Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Repairing hook and loop on your diapers

Hi, my name is Sharni, and I own Nappy Shoppe. At Nappy Shoppe, we don't just sell diapers, but we also make some of the products we sell. I have been sewing since I was a girl, and love to do it. It made sense when it came to cloth diapering my son, that I would make and repair some of his diapers. (I am too much of a cloth addict to not try out as much as I can out there :) ).

Hook and Loop on cloth diapers is a mixed blessing. It makes them incredibly simple to use, but it does not wear as well as snaps do on cloth diapers. It is makes it easier to get a good fit on baby, but if you don't use the laundry tabs on the cloth diapers, you end up with a "train" of diapers in the washing machine.

For me half of my diaper stash has hook and loop closure. Daddy doesn't like to use snaps, he likes the ease of use of the hook and loop closing diapers. So when the hook and loop "dies" on the diapers, the rest of the diaper is generally still in great condition, so I replace the hook and loop.

The following is a tutorial on how to replace the hook and loop on diapers that use tabs of hook and loop to close the diaper (ie Bum Genius, Thirsties, WeeHuggers and Tiny Tush).

Don't sew? Well if you know someone who does, then show them this, or some stores like mine do the repair for a fee.

It is very simple to replace the hook and loop. The longest part is removing the old tabs. In general you only have to replace the hook part, as in the tabs. The loop strap sewn to the front of the diaper in most cases does not need to be replaced. So this tutorial only covers the replacing of the tabs.

I used the aplix die cut diaper tabs that I sell in the DIY section of my store. But you could use strips of hook and loop tape cut to size.

To start with I cut off the old tab near where it is attached to the PUL of the diaper. Be careful not to cut the PUL. I found doing this made it easier to remove the old tab.

I then inserted scissors into the hole left from cutting off the tab and cut down as far as I could. This made it easier to get my seam ripper in to remove the stitches.

Take your seam ripper and carefully cut the old stitching until you have removed the old tab.

This part is important. You need a hook tab and a loop tab. Sandwich them on either side of the PUL. You will want to make sure to do a test closing of the diaper to make sure that the hook side is grabbing onto the large strip of loop on the front of the diaper and close it. You don’t want to sew this part the wrong way around, as you will be unpicking your stitches!

At this point you could use a pin to hold the hook and loop tabs in place. Be warned the aplix is thick and it can be tough to stick a pin through. You could use a bulldog clip to hold it in place too. I just very carefully moved it under the foot of my sewing machine and lowered the needle into place when I was satisfied everything was lined up ok.

I just lined the tabs up on the stitching lines of the old aplix. The diapers were faded enough that it was easy to see and do this for me.

I found it best to start stitching in the middle on the PUL where shown in this photo. That way you had it tacked down in place before turning corners etc. If you have needle up/needle down on your machine, this feature will be useful here.

I did a straight stitch the first time around, and the went around the whole lot again using a small zigzag. Be sure to go all the way around the edges so you sew both of the pieces of aplix hook and loop together.

See it is very simple to give a diaper new life. And if sewing is not in your skill set, then we will happily fix your diapers for you.


  1. Thanks for posting this! I ordered a ton of tabs from yours tore last week and had a pretty good idea of how to replace them, but the pictures really help!

  2. Cannot believe how east this was!!! I just replaced the tabs on 2 of my diapers, in less than 10 minutes - and now they have new life!!! Thanks for the great tutorial!



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