Founder of Norma Pads
I live in two countries - Canada and Russia. Since my husband is from Canada, we have a family on both sides of the ocean. Part of the year we live in Montreal, the rest of the time - in Moscow. I am a specialist in tourism in my first education, but in practice this profession was not at all close to me. A year after graduating from the university, I studied for a director at the Prague Film School and as a freelancer I shot in many countries.
I was not much interested in the ecotema, some members of my family sorted the waste, but the idea of separate collection did not inspire me then. Everything changed when I found out about fabric pads.
Not gauze rags
Many already know about menstrual cups, and at first I tried to master this subject of feminine hygiene. Who used them, knows that this requires a certain skill: correctly open the bowl, correctly remove. I started watching a YouTube channel dedicated to reusable feminine hygiene products, and out of curiosity I turned on a video about reusable pads. I had skepticism towards them, I thought it was unaesthetic and uncomfortable. And then the girl so coolly explained everything, and I thought: “Why not? Indeed, this is a complete benefit! ”Very comfortable, convenient and environmentally friendly, much more safe for health than disposable pads.
At that moment I was in Canada, where I ordered a pair of gaskets - I really liked them. In North America, there are many brands that make fabric pads in different colors and shapes. When the time came to return to Moscow, I thought: "Probably, someone has already taken up this with us." But I found only one girl who does this. She is a pioneer in fabric gaskets here, but they turn out to be laconic - black or white, and her form resembles ordinary gaskets. And I wanted variety, so I began to order multi-colored from Canada. Delivery was too expensive, and I decided to sew a trial version for myself.
Then I talked about fabric pads on my instagram, and suddenly I saw a positive reaction. Of course, there were a few comments in the spirit: “Go back to your Middle Ages! Well, we will erase the pads, as in the USSR! ”But it was a tiny percentage of the wave of good comments. The girls saw that the fabric pads had already gone very far from the gauze rags, which were all stained on ropes. They began to ask me where to buy such hygiene products, and I myself began to sew them. I bought a few pieces, customers liked it. Now we have a tailoring workshop where the pads are sewn for me.
Why reusable pads are good
I use fabric pads in 90% of cases, but when I go to the bathhouse or to the beach, I choose the menstrual cup. I am not so comfortable with the cup, although I got used to inserting and removing it. But, whatever one may say, more contact with blood necessitates more hygiene, and there are not always suitable conditions for this. It’s easier with a fabric gasket: fastened with buttons to your panties, walked around, and even if you are in a public place, you just take it off, wrap it in an envelope, put it in your pocket - and that’s it! But this is very individual: I have a relative who uses only bowls.
Fabric pads are layers of fabric sewn in a specific way. Each layer has its own function, but they are all natural, made of flannel, cotton, linen. Also in some gaskets we use a membrane - a material that is processed by polyurethane spraying. This is the most expensive, necessary, but also a long-life part of the gasket. Here we have a choice: use gaskets with a membrane with 100% leakage protection or without a membrane, but simply change more often (disposable products are not left to us). The membrane is sewn in and becomes the layer that traps the liquid, but at the same time lets air through. Due to this, there is air circulation in the gasket, and we can say that it “breathes”.
In fabric pads, it is not hot even in summer, and the circulating air does not allow bacteria to multiply. I like to give an example: if we break a knee, there will be a blood stain on the jeans, but the blood will not smell, because there is an influx of air, and the stain just dries.
Disposable pads are plastic. They are white because they are bleached with chlorine-containing substances, they rustle and create a greenhouse effect. They retain moisture, and these are ideal conditions for the growth of bacteria. This causes thrush, irritation, and female diseases.
Why do women choose reusable pads
There can be many reasons, but here are the main ones:
- Grandmother and mother taught. The habit of feeling soft tissue on the gusset completely discourages the use of disposable pads. Everyone who used reusable panty liners sewn by moms, no matter how comfortable disposable ones, always remembers the feeling of comfort in adolescence.
- Allergy to synthetic materials. A very urgent problem of our time. Although the manufacturer offers products with a surface made of natural fibers, the edge still touches the body and causes an allergic rash.
- Irritation of the skin of the inguinal region. Girls with sensitive skin immediately respond to friction. The skin in the groin turns red, scuffs, wounds appear.
- The greenhouse effect. There are women who can not pick up disposable pads just because they react sharply to increased heat when wearing ordinary pads. No matter how the manufacturer assures, the heat transfer is still disturbed. Especially when there is at least some moisture on the gasket.
- Saving money. Once to buy a set of such gaskets and completely forget about monthly expenses is the dream of every woman. And in Russia, sometimes the purchase of this hygiene product is very often an undesirable expense item from the family budget.
- Own opinion on the benefits and safety of reusable gaskets compared to conventional ones. Women often wonder under what conditions stamp pads that are sold on every corner. In what temperature conditions, humidity and how long they are stored, it is unclear in what warehouses. In this regard, pads made of reusable fabrics win the ranking of lovers of all natural.
- Pregnancy. Almost every fourth pregnant woman cannot wear synthetics. This applies to any tissue that touches the body. The most difficult thing today, paradoxically, is to find a bra made of natural cotton. Women during pregnancy can have a sharp dislike of all underwear in which there are artificial fibers. At the same time, a woman can completely switch to natural raw foods and will feel healthy, happy, satisfied. What can you do, pregnant women is a special “caste”.
In fact, now that synthetics has flooded everything, people are drawn to natural products, fabrics, materials. This is natural - man is not a robot, but a biological being. The body favorably perceives natural, natural resources without any chemistry. In this regard, reusable gaskets meet the most demanding requirements.
Of course, if you are undergoing treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, remove chlamydia and other uninvited inhabitants of the reproductive system, then reusable pads after treatment must be completely replaced with new ones. Those who have served can be burned or discarded by pre-irrigation with a chlorine-containing solution so as not to spread the infection.
Reusable daily pads consist of three layers of soft natural fabric and a porous, breathable base containing modern, moisture-resistant materials. Size can be selected individually if you order for tailoring. A finished product of mass sale 17 cm long.
For menstrual days, the laying is slightly wider and significantly longer - about 20-23 cm. Daytime pads are shorter than nightly ones. 5 layers of soft fabric and a porous waterproof base are stitched. Sometimes the alternation of layers varies slightly at the discretion of the manufacturer (photo 1).
Mostly absorbency 2 to 3 drops. This is very good from a hygienic point of view, because a woman will be forced to change her more than 2 to 3 times a day. And this is exactly what gynecologists advise - to change pads and wash themselves during the period of menstruation 5-6 times a day.
Photo 1. All layers of reusable gasket.
For convenience, the pads are made with wings that are fastened under the gusset of the panties with a fastening button, as in photo 2. If you roll the product with an envelope and fasten it, then it is very convenient to carry the small square in your purse (photo 3).
Photo 2. Gaskets with a button fastener in an expanded form.
Photo 3. Reusable gasket zipped for storage when folded.
Where can I buy
When there is demand, supply is not long in coming.
In 2018, reusable pads can be purchased in several ways:
- buy in online stores. You choose what you like according to the description of the manufacturer and price category,
- order for tailoring by individual standards and requirements for composition, fabric pattern. For demanding and non-standard large women, this method is more suitable - everything will be done according to your desire.
The table shows the main sources, tailoring companies, fabric composition and product prices.
|Where can I buy,|
https://market.yandex.by/ reusable pads
Offers are not limited to the list of tables. The choice is large enough, the quality is almost the same with some nuances in sewing and choosing fabrics. Basically, the difference is only in price.
How to sew reusable pads yourself
It is important to choose the right fabric. To be soft, natural, while well washed. Particular attention should be paid to the lower, waterproof layer. He must breathe so as not to create a greenhouse effect. There is nothing difficult in tailoring.
When sewing, it is better to use an overlock so that the seams do not rub. Any woman who knows how to hold a needle in her hands can sew a lot of such pads on her own.
Photo 4. The simplest reusable do-it-yourself pads
Photo 5. Reusable gasket with liner, hand-sewn
How to wash
The first thing you should remember is blood - it's protein. Therefore, immediately wash with hot water is not recommended. Spread with cool water and liquid soap first. Can be soaked in any oxygen bleach. If the manufacturer has not indicated other modes.
You can iron only those products that do not have a membrane base! From a hot iron, breathing properties are lost. But, usually, women still stroke. This item is at your discretion, but the properties and tenderness of the fabric will quickly be lost.
Some manufacturers allow you to machine wash at a temperature of 60 0 C. Therefore, carefully read the instructions on the label and follow the instructions. If you take care of the product correctly, the gasket can withstand about 1000 washes.
How to quickly save the situation
Today, with such an abundance of various products on sale, it is difficult to imagine a woman who uses home-made gaskets. Nevertheless, incidents related to menstruation can happen at the most unexpected moment. And here it is important to be well informed about how you can help yourself in such situations.
The process of self-production of the product itself is quite simple and does not take much time. As you know, the most important characteristics of such hygiene products are absorption and the ability to retain moisture.
The considered two basic characteristics and underlie the entire technology for creating gaskets. Thus, in order to make a gasket yourself, you need to choose a material with good moisture-absorbing and retaining properties. The hygiene product itself consists of several layers:
- Adjacent, in direct contact with the skin.
- Absorbent, responsible for absorbing and retaining moisture.
- Bottom (protective) having waterproof properties.
Using materials at hand
But there are sudden emergency moments when you urgently need to make a gasket. This can happen, for example, during work or school hours. The gasket during menstruation can be replaced with available means at hand. Exist several options available that can save the situation:
- Curl ordinary toilet paper in several layers. You can use paper towels.
- Alternatively, a clean handkerchief, a napkin will do. To enhance the effect, it is recommended to wrap curled toilet paper with these materials. This will improve the absorbency of homemade gaskets.
- An ordinary small towel is also suitable if it is carefully folded in two layers. It is important that all materials used are clean.
- You can use a regular bag made of polyethylene, pre-laying it on top of the laundry and covering it with any suitable material (for example, bandage, cotton or gauze).
Such options are suitable if friends do not have extra gaskets. Nevertheless, it is better to seek help, and only then think about how to make a hygiene product yourself.
According to the same scheme, you can independently produce funds during menstruation. As a material suitable: gauze, cotton wool or fabrics on a natural basis (for example, cotton or flannel).
Natural-based fabrics are a great option for the top coat because it comes in direct contact with the skin.
It is important to choose the most hypoallergenic materials.. Another important requirement for an adjacent layer is the ability to conduct air well.
To create an absorbent layer, you can take gauze, microfiber or flannel. The easiest option, which does not require much time, is to make an envelope of natural hypoallergenic tissue and put an absorbent layer inside. But it should be remembered that such a tool will replace the gasket for no more than an hour and a half, and in the case of copious discharge, for a much shorter period. This option is perfect if you will soon be able to buy a standard hygiene product.
If you need an option with more reliable properties, then the recommendation is as follows: add a layer with good water resistance to the materials considered.
The easiest way is to use ordinary polyethylene. You should cut a standard bag in the shape of a rectangle and simply place it under the fabric.
Whether the layers need to be bonded together or not remains at the discretion of the woman herself. At home, this can be done by stitching the layers along the edges. When using home-made reusable pads, it is recommended to wear underwear that fits well to the body and has the necessary elasticity. Such underwear will not allow the manufactured gasket to move and leak.
How to make a gasket yourself
Recently, reusable pads for menstruation have become very popular. Such products have a lot of advantages that require special attention. Now it’s better to talk about how to make such pads yourself.
The general principle of manufacturing reusable gaskets is as follows: a pattern is found, selected materials are selected and stitched. Wherein product dimensions are determined independently: every woman knows the size of the pads, the most convenient for her.
In general, the structure of such a gasket does not differ from the usual one and consists of two components: adjacent and protective layers.
The inner layer
The material for the adjacent layer is selected depending on the personal preferences of the woman. It can be both natural fabrics (plush, terry, cotton), and synthetic (for example, fleece fabric). For the inner layer you need to choose a fabric with good absorbent characteristics. At the same time, the thickness of a homemade hygiene product will be largely determined by the internal absorbent layer. There are several options:
- Cotton fabric (such as sherpa, flannel or fleece). These materials are very affordable, but are not the best absorbents.
- Hemp fabric. Its absorbent properties are much better. In addition, such a material has significant strength. Недостаток — со временем такой материал становится жестким.
- Бамбуковая ткань. Отлично впитывает и более мягкая, чем х/б или конопляная, но при этом не такая долговечная.
- Microfiber cloth. It is capable of absorbing a significant amount of moisture. The disadvantages of this material include discomfort caused by prolonged wearing. This is explained by the presence of a sponge effect, when when pressed, moisture comes out.
- On sale you can often see bamboo-based hygiene products that are reinforced with a cotton cloth for added durability.
The absorbent layer is optional, and is intended only to give reusable gasket additional protection. In addition, the product becomes less breathable.
In the manufacture of a waterproof layer, a membrane fabric (for example, Gore - Tex) is suitable. Such material is sold in two versions: two- and three-layer. Gortex is made from Teflon and has excellent water resistance. In addition such a layer will let air through slightly.
Product assembly process
Making a homemade remedy for menstrual flow is quite simple. To make a laying for menstruation with your own hands, you need to follow these steps:
- The inner layer is prepared. For this, the material is folded several times and sewn around the perimeter.
- Next, the absorbent layer is connected to the lower part, but one side remains unbroken.
- The gasket is turned out and then the remaining side is stitched.
- You need to choose a fabric so that it is not very moving. In such hygiene products there is no basis for their reliable fixation on linen. Suitable non-slip options may be, for example, chintz, velvet or flannel.
- Selected fabrics are stitched according to the pattern. You can sew buttons on the wings of a homemade gasket. This will allow the hygiene product to hold firmly on underwear.
You can use such a homemade gasket for several years. Here a lot depends on how much the fabric will wear out over time. A normal wash is sufficient to care for the gasket.
Hygiene Care Rules
After use, the reusable gasket should be folded three times and put in a special bag or bag.
Before washing such pads, it is recommended pre-soak them for a while in cold waterand then rinse thoroughly.
Tea tree oil will help in the fight against odor. To do this, when soaking, add 3-4 drops of this oil to the water.
Hygiene products can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. Stains are removed using ordinary powder, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. You can soften the fabric by adding vinegar to the water. But with frequent washing in this way, some types of fabric can be destroyed.
Homemade pads can be dried in a dryer. To do this, they are placed there for fifteen minutes. But it is important to remember that each fabric has its own characteristics that must be considered when choosing a drying mode. This is especially true for synthetic materials (e.g. microfleece). To eliminate stains, drying in sunlight is also beneficial. In addition, it helps to sanitize pads.
To some, the independent manufacture of reusable gaskets may seem like a difficult task. But this work is worth it: the result is safe hygiene products. Those who do not want to do sewing can easily find such intimate hygiene products on sale. Their cost pays off quickly enough.
Advantages of an alternative method
Vaginal containers may, for some women, completely replace conventional intimate hygiene products. The benefits of menstruation cups include:
- Profitability. The service life of such intimate hygiene products is on average 5 years. But the maximum term can reach up to ten years. If the initial investment in the cup is not small, then over time they always pay off.
- Portability. For example, while traveling, a woman can take only one menstrual cup instead of several tampons.
- The calyx is located inside the body and does not have a ponytail, which can be inconvenient when wet when urinating.
- Hypoallergenicity. Menstruation cups made of silicone do not cause allergic reactions.
- Practicality. A cup can hold a much larger volume of fluid. In addition, it can be used even before the start of critical days. This is especially true for women with an irregular cycle.
- There is no contact with the discharge.
- Do not interfere with sports.
- Absolutely invisible when worn.
- Good smell retention.
Disadvantages of vaginal containers
But any remedy is not perfect. Inner collection tanks They have their drawbacks:
- Using a cup requires certain skills. If the agent is entered incorrectly, it may leak. All manipulations with the menstrual cup are recommended only with clean hands, which makes it difficult to use it outside the home.
- During the period when the product is not used, it must be in sterile conditions.
Thus, in case of emergency during menstruation, you can use improvised means instead of gaskets. And if a woman for some reason cannot use the purchased hygiene products, then in such cases they can be made independently at home.
A good substitute for standard tools are special containers for collecting excreta. When used properly, menstrual cups can be a very practical alternative to conventional pads.