Chances are if you use cloth diapers you have had your hands on some Polyurethane Laminated Fabric at one point in time. I know, it sounds like those awful food additives, but it’s really the waterproof fabric that we have all come to know and love-PUL.
PUL can be made from a variety of fabrics. Some are 100% polyester solid colors, some are 100% cotton and have cute prints, but what is important is that ALL of them are laminated with polyurethane (a type of plastic) making them waterproof. Just as important, virtually all of the PUL used in cloth diapering comes from one company: Fabrite of New Jersey.
Although many families still choose the natural (sometimes called “old fashioned”) route and use only natural fabrics with wool covers (or no covers), diapers made with PUL do not need covers and have brought cloth diapering to a whole new level. They are not your parent’s cloth diaper anymore.
As you can imagine, there has been a great demand for PUL from the cloth diapering community, and therefore, a lot of WAHMs (work at home moms) have been ordering PUL to make wonderful home-made diapers. Everyone likes variety, so small-time WAHMs and WAHMs just starting out prefer to purchase minimal yardage in lots of different colors. However, in the past couple of months, Fabrite has made it increasingly difficult for WAHMs to purchase PUL.
As little as 1 year ago, a WAHM could purchase a minimum of 5 yards of each color from Fabrite. In the past couple of months Fabrite increased the minimum order per color to 10 yards, and most recently increased it to 50 yards, making it virtually impossible for most WAHMs to purchase PUL directly anymore.
What are the options? Are hand-made PUL diapers going away? Well, several coop leaders on Yahoo! Groups have decided to band together and help WAHMs get together to meet the 50 yard minimum per color. Once everyone has placed their order and paid, the coop leader orders the PUL from Fabrite, cuts the rolls of PUL, and ships the orders to the WAHMs for a small fee.
You may notice a sharp decline in the variety of All in One and Pocket diapers on the market in the next year. Just remember, it’s all a matter of supply and demand. If you continue to demand waterproof diapers, then soon Fabrite will be losing its business to other manufacturers as more and more WAHMs and coop leaders are on the lookout for a new supplier of PUL!
Written by Kayla Rihani, mama to three beautiful girls, Julia, Lydia, and Mariam. Owner of Kayla’s Cloth Kits.