PUL delamination

Pocket nappy.

Delamination is simply when the waterproof backing layer becomes detached from the colourful outer fabric. Once this has happened it cannot be reversed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that immediately your nappy is no longer waterproof. If there aren’t any holes in the waterproof layer then it shouldn’t leak and you can still use it for a period of time. However the waterproof layer is extremely thin and fragile and so you’ll have to very careful not to accidentally snag it.


Delamination can be caused by a few things. The most common causes are:

  • Age. Although you should expect a nappy to last for at least once child. If it hasn’t and there aren’t any other contributing factors then see if your nappy is still under warranty.
  • UV exposure. Try dry nappies in the shade unless you’re trying to sun out a stain. And once they are dry bring them back indoors.
  • Heat. Either from washing or tumble drying at too higher temperature. Pay close attention to the washing guidelines for each of your nappies as they can vary between brands. And wash at the lowest recommended heat. Some nappies can be tumble dried on low, again check with the individual nappy care instructions. But even if you can tumble dry be aware that this will decrease the expected lifespan of your nappies.
  • Poor quality. Like all things there is a certain amount of ‘you get what you pay for’. On the whole a nappy that has only cost a few pounds will not outlast a nappy that was £20. That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy the cheaper brands at all. Just that you need to have reasonable expectations on longevity.

In the case of this particular nappy I would say it has been a combination of poor quality and heat. This nappy only cost me a couple of pounds and I have used it for almost a year. I’m pretty happy with that. Also the care label does state that for this nappy it should only be washed at 35c, and I’ve been washing it at 40c or occasionally 60c if my baby has been unwell. A risk I decided to take

Once the nappy is no longer waterproof it doesn’t need to go into the bin. There are many options to keep reusing it. Here’s a couple:

  • Swim nappy. You can’t use normal cloth nappies as swim nappies as the Chlorine ruins the PUL. But once the PUL has failed you’ve nothing to lose! Just remove or cut out the absorbent part (and use that as a booster for something else) and away you go.
  • Library nappy. Your local nappy library might be able to make use of it as a demo to show parents how cloth nappies work – they don’t need to actual work for this 😊.
  • Doll’s nappy. Any doll/baby mad child will surely be happy to receive a cute little nappy to play with.
  • Keyring nappy. Your local nappy library may turn failed nappies into cute little keyrings which they sell to raise funds.
Nappy keyring.

PUL delamination isn’t the end, just the start of a new chapter.

You can also see a video version of this blog, and many others, on my YouTube channel.

PUL delamination.