Which fabrics will absorb the most water?

Written by cindi pearce | 13/05/2017
Which fabrics will absorb the most water?
Materials vary drastically when it comes to their ability to absorb moisture. (Baby playing in Diaper image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com)

Some cloth is very efficient at absorbing moisture. The rate of water absorption is measured by the time it takes for water to be absorbed by a certain material that has been soaked in water.

Polymeric Material

Fabric that is made of polymeric material is very good at absorption. Polyester is created from plastic that has been altered into fine threads and then into yarn, and then spun to create the final product. Because it is made from plastic, the fabric itself doesn't actually absorb moisture, but the spaces in the fabric do.


Cotton is a natural absorbent, as well as a natural fibre. How absorbent your cotton fabric is will depend on the type of cotton used. Cotton is very porous, which makes it a natural absorber of moisture.

Terry Cloth

Terry cloth is the best when it comes to diaper fabric because it is highly absorbent and durable. It gets softer with each washing and it doesn't shrink.

Bird's Eye Cloth

Another absorbent fabric is bird's eye cloth, according to Modernstork.com. It is tightly woven. However, it is more expensive than other kinds of diaper fabric.

Gauze Cloth

The lightest of all diaper fabrics, yet very absorbent, is gauze cloth, which is finely spun, woven loosely and soft.

Hemp and Bamboo

Hemp fabrics that are made out of fleece and French terry cloth are quite absorbent, as is stretch terry cloth and hemp jersey. Bamboo fabric is nearly as absorbent as hemp.


Wool, which is a natural fibre, is also absorbent, notes Bubbaearth.com.

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