My Instant Lanolin Story (so far)


Being a woollly WAHM, I got really fed up with the mess and faff and waste involved each time I finished knitting a wool nappy cover for somebody. So I decided to experiment and see whether, if I made up a weekly batch of emulsified lanolin, it would keep and work OK from day to day. I found it did, and itwas soooo much easier than messing around emulsifying lanolin for each individual item.

I wondered if I made it thicker (to reduce storage space) and in larger quantities, just how long it would keep.So I made a fairly thick batch, and kept it in the fridge, just taking a tiny bit to lanolise, each time I finished a project. It kept perfectly until it was all used up, and what was even better was that, by fluke, this batch was just the right concentration - lanolised but not too sticky. So I made another even thicker badge, and this time kept it out of the fridge. Ditto - no problems.

After that I started in earnest to experiment with specific recipes, to see if I could find a consistently good recipe. After many documented attempts I finally perfected a recipe. This was the right consistency, and I could use a measured dose (I started with a small syringe left over from a pet medicine!) in a measured amount of water, which came out right every time - 1ml lanolin to 1lt warm water per 100gm wool.

Then I had one of thse brainwave moments. Why not see if any other wool nappy cover users would like to try it, so I could evaluate whether this might actually be worth selling.
Now I needed a storage/distribution solution. My first idea was tiny jars with a measuring syringe to measure the 1ml dose. This worked fine, and I asked some of my customers to try it out, and see if they liked it. Thus was an instant smash hit with them, without exception. So I decided to go full swing into selling this stuff to anyone who wanted it.

The small jars I had been using were not ideal, as they were the wrong size for sending by post - who was gong to pay £2.80 for a parcel containing just a small amount of lanolin, however easy it was to use. Also, measuring by sringe every time was a mess I wanted to avoid. So I started experimenting with 100ml squirty bottles, with a syringe for the first few uses (so peope could see how much they needed) but once they got the hang of how much to use, they could just squirt direct from the bottle. Great! It worked.

Now onto getting the product out to people further away from home ie. shipping. The bottles have 2 problems. One is that actually 100ml is a lot of lanolin, and some people wouldn't actually need that much, however long it kept. The second was that 100ml bottle had to be posted as a parcel, which increased postage costs. Another Brainwave moment now - sachets, which would pack as a small letter, and additionally give a measured dose each time.

Firstly I needed to do some research on how much sachets would cost to produce. It turned out that commercial sachets would be way too expensive to produce in the small quantities which I would need. But maybe I could make my own. So I started experimenting again. After various attempts with my kitchen food vacuum sealer, I finally came up with some sachets which I could fill wih the aid of a measuring syringe, were strong enough to go through the post, and slim enough to post as a letter. I made a template, made soe sachets, filled them, put them in the shop, and also posted some on ebay. They started to sell, and I was getting stunning feedback for them as well.

I have been making and filling these for quite a while now, and they have been an outstanding hit with those who have bought them, with sales increasing all the time. Feedback was nothing short of stunning, and I even have some other woolly wahms using this themselves now, and sending sachets out with their own wool items.
However, the film I was using to make the sachets was expensive, making them was also very time consuming and filling then was messy. So now I have finally invested in a professional heat sealer. This has made sealing and making the sachets not only quicker, but has also improved the seal, and made filling the sachets a great deal less messy than it was with the home vacuum sealer (which as ften as not allowed soe of the lanolin to leak out whie I was sealing the filled sachets). With this equipment I can now make strips of sachets easier to separated from each other, for individual use, and also no leaks when I seal the sachets. I have also tested some new film options, and after various prototypes, have come up with a much better and also much cheaper option for what to make the sachets out of, which means I have been able to reduce the price of the sachets.
My new sachets are now available. Addditionally I have found some small tubes which are slm enough to post as a large letter, so have now added the option of 15ml tubes, as well as 100ml bottles and of course the sachets.

So that's the story so far.

Wool Nappy Covers - the basics

Permanent Link by Little Pants on Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:52 pm

So many people have asked me how wool can possibly make an efficient nappy cover, that I thought it was time to start a blog. So here goes.

How does wool work as a nappy cover?

I'll start with an explanation. Wool is absorbent, but absorbs very slowly. Because of the body heat of your baby, and the warmth of the wool, it also allows moisture to evaporate, and this happens at the same rate as it absorbs, especially if the...

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Last edited by Little Pants on Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

About time I started a Blog!

Permanent Link by Little Pants on Fri May 28, 2010 2:27 pm

I think it's high time I put aside some time to start a blog! I'm not going right back to the beginning, so will start with my newest fanaticism of knitting wool nappy covers! I thought I didn't have an ounce of creativity in me until I started, by working out and writing a shorties pattern. This worked so well, that I started adapting and imroving it, and now have done lots of longies, shorties, skirties, soakers, pantaloons, bloomers, and all sorts.

Currently just finishing off a group of 4 soakers...

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