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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Family Cloth: The Down and Dirty part 1

Okay...I know this is a taboo subject, but you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't interested, so I'm going to put everything out there for you.

In my effort to be green (and save a little green - seriously! I can't believe how much toilet paper I can go through), I recently started using family cloth...poo paper, people...the reusable kind. I know you might be a little disgusted by this, but you put parents down who choose to use cloth diapers? No. We all think this is great (even if we couldn't/wouldn't do it). So why is it so different when it comes to adults? The isn't. Our pee and our poo isn't any better or any worse than a baby's. Of course, with that being said, I've chosen to start using family cloth (isn't that a stupid name for it? somebody was trying a little too hard to be politically correct) for numeral uno only. Maybe someday I'll give it a try for number two, but first, I need to get a "system" set up. Right now, I just have the cloths.

But I want you to learn from me here. I read a blog that made sense to me (I'm not going to link to it this time, because I'm about to rip the blogger to shreds). In said blog, she stated what she believed was the best way to make these family cloths, and I bought it....don't. First, one thing I still agree with, choose cotton flannel over fleece. At first, I was sold on fleece. It's thick, soft, and it doesn't need to be sewn to avoid fraying. Perfect, right? No. She did make a good point that fleece isn't absorbent. Think about it. When you get a drop of water on fleece, it sits on top for awhile, doesn't it? Flannel is much more absorbent.

Here's the first point I disagree with the other blogger on: flannel doesn't fray very much...just enough to prevent unraveling, so you can use single ply and just cut your squares using pinking shears. Well, maybe it only frays enough to prevent unraveling, but that's a lot! She also said that she had just a little bit of fuzz the first couple of times she washed the cloths. I've only washed mine once, but they created a little bit of fuzz and a BUTT LOAD of strings. They were on EVERYTHING! I was picking these friggin' strings off of every piece of clothing I pulled out of the dryer and they were all over the washer and the dryer screen.

Next point of contention...single ply won't leave your hands wet. NO! Single ply does let some moisture seep through to your fingers. NASTY! I ended up taking my seriously frayed squares and using them two at a time as two ply.

One more quick lesson, which wasn't something from the other blog, but just something I learned. Every source out there is going to tell you to use a dark color...use a print if you like, but make sure it's an overall dark color to hide stains. I'm not arguing with this, I just want to point out that black might not be the best idea. That's what I used...plain black flannel. This baby isn't going to show any stains. Awesome, right? Not really. Here's the issue: you aren't going to SEE anything on the cloth (except the nasty white crap left behind from regular toilet paper if you're still using it for number two...YUCK!). Still not seeing the issue? If you're a man, there isn't much of an issue, but if you're a woman...well, maybe you don't care, but I do. You aren't going to see when your period starts or stops. If it's light, you may not know until it reaches your undies. If you choose one of the lighter dark colors (like maybe a medium brown), you still won't see stains, but should be able to see other things.

In conclusion, cut your medium dark flannel into the size you want (I did 5" squares...remember, it will shrink a little), sew two squares together, leaving a small space to turn them inside out so the raw edges end up in the middle, and wipe away! If I make more sometime, I'll do a post showing how I'd make my family cloths.

Like I said, I haven't gotten my system in place (mainly because I need to make a wet bag), but once I do, I'll be posting part two to explain my dry/dry system, as well as other system options. 

Hope this helps if you are thinking about going green and using family cloths!


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