Sunday, 25 October 2015

Precious Stars Cloth Pad Review

Precious stars is a business run by Bree Farmer, a young girl who has been using RUMPs (reusable menstrual products) since she was 15. Bree has her own YouTube channel with informative videos on how to use and look after both cloth pads and menstrual cups. If you are having trouble with your cup, or wondering about different cloth pad toppings, Bree is your woman. She really is a brilliant source of info on all things cloth pad and menstrual cup! On the Precious stars website Bree sells a range of budget cloth pads and wet bags, along with a few brands of menstrual cup and cup accessories. As Bree is such a connoisseur of cloth pads I was really excited to try her own brand of pads.

When I first decided to try cloth pads, I purchased 4 pads and a liner from the site and they arrived 2 days later. I was really impressed at how fast these came, they are made in a factory in China and sent to Bree prior to ordering so there is no waiting around for them to be made. Bree sells two styles of pads and liners, her regular range and a curves range.

'Regular' range

For the 'regular' range, there are day pads (10" long) and overnight/ postpartum pads (11.5" long). The pads are bamboo charcoal topped, with a core of microfiber terry, and either a layer of laminated minky, or a PUL backing. These pads are a bit unusual in the sense that, the pattern side goes against your underwear, as opposed to your skin like usual cloth pads. The liners of this range are 7" long and topped with bamboo terry and have the same core and backing options as the pads, but are obviously less absorbent. In the regular range, both the pads and liners come with a selection cute patterns on the back of pad/liner.

 The bamboo charcoal topping (seen on the day pad to the right above) is a wicking fabric, meaning that it wicks moisture away from your skin and into the core of the pad. This is a great topper for if you have a heavy flow, you stay super comfortable and avoid that horrid 'sitting in a puddle' sensation we know all too well. The price of these pads are very affordable, being priced at £3 for a liner, £3.75 for a day pad (10") and £4 for a overnight/postpartum pad (11.5"). One of the things I love about these pads and liners is that they are really narrow when snapped up. The pads and liners all have two snap settings, so you can choose if you want a narrower fitting pad or a wider fitting pad, The liners are 3" wide when snapped up on the first snap, and 2.5" wide when snapped up on the second. The pads are 2.75" when snapped on the first snap, and 2.5" when snapped on the second. This makes them great for petite women, or women who wear underwear that have a particularly narrow gusset,

A liner and a day pad on the narrowest snap setting
'Curve' style

The 'curves' range is a bit different from the 'regular' range, they are a more curved shape and have a different top fabric, All of these pads have a topper of bamboo/cotton mix fleece, a microfiber terry core and a PUL backing. The PUL backing comes in a range of colours but no patterns, and the bamboo/cotton mix fleece is white on all the pads. I bought an overnight pad in this style, which is 13" long and is longer in the back. The day pads are 10" long and are also slightly longer in the back.

I thought that I would like this pad as I tend to need more back coverage, especially at night, however it has become one of my least favorites. The topping fabric of this is strange, when I first received the pad is was nice and soft, but after two washes it has lost its softness and is slightly bumpy. Also, I could not show a picture of the other side because it stains horribly. I used this pad once and I cannot, for the life of me, get the stain out. I have tried my usual stain remover and it lightened slightly, but is still really visible. I also found that the area I stain treated is now rougher than the rest of the pad, This makes wonder how long this particular pad will last, Bree says on her website that these pads can last for several years but if this pad is already showing such wear I doubt it would last. I also found that after 2 washes, the cotton topper has shrank slightly and left the PUL backing slightly baggy, as you can see in the above photo,

Overall is it a mixed bag with these pads, I really love the 'regular' style pads, however I have had some problems, I have one PUL backed pad in the 'regular' style and one in the 'curved' style and have had the same problems with both. Firstly, the PUL is smooth, and so these pads slip around in your underwear, which isn't ideal. I found myself getting frustrated with these when I go to the bathroom as, when pull down your trousers, the pad flips upside down and hangs by the snaps. The second issue I had with these is, they leak. The Precious stars label seems to be stitched through the waterproof layer, on two occasions I have leaked all around the label, and nowhere else. This is a frustrating flaw with the pads, as it makes the waterproof layer pretty useless.

To wear these pads you would just have to hope that you didn't bleed in the area of the label and make sure you were careful not to saturate the pad very much. When this occurred the second time, I contacted Bree through her website, she replied after with some suggestions that I could try to 'seal' the PUL layer. She suggested washing the pads on a hot wash and also ironing the back of the labels, but neither of these things helped. After a few emails back and forth Bree was nice enough to refund me for the pads. If she fixed this problem, the 'regular' pads would all be a great budget option, but for now I'm not sure that I'd recommend these. Personally I really disliked the 'curve' style, the topper develops an unpleasant texture after a few washes and  they are impossible to get stains out of. I'd be interested to know if anyone else had any issues with these pads, if you have any experience with these leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of them.

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  1. I found these exact pads on Aliexpress and Alibaba, but without the labels and by far cheaper! I live in the caribbean, so buying from her is way too expensive(especially because pounds are more expensive than euros!!!). Even buying from etsy is expensive, a starter pack of 3 pads for $30 + 8 of shipping!! I'm looking forward to buy these in through Aliexpress the future and see how they go.

  2. I thought the same thing when I saw the label stitched directly onto the pul. Sealing may be possible if you put it in a dryer. I haven't tried these pads and don't think I will knowing that they are basically Chinese cheapies. I also don't feel they are particularly cheap for what they are. While I have watched a number of brees you tube videos and enjoyed them I was really disappointed to find out that she now just imports these pads you can get anywhere on ebay. She does so much to inform others about the value of rumps but if people buy these type of pads she is probable endorsing something that may give cap a bad name. I understand that she started out making her own but because of her health and popularity on the net couldn't keep up with demand and outsourced. As I said this is a real pity because hand made pads are so beautiful. It's a pity she couldn't sub out her work to say instead.