After more than 6 months of compilation and over 2 years of research the History of Cloth Resource is now here.
To be completely honest, I don’t even know where the desire to create the most comprehensive history resource on the topic of cloth diapers came from or when it began. It was a slow build-up of interest until suddenly I knew that the combined hours I had spent looking into the topic had to go somewhere beyond my own brain.
It was at least 2 years ago that the real research began and I started looking in every crevice for more information to answer questions I had about the history of cloth diapers. There are several great and detailed website resources on the history of disposable diapers. Many include historical information on cloth diapers but this ends in the 1960’s when disposables are introduced.
Diaper Jungle is the only other real resource for historical information on cloth but the timeline is not very detailed and drops off many years ago.
At the very least I knew the information I found would be put to use here on the blog, at most, maybe it would turn into something much more. The timeline I created evolved into a resource page that includes links to the various articles I’ve written on the history of cloth.
Then I decided I would add something more of interest to me that perhaps others would enjoy- a history of brands timeline. Just a few days ago I decided to tack on one more item- a brief but more comprehensive timeline of cloth diapers that is great for a quick look to see the entire history without the fluff.
Most of the information on the History of Cloth page is far from what could be found with a google search. So much of it comes from the ads, photos, books, and manuals I have purchased. Don’t get me wrong, the Internet has been an amazing resource as well, but I’ve been diving into the deepest, forgotten regions to find my answers.
My research has helped answer several questions I haven’t seen answered elsewhere. The biggest was the “why were diapers worn so loosely way back then?” I answered that in a blog post that’s linked in the History of Cloth page. “Which came first, velcro on cloth or tape on disposables?” I found a vintage advertisement in my hunt (almost by chance!) and then matched it up to a newspaper article which gave me a definitive date and found that VELCRO came first. “Who gets the credit for the first One Size diaper?” “Where and how did people buy modern cloth diapers before the Internet?” There were so many things I wanted to find out and it’s been an absolute blast doing it. After all, I do have my Bachelor’s in History and my senior thesis was on the history of consumer goods in 18th Century England. All these years I’ve laughed that my degree has sat on the shelf collecting dust but I blew it all off for this website project.
Have I found everything there is to know? Absolutely not! I’m still researching nearly every day! Why just yesterday I found something I didn’t know existed that will hopefully solve one of the questions that has gone unanswered so far in my searches. There is so much more to discover and until I get it all I probably won’t quit!
Thanks to everyone who has supported this insane project, especially my husband! He’s been my biggest cheerleader and he doesn’t get alarmed when I tell him I’m buying out the stock of a photo archive store or I stay up half the night working on this project.
Have fun exploring the History of Cloth!