DIY wool diaper cover – choosing wool sweaters


While I have a page here called Make Your Own, which explains where to find the best patterns and help on making your own wool diaper covers,  I wanted to touch on a few points about picking wool for your DIY wool diaper covers. After you read this, check out DIY wool diaper covers : washing and felting.

I personally hand pick recycled wool sweaters in a warehouse in NYC. I pick through bales of pre-sorted wool sweaters and choose the ones I think will work the best for diaper covers. I pick 200-400 sweaters at a time, and I’ve slowly gotten better at picking sweaters!

There are all types of wool sweaters, but not all of them are ideal for diaper covers. In my opinion, here are a few simple rules to help guide you:


I avoid “machine washable” wool or “superwash” wool. This wool is usually fine merino wool that has been chemically treated to be able to handle the agitation and temperature of a washing machine. Because of this, the wool will not felt at all (usually no matter how much you wash or dry). You need a bit of felting for the wool to be bulletproof against moisture.

100% wool will be absorbent and water resistant. The reason I avoid it is because it is usually not as soft as lambswool or merino.

Cashmere is a favorite among many cloth diapering families. I choose not to work with it as a diaper cover because it compresses easily and is not as bulletproof as lambswool and merino.

Shetland wool is too scratchy for diaper covers. This is a shame, because there are so many bodacious sweaters made with Shetland

I say “YES!” to 100% lambswool, or any blend of lambswool as long as the lambswool content is 80% or more.

Thicker merino wool that is NOT superwash or machine washable.

Merino wool interlock that you purchase new is an excellent choice.

With regards to a lambswool/angora/nylon blend:

These often have amazing painted or printed patterns. They can have a hairy texture from the angora. If they are felted enough, they can perform well enough as a diaper cover, especially when reinforced with an extra wet zone layer.


What wools do you like to work with?

4 responses to “DIY wool diaper cover – choosing wool sweaters

  1. Pingback: DIY wool diaper covers : washing and felting | rebourne clothing·

  2. Pingback: DIY wool diaper covers : pressing and marking | rebourne clothing·

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