Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diaper Care

Because I have so much wool for my babies, I must also care for the wool. Let's just say that it takes a little more care than you regular textile. Jared is not allowed to touch my wool diapers. If he takes them off and they are dirty, he just puts them in the bathroom for me to care for.

Wool has some incredible properties that make it a wonderful diapering fabric. First of all, you don't get much better than all natural for fabrics. Wool is a sustainable product that comes off sheep. Ironically, it does the same thing for sheep that we want it to do for diapering. Sheep produce an oil in their wool called lanolin. It is a greasy substance that makes the wool waterproof. Wool is naturally antibacterial and it can absorb 30% of its weight in water before it starts to feel wet.

Many moms use wool on their children because they find it to be bulletproof. It doesn't leak through and soak the bed and the sheets and everything else when a child wets heavily at night.

I used wool with Daphne for almost the entire time that I diapered her. I am so glad that I did.

I made a whole bunch of new covers for future babies, which I posted photos of yesterday. Today, I am going through the care process with them. It is a little overwhelming because there is so much wool to care for, but it is worth it.

I know that my work today will be rewarded in so many ways in the future.

Last night, I filled up the kitchen sink with warm water and conditioner and I put all my wool in it. The conditioner helps to loosen up anything that felted too much and it makes the covers softer. I planned to soak them overnight, but when I got back from dinner, I noticed that something was leeching color and it was affecting all the covers.

It turns out that the black fabric I used for the insides was not really colorfast, so the black dye was leeching out. I used up our entire hot water heater tank rinsing out the black dye. Fortunately, it didn't make too much lasting damage. Some of my bright yellows are considerably more dull and my white eggplant is more of a muted gray. I think that leaving them in the sun to bleach (when we get some sun) will handle that completely.

After letting the diapers dry overnight, I decided to lanolize them today. When you use wool with diapers you have to put the lanolin back into the wool. The lanolin is stripped from the fabric when it is processed, and putting it back in makes the wool more effective as a diaper.

It's pretty simple to do. Fill the sink up with water and add the covers. I then microwave a cup of water until boiling. I put in a 1/2 teaspoon of Master's Miracle soap (because I've never owned woolwash) and a teaspoon of lanolin (PER DIAPER). You mix the soap and the lanolin in the hot water so it will emulsify. Otherwise, you just get lanolin floating in the top of the water, and it doesn't make it into the covers.

You work the covers in the water and then let them soak. Some people let them soak overnight. The problem I am having is that because every diaper has black on the inside, the black is still leeching out while I lanolize. I'm keeping them in the water for an hour to lanolize and hoping that is going to be enough. I'm buying some spray lanolin as a back up in case there isn't enough. So far, the 2 batches I have pulled out seem just fine. Now it's just time to wait for the rest of them to be done.

These are the adventures of a fabric artist!

The reward, is that they work incredibly well

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