Years ago, women had to wear wads of cloth, locally known as “Pasadors” inserted into their underwear to absorb period blood. They were only too happy when disposable pads finally came out. Since then, disposable pads have undergone several makeovers in order to make women’s periods more tolerable. I personally was a Modess girl for a long time. Even when I started wearing tampons, I always had to use a pad as backup. Then, during the rest of my cycle, I wore panty liners almost on a daily basis.
The amount of plastic trash always bothered me, but at the time, I didn’t have a choice. None that I was aware of anyway.
In my previous blog post, I talked about the menstrual cup pretty extensively. It’s definitely a more convenient, and environment-friendly option to wrangle in that time of the month. However, I still felt more comfortable wearing something as back-up. And what about the rest of my cycle?
Fortunately, while watching Bryony’s videos (Precious Stars) I saw that she also talked about cloth pads. I was like, “CLOTH??? Why would anyone want to use those??” Of course, I went ahead and watched all the videos anyway. I didn’t realize that so many women out there had already been using these for quite some time. They were all raving about them so I figured they were worth a shot. Okay, okay, I’ll admit that the cute designs also kind of reeled me in. LOL!
Where I Got My Pads
The first ones I got were from a local online shop I found on Facebook, called Chill’s Cloth Pads. They offer starter sets that are perfect for people who are new to cloth pads. They use flannel for the core, with a varying number of layers, depending on the absorbency required. Their pads are topped with 100% cotton, with a hidden nylon fabric layer as waterproofing (or in this case, blood-proofing), and snaps for closure. They are quite comfortable and have held up very well, considering I don’t have a whole lot of pads yet, so I have used them pretty much every month for over a year. The photos I’m posting are taken from the websites of the sellers.
The liners are 6.5 inches long, while the regular-flow pads are 8 inches long. Both are 2.5 inches wide.
Their heavy-flow pads are 10 inches long, while the overnight pads are 12-inches long. I just wish the overnight pads had wider wings to lessen the risk of leaks at the sides.
I also ordered a liner and an overnight pad from the http://www.preciousstars.net/ Both of these are so comfortable to wear. They also have 2-snap settings so you can adjust the width of the pads depending on what you prefer. The liner is 7 inches long, topped in bamboo terry, with a microfiber terry core, and backed with a waterproof fabric called Polyurethane Laminate (PUL). The overnight/postpartum pad is topped with a bamboo/cotton/fleece mix, also with microfiber terry core layers, and also backed with PUL. What I love about the overnight pad is the fact that it is so long (13 inches) and is flared at the back.
I Made My Own Pads
Thanks to some helpful videos on Youtube, I have even learned how to make my own pads! Since I still haven’t learned how to use a sewing machine, I made mine by hand. The first few pads were sooo ugly, but I think I have improved a lot since then (hehe). I would like to thank my Home Economics teachers back in grade school (especially Ms. Moneva from STC), for teaching me how to do all those different stitches, and how to sew buttons on. Since I don’t have snap pliers, I used buttons to close my home-made pads. These are topped in flannel, with microfiber cores, and PUL-knockoff backing. I’m proud to say that they work just as well as my store-bought ones.
There’s a whole lot more information I could give about cloth pads, but it would make this post way too long. Perhaps I can tackle them in a later post. At this point, all I can say is that ever since I started using cloth, I haven’t gone back to using disposables except in emergencies. Now, bear in mind that I don’t use regular flow pads much because I do use a cup. I have never been comfortable using disposable pads when I’m up and about on my heaviest days so it was no different with cloth. I use them as either backup for my cup, or overnight when I’m asleep.
You can store them in a wet bag if you can’t wash them right away. To clean them, you just wash under running water and squeeze out the blood and then soak the pads in a basin with water and detergent. I personally use Perla. That stuff will remove ANY stain. I kid you not. Stubborn stains can be taken care of by soaking in a water:hydrogen peroxide mix. After an hour or two, the pad is as good as new.
It would probably be gross for people who can’t stand blood (although I don’t get how that happens with women since we bleed every month), and it might sound like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t take that much effort.
This really is a great option especially for women who get skin irritations or allergies to disposables. I know that is actually quite common.
They Are Cutomizable
Another great thing about cloth, especially if you make your own, is that you can customize it according to what you really want in a pad! There are pad makers online that go out of their way to find different types and designs of fabric, and even allow you to decide on the dimensions and shapes. I have been dying to get some from Hoo Hoo Rags (link down below) because she stocks up on the coolest vintage fabrics.
Technically, you could save a lot of money since you don’t have to go out and buy new pads every month. However, a lot of cloth wearers have a tendency to get addicted to buying new ones because of all the cute designs! Thankfully, I haven’t succumbed yet.
Some people might think I’ve taken this whole “save Mother Earth” thing a bit too far with this one. But I ask you… With the way things are going, and how fast nature has been deteriorating in recent years, is there really such a thing as taking it too far anymore when it comes to finding ways to make things even a little bit better? Imagine what an impact it would make if more and more women would make the switch to reusables!
Let’s make cloth mainstream!
Thanks for reading!