Using washable feminine products was never on my bucket list. However, after the birth of my daughter I developed an allergy to the adhesives in disposables. I tried different brands until I gave up and decided to give cloth a try. I ordered some liners from Caroline's Creations on Etsy and I liked them so much, I decided to make my own pads.
If this idea seems weird or different to you, you might be interested to know that many women who use cloth say it is much more comfortable than disposables. Since cloth pads can be washed and worn many times, they are more cost effective than disposables and easier on the landfill. It can even be free if you make your own using fabric scraps and old linens. And yes, they come out of the wash perfectly clean!
Making pads is really easy; they don't have to look perfect or pretty. I've been cloth diapering my daughter since birth so the lingo is similar, words like: PUL, AIO, shells and pockets. I made my first set of pads with materials I already had on hand: flannel, PUL, Zorb 2 (optional), and snaps. I think it's a good idea to make a few and see what you like before filling out your entire stash.
My favorite pattern so far is the Luna Wolf Pad Pattern, which FREE and includes a variety of pad sizes.
I really like the 10.25" size for a heavy flow pad. I experimented with this and used an exposed/removable core that stays in place with some red ric-rack at the top and bottom. I can use the liner multiple times and just switch out the inserts, as needed. (The snap on top is from a failed attempt to make snappable inserts.)
I recommend a high quality flannel or quilting cotton for the top because a cheap flannel will pill quickly and won't be as soft. The gray topper is a jersey ribbed knit from an old t-shirt. Behind that is a layer of zorb and 2 layers of flannel. I'm still working on finishing the edges of my inserts. Sometimes my serging is pretty ugly, but it's functional! I put my knife in the DOWN position when I serge around inserts and I use wooly nylon thread in my loopers.
These two inserts have quilting cotton on top, then a layer of zorb and a layer of hemp.
The 8.5" pads above were modified to try a different wing style.
The first set of Luna Wolfs I made had a PUL backing and they slipped around. The ones I make now have a layer of flannel behind the PUL. The flannel comes in contact with your panties and stays put!
I bought fabric just to make these pads. It's such a happy floral, I just love it! I even did some decorative topstitching. This 8.5 inch pad has a hidden insert with 1 layer of Zorb sandwiched in between 2 layers of flannel. I use KAM snaps. I know everyone rrrraves about how easy they are to install. It was never that way for me. My husband has given me dozens of tutorials but I still ask for his help about half the time. I have TERRIBLE grip strength!
So far I really like using these. They are very comfortable and it's nice to be able to make them just the way I want to. I'm really glad I don't make pads for a living. Miss Caroline would make me slow down!