We get a looooot of shocked faces from people when they look at the soft cotton flannel top of a pad, and then flip it over to find…more cotton flannel. “The underside doesn’t have a waterproof backing?! How do you prevent leaks?!” Our choice not to include a synthetic bottom layer is confusing to many people first learning about GladRags; disposables promise a leak-free period, how enticing is a product that will make you worry about that again?
The fact that we’ve opted for only natural fibers doesn’t mean that we’ve sacrificed leak protection. Far from it! The outside layer of a GladRags pad or pantyliner, the layer you can see, is cotton flannel, but the inner layer is cotton terrycloth, a highly absorbent material. The key is getting the right products for your flow, so that the absorbency levels of our different pad styles match what you’re wearing them for. GladRags products are equivalent in absorbency to their disposable counterparts, so if you were to snap on a cloth Pantyliner when you normally would be wearing a disposable maxi pad, you would be putting yourself at the same leak risk as you would if you decided to wear a disposable pantyliner. The same goes for the amount of time you wear them; if you normally change your disposable pad after 4 hours, we can’t recommend that you wear a cloth pad for 6 hours without checking it, no matter how awesome terrycloth is! Basically, GladRags could leak if saturated, but that goes for reusable pads with waterproof backing and disposables too.
What you might still be wondering is why we made the choice to go with 100% cotton. Absorbent, sure, but wouldn’t it be better to have a waterproof backing, just for good measure? Here’s the thing: we believe that nothing could really be better, because cotton is best! Using only natural fibers means that our pads are at their most breathable, which is key to comfort and health. A nylon or waterproof material runs the risk of trapping moisture, which can lead to odor or bacterial growth. We want our products to work for everyone, and some people experience irritation from even a small amount of synthetic material. Additionally, cotton is biodegradable (seriously – you can compost your GladRags when you’re done with ’em!), whereas synthetic fabrics and plastic will sit in landfills for, well…ever. So here’s to 24 years of 100% cotton, and many more!