I’ve been saying I’ll speak about wool covers for cloth nappies for a while now, so it’s time to get down to it, and write something up.
Wool is one of the most popular natural fibres around the world for clothing and soft furnishings. I’m sure everyone knows that it comes from these fluffy creatures. Many sheep are primarily raised for their wool specifically. And this amazing fibre has some remarkable properties. I’m going to list some of those below, and say specifically why that makes it great as a nappy cover.
There is probably more, but these are what I’m going to talk about here. Being used as a nappy cover means it is covering over nappies that, well lets face it, get peed and pooped in. Because it is antibacterial and anti microbial it doesn’t hold on to microbes and bacteria. It literally absorbs them, but doesn’t re-emit them. This is thanks to the lanolin and keratin, natural proteins found in wool. These properties also mean when it gets damp it doesn’t hold on to those microbes that cause other things to grow mould.
As a breathable fabric, wool literally allows any moisture that touches it to evaporate, so covering over a cloth nappy allows dampness that reaches the outside of the nappy literally come out the other side and disappear. Due to repelling the damp it feels dry from the outside (assuming nappies are changed at regular intervals of btween 3 and 4 hours maximum.)
So is it only suitable for winter? Well no, it isn’t. In fact even for children and adult clothing wool is super amazing. Due to the breathability and the fact it is balancing as insulation, it literally keeps you warm in winter, by insulating you, but in warm weather it allows you stay cool. Of course if you wear a chunky wool jumper in the hottest summer you’ll still get hot, but a light wool layer doesn’t make you too warm. This makes wool clothing over nappies for babies an awesome choice to keep them covered in the sun (Oh yeah it also filter UV rays!) but they won’t overheat. It’s also worth considering the option of wool, rather than synthetic blankets, based on this.
The fact it is flame resistant is self-explanatory really. While I don’t sell nappy covers specifically for night time use, many people do use them over night, and all the clothing and cover used on a baby while sleeping should be flame resistant (a fact to think about if buying or making acrylic baby clothes and blankets. If you see how acrylic melts and stick when you burn it, you think twice about ever risking that getting stuck to your, or someone else’s baby).
Finally the sustainable nature of wool. As many sheep are kept for their wool primarily, they are sheared annually over many years to obtain the wool, the wool used last an extremely long time, many people I speak to have had wool clothing for years, 50 or more not being uncommon. When it comes to nappy covers, well of course your baby grows, but covers will last subsequent babies, longies become board shorts or crops, boardies become shorties. This is why I ensure the rise is generous on my nappy covers as that stretches for a number of months. And when they don’t need the nappies any more? Well my Teeny girl wore her longies from 2 years ago as little crops in the summer just gone now she’s no longer in nappies. And to mark the release of this blog I am setting up a brand new Facebook group premarily for all hand knitted wool nappy covers to be sold, both brand new by makers, and preloved from all makers, the only condition is hand knitted ones only. I’ll add the link below.