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Athletic Wicking Jersey (AWJ) vs. Microsuede

Athletic Wicking Jersey (AWJ) vs. Microsuede

Athletic Wicking Jersey (AWJ) vs. Microsuede

Dive into the world of pocket diapers and explore the differences between microsuede and athletic wicking jersey (AWJ) lining fabrics. While both options offer functionality and absorbency, this blog post highlights the unique features of each type

When you’re shopping for pocket diapers, there are two main lining types: microsuede and athletic wicking jersey (AWJ). Now, the first question is: Does the lining fabric really matter? Though the lining fabric won’t help or hinder the absorbency or functionality of your diapers, there are some features of each type that are good to know before you decide which lining is best for you. 

So, today, we’re discussing the pros and cons of each fabric type to help you decide how to build your stash! By the end of the post, you should know exactly what lining will be the most functional for you and your little wildlings. Let’s go: 

What is AWJ?

AWJ stands for athletic wicking jersey. This fabric is 100% polyester and comes in a dimpled mesh that’s perfect for diapers and athletic apparel. (Hence the name). It works well for these activities because it pulls moisture away from the skin, and it has some good stretch for mobility. 


  • Cool: AWJ is lightweight and super breathable. That combined with the moisture-wicking properties means it’s a great fabric to keep your baby cool and comfortable. If your little wildling runs hot or you live in a warm climate, AWJ is definitely the way to go. 
  • Easy to Spray/Swish: When discussing cloth diapers, we’ve gotta talk about poop. When your baby poops in an AWJ diaper, the slick fabric will let that gunk will slide right off into the toilet! 
  • Easy on the Skin: The cause of a lot of diaper rash is heat and wetness. Since AWJ is cooler and has natural stay-dry properties, you may find your child has fewer diaper rash problems with an AWJ diaper. If all that wasn’t enough, AWJ is also hypoallergenic! 
  • No Pilling: A good wash routine requires friction. Friction means pilling for microsuede and other types of diaper lining. This pilling doesn’t reduce the diaper’s effectiveness, but all those little balls of fabric can get stuck in your little wildling’s crevices and even wind around their parts causing discomfort. With AWJ, you don’t have to worry about this.
  • Great Fit: AWJ is soft and stretchy. It creates a comfortable but snug fit every time. 


  • Stains Easily: Though poop slides right off AWJ diapers, the fabric does tend to stain more easily. This, of course, doesn’t alter the effectiveness of the diaper at all, but some find it unsightly. Luckily, you can put the diaper in the sun for a couple hours and pull those poop stains right out.
  • Synthetic Fibers: Some moms are turned off at the idea of a synthetic fiber and opt for all-natural fabrics like cotton and hemp. Polyester is a synthetic fiber!
Pros and cons list of AWJ lining

    What is Microsuede? 

    Microsuede is another popular fabric option for cloth diapers. The fabric is soft and smooth, similar to genuine suede. It’s not, however, genuine suede, but another 100% polyester blend. It’s used in diapers as well as upholstery because it’s a durable, inexpensive, and stain-resistant alternative to standard suede. 


    • Warm: Microsuede is warm and cozy. The fabric is like a thin blanket wrapped around your little wildling. It definitely keeps baby warm! Moms who live in cold climates may like the added warmth microsuede provides. (But, hey, we’re in Alaska, so.) 
    • Easy on the Skin: Assuming your little wildling isn’t prone to heat rash, microsuede is good for your baby’s skin. It has some stay-dry properties (not as much as AWJ) and the soft fabric doesn’t irritate the skin. Though it’s somewhat stay-dry, microsuede doesn’t pull too much moisture out like microfiber does. 
    • Stain Resistant: Microsuede is extremely resistant to stains. You won’t often see your poopy diapers come out with visible discoloration when you use microsuede. 


    • Hot: This is both a pro and a con. Some parents will prefer the warm and cozy properties of microsuede, but others will find their kiddos easily overheating with the dense fabric. If your little wildling tends to run hot, microsuede could be very uncomfortable. Not only could microsuede lead to discomfort, but it could also cause rashes! 
    • Difficult to Spray/Swish: Poop initially likes to stick to microsuede. Dunking and swishing or spraying in the bathroom will take you a little more time, but luckily once it’s out, you don’t have to worry much about stains! 
    • Prone to Pilling: Microsuede pills a lot. These little pills of fabric end up all over your baby’s skin. We’ve even found that sometimes the little threads wind around your little wildling’s sensitive parts. Not fun! 
    • Synthetic Fibers: As we mentioned, some moms prefer to have no synthetic fibers in their diaper stash. Polyester is really effective, but it’s not a natural fabric like cotton or hemp. 

    Pros and cons list of microsuede lining

    Athletic Wicking Jersey (AWJ) vs. Microsuede

    So, what’s the verdict? Which is better: AWJ or microsuede? Of course, the choice is yours, but we’ve found that the parents time and time again prefer athletic wicking jersey.

    Pocket diapers made with AWJ are durable, breathable, effective, and super easy to clean. They’re easy on the skin too, keeping your baby cool and comfortable all the time. 

    Child in AWJ cloth diaper with a badge that shows it's the best fabric option.

    The best fabric for pocket cloth diapers is definitely athletic wicking jersey! 

    Are you ready to jump in and buy some AWJ pocket diapers? If so, browse our huge selection of pocket diapers all equipped with the highest quality AWJ fabric.

    The athletic wicking jersey lining, stretchy waterproof PUL, thick tummy panel, large back opening for liners, gentle elastic, adjustable fit, and CPSC safety compliance makes Alaskan Wildings diapers the perfect stash builder. They’ll fit great, feel great, and, of course, work great! Check out our shop here and be sure to let us know in the comments what you picked. 

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