Monday, May 20, 2013

Why are we doing the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?

When we first heard about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry we were excited to participate! We're taking the challenge to not only show that there is an inexpensive way to cloth diaper when funds are tight but to learn an important skill that we can apply during disasters (when there is no power...which we've already experienced in extended periods due to hurricanes since moving to Maryland) and travel.

Our first adventure using flats was actually on a trip out of town last summer. I was at a conference for my 'original' professional career (archives & records management) and the hotel we were staying at had no laundry facilities for guests. We used disposable liners to help with the poop side of things and hand washed diapers in the tub. Ever since that experience we have stuck to using prefolds and covers whenever traveling.

BabyFuzz is upstairs sleeping in his Blueberry flat with a doubler and fastened with a snappi. Over that he's wearing a wool cover. Guess we will see in the morning how well our 'diaper bag' fold worked! We mostly stuck to our Blueberry flats and Thirsties Duo Wraps today. Tomorrow we will also be trying out some flour sack towels! I also plan to wash our first load of diapers tomorrow! On to day 2!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lanolizing Wool Covers

Finally we get to my favorite part of wool care...don't ask me why because I have no clue! It's relaxing :)

If you're ready to lanoline your wool, let's presume it's already been washed. If you are looking for how to wash your wool, see our previous post.

1. Start with clean wool. This wool is inside out because I just finished washing it. The top two pieces here are Wild Coconut Wear interlock blend and the bottom pair are machine knit Sloomb longies.I lanolize my wool inside out for a few reasons. #1, just in case...if I get any lanolin spots on my wool it will be inside where I can't see it, needs more protection on the inside of the wool because that's where it comes into contact with the wetness first, not on the outside.

2. Get out your lanolin, wool wash, and something to emulsify them in. I'm using some solid lanolin by Sheepish Grins and a sample size wool wash bar since that's what I had on hand.

3. Fill your buckets/sink, etc. with tepid water (the same temperature you use if you are going to hand-wash your wool. These are my lanolizing tubs. Basically two little plastic washing tubs that I used to use when we went camping and we had to hand wash our dishes :) Now they are dedicated to woolies. Some use a 5 gallon bucket if they are lanolizing a lot of pieces at a time.

4. Scoop out some lanolin and add it to a cup of water. I use about 1 tsp per pair of longies. And just a side note, I usually try to stick with the same spoon and mug to mix my lanolin just because...The lanolin is all food grade but I like the scented stuff and I don't want to consume any of the fragrance/essential oils that might be there.

5. I also then slice some pieces of the wool wash bar and add some of the slivers to my mug with the lanolin (lanolin is the glob floating on top, the wool wash slivers are the white pieces that sunk to the bottom). You need the wool wash to emulsify the lanolin. Emulsify means to force two things together that normally wouldn't mix...In this case, the lanolin and the water (think about how oil and water don't mix...the wool wash forces them to mix).

6. I microwave for 1 minute and stir stir stir when it comes out! Please be careful and don't burn yourself! The first picture below shows what it looks like when it just comes out of the microwave. The water is a little murky and the lanolin glob on top is melted but it's just floating there.

This is what it looks like upon stirring but you can still see quite a bit of yellow, so I added in a few more slivers of wool wash bar and kept stirring.

Now it looks like this! You need your mixture to look creamy and has no floaties. That's when you know your lanolin should be sufficiently emulsified.

7. Dump your lanolin mixture into the tub with the clean water. Stir it so all your water is nice and cloudy. The one of the right has the lanolin mixture added to it and the one on the left is just water. Wanted to give you a comparison shot.

8. Repeat the lanolin mixture steps if you need to make a second batch for your other tub. I typically lanolize one pair of longies per tub at a time but I'll lanolize two covers in the same tub since they are smaller. 

9. Add your wool to the tubs and make sure they are fully immersed. I used a tupperware lid to weigh it down and then put the mug upside down to hold it. I have shallow tubs so if you are using something like a 5 gallon bucket you might not need to do this. After about an hour I gently flip my wool to the other side just so I know it's all getting well lanolized. If you use your wool for overnights (I do), I highly suggest letting them soak for a good hour before taking them out. I personally leave them there for at least 2. I usually start them in the late afternoon and leave them soaking all evening until I get ready to go to bed.

10. When you've left them in for your desired time, take them out and gently squeeze out the excess water in the sink. DO NOT wring out your wool. It's not good for it and can damage the fibers.

11. The best way I've found to get excess water out of my wool and helps with decreasing drying time is to roll it up in a towel and pushing down gently on the towel to squeeze out excess water. The first time I did this I was shocked at how much water was left on the towel! I fold my towels in half lengthwise so I can put one piece of wool on each end and roll towards the middle (think about what a scroll looks like)

My wool 'scroll' :)

12. Lay out your woolies to dry. You should lay them to dry so they are supported versus hanging them over something where they would be dangling. I only have so much drying space so some of my woolies go on a clean towel on the back of a couch and others go on my awesome drying rack!

13. Wait for them to dry! I recommend turning on a fan to get some good air circulation. Keep them out of extreme temperatures (like in front of a window) and out of any direct sunlight. It can take anywhere from 12-24 hours to dry and can vary depending on how you have them drying (drying rack vs on a towel), how good the air circulation is in the room, and the moisture level of your home. When your wool is dry it might feel sticky, that's okay! I actually like my wool a little sticky because I feel like I know it's lanolized well. Any excess lanolin will rub off on your baby's skin and moisture them :) If you don't like the tacky feeling then you can use a little less lanolin the next time.

Hope this guide has been helpful and please feel free to contact us at FiggyFuzz Baby Boutique if you have any questions!

Washing Your Wool

First want to say SORRY for taking so long to get this blog post up! Now that you know all about wool, you probably are wondering how to wash and lanolize it! Please keep in mind that the ability to machine wash your woolies can vary greatly by machine and the type of wool you have. If you have any reservations about machine washing your wool, don't do it!

Here's a quick hand-washing guide for your wool:
  • Fill a sink full of tepid/warm water. Squirt in some wool wash like CJs BUTTer wool wash, Sheepish Grins wool wash, or lather up a wool wash bar under the running water.
  • Rub a little of the wool wash into each wool item or scrub LIGHTLY with the wool wash bar, focusing on the wet zone and areas that might get extra dirty (like seams or knees).
  • Swish the wool around a little in the sink to get some bubbles and then let it sit for a about 5 minutes. Then massage the wool gently and turn it inside out and let it soak for about 30 minutes or more. 
  • Gently squeeze out the excess water. If you need to lanolinze follow the directions below, otherwise lay flat to dry!
Now, if you're like me, I'm not a hand-washing kind of person.. I wash my wool in the washer! Yup! I said the washer. Now I don't recommend hand knit wool or machine knit wool (like sloomb wool in your washer) and I don't recommend machine washing at all if you have an older washing machine. Older machines can destroy your wool and you will be very very sad. Since I am able to machine wash on delicate other items with no issues I feel confident in washing my wool in the washer. I also have a front loading, high-efficiency washer that is only about a year old and it has a hand wash cycle. My washer might not be the most ideal for washing diapers but I think it's great for washing wool. I do machine wash my machine-knit wool and all my blend interlock wool. If I had any upcycled wool I would also machine wash it. 

Here's how I machine wash my wool:
  • I put each piece of wool in a separate lingerie/delicate bag to reduce the friction that would be caused by the pieces rubbing against each other. I also wash no more than 3, maybe 4 (if I'm only washing interlock) pieces at a time. If you are machine washing any knits you might want to do 1 maybe 2 pieces at a time to be extra cautious. I throw caution to the win and still wash 3-4.
  • Toss the bag inside the washing machine!
  • I use Eucalan wool wash when machine washing. You should also be able to use any other delicate wash you might have on hand. Since Eucalan is only about 2% lanolin I don't mind putting it in the detergent drawer but you can also add it directly to the machine. Some wool washes like Sheepish Grins are 40-50% lanolin and I would not recommend using these in your washer because they can gunk it up and damage your washing machine. I use about 1 tsp per piece of wool.
  • My water is set to tap cold with a cold wash and I use a low spin. 
  • If you have a wool wash cycle, use it! Otherwise you should use the hand wash or delicate cycle. My machine has a hand wash cycle so that's what I choose.
  • After washing you will need to lanolize (next post!!)
  • After you are done lanolizing, you should lay flat to dry. I have an awesome drying rack with a mesh top that I lay out my wool on but if you can always lay it out on clean towels and turn on a fan to get some air circulation and flip your wool as needed to dry.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I HEART AppleCheeks Giveaway

We have been celebrating I HEART AppleCheeks all November and today we had a great Q&A on our facebook page with Amy, one of AppleCheeks founders. To continue our celebration we are giving away a FREE AppleCheeks Little Bundle, courtesy of AC! Just enter to win below! It's easy! Good luck! The winner will be drawn on December 1st and is open to US addresses only.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Types of Wool Covers

Before we get to washing and lanolizing, I figured you might want to know about the types of wool covers available :)

There are many different types of wool covers available to use and a lot can really be based on your preferences, climate, etc.

Wool Soakers / Covers

 L-R: Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb Underwoolies, the next 3 are all Wild Coconut Wear (WCW, formerly Wild Child Woolies)

Wool soakers are basically a pull on wool cover that resembles a brief or other diaper covers.They can be used year round in any climate but awesome for when it's so stinkin hot outside!


 I don't have a picture of these because I don't own any but it's basically the same idea as a regular diaper cover with snaps or velcro...buttons, ties, whatever...the wrap around a fitted or prefold to provide the waterproofness. They are made of wool vs. PUL or something similar. 

Shorties...aka wool shorts

L-R: First 2 are Rainbow Waters, other 2 are WCW...I don't have any sloomb shorties yet but that will change! :)

Just as the name says...they are shorts. Serve as a diaper cover and clothing. Pure awesomeness for a good 3 seasons, unless you live further south than I do in Maryland...then use them all year!
I think we use shorties the most!

Longies...aka wool pants.

L-R: First 3 are all WCW, Orange pair is Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb

Again, can be used year round but awesome for the cooler months because they can do double duty as a diaper cover and clothing at the same time! We often pair these with with a t-shirt for evenings and nighttime in our house during the cooler months...but it's July and we have just used a pair for the last week since we hadn't used them in a while and I just felt like using them! My 10 month old actually sweated less than he does on normal nights. It was strange, but he definitely was not too warm. However, I don't think I would have put him outside in longies when it's summer :)


I've also seen wool pajamas, overalls, buntings, sleep sacs, etc. Wool can amazingly double as clothing and diapers covers which means less clothing you have to buy if you use it full-time. 

Of all the types of wool, shorties and longies are usually just paired with a t-shirt or whatever top you want. Soakers and wraps can also be work in this manner but they can also be worn under clothing if you wish. Sloomb underwoolies are actually made for this purpose which is why they are more trim than their regular covers. If you're putting clothing over a soaker you might have to size up because your baby will have a fluffier butt than their normal size :)


Types of Wool

GENERALLY wool is hand-knit (or crocheted), machine-knit, or sewn from wool fabric.

Handmade garments (sewn or knit) are more time consuming than machine knit/sewn so generally cost more. If you can knit yourself, you are my hero and I would knit up a storm. Hand-knit or wool covers are beautiful and if you can do it yourself, cost-effective. If you can''re supporting a WHAM so go for it!


Just like the title describes, these wool covers are knit, either by hand or by machine. 

Example of a hand-knit cover:
This one could use a shave, but you get the idea. gorgeous!

Example of machine-knit wool:
This picture actually shows the colors of Sloomb wool coming to FiggyFuzz within the next few weeks!

Popular machine-knit covers include Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb (NOTHING else like this brand in the market...they are double layer machine-knit and some of the softest wool I have come arcoss), EcoPosh, Kissaluvs, Disana. My only issue with knits are that I have an uncanny ability to snag my clothes and knits can be a little temperamental and I'm not able to fix my knits if I snag them. I can sew but haven't quite figured out how to repair snags in knit clothing.

Sewn wool fabric aka Interlock:

Wool interlock is actually a machine knit wool but it's knit in the round so it comes out tubular. It's double knit but basically looks like a piece of fabric versus seeing the individual wool threads like in a machine-knit/hand-knit fabric.

Excuse my camera skills at midnight...but you can see the visual difference. Wool interlock longies (WCW) on the bottom and machine-knit on the top.

There's no secret, I prefer interlock versus knit fabrics and interlock makes up a larger portion of my stash. But that's a personal preference. It is easier to wash (just wait for the wool wash tutorial coming up :) ) and for me to maintain and I'm less worried about messing it up than I am with my knits. Now...note I haven't messed up my knits but I worry about it!

You will see a lot of wool covers are made from a wool/spandex(lycra) blend (95/5 or 97/3). I actually prefer the blend because it helps the wool have a little give but hold its shape well and also help to prevent a lot of felting (basically shrinking). When you buy a wool interlock blend cover it has most likely already been felted to an appropriate weight as part of the manufacturing and often dying process. The interlock covers we carry at FiggyFuzz are mostly a blend.

Hope this gives you a little insight into the different types of covers and ways that wool covers are made!

And here's some links to the different brands of wool I have used and/or carry in the store:

Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb - this wool is coming to FiggyFuzz within the next few weeks, in covers, underwoolies, shorties, and longies!

Rainbow Waters - we have covers and shorties in stock. Longies will come later this fall.

EcoPosh - only come in covers

Wild Coconut Wear - had to make sure to give props to this mama. She makes great stuff, it's crazy hard to get, and I WISH she wholesaled like Rainbow Waters!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Wool?

I get a lot of questions about good nighttime diapering solutions. Based on my own experience and talking with a lot of cloth diaper users, we have found that a good fitted diaper and a wool diaper cover (or shorties or longies) to be our solution.

When my son was younger (he's now 10 months old), we could get away with a pocket stuffed with microfiber and hemp for overnight but you can only stuff a pocket diaper so much before it starts gaping around the legs. He continues to nurse several times at night and still pees like crazy and he just kept peeing out of his diapers and it left us with too many wet sheets and clothes. So at 6 months we switched to fitteds and wool. We have liked using wool and fitteds so much that I often put them on him in the evenings as well.

The word 'wool' often make you think of something hot, itchy, and hard to care for. However it's actually a very versatile fiber. In short wool is a really natural choice and a lot easier to care for than you would think. Many mamas (and dads!) feel intimidated by wool but I'm here to tell you don't be!

WARNING! Wool can be an addiction...just like cloth don't blame me when you find out how awesome it is and you can't get enough! :)'s the details. Wool is:
  • antibacterial
  • self-cleaning
  • very breathable
  • odor-resistent!!
  • absorbs a ton!

Antibacterial: In contract to synthetics (like covers with PUL), which are commonly used as a wetness barrier, wool is antibacterial. To see the difference you have to look at the microscopic level of wool (click HERE for more details). Basically wool fibers overlap and repel water droplets. In combination with a thin coating of lanolin (which is the oil that is secreted from the sheep's skin), it causes water to run off from the fibers. Synthetic fibers will hold or block moisture in its liquid state, but wool will absorb moisture in its vapor state (hello science class today!). Therefore wool will also release it into the air before bacteria has a chance to start growing.

Self-Cleaning: Wool on a sheep has the bonus of the constant presence of lanolin. When we 'lanolize' our wool we add this important property back into the wool after washing. Lanolin is a really popular ingredient in soapmaking and nipple creams. When the wool fibers swell due to absorption of fluid vapor, it provides friction to scrub itself clean. I grew up around a lot of farm families and I guess this explains why dirty sheep in the fields never really got a bath even before the county fair...just a good rain shower every now and then!

Breathable:  Breathability is a HUGE factor in preventing diaper rash. If your baby's skin can't breathe, bacteria grows and causes a rash (ever wonder why non-cloth babies need so much diaper cream...well, their diapers are made of plastic, which doesn't breathe). Wool fibers are each crimped and it allows a cover to have thousands and thousands of chambers for air to move through and for the skin to breathe. This is why is can keep your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wool is more comfortable in hot or cold conditions because of this. In fact, the past few nights my son has actually slept in just a fitted diaper and a pair of longies (wool pants).

Absorbs a ton: Wool will first repel (via the wool fibers and lanolin) moisture vapour back into the fitted diaper. What the fitted doesn't absorb, the wool will! Under the outer part of the wool fiber is a very porous core that allows each fiber to store up to 30% it's weight and will slowly let it out in the air via evaporation. Don't know about you, but in one wool cover...that means it can hold a ton of pee. This can mean your fitted can be soaked, your wool cover can feel damp to the touch, but your sheet will be dry! If it does start to leak...well, it can only hold so much so you'll have to change your baby eventually, or it's time to wash and relanolize your covers. PLUS...WOOL IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE DIAPER UNDER IT!

Odor-resistant: Odor is caused by bacteria growing on fibers...since wool is anti-bacterial, no bacteria, no odor! :)

NOT time consuming: Wool only needs to be washed when it starts to smell. I use one cover overnight, turn it inside out in the morning, let it air out, and use it or another cover the next night...and repeat. I wash my wool about every 3 weeks to a month, or I just grab another cover to add into the rotation to get me a little further. If it gets poop on it (only happened to use a few times), you do need to spot clean it right away to prevent stains, but scrubbing with a bar of lanolin rich soap means you won't have to lanolize until wash day.

Bottom line...wool keeps the sheep dry and it can keep your baby dry.

Also keep in mind that wool may seem expensive but you don't need to buy nearly as many to use in a rotation as you do diapers. If you're going to use them only for night, you really only need 2-3 covers.

Also, there can be true wool allergies, just like their can be allergies to PUL, other synthetic fabrics, or even detergents, so watch your baby the first few times you use a new product to watch for an allergy :)

Next blog post will be information on the different types of wool diaper covers!

If you want to try's a link to the wool we currently offer at FiggyFuzz. We will also have more wool coming later this summer :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Military Appreciation Giveaway - Baby Bits Wipes Solution

We have a very special giveaway for all you military families out there! This giveaway is generously sponsored by Baby Bits Wipes Solution. When I contacted Denise at Soaps by Denise (creator of Baby Bits) about getting permission to offer our military customers a discount in our store, she not only graciously said yes but wanted to offer our military customers a very special giveaway! Thank you Baby Bits! The winner will receive a Baby Bits Wipes Solution Starter Kit. The kit ($30 value) contains a Box of Baby Bits wipes solution (which you can purchase at,  a Baby Bits Spray Bottle, and some OsoCozy Organic Flannel Wipes. The packaging is earth-friendly and is recyclable and compostable!

Baby Bits are made from plant-derived ingredients and essential oils. They are gentle on sensitive skin and the Earth. 100% vegetarian  ingredients: coconut oil glycerin soap, organic plantain & chickweed herbs, virgin olive oil, pure essential oil of tea tree and lavender.

FiggyFuzz Baby Boutique now offers a military discount! Please email us at or fill out the contact us form. Create an account on our website, then contact us with your name, email address used on the account, military affiliation, and, branch of service.

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