Monday, March 2, 2009

Where to buy diaper/pad materials

A while ago I posted about the various kinds of diaper/pad making materials, but didn't go much into where to get them. So today I'm going to remedy that!
(I will update this post if/when I find new sources)

There are two main sources for getting materials (unless you are ordering hundreds of yards and can afford to order directly from the manufacturer): online retail shops, and co-ops.

  • Retail shops have things in stock, and will send it to you right away. Selection varies by shop, but I'm usually able to find one shop that has everything I need (although it's not always the same shop as last time). The downside is that they sell at retail prices. However, if you're just getting a few yards of something, I think this is the way to go.
  • Online Co-ops are formed when groups of buyers get together to purchase fabrics in bulk at wholesale price (usually around 60% of retail). It is typical for an order to take 2-6months, depending on the size of the order and the efficiency of the co-op leader. Be aware that when ordering through a co-op, you will usually also pay cut fees (about $1/5 yards, to cover the leader’s time to sort/ship your fabric), as well as paying your portion shipping to the leader, and then shipping to you. I find that co-ops are cheaper if I want over 5 yards of fabric, and don’t mind waiting a while.
Some abbreviations:
DC = Diaper cut (enough fabric to make one diaper). Usually about 20x20 inches. Please note that not all diaper patterns will quite fit on this size of cut!
FOE = fold over elastic
MM = maldon mills (the best microfleece and fleece)
PUL = polyurithane laminate. It's made by fabrite and they require a minimum order of 50 yards per color. (There is an off-brand PUL with fewer and slightly different colors but it seems to be equal quality and is cheaper.)
OBV = organic bamboo velour

Types of elastic:
polybraid = traditional looking white elastic (hereafter referred to as 'elastic')
lastin = clear plastic elastic, commonly seen in swimwear--popular because it's supposed to last a long time
FOE = used to elasticize and bind in one step. There are two types--one is narrow, one is wider and soft ('plush') The wider one costs a little more but is much better. Available in many colors and even prints.

Types of closures:
touchtape = hook/loop ('velcro'), available in many colors, very strong, inexpensive, a little stiff
aplix = another hook/loop option, softer and more expensive than touchtape, available only in white.
resin snaps = these come in two forms, and require a press or special snap pliers to apply. There are two types "KAM" and something else that's not KAM. KAM is more widely available. Both types look about the same, but it's generally agreed that they are not compatible.

Kids in the Garden
monthly sales on selected items
1ml PUL (by the yard, inch, or DC) in prints and solids, microfleece, microfiber, suedecloth, organic hemp, organic bamboo
touchtape, FOE, elastic, size tags, threads, needles, patterns
Very Baby
1ml PUL (yard), flannel, birdseye, terry, jersey, cotton velour, hemp knit, microfiber, wool jersey & interlock, some organics
touchtape, aplix, FOE, elastic, lastin, threads, needles, size tags, snap press & snaps (non-KAM), patterns
offers full rolls at discount
2 ml PUL (yard or DC), hemp, bamboo, cotton, suedecloth, organics, microfiber
touchtape, aplix, elastic, FOE (all by the inch) size tags
Sew Many Diapers
seems to be sold out of many items
Sandwich PUL, cotton velour, flannel, sherpa, birdseye, microfiber, hemp fleece, bamboo fleece & velour
FOE, elastic, lasting, KAM snaps, size labels, some touchtape, thread, patterns
FOE (wide variety of colors/prints, the good soft stuff)
FOE (solid or print), matching thread
Suedecloth, PUL (yard or DC)
very user friendly site
very good prices
Everything I’ve ever heard of, both regular and organics, in lots of colors and prints including camo!
Here again, everything (snaps are KAM brand)
1 and 2ml PUL, flannel, french terry, cotton velour & interlock, bamboo velour & fleece, sherpa, wool, minkee, MM fleece,
Patterns, wool wash, rotary cutters
SewZanne’s Fabrics
1 & 2ml PUL, hemp fleece & jersey, cotton velour, flannel,
Lots of NON-diaper stuff too.
FOE, elastic, lasting, aplix, needles, non-snap-press snaps (may not be good for dipes)
Organics, bamboo, hemp, fleece, sherpa, velour (lots of NON diaper fabric too though) Also DCs
Size tags (this elastic is not appropriate for diapers)

Items offered (varies)
Cloth Thoughts
Sherpa, cotton velour, MM microfleece, lastin, touchtape
Speed is the goal—4-6wk turnaround maximum LOVE IT
1ml and 2ml PUL (5-6 colors at a time, rotating each month)
Fine (some delays if colors don’t fill)
Fantastic Flannels
Cotton velour, microfleece, flannel, PUL, maxilock thread
Velour, hemp, FOE, sherpa, terry, bamboo, PUL, elastics, wools, designer fabrics, etc
I’ve found this one to be very slow and pricy on shipping
Notion Supply
KAM snap presses, KAM snaps, size labels, some other notions
Ships from china, but is GREAT
Variety of fabrics
No personal experience
MM microfleece, aplix, elastic, PUL, organic cotton, gutterman thread, organic velour, scissors/cutters,
no personal experience
Hemp, other diaper making supplies (not specific in announcement)
no personal experience
Killington flannel, OBV, etc
no personal experience


  1. Hi! Thanks for this. I'm not going to be making cloth diapers or pads but I like to know what shops to buy from. I've been looking for pul also because I think it'd be nice for changing pads since it's washable.

  2. Any hints where to get some of that off-brand PUL from? I've never come across of it!

  3. I got my off-brand PUL via a co-op...I believe it was "ThisEndUp"
    I have not seen it other places, though I have heard other diaper makers talk about it, so I presume it is available someplace...I'm just not sure where.

  4. PUL is also available in Hancock fabric stores


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