not have wicking properties like synthetic fabrics such as fleece or suedecloth, but it holds moisture very well and still feels comfortable when wet.  It is also gentle on skin and many people have told us it is the only fabric they can use on their sensitive child.  Used as an outer, it is often dyed or embroidered.  Even first time dyers can get beautiful results with craft store dyes such as Dylon brand dyes.  It is a knit fabric and some sewers find it difficult to sew with at first.  I have found that a glue stick instead of pins or using a serger can usually make sewing it easier.  Sewing it together with a more stable fabric, such as bamboo fleece, can also improve your results.

Bamboo fleece can also be used as an inner or outer layer, and is often used for the absorbent soaker of the diaper and a hidden layer between two velour pieces to provide stability.  Like the bamboo velour it is very soft, and stays that way even after multiple washes.  For outer layers, it's often used with the flat side out.  This way it can be dyed, embroidered, or even stamped or hand painted.  As an inner fabric it can be used with either the fleece side or the flat side towards baby's skin.  This fabric is thick and fuzzy like sweatshirt fleece, and is the easiest to sew with if you are a beginner sewer. 

Our bamboo terry is flat on one side with small loops on the other.  It can be used as either an outer layer or inner layer, and I've seen it used often to make prefold diapers.  The loops are perfect for Snappis or pins.  Many people will use it as the outer prefold layer and use bamboo velour next to baby's skin for the ultimate in comfort!  You may want to experiment if you are making prefolds instead of going with the measurements of regular cotton prefolds.  Bamboo terry is much stretchier than the cotton used for prefolds and you may find they are a little too stretchy.   Most people prefer to use a layer of fleece as the inner or soaker fabric when making diapers from this fabric, to add stability as with the velour.  

If you've searched online for bamboo fabrics, you've probably also run into many other styles such as interlock, jersey, or even sheeting.  Some of these you may even find locally, as Hancock Fabrics and some Joanns stores have recently started stocking them.  However they usually are not suited for diaper making.  The interlock and jerseys I've found have both been too thin to be suitably absorbent, and too stretchy to allow for the multiple layers you would need.

I've also been asked if we have 100% bamboo fabrics available.  In the past, we have had two styles that were 100% bamboo fiber.  While they did work well, we have found that pairing the bamboo fiber with organic cotton fiber produces a much nicer, softer and more versatile fabric.  The cotton content is organically grown to minimize the environmental impact.

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