Cloth Pads Questions & Answers

SewFatty: Question & Answers about Cloth Pads

I’ve been totally curious about cloth pads. I follow a Cloth Pad group on Facebook and had a few questions, I asked these ladies if they would so kindly help answer them and they did. These ladies are WAHM and have stores be sure to check them out. Below are the my questions and their responses. I asked these questions on a DIY point of view for those of you that would like to know what materials are used to make cloth pads. I hope that these questions and answers help you understand cloth pads a bit more.

  1. What made you want to use cloth pads vs. disposables?
  2. Did you make your own pattern? Buy a pattern ? Or use a Free printable?
  3. What materials do you like to use for your toppers?? (layer against your skin) and why??
  4. What material do you like best for absorbency? Why?
  5. Do you find that the absorbency in cloth and disposable are the same? Or better?
  6. What’s the difference between a cloth pad being topstitched or serged?? If there is any?
  7. Would you recommend cloth pads to teens?
  8. How long have you been sewing cloth pads?
  9. Does the shape of the cloth pad matter?? Make a difference?
  10. Is having channels in your cloth pads better?
  11. Could you provide a picture of the layers in order to show what’s inside the cloth pad ?  if you have different ones that would be great.
  12. How do you all recommend your pads to be washed? Do these ever need to get stripped?
  13. ***How many do you Recommend starting out with??
  14. Anything else you all would like to add that would be great.

Anna Cross make all kinds of cloth stuff at SewSewSewYourBoat. I started cloth diapering, then using mama cloth I want to eventually jump into all things cloth for so many reasons. Health, costs, environment, and FUN!

    1. I decided to use cloth instead of disposables after I started having sensitivities to disposable products. The things I had always used were starting to make me feel like I had a diaper rash… SO not fun!
    2. I made up my own pattern, using my favorite disposables and tweaked it a bit.
    3. I like flannel, bamboo or cotton velour, and knit fabrics against my skin.
    4. For absorbency I like bamboo double loop terry or good Kaufmann flannel.
    5. I think cloth and disposable are about the same as far as absorbency, I think coverage matters more than ansorbency but how many inner layers is kind of a learn as you go thing.
    6. I like the way turned and topstiched feels and looks over serged most of the time.
    7. Teens should definitely get in on this!
    8. I’ve been sewing mama cloth for about a year.
    9. Shape of the pad matters a lot, more than inner layers.
    10. Depending on the fabric having channels or quilting is important. Top layers that aren’t quick to absorb need it, as well as inner layers that are not natural fibers (especially microfiber) which need compression to absorb.
    11. I have pictures of my cloth pad inner layers.
    12. I wash my cloth pads just like my diapers. Hot water and good detergent. About once a month I strip them (diapers AND pads) because I have very hard water.
    13. Eventually I want to start hand-dyeing fabrics for my cloth pads.

Karima Bennett Owner of Karima’s Kloth

    1.  The thought of my periods hopefully getting shorter and lighter with less cramping
    2.  I made my own.
    3.  I use flannel, cotton, and microfleece. They are all soft and microfleece is “stay dry”
    4.  I like zorb because it is thin and still absorbent.
    5.  I don’t see alot of difference just yet. I’ve been using them for 5months.
    6.  I like topstitched better than serged. The serged ones I’m afraid make me kinda itchy.
    7.  I would recommend them for the health benefits.
    8.  I’ve been sewing them for 4months.
    9.  To me it doesn’t make that big of a difference. I have all shapes and make different shapes as well.
    10.  I haven’t seen that big of a difference between the ones with channels and the ones without.
    11.  It would take me a bit but I could show you the different layers.
    12. I recommend rinsing when you first take it off and then putting in a wetbag. After your cycle is over soaking them overnight in oxyclean and borax. Then washing on cold with a free and clear detergent. If there are any stains after that you can either use peroxide or a stain stick to get them out. I don’t know about if they need to be stripped or not.
    13.  I would start with 15-20.

Rosemary Talento Owner of Rossberries

  1.  Didn’t know this existed until after my baby was born (cloth diapering mama), and I wanted to try them because I hated wearing disposible … it felt like I’m wearing my karate cup and getting ready to punch in the croch because i’m padded protected lol.
  2.  I make my own pattern =] I drew it freestyle on the way my own cycle flows.
  3. I use minky, cotton knit, & flannel as a top layer. Minky: super soft against the skin but they are not many pretty prints offer in fabric. Flannel: it also adds a single layer of adsorbency without adding additional bulk. Cotton Knit: their selection in prints are gigantic.
  4.  I LOVE BAMBOO FLEECE. Super absorbent, natural, and so so thin.
  5.  I find the absorbency better in disposables but I don’t like having such toxins against my vaginal area.
  6.  If done right, the serged looks more professionally done but can ruin the print on the pad is it is not plain colored. A print with serged borders looks too much going on.
  7.  DEFINITELY. I was a teenager not that long ago … 5 years and I would have so done it!!!
  8.  I have been sewing since Mid November 2012
  9.  Everyone’s body is body. Everyone’s flow is different and so is their lifestyle.
  10.  I believe it guides the flows to stay in the middle than to leak out, I definitely see that with my heavy pads but with the light pads they look more like a decorative stitch.
  11.  Minky, Cotton Knit, OR Flannel / Boiled Bamboo Cores ( 1- light / 2-reg / 3-heavy / 4 overnight) / backed with fleece.
  12. Rinse in the sink until the “fruit punch” runs clear. If stain still occurs soak in hydrogen peroxide overnight, then toss in a diaper pail or your own laundry which ever comes first and wash in a timely manner.
  13. I recommend about 5 pads (more or less) per period day.

Rachel Willis Owner of  Environmenstrual Modern Cloth Pads 

  1.  I thought it was a great idea and like that it reduces the amount of toxic chemicals coming into contact with my body. It also reduces the amount of waste ending up in landfill. It also gives me an excuse to buy loads of beautiful fabric.
  2.  I made my own pattern from a disposable pad and customised it to suit the features I like.
  3. I love flannel, bamboo terry and bamboo velour. I personally prefer flannel for my own stash but love to sew bamboo terry and bamboo velour for the pads I sell. They are lovely and soft, super absorbent and the shop I get them from is local and I love supporting local business.
  4.  I use bamboo fleece in my pad cores and flannel if a second layer of core is required.
  5.  I think the absorbency is very similar. I like that with cloth pads you are using absorbency naturally occuring in natural fibres rather than chemical absorbency boosters in disposables.
  6. I prefer turned and top stitched because it looks tidy and gives a professional finish to the pad.
  7.  Definately. My pre teen daughter has her own stash and loves choosing her pads. I love that her and her sister have got so many of their friends to ‘like’ my page (supporting Mumma) making them aware that cloth pads even exist.
  8.  About 6 months now.
  9. I think the shape does make a difference. You have to feel comfortable and secure in your pad so shape is very important and very personal. Every woman is a different shape so finding the right pad to suit her and her needs is very important.
  10. I’ve personally never used a cloth pad with channels.
  11.  yes sure 🙂
  12.  Always rinse pad after use in cool to warm water and rub a little laundry soap into any remaining visible marks. Always wash before the pad dries out. Just pop in with your regular laundry. I recommend washing at or below 40 degrees celcius to avoid damaging the waterproof PUL layer and the anti bacterial properties of the bamboo fabrics. Line dry immediately in full sun as UV light is a fantastic sanitiser. Occassionally tumble drying is ok and an occassional lid of an oxysoaker in the wash load will freshen up cloth pads. Never use fabric softeners or bleach your pads.
  13. Would probably be a great idea to start out with a few different types of pads (shapes, sizes and fabric combos) to see which pads you prefer and which materials you prefer them to be made of. I would suggest at least 12 to 16 pads for a complete stash.
  14. The cloth pad community is a great place to be a part of. It allows women to make healthy choices for themselves and their environment . It also allows women to support local pad makers who work hard for every dollar they earn instead of adding to the profits of massive corporate companies who don’t care about women’s health only profit. Good on you for spreading the word!!
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Pollyanna is the mama behind SewFatty. Where you'll enjoy reading about her life which entails {God, family, fitness, military, sewing, crafting, cleaning, cooking}. Enjoy, and stay a while.


  1. I just ordered some mama cloth from a co-op. Although my period has not returned because I am breastfeeding (and I am hoping to stop my cycles for as long as possible), I am excited to try my new cloth one day!

  2. These are great questions and responses- thanks for taking the time put this information out there. There are so many women who are considering switching to cloth, but many are hesitant about it because they aren’t sure if it’s “for them.”

  3. Wow! I’ve always been nervous about mama cloth because I’m a loyal tampon user. Bought my first Lunette cup and ended up getting pregnant before being able to use it! All these answers make me think I could try mama cloth for those super fun weeks postpartum!

  4. I still can’t get myself to do it. I’m just not a pad girl – cloth or disposable!

  5. Awesome resource to have on hand!

  6. Geri Fink says:

    Thanks for mentioning the buncha farm stain stick on your previous post. I hadn’t thought there was a way to get stains out if I get them.

I love me some comments, speak your mind.