Cloth Diaper Terminology

Posted by Tracey Valade on Saturday, April 6, 2013 Under: Educational

Cloth Diapers – What did she say?


Here is a little 101 on cloth diaper terminology for you beginners!


Please note I wrote some of this but got help from a few websites, including Diaper Jungle & Dirty Diaper Laundry.


AIO - All-In-One - AIOs are fitted diapers that have a waterproof outer layer. This layer usually consists of fabric that has a PUL backing, polar fleece such as Windpro, or wool. These are the closest in similarity to disposable diapers since they are a one-piece diapering system. The absorbent soaker material is often sewn into the diaper; it may also be detachable. There are also Tongue-Style all i one diapers where the soaker it only attached at one end (sewn in the front or back only).

AI2 - All-In-Two - AI2s are very similar to AIOs with the exception that the absorbent soaker material is not attached to the diaper in any way. The soaker is usually a second, separate piece that must be used in conjunction with the diaper. The drying time for these diapers is shorter than the traditional AIO.


Bamboo - As a material, bamboo has to go through processing that essentially makes it the same as Rayon, so it is usually referred to as Rayon from Bamboo Fibres. Bamboo is a fast growing crop and very absorbent.


Bgs – Short form for BumGenius brand.


CPF – Short form for chinese prefolds. UB in front of this means unbleached.


Cotton - Diapers with cotton inserts or soakers are not as absorbent as certain other materials, but have the boasting rights to being a natural fibre that is less likely to have build-up or stink issues.

Contour Diapers - Contours are hourglass shaped diapers with no elastic in the legs or back. They must be held together with a SNAPPI Diaper Fastener, pins, or a diaper cover. These diapers are not waterproof, so a cover will be needed.


Diaper Covers - Covers come in many styles and shapes, colors and patterns, but their function is to provide a waterproof outer layer for non-waterproof diapers. They are often fitted with elastic and fasten with snaps or Velcro. Some covers pull-up, like underpants. Diaper covers are usually made from polyester, Polyurethane laminates (PUL), waterproof nylon, fleece or wool. PUL and wool are the most common. Wool ones can be short, fitted like the PUL covers or in the form of longies, what are wool pants.


DSQ ~ This stands for Diaper Service Quality. Diaper services use only the highest quality materials because their diapers must stand up to a lot of use and a lot of laundering. DSQ is usually used in reference to high quality pre-fold diapers.

Doublers Doublers are absorbent soakers that can be added to a diaper to increase absorbency. They are especially useful during times when you know extra protection is needed, such as at night time.


EO – Short form for essential oils.


Flats - These one-layer diapers, generally made out of 100% cotton gauze, are the most "old-fashioned" choice. They dry quickly and fit a large range of sizes. Folding and pinning are required.


Free Size – These are diapers that have no particular size, like one size diapers, but are folded into specific sizes.


Fold Over Rise – These are diapers that you fold down the front of, to adjust the size of them. Some just fold and stay while others snap down. (Most common in fitted diapers.)


Gussets - There are two gusset options. Inner gussets means inside of the diaper there is elastic sewn in the liner material to create a wall of protection which prevents solid waste from leaving the soaker of the diaper and causing a leak. Leg gussets means the diaper has a double walled elastic system, called gussets, which offer extra protection around the legs.


Hemp - This material is ultra trim and very absorbent, making it perfect for the heavy wetter or for overnight diapers. It is often blended with cotton to make a hemp jersey that is softer than plain hemp inserts or soakers.


Hook & Loop - These are Velcro-like closures. Since the Velcro brand is not very soft, many diaper makers use Aplix or Touchtape brand hook and loop. It can also be referred to as Aplix alone.


Liners - Liners are thin layers of cloth or paper that are placed inside the diaper to aid in the cleaning of solid waste. In the case of paper liners, the solid waste collected on the liner can be removed from the soiled diaper and either thrown away or flushed. Cloth liners must be washed, but aid in laundering. They also help protect the actual diaper from staining. Liners come in a variety of fabrics from fleece to cotton and are easy to use and even make yourself. They can also help keep your diaper from rash creams that are not safe for cloth diaper use, or to keep soakers from touching the skin of a baby directly.



Longies - These are also called soaker pants or sweater pants. Longies are wool soakers that have longer legs to form pants. They are great for winter time.


Microfibre - A material made from polyester, commonly used for cleaning, that is ultra absorbent (can hold 8 times its weight) and inexpensive. It is also relatively trim and dries quickly.


Micro-terry – Another name for microfibre, sometimes blended with cotton.


Minkee - Minkee (or minky) is a super soft fabric made from polyester (microfiber) than is often places over TPU or PUL but not always.


One Size – These are diapers that fit from newborn (often starting at 8 pounds) until potty training (usually around 30 or 35 pounds). They have snaps that allow adjustment of the diapers from small to large.


Pre-folds - Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that must be folded into the shape of a diaper. They are similar to flats, but have multiple layers with more layering in the middle. They often have 2-4 layers of absorbent material on either side and 6-8 layers in the middle. The amount of layers varies according to the size you choose, generally ranging from preemie to toddler. You may see a pre-fold described as being 4x8x4. This describes how many layers there are in the outer and inner sections: 4 layers in both outer sections and 8 layers in the inner or middle section. Pre-folds are usually the cheapest type of cloth diapers available. They must be used in conjunction with a cover and often require fastening with a Snappi or pins.


Pocket Diapers - Pocket diapers are like AIOs or AI2s. They have an outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a stay dry material, like microfleece or suedecloth. They close with Velcro or snaps. They have a pocket opening that allows for the absorbent material to be stuffed in the pocket during use and then removed for laundering. The absorbent material for stuffing can be an insert that comes with the diaper or a pre-fold or doubler. Some moms use terry wash cloths. Pocket diapers are a popular choice among cloth diapering moms because you can customize the amount of absorbent material.



PUL - Polyurethane Laminate has one layer of polyester (facing the outside of the diaper) with a laminate on the inside which makes it waterproof.  This laminate is shiny when exposed, like in many diaper covers.


Snappi - A plastic mechanism that fastens a cloth diapers. These are often used instead of diaper pins.

Soakers - The term soaker can be applied two ways. It often refers to the absorbent middle part of the diaper that absorbs the moisture when a baby wets. Soakers may be sewn inside the diaper, partially sewn to form a flap, snapped in inside the diaper, or simply laid inside the diaper. The term soaker is also used in reference to wool diaper covers


Stay-Dry - This means that the diaper has a layer of fabric next to the baby’s skin that wicks moisture away from them, leaving them feeling dry.  This is similar to a disposable in that respect.


Sleeve – Term used when an all in one diaper has a pocket.


TTO – Short form for ta tree oil.


Wool In One (WIO) - This is a All-In-One (AIO) but made with wool outer fabric.


WAHM Made - This diaper was made by a “Work at Home Mom.” and not a manufacturer.

In : Educational 


Tags: cloth  diaper  terms  terminology  begginers  101 

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Owner of Darolotty's. Mother to 3 young children and wife. Believer in stength, love, compassion and passion.

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