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't...you'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!