New Nappies

Wash new nappies once before use. Use detergent and either cold, warm or hot water. New nappies can be added to other laundry, ideally white or light coloured items to prevent picking up colour run.

Bamboo and hemp will build absorbency over time. To prevent leaks from occurring, change more frequently. See the Why Am I Getting Leaks? for methods on how to prevent leaks.

Why does prepping new nappies make such a difference to user success?

The surface area of the fibers increases over time with washing (ie friction), the fibers become looser and micro piling occurs. The greater the surface area, the more absorbency potential [1][2].

See the Adding Absorbency page for absorbency measurements of various flats, prefolds and inserts.

Scanning-electron-microscope-images-of-the-silk-fabrics-a-d-before-washing-b
Scanning electron microscope images of the silk fabrics: (a), (d) before washing; (b), (e) washed with ultrasonic energy; and (c), (f) washed with washing machine for 15 cycles.
scanning electron micrograph of commmon fibres
Electron microscope image of common fabric fibers

References

  1. L. Quaynor, M.Takahashi M. Nakajima 2014, Effects of Laundering on the Surface Properties and Dimensional Stability of Plain Knitted Fabrics.
  2. C. Ganser, P. Kreiml, R. Morak, C. Teichert 2015, The effects of water uptake on mechanical properties of viscose fibers.