This is the olllllllld way of doing it. For people who want to use cloth pads each month but can’t afford to buy enough of them to last through their cycles, this is a non glamorous (not that there’s owt glamorous about yer bits being a blood geyser every month) way of mopping up the mess.
I have made and used these myself. I definitely approve of cloth methods, but even though they’re re-usable, I find a lot of the other cloth ones for sale out there are really pricy. People should absolutely be paid for their labour, but sometimes I think some folks are taking the piss. It’s almost like cloth pads are for fancy well off hippies and nobody else.
Get yourself a stack of cotton towelling facecloths. I scoped out eBay and Amazon earlier, and found several listings of twelve cloths for under a tenner. You can also get dirt cheap ones in supermarkets from whatever their basic brand is called.
That’s just a screenshot of an example for ye. Before you use them, and because you don’t know where the cloths have been sitting warehouse wise, it’s best to put them through a 90° wash first. Adding a cup of white vinegar to the washer drawer is also a good idea too.
Now – see the way that one cloth is folded on top? Fold them all like that, so they’re at least shaped like cloth pads. If you are a lucky bastard, you will have a sewing machine and this will take considerably less time. If not, then sorry mate but it’s going to take a little bit of patience. Sew the ends closed, and down the middle where the folds meet. Do this with the rest of your facecloths, and you’ve got a pile of very basic, but incredibly effective cloth pads. If you want to add something to them to secure to your underwear, you can get creative with a few pairs of flat cotton shoelaces. Sew them along each end, and you’ll have something to tie around yer gusset, but then you’ll also have dangly bits! However if you’re a member of the tampon crew, you’ll be used to having dangly bits.
This is how they used to make them before we had disposable sanitary stuff. Me Mum used to tell me she wondered what HER Mum was doing sewing cloths in the same way, until she got her first period and it all became apparent. You treat them as you would towelling nappies; pre soak in a pail (if necessary) and then put through the hottest wash. They’re easy to make and cheap, better for the environment, and much kinder to your purse than expensive cloth pads, and definitely better than disposable ones.
It’s also worth noting that food banks really need sanitary products for people who menstruate, so making a pile of these to donate to food banks to give to someone who might need them (provided they have access to laundry facilities of course), would be helpful.
I, like a lot of other people, end up in so much pain each month that it’s not always possible to use internal methods of mopping this horror up, so these work for me.