Bamboo - This fabric is very absorbent and soft to touch, usually mixed as a blend of bamboo and cotton, but can come in a range of other mixed weaves with fleece or terry.
Hemp - A newer fabric, which is stronger and more absorbent than cotton. It can also come in mixed weaves, such as fleece.
Some parents choose different types of fabrics for seasonal changes or daytime and night-time use. For example, lighter materials can be used during the day and in warmer months and thicker fabrics for overnight and in cooler months.
If you decide to use cloth nappies you will need to consider how you will wash them. If you launder them yourself (as apposed to paying for a nappy service) you will need access to a reliable washing machine and a large container (bucket or bin) to hold soiled nappies.
Traditional flat cloth
Traditional squares of fabric (or flat nappies) are very practical, versatile and good value for money. They can be folded into various shapes to fit your baby snugly from birth, right through to toddler years and can even be folded in different ways to better suit boys and girls. While many people baulk at the daunting task of folding a nappy, not to mention putting it on correctly so it catches everything, by the time your baby is a week old you will have changed them about 70 times, so it wont be long before you are an expert!
Most flat nappies are made of terry towelling, but some come in flannelette. Flannelette is thinner and trimmer, but less absorbent, and some modern fasteners won't work on them, so you will need to use nappy pins. Soft, thin muslin squares can be used for newborns, but they aren't very absorbent for older babies.