This post has developed as a result of comments on a post I published a few days ago. It is about the history of women’s sanitary wear and how we are now in a new trend.
I know someone who makes sanitary pads for modern women at home. She is paid by the pad. The pads are sent all over the world by her employer. The interesting fact is that this sanitary wear harks back to the past – the long past, when women washed their pads during menstruation. Thousands of women are doing it again for all sorts of reasons.
After mosses, leaves and various other helpful aids, rags were used here in the West and washed regularly which was an improvement on the old methods. Women made pads at home with loops that could be fitted on a belt round the waist. Eventually, with the beginning of manufacturing, such things were made by mass production at the end of the 19th century. But they were expensive and ordinary women could not afford them
To those who could afford disposable pads to fit to the belts, no longer were the pads laundered, but now, simply thrown away or burned.
Pads were made from all sorts of materials. Described here.
By the seventies, women tossed away their belts and used self adhesive pads – and tampons. And threw them down the loo. And they were still expensive.
Currently women can choose from a huge selection of styles offered to them commercially. Sanitary wear is a big money spinner. A gold-mine in fact. Modern sanitary wear is still expensive – expensive and TAXED!
So is it any wonder that women are finding their own way out of the grip they find themselves in?
Washable menstrual pads do not need to be disposed of after use and therefore offer a more economical alternative for women. Also called “mama cloth”, reusable menstrual pads can be found on a number of websites, or are made at home (instructions are available online). They have become a popular alternative and are gaining in popularity among women, because they are allergen and perfume-free, and can be more comfortable for women who suffer from irritations from using disposable pads.
So whether you make them yourself, or buy them they are CHEAPER, much more decorative than the boring old mass produced stuff – and greener.