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Message Board > Creative Sewing > Need to make diapers ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Need to make diapers
Advanced Beginner
Member since 1/11/12
Posts: 170
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Date: 12/29/13 7:39 PM

Hi All,

I want to make diapers for my dog, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor a few months ago. As a result of the steroid he is taking to reduce the inflammation and to control the seizures, he is extremely weak - a side effect I did not know to expect. He can stand and walk with support, but he spends most of his time lying in bed. I have him on towels which I change and wash several times a day, but I will be returning to work soon, and I need a better way of keeping him dry and clean.

A friend ordered the water absorbing crystals, but I do not know the type of material used on the inside of diapers which keeps the skin dry.

Can anyone tell me what that material is called?

My intention is to make diapers with a "removable pouch" of the crystals. This way, I can dump the crystals and refill the pouch (after washing/ bleaching it). Regardless of the fact I will be using the water absorbing crystals, I need to keep the layer closest to his skin as dry as possible.

I also need ideas regarding which material(s) to use for the outer layer of the diapers. The diapers will be open in the back and they need to be washable (very durable as they will be washed frequently).

If anyone has made diapers, or anything similar, I would appreciate learning from your experiences.

Many thanx,


Cut my teeth on a Kenmore 117.58

Singer Merritt 9612

UrbanFool  Friend of PR
Member since 10/19/06
Posts: 881
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Date: 12/29/13 9:26 PM

I used pads for Bear and purchased them at Allegro Medical. They were very quick to ship and their prices were reasonable. The "Beck" (pink) pads were my favorite and I had planned to make my own Belly Bands out of them. They contain all the layers needed. It would've been short work to add flannel (or not) to the outer layer and then the velcro.

These pads hold a LOT of liquid (Like more than a quart). I always washed them as soon as they got wet, so I never tested that aspect, but I sure trusted them. I loaded Bear onto my bed every night and didn't worry that I'd get wet in the middle of the night.

The blue "Grayson" pads (I type the names like that because they don't match the packaging for whatever reason.) weren't as soft as the pink ones and were preferable in other situations. I have both and like them. And they're very inexpensive for what they were. I washed them probably 3 times a day every day. It would be a matter of keeping the center intact and just stitch around the edges where needed.

To keep them from slipping around every time he moved, I sewed a layer of flannel onto the outside. (And the blue ones were better for less slippage because they're stiffer.)

I hope your dog recovers, I'm sorry this happened.


schmammy  Friend of PR
Member since 12/5/06
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Date: 12/30/13 10:02 AM

I've had the best luck with belly bands and adhesive pads. The pads, like baby diapers, wick moisture away from the skin. The biggest trial is finding a pad whose adhesive will easily separate from the belly band. I sewed mine with cotton on the outside and fleece on the inside. Cheaper pads tend to be more difficult to remove from the fleece. For my chihuahua, I cut a regular sized pad into thirds to economize. Best of luck keeping your sweet guy comfortable.

Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

Cat n Bull
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Member since 2/17/06
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Date: 12/30/13 10:50 AM

I made many many diapers for my grandson, the materials will work wonderful for your dog!

For the outer layer, I recommend PUL, or polyurethane laminate. It is very soft and flexible and completely waterproof. Use a small needle when sewing, put very few pinholes in it, and use polyester thread because cotton thread wicks moisture.

You may not HAVE to line the PUL for a dog, but the inner layer is a slippery fabric and it may be better to protect it by covering it. For the lining of the PUL, you can use just about anything. My personal favorite was cuddle dry micro fleece because it is very lightweight and wicks moisture away from the skin. I also used bamboo velour, cotton knit and bamboo and cotton terry. Bamboo absorbs fast!

For the soaker pads, I used bamboo again in multiple layers. I always quilted mine. I did not make pockets in my covers to hold them, but for a dog a pocket is probably the best way to go.

There is a fabric called Zorb that you may want to look into. Some people swear by it. From what I understand the key to Zorb is to always sandwich it with something in between the layers, for example Zorb, flannel, Zorb, instead of putting 2 layers of Zorb directly together.

Fold over elastic, FOE, is a wonderful time saver for edges, especially if your dog has a tail and you need to make a tail hole!

I found this, looks like a great pattern! The only changes I would make would be to add an inner pocket to hold a soaker pad and I would use snaps because I hate velcro.
Dog diaper
-- Edited on 12/30/13 10:55 AM --

Sorry! I keep editing:

The reason I make soakers and the outer layer waterproof is to have everything washable and re-usable instead of using disposable pads.
-- Edited on 12/30/13 10:59 AM --


Member since 1/23/05
Posts: 52
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Date: 12/30/13 4:10 PM

The simplest way to make a diaper with a waterproof cover and a stay-dry liner is to make a pocket diaper. It's two layers sewn together with an opening left in the back or front or wherever it makes sense to you. The absorbent pads are inserted through the opening in-between the layers. You can use whatever absorbent materials you want and adjust absorbency as you need. The diaper itself is usually made with PUL (polyurethane laminate with a polyester fabric) as the waterproof layer and microfleece as the stay-dry layer. Microfleece isn't very wicking on its own, but when you put something absorbent on the other side, moisture goes right through it. Wicking activewear fabrics also work as the inside layer. Pocket diapers made with PUL and microfleece wash well and dry quickly.

You can find PUL and microfleece at JoAnn Fabrics, which is helpful.

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