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July 2010 Newsletter

Little Padded Seats
130-A 5th St.
West Des Moines, IA 50265
****************************** **************** July 8, 2010
It's About Time

Can you believe that it's been over two months since our last newsletter? Wow, time really flies when you're busy. And let me tell you, we've been busy! We were at 4 (or was it 5?) Expos/events, had 3 weekends of special events in Valley Junction and Farmers' Market are now every Thursday in Valley Junction. On top of that, things have really gotten busy in the store. If we didn't know better, we'd think that some of you had been talking to your friends about us. And we'd like to thank you for that. Keep it up.

A consequence of all this hustle & bustle is that we're hiring more help. Look for a couple new faces in the store beginning this week!

Oh, somewhere in there we managed to re-host our website. One consequence of this is that almost all of our page names were changes to some degree. What does that matter, you ask. Well old links pointing to anywhere in our website besides our main page (such as in previous newsletters, blogs, old Facebook posts, etc.) most likely won't work anymore. Sorry!!!

Product News
There has been a surprisingly large number of product changes since the last newsletter, even given the unusually long delay in getting this one out. Most of these changes were announced on our Facebook page when the happened.
  • We added a new reversible, quilted, multi-pocketed, locally made diaper bag. It's called The Stork and is made by a local crafter. (Look for a Meet the Crafter article coming soon!)
  • Pikkolo carrier is now available in two brown styles.
  • We now carry the Flip diapering system. We have Singles and Day Packs of both the Stay Dry and Organic variety as well as extra inserts.
  • We will no longer be able to order any bumGenius! or Flip products in the bold colors. The manufacturer has discontinued these colors.
  • We will no longer be carrying bumGenius! 3.0 One Size Pocket diapers. We have a small amount left but the manufacture has discontinued them.
  • Sometime after July 14th, we will receive our initial order of bumGenius! 4.0 One Size Pocket diapers! New sizing, new colors, new hook & loop or snap waist, easier access to leg elastic for refurbishment!
  • ERGObaby Sport Carrier is now available in Blue.
  • FuzziBunz has a new color palate. We're essentially out of the discontinued colors.
  • We've added a couple new colors and designs of Moby Wraps.
  • Added Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bags. Also added a print or two to entire Planet Wise product line.
  • Added Blueberry Diaper Laundry Bag.
  • New styles of Thermos products. Re-designed Foogo line (sippy, hard spout & straw bottles with interchangeable parts) is in.
  • Added thinkbaby & thinksportSPF 30+ Sunscreen.
  • thinksportbottles now available in Blue and Green!
  • New Thirsties Duo Insert now available. This is essentially a Duo Diaper insert with a fleece layer over the outer surface of microfiber.
  • Drybees Gone Natural bamboo fitteds have been discontinued by the manufacturer. We are out of Size 2, but still have a limited number of Size 1!
  • Buttons! We now carry some small buttons dealing with cloth diapering, month of due date, gender of your child(ren), etc.

With everything else going on, not all of these new products have made it to the website. Hopefully, they will be soon.

A Sticky Subject

Velcro is a brand name of fabric hook-and-loop fasteners. It consists of two layers: a "hook" side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny hooks, and a "loop" side, which is covered with even smaller and "hairier" loops. When the two sides are pressed together, the hooks catch in the loops and hold the pieces together.

The hook-and-loop fastener was invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral who lived in Commugny, Switzerland. The idea came to him one day after returning from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps. He took a close look at the burrs of burdock that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog's fur. He examined them under a microscope, and noted their hundreds of "hooks" that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing, animal fur, or hair. He saw the possibility of binding two materials reversibly in a simple fashion, if he could figure out how to duplicate the hooks and loops.

It took ten years to create a mechanized process to make a product that replicated this binding. He submitted his idea for patent in Switzerland in 1951 and the patent was granted in 1955. De Mestral named his invention "Velcro", which is a portmanteau of the two French words velours ('velvet') and crochet ('hook').

Partly due to its appearance, though, Velcro's integration into the textile industry took time. At the time, Velcro looked like it had been made from leftover bits of cheap fabric, and thus was not sewn into clothing or used widely when it debuted in the early 1960s. It was also viewed as impractical.

Velcro got its first break when it was used in the aerospace industry to help astronauts maneuver in and out of bulky space suits. It was next adopted by sikers and scuba divers who saw parallels in their equipment needs. After seeing astronauts storing food pouches on walls and stand upright a weightless environment with the aid of Velcro, children's clothing makers came onboard. Since Velcro only became widely used after NASA's adoption of it, NASA is popularly and improperly credited with its invention.

Velcro is strong enough that a two inch square piece is enough to support a 175 pound person. If Velcro is used to bond two rigid surfaces the bond is particularly strong because any force pulling the pieces apart is spread evenly across all hooks. When one or both of the pieces is flexible the pieces can be pulled apart with a peeling action that applies the force to relatively few hooks at a time.

Recently, Leonard Duffy created an improvement on Velcro that he calls a "slidingly engaging fastener". Instead of loops and hooks, it has interlocking islands with undercut edges that slide together. Duffy entered his invention and won the grand prize in NASA's "Create the Future" invention contest. The advantages of this 'new Velcro' are that it is more durable (it does not wear down over time), is eight times stronger, and makes no noise when fastened or unfastened. However it is thicker and bulkier, which limits some of its applications. Nor is it as flexible as Velcro.

Upcoming Classes

Cloth Diaper 101

Sunday, Jul 11, 10:00am

Monday, Jul 26, 5:30pm

Sunday, Aug 8, 10:00am

Monday, Aug 23, 5:30pm

Sunday, Sep 5, 10:00am

Monday, Sep 20, 5:30pm

Intro to Babywearing

These classes are now free!

Saturday, Jul 17, 9:15am

NOTE: Char Wade, our local babywearing expert & instructor, is pregnant and due in early August. So there will be more than the usual one month until the next class after this.

Cloth Diapers in Daycare Survey
Some time back we asked our Facebook fans to take a survey about their child's cloth diaper use in daycare. Several folks responded and we thank everyone who participated very much. Now we are asking our Newsletter recipients to participate in the same survey (even if your cloth diapered child does not go to a daycare). It is only 6 simple questions, it won't take much of your time and we would appreciate it very much. (This is the exact same survey as before and if you participated the first time the site won't let you take it again.)

Among other things, we hope to get from this a list of cloth diaper friendly day care providers, local and otherwise. This would be of great benefit to expecting parents who want to cloth diaper their child and foresee the need for daycare. We would then pass this information on to any one looking to put their cloth diapered child into daycare. We also would like (after getting permission from the care provider, of course) to list them into a publicly available, online, national listing of cloth diaper friendly child care facilities!

We're on Facebook

Follow us on Facebook. See when we add new items or restock what you're looking for. Read our random thoughts. Don't miss our Manic Monday specials - announced exclusively on Facebook!

We're quickly approaching 500 fans! We'll have to come up with a prize for this lucky fan!

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