What is Zorb (And Do You Want it in Your Cloth Diapers)?


Zorb was a pleasant surprise for me, and it may just be for you too! I first heard about it from Crystal Burton, the owner of Tree Hugger Cloth Pads, my favorite brand of cloth pads (if you’re interested, I have written a full review of their pads here). But it wasn’t until writing about fabric choices for this website that I realized two of my absolute favorite nighttime fitted cloth diapers, which I refer to as “dimple diapers,” are also made of Zorb.

After learning that two of my favorite diapers are made using zorb I contacted Wazoodle Fabrics, the company behind it, to learn more. So what exactly is zorb? Zorb is a material that was developed by Wazoodle Fabrics around 2007, specifically for diapers with the aim to make cloth diapers more absorbent.

“It was created for making reusable diapers as absorbent as, if not more, absorbent than disposable diapers,” explained Archana “Arch” Sharma, CEO of Wazoodle Fabrics. “Since then it has evolved further and been re-engineered for even better absorbency.”

Basically, it’s awesome, and yes, you want it in your cloth diapers, if you can find some made with them (or can make them yourself).

Special Note: Wazoodle Fabrics didn’t sponsor this post, and I am not an affiliate for their products at all, I just really like the diapers and pads I have had that were made from Zorb and wanted to share information about Zorb with the Cloth Diapers for Beginners community.

What is Zorb Material Made From?

According to the Wazoodle website, the original Zorb fabric is a non-woven interlining material made from tangled cellulose fibers from bamboo viscose, cotton, organic cotton, and polyester. It can absorb 10 times its weight in under two seconds and absorbs 10 times faster than other materials like bamboo, cotton, or hemp knits. Two layers of Zorb Original can replace either eight layers of flannel, six of french terry, or five of fleece.

“It’s the super wicking fibers used for making all Zorb fabrics and the three-dimensional structure; it’s the combination of both that make Zorb fabrics uniquely absorbent,” Arch said.

Because Zorb Original is a non-woven interlining material it must be sandwiched between other fabrics, but later generations of Zorb do not.

What are the Differences Between the Types (Generations) of Zorb?

Zorb fabric rolls - generation one.

Zorb fabric now comes in several variations including Original, Zorb 2, Zorb 3D, Zorb 4D, and Zorb Microfiber Terry.

“We believe in continuous improvement and encourage innovation. We are constantly looking at customer feedback to develop new fabrics that perform better,” Arch said.

The number of generations and variations on options within each generation of Zorb fabric can be a lot to wade through, but Wazoodle has created a comparison chart to help everyone out, which you can access here.

Here’s the bullet-point description of each type:

  • Zorb Original: a non-woven that has to sandwiched between other fabrics
  • Zorb 2nd Gen: comes in two versions (Dimple and Diamond) that are already sandwiched. It has to be pre-washed and shrinks a lot.
  • 3D Zorb: comes in three versions to suit all types of uses (Bamboo, Polyester and Organic Cotton). It has an improved design and absorption.
  • 4D Zorb: Is a unique four dimensional fabric that is super-absorbent and also waterproof.
  • Zorb Microfiber Terry: is 100% poly microfiber that has been uniquely knitted for super-absorption. It is made in USA.

But while Wazoodle keeps creating new and more absorbent materials, they continue to produce all the older versions of Zorb as well.

“Some customers using older versions want to continue with their patterns. We value our customer base and will advise them to convert to newer versions, but still continue to make older versions until most are converted to other fabrics.” Arch said.

What About Compression Leaks?

Though I hadn’t experienced any in either my pads or diapers when researching Zorb cloth diapering for this article I did find some old comments about compression leak problems so I asked about them.

“Zorb fabrics tend to have less compression leaks than other [types of material]. They use a blend of fibers that wick, absorb and hold. The 3D Zorbs are engineered to prevent compression leaks. They were in development and tested for more than two years with actual users and improvements were made before we started selling it to the consumers. (Bummis did a lot of testing of the 3D Zorb fabrics before they introduced the Dimple Diaper and the sanitary pads),” Arch said.

Personally, I never experienced compression leaking, and it being an issue wasn’t on my radar before researching for this article.

Where Can I find Zorb Diapers ?

As Arch said, Bummis used to have quite a few diapers with Zorb fabric inserts. They also of course had their overnight fitted dimple diaper I mentioned earlier. That fitted diaper was the first diaper to get me through the night with my little one. In fact, I continued to use them on her until she was about three years old whenever I failed to wash her bedwetting trainers on time.

Unfortunately, Bummis decided to close shop a while ago, and though it was purchased the dimple diaper was never restocked.

If you know of some cloth diapers using Zorb diaper inserts or fitteds, please do let me know. Otherwise, likely DIY’ing some up is the best option.

Where Can You Get Zorb Fabric?

Wazoodle does sell Zorb by the yard or by the roll directly to customers on their website.

We do not have any agents or distributors. That way we can keep the overhead expenses low and the prices low for our customers.

What Type of Zorb is Recommended Cloth Diaper Sewing?

If you’re trying to choose a Zorb material for cloth diapering, it can be a little bit overwhelming to choose between all the types they make., So, which Zorb fabric is best for cloth diaper inserts? According Arch, the CEO of Wazoodle Fabrics, Zorb 3D is the way to go for cloth diapers.

“We will recommend the 3D Zorb because it needs the least prepping and is easy to sew. Plus there are the three fiber types to choose from,” she explained.

How Do You Wash Zorb Fabric?

Once in full use, Zorb cloth diapers and diaper inserts need to be washed following a proper cloth diaper wash routine, as all cloth diapers do.

To get a wash routine that is perfectly measured to work for your cloth diaper stash, your washing machine, your preferred detergent, and your unique water situation, I recommend putting together a Measure Method cloth diaper wash routine, which you can put together yourself, for free, here.

Does Zorb Need to Be Prepped?

Depending on the type of Zorb fabric you choose, it may need to be washed and dried before sewing as it may shrink. Once again, have a look at the comparison chart on the Wazoodle website here to know if the Zorb you’re using is going to shrink drastically.

After the diaper insert is sewn, Zorb doesn’t need any special prepping before diaper use as hemp does. Washing it once before use is more than sufficient.

Cloth Diapering With Zorb: Is it Worth It?

Zorb fabric rolls in three colors.

I think so! Zorb is a pretty cool family of fabrics that can really help boost the absorbency of cloth pads and cloth diapers. The manufacturer itself is also very friendly, willing to help, and in my opinion, has their priorities in order.

“The best thing about our fabrics is that because we manufacture in USA and Canada only we have control over the processing and know that there are no toxic chemicals used in the knitting and finishing,” Arch said. “We understand that many of our fabrics are used in making baby items and it is absolutely important for us to keep the fabrics safe for use on delicate babies. Like many of our customers, we are also a small family business. Please know that we take great pride in making safe fabrics and care deeply about our customers.

“We are very grateful to Moms that cloth diaper – kudos to them for caring about our planet and not filling it up with disposables. I salute them!”

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