At SweetKnits we like natural fibers. Most of our products are knit with minimally processed wool, full of natural lanolin. We strive to find the softest, most durable fibers to knit with. We rarely use commercially processed wool, instead we strive to support other small businesses, farms, and hand-dyers.
Ahhhh wool. Thick cozy sweaters; warm and snuggly socks; winter hats and mittens…but diaper covers? By all means!
Many people ask us “why wool? Isn’t it scratchy? Isn’t it too warm? Doesn’t it leak? Isn’t it difficult to care for?” We willl try to answer those questions for you here.
The Scratch Factor: There are many kinds of sheep and varying methods of spinning, producing many qualities of wool. Some are rougher than others, and some are sturdier than others. Some are stretchier than others, and some are softer than others. The wool chosen for diaper covers is chosen to be both soft and sturdy. Comfortable enough to be worn next to baby’s sensitive skin, but strong enough to hold up to multiple wearings and washings, as well as a toddler’s rambunctious activity.
Wool’s Warmth: Wool IS warm. However, it is also breathable. This breathability will keep your baby cool in the summer. Compare wearing a breathable wool diaper cover, to wearing a non-breathable plastic-coated one. Which one would YOU rather wear in the summer heat? The ability of wool to breath will help to prevent heat-diaper-rashes, and keep your baby comfortable and cool, even when it’s warm. It will also keep your baby warm, when it’s cold out. The beauty of wool is in it’s versatility!
Leakage Issues: Wool contains Lanolin, a naturally produced water-repellent. As long as lanolin remains in the wool, it will act as a good moisture barrier. Wool will not “leak”, but it will absorb wetness…wool can hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture, without feeling wet. If the wool cover does feel wet, either the diaper is just too full, or the cover needs re-lanolized (a simple process, see below!).
Wool Care: Wool diaper covers are surprisingly easy to care for. They do need to be hand washed, but this is simple – when you want to wash your covers, simply let them soak in a wool-wash containing lanolin. You can also add additional lanolin to the wash, by dissolving a bit in hot water first, then mixing it into the room-temperature-wash. Squeeze the water into the covers, allow them to sit for 15-20 minutes, then squeeze the water out (don’t wring out the covers, just squeeze…wringing may cause them to become misshaped). To get the most water out, then lay the covers on a towel, and roll them up tightly. Unroll, and hang to dry (pants may need to be laid flat to dry so they don’t stretch, although I generally hang mine!).
Lanolin is also naturally antibacterial, yet another plus to wool covers!
We often use cotton, or cotton blends, to knit children’s dresses, bonnets, bucket hats, and sometimes sweaters. When absorbancy isn’t an issue (as it is for diapering products) we are happy to consider other yarn choices, according to the customer’s needs.