Common Materials Used in Cloth Diapers
The materials used in the cloth diapers you choose for your baby are equally as important as the style of diaper you choose. The following is an explanation of some of the most commonly used diaper materials:
Waterproof Layers are commonly made of materials such as PUL (polyurethane laminate) and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), the waterproof layers of cloth diapers obviously perform very important functions that most parents will not want to do without. While the processes used to create these fabrics are way too complex for most of us to understand, there are two key questions that you may want to ask the manufacturer of your diaper:
1. Do they use solvents in the production of their material? Some PUL and TPU fabrics are created with a slightly more expensive thermal-only process, which has no chance of leaving behind trace amounts of solvents. Other processes use solvents (sometimes in combination with heat) that may degrade over time, meaning that these chemicals will be entering (and staying in!) your household.
2. Do the spray-on water repellants they use in the production of their material contain formaldehyde? All waterproof fabrics require that a spray-on water repellant be used to retain the waterproofing features after sewing has occurred. Otherwise, the pinholes made by sewing will cause leaks. Some manufacturers test to ensure that the spray-on repellants used in their diapers do not contain any amount of formaldehyde - a material described by the US National Toxicology Program as "known to be a human carcinogen."