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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cloth Pads

Sorry, Fellas - this post is for the ladies only.

In recent months I was toying with idea of going back to cloth menstral pads. I have used them in past, I even made my own. So it wasn't a new topic for me. I just found myself in a different season of life and went back to store bought pads. I blessed someone with my cloth stash (I did the same thing with diapers in that season too and just recently had to replenished that supply!) Now that we are living on the farm and I am "training myself in frugality" in order to put every spare penny we have toward paying off our farm and developing it into something we can making a living from. I could not ignore the disposable nature and repurchase of this monthly need when I am not pregnant. Well...as I was pondering all these things and "leaning back in that direction" to convince myself to sew up a batch of pads...I found myself actually developing a sensitivity to the commercial paper products I was using. My procrastination was turning into a real urgent issue when that time of the month rolled around! The commercial pads made me itch and chafe! Yikes! That's not OK! So in the midst of my NEED, I started searching for them online. I came across a lady that makes and sells them on Etsy and purchased a pack. I was so pleased with them that I decided to give her my business instead of making them myself. So I bought more (probably more than I relly needed - but now I am well stocked for many many years to come and for me and my daughters to use.). I think she makes them better than I would anyway! I have been asked in the past for resources regarding this topic and this maker excels all the others I have suggested/used in the past. So I wanted to share her information with you.

Rachel (a.k.a. Pleat on Etsy - linked above) makes a "all in one pad" in several sizes. I personally own every one (with the exception of the thong style!). There is a panty liner, regular, overnight and an extra long overnight. Her descriptions are very thorough and detailed if you visit her page on Esty, so I will leave that to her. Below is photo of some of my (used) pads to show you the difference in scale between all 4 sizes. (I also want to show you how nice you can keep them if you wash them the way I do.) In addition to size coverage, they have different thicknesses to keep you covered in obsorbancy too. She quilts the different layers into a sturdy one piece pad, which seems to make the absorbancy more effective than the pocket style (in my opinion/experiance). Rachel (at Pleat) has thought of everything!
I have really come to appreciate the "all in one" style over the "pocket style" that I used to use. The pocket style pad is one that has inserts (usually folded to the thickness desired) and tucked into a pocket of the main pad. These are said to be advantageous because you can take them apart for cleaning and drying and customize the level of thickness/protection you need. However, I found them (in comparison) to be cumbersome and less comfortable than the "all in one" version. Depending on the brand/maker they can feel "wadded" and even slip some. Than you have lots of pieces to deal with in washing and storage. They seem bulkier to me than the "all one" design that Rachel makes. Because that was all I had used in the past, I was concerned about the idea that I might not be able to get them clean and or that they wouldn't dry effectively. However, I am very pleased to find out that I actually prefer the cleaning process with the "all in one" style pad!
Caring for the pads are easy. I just wash most of mine by hand in the sink after each use by using very cold water, and ringing them until he water runs clear. Then a add a squirt of my foam pump liquid castille soap I have on the counter with warm water, scrub it together and ring and rinse until it rinses clean. Than I ring the water out and hang it on a hanger with a clothes pin to dry. Or throw it in the dryer if I have another load going in at that time. Sometimes, I will do a partial rinse and throw it in a load of wash that is going it at the same time, but I rarely do that. Washing them right awat by hand ensures that I leave no stains behind. If I let the pads sit unwashed (like in a can or waterproof bag) they are more suseptable to stain. But hand washing at each change with cold water does the trick! They are so pretty, so I would like to keep them that way as long as I can. :-) It really is a simple process. When I go away, I just have a opaque waterproof bag, I carry in my purse or diaper bag. If I am in a place where I am not comfy rinsing them (like a public rest room) I will just do it when I get home or change to paper for that short time. I still keep some paper in stock in case company needs one.

Another thing I really appreciate about Pleat's design and function is the heavy duty snap she uses. I have used velcro before and had ones with cheaper snaps that were not constructed as strongly as these. The velcro, can become uncomfortable if it is not lined up just right. It also can collect lint in the wash, if you use a machine. I didn't like having to pick lint out of the sticky side of the velcro to get them to continue to hold together well! The cheap snaps wore our quickly, while I have not used these for along time, it is very obvious that the construction on these pads are much more solid than the other brands I have tried. Which was another reason why I just went ahead and stocked up hers instead of trying to make them myself.

Lastly, my oldest daughter is entering into this new season of life. I wanted to teach her how to use cloth right from the start. W would not have to pay for the expensive organic disposable pads to avoid the chemicals yet she would be protected. I like that!

Cloth pads are a little bit of an investment right up front...but it pays for itself in so many ways down the line! I feel really good about my choice to (finally) get back to cloth.

So if you are considering, a safe, soft, comfortable, effective, pretty, chemical free and sustainable alternative to commercial disposable personal care...I highly recommend checking out Rachel's Pads over at Pleat. I believe you will be as satisfied as I am.

(This is not a paid referral or affiliate program. Rather, just a satisfied customer who would love to send business Pleat's way because she has produced an exceptional product! You also might like to know that, the sales of these pads are the primary income for there family at the time of this writing!!) We have a developing friendship (they hope to homestead one day and thinks outside the box too, so we have some things in common!). So, go ahead and tell her I sent you. She'll know who you are talking about! :-)
This post was Shared at Simple Life Thursdays


Leslie said...

I've always wondered if these really work! I bookmarked her site and am going to check it out! Thanks for the link and information!

Amy© said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check her site out! :)

Michelle, a heart at home said...

Thanks for sharing about this. I never used to wear pads, but now that's about all I wear. I have severe reactions to some of the commercially produced products, so I definitely had been considering a switch to cloth.
I also appreciate the info on how to clean and care for them. And as you say, when you have daughters that are getting to a "certain age", it's better for them to learn how to use the cloth ones from the beginning and protect them from the harsh chemicals of the commercially produced pads.

Andi said...

Oh thank you! I am going here, soon very soon...for me and my daughter!

Rebecca said...

Thanks - I'll have to check out her site. So far I've used thin GladRags in combo with a diva cup. The diva cup works pretty well, but still leaks, so it's handy to have something else as a backup, so I would love to find something handmade when the current stash I have runs out.

Christine said...

I've been considering cloth pads for awhile now too. Thanks for the nudge...I'll check out the site now :)

Anonymous said...

Just bought mine --I am so excited!! That seems strange to say but after getting what feels like chemical burns every month and not having any luck with the Diva Cup--I am truly excited!!

Carmen Bruno said...

We've decided to make our own, it really doesn't take long to make. All you need is some extra flannel a pattern, and some thin plastic and some time, they can be done for those who have a sewing machine. i'll try to dig up the pattern when i have time and come back and post it.

We've been using family cloths here as well and it is working great.

Sense of Home said...

I've used cloth pads for several years and love them, there is no going back to those scratchy plastic throw aways!


Rachel said...

It's really cool to read about how my customers feel about the pads and what is working for them. And I love seeing an answer (with photos!) to one of the the most common questions I get - aren't they going to get stained?

I designed them for myself three years ago, after being tired of the cost of the organic disposables. But I was as skeptical about cloth pads as anyone and was really surprised to find that I preferred them - they were more comfortable (no more chafing), leaked less, and were pretty hassle free.

I say go cloth, you wont be sorry! And there are lots to choose from out there, so even if you don't like the first one you try, keep looking. I think there is something out there for everyone.

Thanks Pamela, word of mouth is the best :-) And thanks to everyone that is visiting my shop, or ordering pads. We really do appreciate it, it's our little family's path to freedom.

Traci said...

Hi Pamela! I saw this post a while back but haven't had time to comment til now...thanks for sharing the sight...no doubt she's getting a run on her wares!!!

I plan to check her out.

Blessings and thanks for all you do...I do enjoy it very much:)