The Covered Caboose is owned by Jeanne Cain, owner of Nature’s Fabrics – a great source for natural fabrics like wool and bamboo. Jeanne sent me a large side snapping wool diaper cover to try. We put that cover to hard use – my 2 year old slept in it every night for months. I told Jeanne that my daughter is a bit hard to fit, so she added some extra snaps to give a wider range of fit. We’ve used that cover from when my daughter was in 24 months size clothes to her current size 4. While she has outgrown many brands, she can still comfortably wear her Covered Caboose diaper cover over a nice thick diaper. My little super soaker needs a lot of absorbency at night, and the Covered Caboose cover is just right for covering day time and night time diapers. Even after much use and a few machine washes, it is still soft and beautiful. The wool is so soft, I ended up buying 55 yards of it for my own use (reviewing products can get really expensive, LOL!).
Wool lovers (like me) are pretty fanatic about wool. Once you find the wool love, it is hard to go back to any other material. Wool is breathable and can be softer than most people ever imagine. Wool is also somewhat naturally antibacterial. The reason it makes such good diaper covers is that wool can absorb up to 30 percent of its own weight in moisture before it starts to feel damp. Lanolin is a natural moisturizer that sheep produce to keep their wool waterproof and in good shape (ever seen a sheep shrink in the rain?).
Lanolin is very similar to the oils produced by our own skin. Much of the lanolin is removed during processing the wool – but when you add it back in to the wool diaper cover a small miracle occurs. Lanolin first helps to repel moisture, slowing it down and keeping it inside the cover. Second, lanolin interacts with the ammonia in urine and neutralizes it, turning it into a kind of soap. This keeps wool diaper covers cleaner longer than other covers. A properly lanolized wool diaper cover will only need to be washed every week or two if used often. Some people are able to go three weeks or more without washing their wool covers, depending on how often it is used and the baby’s output.
Washing wool covers is easy. Most brands recommend washing by hand, but Covered Caboose covers can be gently machine washed. I was skeptical until I tried it. Sure enough, our wool diaper cover is still soft and fits right after putting it through the washing machine with our other clothes (in cold water, not dried). The secret is that Jeanne felts her wool before making it into covers – and that this wool is 95 percent wool and 5 percent lycra.
Felting wool is what happens when you accidentally wash a wool sweater – it shrinks and the fibers tighten up. Many manufacturers felt wool before using it since it makes it more water-resistant and slows down any shrinking. The lycra means there is still plenty of stretch after felting – and that the wool will felt more slowly after the first few washings.
Squishy soft wool is a natural fiber – from a renewable resource. They last for years if properly cared for – and when you are done with them, wool diaper covers are biodegradable.