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Old 08-17-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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Natural fibers absobency test! Cotton v. Hemp v. Bamboo

Ok, I finally had some time to do this absorbency test! (similar to this thread here http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/....php?t=1023146)

I only have cotton, hemp, and bamboo (natural? semi-natural? ok, let's not get into that debate here) in my stash, so I can't compare to MF or Zorb or anything like that.

I don't have any hemp diapers, only hemp doublers, so that's what I used in my test for hemp.

Here's what I did:
1. weigh each item dry
2. submerge all in a tub of water
3. lift out one item and hold it by one corner. squeeze out a little water from the bottom until it doesn't drip for 20 seconds
4. weigh the wet item

My scale only has an accuracy of 0.2oz, and this isn't necessarily the most scientific test, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

Here are the results:
Item, Dry Weight(oz), Wet Weight (oz), Absorbed water (oz), % water absorbed by weight
Cotton french terry doubler 2.2/ 7.4/ 5.2/ 236%
Organic cotton fleece doubler (Grobaby) 1.2/ 4.4/ 3.2/ 267%
Hemp/organic cotton fleece doubler (Hempbabies) 1.2/ 4.2/ 3.0/ 250%
Hemp/cotton fleece doubler (GMD) 1.2/ 4.4/ 3.2/ 267%
Bamboo fleece prefold (WAHM) 5.2/ 17.6/ 12.4/ 238%
Cotton gauze prefold (CPF, DyDee) 4.2/ 16.8/ 12.6/ 300%


So quite honestly, it doesn't look like any particular fiber (cotton/hemp/bamboo) has far superior absorbency (at least not in my stash), but that cotton prefold certainly seems to have an edge! Looks like cotton fleece is only very slightly more absorbent than cotton french terry.

Now, of course, this test doesn't address other important aspects of absorbency, such as how fast they absorb, or how much absorbency you get vs. trimness, or how well the diaper distributes the liquid (bamboo is supposed to wick more thoroughly than cotton, but I haven't tested this). The bamboo prefold is trimmer than the cotton gauze prefold (bamboo prefolds don't get all fluffy and quilty like CPF's/IPF's do).

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Last edited by littleleaf; 08-17-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #2
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Re: Natural fibers absobency test!

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing!
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: Natural fibers absobency test!

Cool, thanks for sharing
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: Natural fibers absobency test!

Wow - thanks for sharing!!!
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #5
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Re: Natural fibers absobency test! Cotton v. Hemp v. Bamboo

you're welcome - this was fun!
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