The Gallery attached to this article is a picture tutorial on how to make your own pads. Thank you for trying it out! Thank you also, for contacting me with enthusiasm, questions, ideas and ways to make this information more accessible to all humans who bleed. Let us focus on reaching people who are living in poverty. Our small and large donations of resources and funds, make a difference.
I began hand stitching cloth pads many years ago, all the while pondering how to make it a simple process for anyone who has access to a needle, thread, some fabric and a little time.
This tutorial is for the person who may not have access to consistent sanitary aid but does have extra clean, used clothing, or the finances/donations to visit a fabric store. I know that water, extra clothing, bathrooms and underwear may be hard for many, so i want this story to be an on-going dialogue that changes as it includes women in the most meager of situations. As She has the power to make her own cloth pads, She then goes on to empower her neighbors too. In fact, why not make a little business and supply the whole community. There is something very powerful about people sitting close, drinking tea with purpose and a needle and thread in their hands... Please feel free to contact me, I am here to encourage you to make your own.
Using cloth pads can be daunting when resources are low with little support. As encouragement grows independently and in the community, you may find that hand stitching your own pads is the perfect solution. Remember the Elders in your neighborhood. Most Grandmothers have wisdom and knowledge when it comes to hand crafting and I'll bet she will love to sit with you in your sew circles. There are also lots of Do It Yourself sewing tutorials on YouTube. Google: Basic hand stitching. Feel free to come to me with questions. Its time for All People to Shine. Different patterns for winged pads, pads for heavy flow and for panty liners will continue to be provided after we finish this simple, no wings pad.
You will need a comfortable snug pair of underwear to be able to hold your pad in place. You will also need water and soap to clean your pads. The following is a (DIY) Do It Yourself video on how to make your own underwear, using a tee shirt. Thank you Elana Bloom from Salvage and Stitch for this tutorial. https://salvageandstitch.com/2017/11/13/diy-underwear-tutorial-from-a-t-...
For those of us who have more in our lives, let us join together and find ways to donate fabric, needles and thread and funds to every one who needs it.
Some women wear layers of dark clothing, bleeding on the inner clothing and washing them regularly. Many use a yard of cloth. S/he wraps it around her lower body and weaves it in and out of her upper thighs, adjusting accordingly during the night. If you have any traditional or invented tools for healthy menstrual practices, please do comment.
In the mean time, I offer my humble profession as a solution for those who are curious to make your own cloth pads. We don't need machines or big companies to help as we begin to collect our own resources. The experience of gathering tools together is very empowering indeed. Start by taking the first steps, and from there, and with growing support and leadership, we will become a band of strong, menstruating leaders.
Here are 2 lists:
1. For the person who can afford to buy and/or donate fabric to low income women: You will need needle, thread, pins, a pattern (which is provided in this tutorial). Absorbent cotton fabric works the best. Try cotton flannel or fleece for the outside and quilt batting or thick sweatshirt material for the inside batting.
2. For the peeson who has very little resources but does have access to underwear, soap and water. You will need a pattern ( one is provided), needle and thread, scissors and pins. Collect clothing that are clean and gently used, cut the seams and any stains and holes out and use this as fabric for many pads. Are there any churches or organizations that gift the community with clean, used clothing near by? Here is what i look for when i am searching at thrift shops and our local free store:
For the outside of the pad: Anything cotton and absorbent like; tee shirts, flannel sheets, shirts and pajamas, sweat shirts and pants
for the inside batting: Anything that is thick and absorbent like; thick sweats, wool sweaters, anything fleece, a salvaged quilt, cloth baby diapers, ...
When you have these things together, follow the picture tutorial and lets see what we come up with! There are no mistakes, have fun, be creative and inventive. You can do anything you want with a needle and thread.
As women make their own and we claim our power, the movement will spread like a wild fire, and there will be more leaders (like yourself) who had the courage to start something new. Always provide for yourself first. As you become a believer, other people will begin to throw any left over shame or doubt out the window and will want to follow in your footsteps.