Posted by: picanini | May 18, 2011

Warning!

I’m going to post some pictures of a used pad.

This pad is made from organic wool interlock, and has been in my stash for at least 3 years. Admittedly, I was pregnant for 9 months of that – but I’m not one of those ladies who has a long break after birth before my montly cycle comes back (despite exclusive breastfeeding), so it’s still had plenty of use.

It’s really not so bad, is it. The purpose of the photos you may be wondering?

I think people are a little weary of using wool products. Perhaps worried that they’ll ruin them through washing them incorrectly. I wash my pads and nappies together in a warm wash, and these pads are still the same size they were when I made them.

You can see that the wool has faded a bit since I initially dyed it. I confess that sometimes I soak my pads in nappisan – usually if I’ve been remiss and they’ve been tossed in the washing basket all folded up and sat there for a couple of days. I wait till I’ve got quite a few that need some attention, or till I’ve got room in a bucket with something else. I’m not that finicky about stains personally. The nappisan and harsh Queensland sun are most likely the main reasons for the faded colour, though wool colours are more prone to fading generally. If you were particular, you could lay them flat (which is what is recommended generally with woollen garments – along with keeping them out of the sun.) so the wool side is protected from the sun. But I’m not particular!

Here is the old wool pad next to one I’ve just finished and am testing for colour-fastness (I’ve been using food dyes, and I’m not sure how well they’ll stay on the fabric – so I need to see how it holds up).

When I prepare the wool before I cut the pads out, it  is put through 2-3 hot water cycles in my washing machine before it is dyed. It is then put in the dryer – sometimes twice as well.

Here is the old wool pad on top of the new one – once again indicating how little the pad has shrunk.

I think the other thing that people worry about is that wool isn’t “like plastic”. Because it is a knit fabric, people worry that they will leak through the “holes”. Firstly, this knit fabric has been heavily felted, so it is very tightly woven by the time the pad is made. Secondly, as many of you may be aware if you use cloth nappies, is that wool is hydrophobic – it repells water. But it is also hydrophillic  – meaning is able to absorb liquid. Wool is able to absorb up to 35% of it’s own weight in liquid. So as long as you change your pad regularly, you shouldn’t have an issue with leaking through wool pads. Anything will leak if you fill it up too much!

There’s also many other great benefits of wool – it’s fully biodegradable, highly breathable, insulating, a renewable resource, and is odor reducing. Check out this page if you’re in need of some more interesting facts about wool. It’s even being used in bullet proof vests!

So now hopefully I’ve conivinced you how wonderful wool is, you’ll be game to try it. I’ve listed a bunch of pads last night at the clothpadshop.

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