Pilch or Nappy Cover for Washable Nappies

Crochet pattern for a woollen nappy cover or pilch

My pilch design appears in Issue 125 of Inside Crochet this month.

So if you’ve been hunting for a really flexible, easy-to-use crochet nappy cover for washable nappies, I hope this is the end of your search.

I was so pleased when I had the opportunity to include a pattern in this month’s Inside Crochet which is all about sustainability. I immediately thought of my pilch design, which I’ve wanted to publish for the longest time – this was the extra push I needed.

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Another zero-waste pattern from issue 125 are the cute nappy wraps designed by @littleconkersuk in @garthenor Organic Number 3 This cute “pilch” goes around a cloth nappy and forms a moisture-repellent, breathable cover. Simply add a Nappy Nippa to fasten. Remember, even if you can’t make it to the shops, we can deliver to you – links to our website and our office number are in our profile. Alternatively find us digitally via @pocketmags image @bernavfoto Styling @clairemontyknits #insidecrochet #insidecrochetmag #insidecrochetmagazine #insidecrochetuk #newissue #garthenor #garthenororganic #garthenornumber3 #reusable #reusablenappies #pilch #soakers #nappywrap #crochetforbaby #zerowaste #moderncrochet #crochet #clothnappies

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This nappy cover for washable nappies is one of the very first things I designed, because I needed them for my own babies and couldn’t find a crochet design out there that fit the bill.

In due course I’ll publish the pattern on my usual pattern-selling sites, but for the moment, the design is only available in this issue of Inside Crochet.

These pilches will work over folded terry nappies, pre-folds and shaped nappies, and are secured with the same Nappi-Nippa fasteners as you use to fasten the absorbent part of the nappy.

The pattern comes in two sizes which, because they are so adjustable, fit a very large range of bottoms. These two sizes fit our three from about 4 months to potty-training. You only need two or three in total – one on the baby, one airing, maybe one being washed – so they work out extremely economically.

Crochet pattern for a woollen diaper cover or pilch

Choosing the right wool is vital for a functioning pilch. You need a wool that retains its naturally waterproof properties, like the gorgeous organic Shetland wool I have used for these examples, which is from Garthenor Organic.

Skeins of Garthenor Organic Wool Number 3 in a range of natural un-dyed colours

I love the subtle natural shades of this wool, which allows you to create striped versions of the nappy cover which are just too cute!

Crochet pattern for a woollen nappy cover or pilch

By the way, I realise I’m on a lone crusade, but I call the cover for a washable nappy a pilch. This is what they were always known as in Britain back before disposable nappies were a thing and you didn’t have to say “washable” nappies, because there wasn’t any other sort. The absorbent part of the nappy – cotton, bamboo or linen cloths or terry-towering – needs a water-resistant (“water” is a euphemism here, obviously!) woollen outer layer, which stops dampness wicking on to clothes or whatever the baby is sitting on. I have a wonderful archive of knitting and crochet magazines and pamphlets stretching back to before the war, and pilch patterns feature regularly in them.

These days, you will see waterproof covers for nappies (made in both wool and in modern technical materials) called nappy covers (which I find a bit vague, because the same term is also used for items worn over disposable nappies, often with novelty designs) or nappy soakers (which I find frankly confusing because it sounds as if their job is to soak up moisture, when that is exactly what you don’t want them to do).

So I’m sticking with pilch and damning myself to SEO oblivion as a result…

I’m intending to write a longer blog to answer more of your questions about using and caring for woollen pilches when I publish this pattern in the future. However, if you haven’t come across it already, the best resource you’re likely to find on all things nappy-related is The Nappy Lady.

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