When you first get your prefolds, they will be large and somewhat thin, unless you have bought them used. Brand new prefolds need to be "prepped" before you can use them. They need to be pilled up, to give them absorbency and to make them shrink to the proper size. This is easy to do; you simply use your washing machine!
If you bought bleached, or "white" prefolds, you don't need to wash them as many times as if you bought unbleached. This is because the unbleached prefolds still have some of the natural oils in the fabric that need to be washed away, otherwise the oils will interfere with the absorbency of the diaper. Bleached diapers should be washed 5-7 times before using, and ubleached should be washed around 9.
Some websites advise drying the diapers after every wash, because the dryer helps pil and shrink the fabric. However I have found this to be a bit excessive, so I wash three times with hot water, then dry, I repeat this until I have reached the proper number of washings. So unbleached prefolds that should be washed around 9 times, get dried a total of three times.I use just a tiny bit of detergent with each wash.
I know some people wash their prefolds many more times than this when prepping. When I first start using a batch of prefolds, I simply change the baby's diaper more frequently. As I use the diapers longer, the more they get washed and the more absorbent they become.
The video for today is how to use and "angel wings" fold. This is the fold that I use with almost every change, and have since Jonah came home from the hospital. I have found it to be the most convenient and comprehensible. Even my husband Daryl seems to prefer putting diapers on this way! I have noticed that it seems to be the most used diaper fold out there.