History of Cloth

The History of Cloth Diapers
From Moss to Modern
a comprehensive resource from Kim Rosas of Dirty Diaper Laundry

A timeline covering thousands of years, this project represents the evolution of a single product- the humble diaper. Though the term diaper only came about in the 17th century and referred to the repeated pattern used for napkins, it eventually came to be the term for the cloth used on babies. This explains why today in the US “diaper” is the term most used, whereas in the UK and other nations with ties to colonial England you hear “nappy,” derived from the napkin with the diaper pattern. The diaper has undergone significant improvements throughout history and those improvements align with the industry and events surrounding it. The ingenuity of inventors and their desire to improve the lives of mothers, babies, and in some case, their own circumstances would drive the last two centuries of rapid paced change and innovation. This timeline will cover some important milestones of the diaper, including disposable diapers- as that impacts the story of modern cloth diapers. With millions of dollars at stake and an ever growing number of parents once again choosing cloth diapers, it’s more important than ever to stand out in the crowd.
This page also includes links to articles covering topics related to the history of cloth diapers and further down the page, a timeline of cloth diaper brands.  You can click each brand to read more.  Also visit the History of Cloth Diapers all text timeline for a quick overview.

If you have any feedback about this page or would like to see something added contact Kim Rosas.
This resource is best viewed on a desktop but is mobile friendly.  

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History of Cloth Diapers Articles

makecms

On #MakeClothMainstream, the History as told by Jen Aprea

What started out as a little hashtag to promote Spray Pal's business (and cloth diapering at large) during an Intuit
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Vintage safety pin

Diaper Closure Evolution- Pins, Clips, Snaps, and More!

Securing diapers today is a breeze and our choices are limitless. Throughout the modern age diapering has relied on various
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Why the loose diaper? www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com explains why diapers were worn loosely by babies in old photographs.

Why the loose diapers? An explanation of vintage diapering techniques.

Look back at black and white images of babies wearing diapers and you may see something perplexing... every single baby's
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boaterdiaper 1

Marion Donovan- Inventor of the Modern Cloth Diaper, The Boater. 1946

When it comes to the history and legend behind cloth diapers the Boater cannot be ignored. The inventor, Marion Donovan,
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Early Hybrid Cloth Diaper 1950's

Playtex Dryper- World’s First Hybrid Diaper 1950’s

The hybrid diaper system- a diaper that has a washable cover and can be used with washable or disposable inserts-
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nappy brochure-wm

The Disana Story- Oldest Surviving Cloth Diaper Brand

This post is part of a new series I hope to bring to Dirty Diaper Laundry that focuses on the
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thehistoryofwool

The History of Wool- Mother Nature’s Diaper Cover

Wool soakers are common in today’s cloth diapering wardrobe and often seen as a luxury item. The history of the
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Image via Library of Congress.  1943

Diaper Shortage in the 1940’s and Congress was to blame!

The diaper business is a great one to be in. Why? Every baby wears them and babies are born every
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pinless_diapers_invention

The Invention of the Modern Cloth Diaper- 1940 and the first Pinless Diaper

Have you ever thought about the history of cloth diapers and how they evolved from simple flats to the modern
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Grandmother_interview_clothdiapersstill

A Video Interview With My Grandparents About Cloth Diapering in the 1950’s

Sometimes on rare occasions I get to combine my actual college degree in History with my chosen profession as a
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Cloth Diaper Brands
clothdiaperbrands
gerberclothdiapers
"Gerber Childrenswear LLC is a leading marketer of infant and toddler apparel and related products in the marketplace - offering
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disana2
This post is part of a new series I hope to bring to Dirty Diaper Laundry that focuses on the
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dappi
Dappi Diaper products seem to be at lots of bog box stores, on Amazon, Sears, and if you ask your
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kushies
After designing the revolutionary 100 per cent cotton, reusable diaper, Kooshies undertook a year of extensive testing and refinements, and
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imsevimse
ImseVimse was founded in 1988 and is based in the Swedish city of Visby, which is a UNESCO World Heritage
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bummisproduct
Way back in 1987 my friend and I were sitting at the kitchen table nursing our babies, watching our kids,
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prowrap
The invention of the diaper cover or "wrap" came about in about 1987 with the use of Velcro as a
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bumkins
Bumkins Finer Baby Products was founded in 1989 with a single prototype, the All in One cloth diaper. This inventive
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osocozy
Osocozy brand diapers- prefolds, flats, fitted, All-in-Ones, and more- were known as All Together Diaper Co. diapers until 1999. Osocozy
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mothereasewithproduct
Mother-ease Cloth diapers was founded in 1991 by Erika Froese, a stay at home mother of five cloth diapered children.
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bambinomioproducts
Bambino Mio is founded on the principles of quality, convenience, style, comfort and value for money. We're committed to developing
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gmdwithproducts
Green Mountain Diapers is well known as a cloth diapering store that sells natural fiber options as well as an
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babykicks
BabyKicks is a family owned and operated business located on Maryland's beautiful eastern shore. Since our beginnings in October 2000
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fuzzibunz
Fuzzibunz Cloth Diapers began selling their products in 2000 after Tereson Dupuy patented her diaper design. It seems that depending
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Tiny Tush
"Tiny Tush Natural Baby Boutique is a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of cloth diapers and natural baby products. Tiny Tush
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totsbotsproduct
The idea for TotsBots came along fairly soon long after the birth of our little girl. I designed and made
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HappyHeinyproducts
Happy Heiny has been around since 2002 and was the creation of Lisa Byerline. She designed Happy Heiny to solve
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softbumswithproduct
Sarah Van Bogart, founder, co-owner, and designer for SoftBums, has been sewing and designing diapers for over 12 years. She
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AMP

AMPproducts
...I came up with many different models of diapers before I came up with some easy to use, easy to
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thirstiesproduct
The mission of Thirsties, Inc. is to make it easy and affordable for every family to choose cloth while simultaneously
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babybeehindsdiapers
Baby BeeHinds was founded in 2004 by Davina Casey, when she found that the perfect cloth nappy didn’t exist for
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bottombumpersproducts
Bottombumpers is a line of organic trim All in One Cloth Diapers and Accessories. We have a One Size Side
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blueberryproducts
Blueberry Diapers remained made in the US until late 2015. The brand had to reluctantly move manufacturing to Mexico when
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bumgeniusbrand
In June 2005 the first bumGenius product was born and it wasn't the now famous One Size Pocket, it was
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RAR
The Rumparooz were born in 2006, shortly after the birth of Autumn, Chad and Julie's second daughter. They quickly learned
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applcheekswithproduct
Ilana Grostern and Amy Appleton Venu of Montreal are the designers and owners behind the fabulous washable diapering system know
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gen-yproduct
"At GEN-Y we design and produce cloth diapers and accessories that consistently preform to the highest standards in the industry
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planetwise
Started in 2008 selling patent pending wet bags, diaper pail liners, reusable trash bags, reusable snack bags/wraps, lunch bags, changing
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ragababeproducts
Ragababe diapers have established their place in the cloth community and chances are you have heard of them but may
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imaginebaby
Started in 2009 originally as an exclusive brand for Nicki's Diapers selling many types of cloth diapers including wool covers,
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sloombwithproduct
we care about what goes into our products. we care about what we leave behind for our kids. sustainablebabyish|sloomb♥tm was
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SWEETPEABRAND
"We at Sweet Pea Cloth Diapers know that where your baby's products come from and how they are manufactured are
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groviabrand
GroVia began life under the name Gro Baby and launched in April 2009 with their first product, the All-in-Two. Gro
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Geffen Baby
Geffen Baby is our pride and joy … just as your child is yours. We are deeply involved in every
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charliebanana
Winc Design Limited is a Hong Kong-based company. Our team is an eclectic mix of Canadians, Americans, French, British, Argentinian,
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bestbottomswithproducts
Best Bottom Diapers is a privately owned family corporation. As a husband and wife team, we are working together to
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smartbottomsproductpage
Smart Bottoms is more than just a business, it is a passion. Behind every cloth diapering mom (or dad), there's
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nickisdiapers
Started in 2003 selling popular brands of cloth diapers and accessories. In 2011 started manufacturing and selling a store brand
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lalabye
Lalabye Baby is a family run business. Every single order that goes out to you is packed and shipped by
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funkyfluff
"FUNKY FLUFF & STUFF INC. was founded by two long time friends, Kathy Bello and Tricia Corda. Our Company and
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tidytotswithproducts
A business woman. A friend, wife and daughter. An environmentalist. But like most women out there, I am, first and
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tushmate
ELMA Products LLC. is a US-based company. After many years in the baby apparel industry, we decided to create TushMate®,
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