For many years wool covers were common on American and Scandinavian market but they were usually made of knitted wool. In 2014 we introduced to the European market completely new idea of wool covers made of woven wool fabric. Today they got very popular in many countries around the world mostly because they are thin but still protect the diaper from leaking very well. We also get a lot of reviews saying that the design makes them fit perfect on virtually every child. If you choose the right size, they don't look bulky at all. Many parents give up on using PUL diapers as they prefer wool. Still there are many people who can’t imagine that wool products can be so children- friendly. Some of them are afraid of the scratching, as it’s common to associate it with woolen fabrics. Others think that it wool care will be too troublesome. What is the truth about the wool? Does it scratch, or it doesn’t? How to wash wool covers?
What’s interesting, in the Middle East people were already using wool as a diaper covers thousands of years ago and it worked great for them. Wool covers are the most breathable of all diapers available on the market. Wool fibers in their structure have little tubes filled with air, which provides kind of micro ventilation. Even in the hottest days wool will give baby the comfort by keeping proper skin temperature and supporting its natural thermoregulation system. Millions of tiny “pouches” absorb sweat and leads it outside in the form of steam. In winter those „pouches” isolate skin from the heat loss as they are filled with air. This way in summer baby’s skin don’t get overheated and don’t sweat and in winter is protected against cold. And that’s the reason for which we call wool fibers “intelligent”. While using wool during winter walk you don’t need to worry, that if you don’t change your baby’s diaper right after it gets wet, your baby will be wet and cold. No other fabric can give comfort like this.
Wool fibers structure lets them absorb the amount of liquid over 1/3 heavier than its own weight. It means that when the insert will be soaked to its maximum capacity, excess fluid won’t leak out, but will be absorbed by wool fibers and kept away from baby’s skin. Wool cover won’t leak easily though. Because of the lanolin in wool fibers (lanolin is the natural sheep fat), wool has greater leaks resistance than PUL. It is so because wool covers are sewn with two layers of the wool fabric. The internal layer absorbs the moisture while the external one stays dry. It makes wool covers indispensable in the situations when you can’t change the diaper so often- at night, during long walks or while travelling.
Wool covers made of wool fabric are usually very thin. The ones sewn with knitwear wool are thicker, same as so called “wool shorties”.
Another extraordinary wool property is it’s resistance to bad smells and bacterias. Lanolin in its fibers breaks down urine into salts and water, which is easy to evaporate, as wool copes well with moisture removal. It makes wool covers very hygienic and that is the reason for which we don’t need to wash them as often as PUL or polar fleece covers. Same as wool clothes- after use we only hang it to air it. Because wool absorbs part of moisture, internal layer of cover will be a little damp after use, but when we hang it to air out, it dries very quickly and is ready to use it again in around half an hour.
Wool has also antistatic properties, thanks to which it repels dust. Even if your baby is learning to crawl on the floor, you don’t need to worry that the wool cover will accumulate dust.
And what about scratching? Wool covers are sewn with wool of merino sheeps, which have the most thin and delicate fleece. One fiber of merino wool can be 13 up to 24 micron, which makes it from 1/3 up to even 1/10 human hair thickness. It’s thin like spider web! The thinner fiber, the higher price. It’s interesting that the finest merino fibers are so expensive, that are stored in safe boxes! Thickness of fiber has also influence on fabric softness. Again, as merino wool fibers are the most delicate ones, they are best to use in products designed for children. They don’t scratch at all! They are very soft and pleasant to touch.