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I am new to making cloth diapers. My daughter is due 11/7 and I am wanting to make most of her stash. I was able to get a really really good deal on some fleece, cotton club, broadcloth and a little bit of flannel. I also have a bunch of old tshirts to use. What is the best for an insert? How many layers should I use? Is there another type of inexpensive fabric I should be using?
The best inner fabric I have used, has been hemp/cotton. I've only been able to order it online though. Microfiber towels work really well but don't put it right against baby's skin. What pattern are you using? How many layers really depends on how you're going to make it. Too many layers and it won't dry. Too few layers and it will leak. A lot of people like pocket diapers for that reason. That way, you can change what you stuff in it if it isn't working.l
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I have some inserts I made from an old, plush terry towel; it's one layer terry, with two layers of an old cotton t-shirt on each side (edges are serged). I also stitched two lines down the center to avoid shifting. They work nearly as well as my bamboo fleece inserts, and are about as thin. New or used, strip the towels before starting (i did 2 long hot soaks in baking soda to get any residue off). I would recommend it because it keeps it a natural fiber, is very cheap, and if you've been wanting new towels now you have an excuse!
The flannel might be good too, but I don't imagine the broadcloth will be too absorbent, more decorative. Good luck!