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Author Topic: Diaper-weave fabric  (Read 4278 times)
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Sarah K.
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« on: January 01, 2016, 03:34:14 PM »

Hi Ladies!

I'm about to start sewing Liz Clark's patterns for babies, in anticipation of my little one, due in June! Most of what I need I already have in my (ridiculously large) stash... however, I do not have "diaper"weave cotton. I searched the forum to see if there were any leads, but am not finding anything current. Does anyone know where I could find something close? I'd love to try the cloth "napkin" system...

Thanks!
Sarah
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I put my bashfulness in my pocket, and plunge into a long conversation on the war, the weather, music, Carlyle, skating, genius, hoops, and the immortality of the soul. Hospital Sketches Alcott
MaryDee
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 12:56:23 PM »

I tried online explorations and didn't come up with much--everything I found either starts with the 1880s or discusses options used in medieval or primitive times (such as cattail fuzz).  Probably I'm not searching correctly.  I am curious if birdseye cotton fabric (which my mother used for me back in 1935) was around in the mid-19th century?

I'm bumping this in hopes Sarah K. will get some answers now that the holidays are over!   While I have no babies to sew for, I'm curious!   

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MaryDee
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 01:26:01 PM »

I forgot that I have a copy of The Workwoman's Guide, by A Lady.  Chapter V on Baby Linen is worth perusing (it's available online) and is what the mid-19th century expectant mother would probably have followed.  Here's what it says https://books.google.com/books?id=spIQAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=workwoman's+guide+baby+napkins&source=bl&ots=Z7Pe9QgIYh&sig=dOB_p1FPigCmj9Pi-KZNFtwrupI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjd9Oq8_JDKAhVL3WMKHRi9DfsQ6AEIMTAD#v=onepage&q=workwoman's%20guide%20baby%20napkins&f=false

"Babies napkins should be made of soft diaper, or, if for the poor, old sheeting, table=linen, or strong fine linen answers well."

The nearest description of "soft diaper" I could find online was here, but it's probably of more recent vintage than our period https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flannel:
"Diaper flannel is a stout cotton fabric napped on both sides, and used for making cloth diapers."

So we're still back to the question of what is "soft diaper"?

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Sarah K.
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 02:10:18 PM »

I read some older posts here that indicate it is a diamond sort of twill-ish weave, but am not sure what exactly it looks like, or what modern names I would look for to find a similar fabric. I do think someone mentioned birdseye, but I was not clear on how comparable it is. Thanks for responding to my question! Looking forward to seeing if others can shed more light on this Smiley
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I put my bashfulness in my pocket, and plunge into a long conversation on the war, the weather, music, Carlyle, skating, genius, hoops, and the immortality of the soul. Hospital Sketches Alcott
EKorsmo
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 05:46:40 PM »

In weaving (and heraldry) terms, diaper is a small all-over pattern.  Specifically with weaving, I believe it be usually an overshot design, with the extra weft threads making an absorbent cloth.  Most of the drafts I've seen for it (handweaving.net has several, mostly from an 1817 manual) do have a diamond motif going on, though a few do not.  I have used a Finnish birdseye pattern before, and though visually similar with the all-over diamonds, it's a single thickness of weft, and doesn't have the same depth as true diaper (at least the sample I've seen).

We have some napkins and a tablecloth at Ft. Nisqually made from diaper cloth.  I believe it was a special order from Thistle Hill Weavers.
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Stephanie Brennan
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 09:04:36 AM »

    Okay today must be diaper day. I just finished posting on the civilian civil war closet about diaper.  Birds-eye diaper is period. But don't get to bogged down in finding birds-eye as many other  types of diaper were available. Diaper can be either cotton or linen.  Linen seems to be the pick of most 19th c. mothers for napkins.  If you plan to use the two part system. A inner square of soft old used linen can be used.  References suggest old table cloths cut into squares. The emphasis is on the "soft" as new linen was thought to be  harsh on baby skin being "cold" and "stiff".



                                                             Congratulations-  Stephanie
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 09:23:27 AM by Stephanie Brennan » Logged
Sarah K.
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2016, 07:10:21 PM »

Thanks Stephanie! I'll have to see what I can find Smiley since my household is new and I don't have old tablecoths! But it might be period to raid my mother's??? Wink
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I put my bashfulness in my pocket, and plunge into a long conversation on the war, the weather, music, Carlyle, skating, genius, hoops, and the immortality of the soul. Hospital Sketches Alcott
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