It may sound a bit surprising, but in many parts of the world women continue to use Reusable Menstrual Pads which they themselves make! In case, someone is interested, the Do It Yourself steps are outlines below.

Reusable menstrual padsEdit

At first they may seem like a "yucky" idea but look at all the time and money and landfill space you will be saving! Cloth menstrual pads are a reusable alternative to disposable sanitary napkins and used by women when they are menstruating (having their period), experiencing post partum flow, or possibly by people who are mildly incontinent.

They are made of cloth as opposed to plastic and bleached cotton/rayon batting, and are washed and dried between each use. Reusable cloth menstrual pads can be made from new materials or from old materials such as old pillow cases, sheets, and towels. Do not use polyester unless it is at least two years old, after the chemicals have leached out. Also, polyester is not nearly as absorbant as cotton so best avoided as you do want your pads to be as absorbant as possible. Unbleached, organically grown cotton or hemp is best. 100% cotton fleece fabric (like the fabric found in most jogging wear)is the best for both comfort and absorbency. There are many different designs of reusable cloth menstrual pads; most designs include a cotton "case" and towel "inserts", and many recommend a flannel bottom layer to go against the underwear, as it helps the pad to stay in place. Some women recommend a light-weight waterproof nylon attached to the bottom of the pad and either bottons or velcro to fasten the pad securely into underpants. There is also breathable nylon available (i.e. Gortex)in some fabric stores.

Average lifespanEdit

Many companies that manufacture cloth pads indicate that the pads and liners have a lifespan of one to three years, however several users have indicated that with proper care, pads and liners remain in usable condition upward of five years.

Assessing your needsEdit

Materials neededEdit

  • Pre-washed and dried cotton fabric (this preshrinks the material)
  • Pre-washed and dried terry toweling fabric (towel material)
  • Cotton thread
  • Button or press-stud

Tools needEdit

  • Cardboard
  • Pen/pencil/fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine or serger (or a needle, if you are sewing by hand)
  • Press stud assembly kit if using press studs

Quick StepsEdit

  1. Make a cardboard template which would fit best onto your underwear.
  2. Cut the fabric to size.
  3. Sew the pad case.
  4. Edge/hem the towel insert.
  5. Make a button hole and attach a button:

Full StepsEdit

  1. Making a cardboard template:
  2. Cutting the fabric to size:
  3. Sewing the pad case:
  4. Edging the towel insert:
  5. Making a button hole and attaching the button:

Washing reusable menstrual padsEdit

Separate pads and liners and soak in cold water; non-chlorine bleach is optional, however chlorine bleach shortens the lifespan of the pad by weakening the fabric fibres. The cold water soak is important as the cold water dissolves the staining properties

This page uses content from Wikibooks. The original article was at Reusable menstrual pads. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with DIY Culture, the text of Wikinooks is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.