Thursday, October 15, 2009

FAQ: What kind of insert fabric is best?

Thank you to Lisa R. for submitting this question!
Q: I've been reading about different pocket diaper inserts and am wondering if hemp and bamboo are better than microfiber. Right now I'm just using the microfiber inserts my diapers came with. Is there any benefit to switching?
A: Here's a rundown on the three most common insert fabrics:
microfiber-Microfiber is a synthetic polyester fiber. It is very absorbent and absorbs liquid quickly. Microfiber inserts tend to be less expensive than other fabrics and are the kind included with many pocket diapers. It dries fairly quickly either on the drying line or in the dryer. Some people prefer not to use microfiber as they find it can get the "stinkies" more easily or because they prefer natural fabrics.
hemp-Hemp is very durable, trim and absorbent. It can be more expensive than microfiber and also does not absorb as quickly. When more than one insert is needed, using a hemp insert cuts down on bulk. Some people prefer a combination insert like LoopyDo to combine the qualities of fast-absorbing microfiber with the staying power of hemp. For some, hemp does not develop "stink" like microfiber. It does take longer to dry than microfiber.
bamboo-Bamboo is also very absorbent, although not quite as trim as hemp. It tends to be more expensive than microfiber and definitely takes longer to dry. Bamboo tends to stay softer than hemp.
There's really no one "best" insert fabric. If your diapers are working for you, there's no real need to switch. If you find that your current inserts are not doing the job, then it's good to know the different qualities to help you find a better fit.