Fabric Glossary

Confused by all the fabric choices? Wondering which fabrics rank highest for absorbency or popularity? Don't worry; our fabric glossary will help you choose a fabric you're sure to love. Read on for details about the fabrics used in Just Fussy products!

What is Fabric?

Fabric, or cloth, is produced by weaving textile fibers together into a flexible material. The combination of fiber (cotton, hemp, synthetic), and weave (velour, knit, fleece) is what gives each fabric its unique properties. There are thousands of different fabrics on the market; way too many to list all at once in one fabric gallery, but we'll do our best to discuss the fabrics used in Just Fussy products, as well as other common fabrics used in cloth diapers and pads. If you have a question that's not covered below please contact us; we're happy to help!

Types of Fiber

A wide variety of natural and synthetic fibers are used in the production of fabric. Just Fussy products are primarily made with fabric made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, and wool fibers.

Bamboo Fabric

Bamboo is one of the newer fabrics used in cloth diapers and pads. It is made from the pulp of the bamboo grass, using the same process used to make rayon fabric. Bamboo's strength lends excellent durability to a fabric, yet like most natural fabrics, bamboo is biodegradable. Bamboo fabrics are reportedly more absorbent than cotton or hemp, and undoubtedly softer. Bamboo fabrics can be used in all parts of cloth diapers and pads except waterproof layers.

Although bamboo requires chemicals in processing, it can still be considered sustainable and environmentally friendly. Bamboo takes in more greenhouse gas and releases more oxygen than an equivalent amount of trees. It doesn't require fertilizers or pesticides, grows quickly, and doesn't need replanting. In addition, bamboo's roots benefit the watershed; sustaining riverbanks and reducing water pollution.

Bamboo fibers are woven and knit into numerous fabrics, including denim, flannel, fleece, French terry, interlock, jersey, poplin, rayon terrycloth, velour, and more. Just Fussy uses bamboo fleece, bamboo French Terry, bamboo rayon, and bamboo velour in our products.

Cotton Fabric

Cotton fabrics are made from the soft fibers that grow around the seed of the cotton plant. The fibers are spun into yarn, and create a comfortable, breathable fabric that feels good against the skin regardless of temperature or humidity. Cotton fabrics have been used for hundreds of years, and are the most common cloth diaper and cloth pad fabrics. Both conventional and organic cotton fabrics can be used for the decorative and absorbent layers of cloth diapers and cloth pads, but not as a waterproof layer.

Because the highest amount of chemicals is used to grow conventionally produced cotton than any other crop, it is considered one of the least environmentally friendly crops. However, organic cotton is grown using natural methods that have a low impact on the environment. Organic cotton fibers are used on their own to produce organic cotton fabrics, and blended with other fibers like bamboo and hemp.

Cotton is woven into almost every type of fabric imaginable, such as corduroy, fleece, jersey muslin, poplin, sailcloth, twill, velour, velvet, etc. Just Fussy uses organic cotton velour and organic cotton jersey in our products.

Hemp Fabric

Hemp is a very popular fabric in cloth diaper circles due to its absorbency, durability, and antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. Most hemp fabric used in cloth diapers and pads is blended with cotton, which increases its softness and durability. Hemp is two to three times more absorbent than cotton but not as bulky, which makes it a popular choice for cloth diapers and pads. Hemp fabric requires numerous washings to reach maximum absorbency, so you'll notice that your hemp diapers and pads get more absorbent after each wash. However, since hemp has a very long life span, with the proper care you can expect your hemp items to hold up through frequent washing.

As a crop, hemp is more environmentally friendly than cotton because it grows very quickly in almost any climate, can be grown without herbicides or pesticides, and actually helps clean up toxins from the air and ground where it's growing.

Hemp is woven and knit into many fabrics, including denim, corduroy, fleece, French terry, jersey, twill, velour, and more. Although we appreciate the unique qualities of hemp, at this time Just Fussy doesn't use hemp fabrics in our products.

Wool Fabric

Wool fibers come from sheep and other animals. It has been used in cloth diapering for generations, and may be the most perfect choice of water resistant materials. Wool fibers are hollow; the outside naturally repels water while the inside attracts water, which means wool fabric is simultaneously absorbent and water resistant. Wool can absorb moisture almost one-third of its own weight, yet when felted and treated with lanolin is water resistant, air permeable, and antibacterial. Wool requires a special laundering routine, but is well worth the extra care and attention.

Wool is naturally a sustainable product. It can be shorn from sheep annually, is biodegradable and kinder to the environment than synthetics. Because wool is an animal fiber it requires a special laundering routine, but is well worth the extra care and attention.

Wool fibers have been woven and knit into various fabrics for centuries. Some of the wool fabrics currently available include: crepe, gabardine, interlock, jersey, merino, suiting, and twill. Just Fussy uses organic merino jersey in our products.

Fabric Glossary - Weave

The texture of a fabric depends on how its fibers were woven or knit together. Woven fabrics, like the fabric of most sheets, are made by weaving two different sets of threads together at right angles. Knit fabrics, like tee shirt fabric, are parallel rows of loops, with new loops pulled through existing loops to form the fabric.

Fleece

"Fleece" can be a confusing term because it refers to several different types of fabric. Basically, fleece is a knit fabric that is smooth on the front and has a deep, soft pile on the back - like your favorite sweatshirt. Fleece can be made from synthetic or natural fibers, and has vastly different properties depending on whether it's synthetic or natural.

Synthetic fleece is usually made from 100% polyester and generally does not absorb moisture. Thinner synthetic fleece, like microfleece, allows wetness to wick through and resists staining, making it a popular inner layer for cloth diapers and top layer for cloth pads. Thick fleece, like polar fleece, is water resistant and can be used in cloth diaper covers or as a waterproof layer in cloth diapers and cloth pads. Since the water resistant nature of fleece comes from its fiber rather than a waterproof coating, it allows for more airflow than PUL, but is less waterproof.

Natural fleece can be made from bamboo, cotton, hemp, or a combination of these. Natural fleece is very absorbent, and can be used for a cloth diaper inner, outer, and/or absorbent layers, as well as cloth pad top and/or absorbent layers. Natural fleece starts out as French Terry, then the loops of the terry are brushed to get the fuzzy fleece finish. This gives fleece the same absorbency capabilities as French Terry, but makes it a fluffier.

To keep your fleece products soft and absorbent, please follow the care instructions in your packaging, and be aware that excess detergent can affect the absorbency and feel of your fleece products. Just Fussy products are available in the following natural fluffy fleeces:

  • Bamboo Fleece

    Fabric Glossary - Bamboo Fleece Bamboo fleece (BF) is as wonderfully soft and silky as bamboo velour, but is also extremely absorbent and fluffy. We currently use the heaviest weight of bamboo fleece available in all of our cloth pads, no matter what top fabric is used. Our bamboo fleece comes from overseas and contains a blend of 70% bamboo viscose and 30% organic cotton. Because it is used in hidden absorbent layers, it is rarely dyed and is most often only available in its natural, creamy off-white color.

    Some of the Just Fussy products made with bamboo fleece are:

    • Hidden absorbent layers of Moonbow cloth pads
    • Bottom layer of Moonlite panty liners
    • Top layer of Moonbow cloth pads
    • Mini-Rounds
  • Hemp Fleece

    Fabric Glossary - Hemp Fleece Hemp fleece (HF) is one of the most absorbent and durable fleeces available on the market. It is the more absorbent than hemp velour, and is arguably the most popular cloth diaper and cloth pad fabric. Hemp fleece tends to be a bit firmer than cotton or bamboo fleece, which makes it a perfect choice for customers who want a pad with more "body." Like all hemp fabrics, our hemp fleece comes from overseas and contains 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton. Because it is used in hidden absorbent layers, it is rarely dyed and is most often only available in its natural, creamy off-white color.

    Some of the Just Fussy products made with hemp fleece include:

    • Hidden absorbent layers of Moonbow cloth pads
    • Bottom layer of Moonlite panty liners
    • Top layer of Moonbow cloth pads
    • Mini-Rounds

French Terry

French terry is a stretchy type of terrycloth, knit to have one smooth side and one textured side with moisture-absorbing loops. It is generally a medium-weight fabric, however the length and density of the loops determines how thick and absorbent the fabric is. Natural fleece is created by cutting then brushing the loops of French terry fabric.

French terry and natural fleece are equally absorbent, but French terry's unbrushed loops are less fluffy which produces a trimmer, less bulky cloth diaper or pad. This trimness combined with superior absorbency makes French terry a perfect choice for the inner, outer, and/or absorbent layers of cloth diapers, as well as the top and/or absorbent layers of cloth pads. Like natural fleece, French terry is available in bamboo, cotton, hemp, and a combination of these.

To keep your French terry products soft and absorbent, please follow the care instructions in your packaging, and be aware that excess detergent can affect the absorbency and feel of your products. Just Fussy uses the following French terry fabrics in our products:

  • Bamboo Stretch French Terry

    Fabric Glossary - Bamboo French Terry Bamboo stretch French terry (BFT) has a tight, close weave with stretchiness. It feels sturdy yet exquisitely soft and silky. Like most bamboo fabric currently on the market, our bamboo French terry is imported from overseas and contains a blend of 70% bamboo viscose and 30% organic cotton. Most of the bamboo French terry used in our pads is undyed, but please contact us to see what's currently in stock

    Some of the Just Fussy products made with bamboo velour are:

    • Economy and Deluxe Wipes
    • Mini-Rounds
    • Trainer style Dundies underwear for children
    • Bottom layer of Moonlite panty liners
  • Hemp French Terry

    Fabric Glossary - Hemp French Terry Hemp French terry (HFT) is more absorbent than hemp velour, and along with hemp fleece, is the most absorbent fabric we use. Like hemp fleece, hemp French terry provides a fair amount of body in a pad, making it perfect for customers who aren't fond of floppy pads. Hemp French terry isn't as soft as bamboo French terry, but soften with use, making it a good choice for customers who want maximum absorbency.

    Some of the Just Fussy products made with hemp French terry include:

    • Hidden absorbent layers of Moonbow cloth pads
    • Hidden absorbent layers of Moonlite panty liners
    • Top layer of Moonbow cloth pads
    • Mini-Rounds

Jersey

Jersey is a common knit fabric used to mostly for clothing, like tee shirts. It's usually thinner and lighter-weight than knit interlock, and has less stretch. Generally jersey has a "right" and "wrong" side, although they may be hard to tell apart; our jersey fabrics do not have a definable texture. Jersey is usually made of wool, cotton or silk, but may also be made from bamboo, hemp, synthetics, and any combination of these.

Jersey isn't highly absorbent so it isn't usually used to provide absorbency in cloth diapers or cloth pads. However, since Jersey doesn't pill or fade like flannel it's a good choice for the inner and/or outer layers of cloth diapers, or the top layer of cloth pads. Wool jersey possesses the same waterproof and antibacterial properties as other wool fabrics, which makes it a perfect choice for the bottom layer of cloth pads or cloth diaper doublers.

To keep your jersey products soft and comfy, please follow the care instructions in your packaging, and be aware that excess detergent can affect the feel of your products. Just Fussy uses the following jersey fabrics:

  • Organic Cotton Lycra Jersey

    Fabric Glossary - Organic Cotton Lycra Jersey Organic cotton lycra jersey is a popular fabric made by blending 10% lycra with 90% organic cotton. The combination produces a super-soft, somewhat absorbent fabric with just the right amount of stretch. The Lycra limits the amount the cotton shrinks, and helps the finished product maintain its original shape. Organic cotton lycra jersey is perfect for garments because it allows for easy movement yet snaps back into its original size and shape.

    Organic cotton/lycra jersey is used in the following Just Fussy products

    • Dundies underwear for women and children
    • Racerback bra tops
  • Organic Merino Jersey

    Fabric Glossary - Organic Wool Merino jersey comes from the wool of Merino sheep, and is scrumptiously soft and fluffy without being bulky. We generally leave our organic merino jersey in its natural undyed state, so you may see some color variations from pad to pad, due to the natural color of the original wool.

    Organic merino jersey is used in Just Fussy products for:

    • Bottom waterproof layer on Moonbows and all our cloth pads
    • Bottom waterproof layer on Moonlites and all our panty liners
    • Back waterproof layer on Moonbeam organic nursing pads
    • Bottom layer of Moonlite panty liners

Because wool needs special care, please read and carefully follow the care instructions in your packaging. Improper laundering may ruin your product and void the warranty.

Rayon

Of all the textiles, rayon - also known as "viscose" or "viscose rayon" - is probably the most confusing to consumers. Rayon is semi-synthetic; neither a true synthetic nor a fully natural fiber. It is made from wood pulp, a naturally occurring raw material, which gives it properties more like natural cotton or linen than synthetic nylon or polyester.

Rayon blends well with other fibers and can found in items as basic as tee shirts and as luxurious as velvet drapes. Rayon fabrics are soft, cool and comfortable, and have a smooth, silky feel. Rayon fabrics are rather delicate; stretching, shrinking, and wrinkling more than cotton. It's more absorbent than cotton but does not insulate well, which makes it popular for intimate apparel and summer clothing.

Rayon requires special care, so to keep your rayon products soft and silky please follow the care instructions in your packaging. Be aware that water hardness and wash routine may affect the feel of your rayon product. Just Fussy uses the following rayon fabric in our products:

  • Bamboo Viscose Rayon

    Fabric Glossary - Bamboo Rayon Bamboo viscose rayon is the most popular rayon fabric used in cloth diapers and cloth pads. In fact, every bamboo fabric on the market is actually a rayon! The bamboo viscose rayon used in Just Fussy products is a silky soft, stretchy knit, available in black, natural un-dyed cream, and an array of vibrant hand-dyed colors. Please contact us to see what colors are currently available.

     

    The Just Fussy products made with bamboo viscose rayon are:

     

    • Just Fussy underwear
    • Just Frillies underwear
    • Coordinating bra tops
    • Cami tops and nightwear

Velour

The term "velour" refers to the finish of a fabric rather than the fabric's content. Velour is a stretchy knit fabric with a luxuriously soft and silky nap similar to velvet. Velour is available in cotton, organic cotton, polyester, bamboo, hemp, and more.

Velour's softness makes it a popular choice for cloth diapers, cloth menstrual pads, cloth wipes, and almost any other reusable cloth product imaginable. In our experience, velour fabrics tend to be slightly less absorbent than fleece or french terry, however velour's nap provides more space and airflow between wetness and the skin than other fabrics. It also carries wetness across the top layer of the fabric instead of straight through the fabric, and absorbs quickly so there's less chance of leaking.

To keep your velour products soft and silky please follow the care instructions in your packaging, and be aware that water hardness and wash routine may affect the feel of your velour product. Just Fussy products are available in several luscious velours:

  • Bamboo Velour

    Fabric Glossary - Bamboo Velour Bamboo velour (BV) is our softest, silkiest fabric, and is by far the most popular choice for the top of cloth pads. Many customers report that bamboo velour is more comfortable and stains less than other fabrics. Like most bamboo velour fabrics currently on the market, our bamboo velour is imported from overseas and contains a blend of 70% bamboo rayon / 28% cotton on top, with 2% polyester on back for durability. We offer both unbleached bamboo velour in a creamy natural off-white color, as well as hand-dyed BV in an ever-changing array of vivid colors. Contact us to see what hand-dyed shades are currently in stock.

    Some of the Just Fussy products made with bamboo velour include:

    • Top layer of Moonbow reusable cloth pads
    • Top layer of Moonlight daily panty liners
    • Trainer style Dundies underwear for children
    • Deluxe wipes
    • Mini-Rounds
  • Hemp Velour

    Fabric Glossary - Hemp Velour Hemp velour (HV) is almost too good to be true! It combines the strength and exceptional absorbency of hemp with the softness of cotton. Although hemp velour isn't quite as silky as bamboo velour, it has a substantial, dense feel and is more durable than other velours. Hemp velour is a very popular fabric for the top of cloth pads and liners. Because growing hemp in the U.S. is illegal, the hemp velour in our products is imported. It contains a blend of 48% hemp / 39% organic cotton on top, with 2% polyester on the back for durability. Our hemp velour is available in an un-dyed natural color and an ever-changing rainbow of bright colors, however hemp velour is only available in limited quantities so we can't guarantee that we'll always have some in stock. Contact us to see if we currently have hemp velour in stock, and what colors are available.

  • Organic Cotton Velour

    Fabric Glossary - Hemp Velour Sumptuously soft, organic cotton velour (OCV) is a very popular choice for cloth diapers and cloth pads. We offer both "short looped" and "long looped" organic cotton velour. Short looped is less silky and more durable than bamboo velour, and softer but less durable than hemp velour. Long looped is thicker and stretchier than short looped, but not as durable as other fabrics. Organic cotton velour is a great choice for cloth diaper inners, non-waterproof outers, and the top of cloth pads. It also makes fantastic wipes, facial cloths, and other reusable products. Our organic cotton velour is made in the U.S.A. and contains 100% organic cotton. We offer organic cotton velour in a creamy off-white color and an ever-changing variety of brilliant hand-dyed colors. Contact us to see what colors are currently available.

    Some of the Just Fussy products made with organic cotton velour are:

    • Top layer of Moonbow reusable cloth pads
    • Top layer of Moonlight daily panty liners

Top Three Fabrics by Absorbency

  • Hemp Fleece and French Terry
  • Bamboo Fleece
  • Bamboo Velour

Top Three Fabrics by Popularity

  • Bamboo Velour
  • Bamboo Fleece
  • Hemp Fleece

Fabric Glossary Questions?

If you have a question that's not covered above please contact us - we'd love to hear from you!

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