Re: Lots of ??s. don't hate the newbie. I'm a CD virgin
I'm not really sure what you are asking.
Unbleached vs bleached- Unbleached are natural off white , bleached are white. If you wash your unbleached with bleach, then they lose resale value. Basically only buy unbleached if you plan to sun out the stains/line dry your prefolds. (Or if your child has a chemical sensitivity... then you want unbleached organic. You might want organic for environmental reasons too. ) Prefolds stain. It's a fact of life. You either bleach them, sun them, or live with stains.
Prefolds vs flats. Prefolds are basically flats that have been sewn "prefolded" thus the name. Flats are about 28"x 28" or 31"x31". You fold them different ways to get the fit you want. They are one size fits all. Prefolds come in different thicknesses and sizes. You need to buy 24 to 36 per size. Flats have a huge cost savings over prefolds. Prefolds take longer to dry. Prefolds are easier. These are normally made out of cotton or bamboo. (Don't buy gerber prefolds with the foam inside. They suck)
With cotton or bamboo touching your child's skin, the wetness will be felt. Pockets and some AIO's have microfleece in the inside. It wicks the moisture away for a stay-dry feel. (Microfleece is a synthetic material) Your child won't feel wet. This is a good option for naps/nighttime if your child might wake up at every pee. (Newborns wake every 2 hours anyway... so more of an issue for older babies/toddlers) You could use a fleece liner (Fleece from the fabric store cut into rectangles to fit the wet zone area. Fleece doesn't fray so no sewing is needed. )
Covers ...there is PUL, wool, and fleece.
Pul is a polyester laminated fabric. It is made of synthetic material. It has some stretch and is waterproof. These covers contain elastic. They typically can be machine washed and machine dried (on med not high). They have a quick dry time even if not put in a dryer.
Wool there are different kinds. Commonly you see knit longies. Knit longies contain no elastic. They have to be hand washed, lanolized and have a long dry time. (24 to 72 hours depending on humidity or indoor-vs-outdoor) Wool is a natural fiber. It can be organic. You can also make upcycled ones from sweaters so wool can be an inexpensive option for someone that sews.
Fleece covers can be made without elastic but some do have elastic depending on how they are made. They can be machine washed and dried. They are not always waterproof. They are more water resistant. So you need to change frequently and I wouldn't use them overnight. (Fleece is typically a synthetic material but is very easy to find at any store that sells fabric.)
Inserts... Microfiber is very absorbent. It's a synthetic material. It should not be placed against a child's skin.. (Microfiber is the stuff in the auto section for drying cars. You can actually tri-fold them and use the microfiber towels in the auto section to stuff pocket diapers!) People like them because they are trim. People who have hard water sometimes get stink issues because they have a hard time washing/rinsing them as they are synthetic.
Other inserts are cotton, bamboo, etc. Some people use tri folded prefolds or folded flats as inserts. ( Typically microfiber or flats are the trimmest)
AIO's use lots of combinations of materials depending on the maker. (Most are pul.)
I think it is up to you and why you want to cloth diaper which options you choose as far as materials. Do you just want to save money? Are you a super environmentalist? Are you somewhere inbetween?
Last edited by Rdesonia; 02-07-2013 at 10:07 PM.