There is no doubt that menstrual pads are essential. Millions of women use these pads daily, but more women cannot even afford pads of their own. This is because menstrual pads do not come cheap.
Reusable menstrual pads are excellent alternatives. They help in saving costs, are friendly to the environment and also offer more comfort. All these benefits are possible because reusable menstrual pads are made using breathable cotton. There is a reduced level of sweating and smell when compared to the regular branded pads.
It is also possible that they minimize the possibility of toxic shock syndrome. Now that we know the advantages of reusable menstrual pads, the following sections will explain how to make them and what is needed in the process.
Fabrics that can be used
Cotton can be used, but other fabrics like bamboo, flannel, velour, athletic wicking jersey, cotton Sherpa can all be used. Organic cotton is excellent for those looking for premium eco-friendly fabric when making these pads.
Core (Inside Layer)
There will be two to three layers (for people with medium flows) and four to six layers (for ladies with high volumes of flow) of cotton or flannel. You should not use too many layers to affect the sewing and not dry on time.
Layer for Waterproofing
It is nice to add a layer of water-resistant fabric as the inner layer placed on the backer fabric. The essence of this layer is to stop leakage. A good option here is nylon of excellent quality.
Steps to Making Your Reusable Menstrual Pads
Get all the fabrics you want to use, wash and dry them all. Washing will get the size and shape in order and also soften the fabric.
Use an old sanitary pad to do a template. Place the old sanitary pad on your fabric and trace out the shape. Make sure that the wings are opened up to overlap. This will allow the snaps to be fastened one over the other. For a smaller pad, use 10 inches for the dimension, 12 inches for a medium-sized pad and anything from 14 to 15 inches for the bigger pads.
Get your scissors and cut the pattern pieces. At this stage, you will have two to four layers for the core, one topper, a backer, and one waterproof layer. As hinted in the section above, backer piece and topper piece are needed, and you can go for as many layers as you want regarding the core. First-class nylon can be included here as a waterproofing layer for the pad to not leak. Join the nylon with the backer piece as one unit.
Sew the core pieces to the backer on the rear of the fabrics and the topper. The core fabric piece should be maintained on the inner layer of the topper or backer fabric layer. Sew along via the edge using a zigzag stitch pattern.
Overall, what you will be doing here is layering the core fabric parts inside the backer and topper fabric layers, and joining all together using stitches.
Here you link the backer and topper as a unit. Place the top fabric and the backer as one flap over the other along the right sides. Sew via the edge at a distance of about 0.25 inches away from the edge, and about three inches should be left without sewing. Clip along the edges and give room for sewing allowance.
Get the pad flipped inside out via the space that you left unstitched. Press in the corners and the sides so that you come up with nice curves. Use a hot iron to press in place and shape properly.
Do topstitching on the liner piece.
Fix the snaps on the side flaps. A total of four snaps should be used, two on each side. These snaps or buttons are used for fastening the wings around the panties or underwear. You are free to select snaps made from plastic or metal. You can also do a hand sewing of the metal snaps. And there you have your reusable menstrual pads made from clothes!
Cleaning Your Reusable Menstrual Pads
Once you are done with making the pads, you have to wash the pads first. Rinse instantly using cold water after removing the pad. You can also clean the stains using oxygen bleach, hydrogen peroxide9 or washing soda. To remove blood stains, you can soak in a salt solution for 60 minutes. Use disinfectant to get rid of all microorganisms.
Dry the reusable menstrual pads under sunlight thoroughly before you make use of the pads again. This is a vital step if you are making use of cloth-based sanitary pads. This is important for proper hygiene; always dry very well under the sun before using the pads again.