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Thread: Middles for DIY liners

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    Cavy Newbie LeeMarie's Avatar
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    Smile Middles for DIY liners

    OK, so I am new to the fleece scene and have though about making my own liners. I see some DIYs online about sewing two pieces of fleece together with an absorbent middle such as old blankets or towels. I was thinking about using moving blankets as a middle, would this be too thick or maybe not absorb properly? just looking for the best options in the long run. Any advice is appreciated

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Many of us use the u-Haul furniture pads (not the quilted ones) which are huge (68" x 85") and work very well when stitched into liners. They are made of recycled denim and are only $7.95. Unlike others, I don't use two layers for the middle because most sewing machines have difficulty handling that much bulk. I find that a single layer is quite sufficient.

    https://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies...e-Pad/?id=2670

    Be sure to wash and dry the blankets on HOT BEFORE sewing as they will shrink quite a bit. After washing and drying, I recommend that you press the pad with an iron so that it lies flat and you know how much fabric you have to work with. It will also "bleed" blue on the first wash as it is recycled denim. I find that fleece rarely shrinks (unless it is poor quality) but you want to wash the pad and the fleece separately before sewing together because the pad will shrink and the fleece likely won't, and you will end up with funky looking liners after all the hard work you have put into them.

    And, no, don't even consider using towels as a middle layer because they take too long to dry and build up an odor pretty quickly!

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    Cavy Slave MaiaBex's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I just made some liners using crib changing pads as the absorbent layer, and as soon as my order of reusable bed pads arrives, I'll be making more liners with those. (The crib-sized ones are just a little small for the cage.) My recommendation: watch your needle sizes when sewing. It's all too easy to break one if you're not careful. My machine seemed to do best with a 14/90 for just the fleece and a 16/100 (meant for denim) when I had multiple layers.

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I have used both U-haul pads and Zorb Original Antimicrobial as the middle absorbent layer for my fleece pads. Both work great.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Another option is microfiber towels. They’re lighter weight but still absorbent and they dry faster than cotton terry towels.

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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I've been using a blizzard fleece for some time now.

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    Cavy Newbie KyKyMarie77's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I am about to make my own as I am building my own cage and have cutouts In mine, but I am going to use insolence pads you can get the on amazing just search old people pee pads. They are waterproof and won’t stink, and are easily washable

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by KyKyMarie77 View Post
    I am going to use insolence pads you can get the on amazing just search old people pee pads. They are waterproof and wonít stink, and are easily washable
    First of all, there is no such thing as "insolence" pads and secondly, calling them "old people pee pads" is an offensive term! Please think before you post. Take a moment to proofread what you have written.

    The pads are incontinence pads and yes, they are waterproof. They are NOT appropriate for a middle layer in a fleece liner. They will absorb and hold urine and will begin to have a nasty odor in short order. Incontinence pads are great, but only as a separate layer. I often use incontinence pads as the bottom layer next to the coroplast, and then put my liners over them.

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    Cavy Newbie KyKyMarie77's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    First of all, there is no such thing as "insolence" pads and secondly, calling them "old people pee pads" is an offensive term! Please think before you post. Take a moment to proofread what you have written.

    The pads are incontinence pads and yes, they are waterproof. They are NOT appropriate for a middle layer in a fleece liner. They will absorb and hold urine and will begin to have a nasty odor in short order. Incontinence pads are great, but only as a separate layer. I often use incontinence pads as the bottom layer next to the coroplast, and then put my liners over them.

    I didnít mean it in an offensive way, I just forgot what the term was when I was searching It on amazon. Sorry for misspelling it, Iím a human I make mistakes. Getting mad at somebody that youíve never met over the internet isnít going to help anything

    I personally know many people who have used incontinence pads for the liners and they have had no problem whatsoever. As long as you actually clean your cage they wonít smell

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    Cavy Slave MaiaBex's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    The pads are incontinence pads and yes, they are waterproof. They are NOT appropriate for a middle layer in a fleece liner. They will absorb and hold urine and will begin to have a nasty odor in short order. Incontinence pads are great, but only as a separate layer. I often use incontinence pads as the bottom layer next to the coroplast, and then put my liners over them.
    Question: isn't the point of the absorbent layer in the liners to absorb urine? I just got my order of bed pads, but I haven't sewn them into liners yet. The waterproof layer is on the bottom of the pad, so I was planning to just sew one layer of fleece over the top instead of layering the pad between two layers of fleece. Is this a not-good idea? I'm just wanting to save my back by having the liners be all one piece instead of having multiple layers.

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    Cavy Slave MaiaBex's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by KyKyMarie77 View Post
    I didn’t mean it in an offensive way, I just forgot what the term was when I was searching It on amazon. Sorry for misspelling it, I’m a human I make mistakes. Getting mad at somebody that you’ve never met over the internet isn’t going to help anything

    I personally know many people who have used incontinence pads for the liners and they have had no problem whatsoever. As long as you actually clean your cage they won’t smell
    Yes, we're all human, and yes, we make mistakes. Still, some terminology is more offensive than others. I got mine off Amazon, and my search term was "washable bed pads".

    We're living in weird times right now. We all need to have patience with each other.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by MaiaBex View Post
    I was planning to just sew one layer of fleece over the top instead of layering the pad between two layers of fleece. Is this a not-good idea?
    You absolutely could do that. I just prefer to have my liners be double sided with the uHaul pad in the middle as the absorbent layer. I then put the incontinence pad on the coroplast and the liner on top of that. With double-sided liners, you get far more mileage out of them. Midweek I shake/brush the liner well, spray Clean Cage (a cage deodorizer, not meant to clean the cage) on the dirty side, and turn them over so that the clean side is up.

    It really doesn't matter how you design your setup, but you want a liner that is absorbent, keeps the cavies dry, and one that dries quickly after you launder it. I have some liners that are 7 yr. old and I knew that they needed to be replaced when they started to leak onto the incontinence pad below. The fleece was still pretty good, but the uHaul pad inside had just disintegrated over the multiple times it was laundered.....and laundered with bleach. Bleach eats up the fleece and the pad.

    Fortunately, I have yards and yards of fleece so that I can make some new liners before I get new babies. Seems like the perfect time to do it!

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I use the washable incontinence pads and throw a separate fleece layer over them. They don’t need to be sewn together and everything washes better when separate.

    Also, check your washing machine instructions for waterproof items. My top-load washer recommends waterproof items go in the bottom and wash on delicate. Otherwise air gets trapped under them and they don’t get clean. And no liquid fabric softener since it ruins the waterproof layer.

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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I saw a conversation about shrinkage of fleece, but couldn't reply to it because it was too old? Anyway I thought I'd put the information I found about shrinkage here:


    Polyester is made of recycled plastic water bottles. Have you ever seen extreme hot not warp a plastic water bottle? https://www.fairharborclothing.com/b...into-polyester

    https://www.aanyalinen.com/blogs/aan...lyester-shrink and while this one states "100% polyester does not shrink.. under 'normal' circumstances" who knows what they consider "normal circumstances." It also further goes on to explain HOW to shrink polyester should you want to, and surprise surprise it involves, HEAT. Heat in the wash, and heat in the dryer. It seems like really it comes down to the amount of time it's exposed to the heat. I have a "Sanitize" cycle on my front loading Maytag washing machines and it extends the extremely hot water cycle to 3 hours. Drying my homemade liners takes almost 120 minutes (2 hours). I do this on HOT. I do this to kill bacteria. It's the only way to ensure the bacteria is killed not only on the blankets, but in my machine so when I wash my own clothes next time. I do see a lot of shrinkage. We have 4 guinea pigs and so far I can't make these things fast enough. I'm hoping some day I have so many that it no longer exhausts me thinking about cleaning up after the piggies. I also refuse to buy any of the ones that are sold online... they're ridiculously over priced. A 2x2 square costs $40! I'd need about 40 of those for the space I have (considering changes and washes). $1600 for liners? No thanks!

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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    I use the washable incontinence pads and throw a separate fleece layer over them. They donít need to be sewn together and everything washes better when separate.

    Also, check your washing machine instructions for waterproof items. My top-load washer recommends waterproof items go in the bottom and wash on delicate. Otherwise air gets trapped under them and they donít get clean. And no liquid fabric softener since it ruins the waterproof layer.
    Is there any disadvantages to this? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to just throw down an absorbent layer and some fleece over it and be DONE! Plus, I love the idea of it getting cleaner easier!

    Eagerly awaiting your reply!

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Some of my fleece fabric is about 3 years old. It’s been very durable, no fading or shrinking. The absorbent pads were originally for a dog with incontinence issues and are about 10 years old.

    I wash everything in warm water and dry in a very warm, just shy of hot, dryer. The whole process of washing and drying takes about an hour. And as for damaging fabric in a hot dryer, that usually occurs because the fabric is already dry and still being exposed to heat. Set the dryer cycle for mostly dry and it will cool down sooner so the fabric isn’t over heated.

    I change out the cage every 2-3 days, so the fabric gets washed a lot. One thing I will say, the older fabric is the polar fleece and the hay sticks to it more than the blizzard plush that I buy now. The plush is also a little thicker.

    I do wipe down the washer inside after I wash a load because I still find some hay in the washer. But I like using fleece. It’s affordable and I love all the colors and patterns that I can coordinate with cage accessories.

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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    Itís affordable and I love all the colors and patterns that I can coordinate with cage accessories.
    But you don't sew the absorbent pads and fleece together right? You just lay the fleece on top? Any issues with the piggies trying to chew them, messing them up, etc.?

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Middles for DIY liners

    I don’t sew them together because they are more difficult to wash and dry.

    No chewing problems or burrowing problems. I have a grid cage set on a homemade wood floor that is framed with wood strips. The floor is a sheet of wainscoting with 1x2 wood strips around the edge. I have a sheet of fabric cut from a waterproof mattress cover over the wood and frame. Then I put down the absorbent pads and cover the floor and frame with a sheet of fleece. The cage sits inside the frame so there are no seams or ends for to mess with.

    Here’s a picture with the fleece pulled back so you can see the frame.

    Click image for larger version. 

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