How fleece liners and fleece covers work and when fleece causes leaks
Ever wondered how fleece can be used as a liner to keep your baby's skin drier AND as a waterproof cover over a flat or fitted diaper? How does it work for both? Is it the same material or are they different?
What is fleece?
Fleece is just a name for any type of yarn that's knitted and then brushed to create a nap. This is what makes it feel "plush" and soft. Most diaper stay dry liners are made from microfleece, a lightweight fabric made from 100% polyester. Fleece diaper covers are often made from the exact same material.
So here's how fleece works as a stay dry layer:
Normally, if you let water run onto a fleece liner, it will pearl off. It's when you apply pressure to the fleece that it lets liquid through. So, when your baby wears their diaper, they move around and that pressure pushes the liquid through to the other side of the diaper, where the absorbent fabric soaks up the liquid. Once the liquid is in the absorbent part, there is not enough
pressure to go through back onto baby's skin and so the fleece keeps your baby's skin drier.
And how fleece works as a cover:
There are Canadian Work At Home Moms and businesses that make covers out of fleece. It's often the same fleece as is used for liners, sometimes it may be a heavier weight (=thicker) or have several layers. Fleece covers go over fitted or flat diapers that are made entirely of absorbent material. So the liquid sits within the absorbent fabric. Generally there isn't enough pressure from a moving baby that can push a liquid into absorbent fabric AND through 2 layers of fleece. This is how a fleece wrap (=cover) can keep wetness in. And because it's a knitted fabric it can also still breathe, allowing some moisture to evaporate and therefore can make diapers last longer, which is great for night time or naps.
How fleece can leads to leaks:
You may see someone use a fleece liner in a pocket diaper which already has a fleece layer. Surprisingly, even some brands make inserts with 2 fleece layers as an absorbent part. Because it's harder to push liquid through 2 or more fleece layers this can often lead to leaks as the pee just pearls off and then comes out wherever it can (out the side, top or back...).
So, don't add a fleece liner to a fleece layer. If you absolutely need a liner for easy poo removal try Athletic Wicking Jersey, a thin cotton insert or a disposable liner.
If you need fleece liners, we sometimes offer upcycled ones (from blankets or PJs) to our members at a very reasonable price: https://clothdiaperlibrary.lend-engine.com/
Membership is only $1 per year.
If you'd like to try a fleece cover, check out our list of Canadian Work At Home Moms who make them: https://ko-fi.com/s/1cf1144aa4
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