This is a good question, considering I use reclaimed materials. There are lots and lots of different fabrics, many of them in very small quantities. New stuff is always coming in, and stuff I use is always running out.
The fabric options are general themes and color schemes shown in palettes. I may not have the exact fabrics in the palette that you choose, but I will use fabrics that fit the them as well as possible.
If you see a specific fabric that you would like, you can always ask if I still have any.
This depends on how frequently you change your pad and how often you do laundry. Some women prefer to use a thin pad and change every time they use the bathroom. Some women layer up so that they don't need to change as often.
If you can do laundry mid-cycle, it's a good idea to have enough pads to get you through your heaviest days, wash them, then re-use the individual components as liners for your lighter days.
I'll give you $5 store credit for each yard of fabric, or $10 per pound of scraps/ruined clothing. Partial amounts are ok, for example you could get $5 worth of pads for half a pound of scraps.
Except for the fleece and PUL, everything needs to be 100% cotton and woven, not knit. No baby prints, please. Flannel clothing is great as long as most of it is not pilled, faded or thread-bare.
If you're mailing fabrics, it's best to pack them in a sturdy envelope if you can, rather than a heavy box. Parcel post is fine with me. If you're not too far away, it often doesn't take much longer than regular mail.
Here's what I need:
Please let me know if you have any problems at any time, and I will repair or replace any defective items.
I do love to use fun, interesting and beautiful fabrics. Even though I'm a plain Jane myself, I feel like I'm pampering myself when I'm wearing my favorite orange silk liner.
Sometimes people pick up a pad and say, "I couldn't bleed on something like this! It's too pretty!"
Others look at the cute and fun prints especially, Hello Kitty and Winnie the Pooh and things like that, and they say, "These are for periods?" But, you know, kids have periods too. Some kids start as young as nine and that doesn't automatically turn them into women, in spite of what we tell them.
Menarche is sometimes explained to kids as "the time when you become a woman." I think the most horrifying part of the whole deal for me. As a tree-climbing tomboy, I was far from interested. And yet it was this thing beyond my control that was going to happen to me over night. I would wake up one morning and I would be some completely other person. It would have to be a drastic change, because there was nothing womanly about me at the age of twelve. I imagined that it would be like the invasion of the body snatchers or something - this woman that I was about to become would take over my body and start a whole new life. I wrote letters to her begging her not to forget who I really was.
When my first period started I tried to handle it with grace and aplomb, accepting what I could not change and all that. But when this new woman didn't arrive within two days I lost patience, refused to wear the disposable pads I'd been given, bled all over my dresses, and went back to climbing trees. That whole "becoming a woman" thing was nothing to worry about anymore.
Even when we are ready to put childish things behind us though, it can be nice to have pretty things to bleed on. I've heard people say that one of the reasons they prefer cloth pads over disposables is that disposables are so similar to medical bandages. A nice-looking pad that's designed for comfort can be a happy reminder that our vaginas are not wounds and our periods are not diseases.
Absorbency and water resistance.
Natural materials absorb and hold liquids. An optional layer of water resistant material underneath keeps liquids from soaking or sponging through to your underwear.
These pads have secure and easy all-fabric fastening systems. Very comfortable on a bicycle seat! To stack and fasten the pads, lay the liner on top of any boosters you're using and wrap the wings around the boosters and your underwear.
The standard fastener is a loop and tab. To fasten, pull the tab on one wing through the loop on the other wing.
Another option is a tab and button hole. With this fastening system, both of the wings are tucked up under each other so they won't tickle your thighs. Wings tickling your thighs could be a bother if you're wearing thin liners under loose clothes, especially if you have the pads cut narrow.
Cleaning and caring for cloth pads is a lot less intimidating than you may think. Basically, treat them as you would any other item of clothing that has got blood on it.
Soft structure Tyvek: Wash in hot water once before using. After that, wash in warm or cold water only and line dry to ensure a long life for your pads.
Tencel: Wash in cold water. Do not use Dr. Bronners because it causes the dye to bleed. Only use detergents and soaps that are specifically meant for laundry. If you use soap nuts or a homemade detergent, be sure to include salt to keep the colors from bleeding.
Silk Tops: Don't soak silk for more than half an hour. Washing with a natural shampoo or castile soap rather than laundry detergent may give better results and may help the pads live longer. Do not use a laundry detergent that has enzymes.
Silk and Wool: Do not use a detergent that has enzymes. Here is a chart that shows which popular laundry detergents contain enzymes.
Rinse thoroughly under cold running water as soon as possible, then pre-soak in cold water for about an hour.
If you won't be able to wash the pads for a few days, it's better to let them air dry between soaking and washing than to leave them sitting in soak water. If you do leave them soaking for more than a day, be sure to change the water every day. Warm or hot wash is ok as long as stains have been rinsed or soaked out in cold water first.
It's ok to wash the pads in hot water, but be aware that hot water can set blood stains in your other clothing as well as in the pads.
If you share washing facilities with others and want to keep your pads private, you may want to wash them in a mesh bag. For a discreet soak, fill the washer with cold water and leave your laundry soaking in there for an hour or for as long as you can get away with it before turning the machine on.
Fabric softeners will reduce absorbency, but a little vinegar in the rinse is a great alternative.
Yes. Well, if the M stands for mammal. I do make the pads in my own home but I don't have kids.
It's just a name!
My name is Laura. I started Amy's Rag Bag in the spring of 2008.
I give 10% of the purchase price of non-discounted items to Huru International. Huru provides cloth pads to girls in Africa so that they can attend school while they have their periods. They also provode local sustainable employment for African women by hiring them to make the pads. Here is Huru's blog post about our contributions.