Author Topic: Advice on making fleece liners  (Read 16295 times)

Offline Dianaj

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Advice on making fleece liners
« on: April 02, 2012, 07:10:18 PM »
So, I'm on a wait list to adopt some rats.  In the meantime I'd thought I'd enlist a talented sewing family member to sew some liners for my critter nation.
 I met a guinea pig breeder who said I should use 2 layers of fleece on each side, with 2 layers of a denim u-haul blanket on the inside to act as an absorbant layer.  I know nothing about sewing but I'm wondering if 2 layers of the u-haul blanket is overkill and may make it really hard to sew even with a really good sewing machine.

Since a rat makes considerably less pee then a guinea pig and Im only getting 2 rats does one absorbant layer sound like enough?

Thanks so much!

Offline Dianaj

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 07:34:04 PM »
Hmm.  Now I'm wondering if she said 2 layers of u- haul blankets so its heavy and they can't get under it.

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 07:41:08 PM »
Wow,  that would be one heck of a liner! lol Might be kind of tough to wash? As far as going under, if they want to, they willl, and will chew the doorways to do it. I've given up trying to stop them, and leave my liners open on the ends so they can - I find it keeps the chewing to a minimum.

I don't use fleece for liners anymore, but I do for hammocks, and I only use one layer of fleece and one layer of flannel or cotton sewn together, (and that would work fine for shelf liners as well). You can use some cotton quilt batting in between if you want extra absobancy, and that would make a very thick liner. For floor and shelf liners I use one layer of regular cotton or flannel sewn to a towel, and find I like it alot better for absorbancy and odor control.

Lots of folks here use lots of different methods to make their liners - I'm sure you'll have la ton of ideas pretty soon. Try a few different things and decide what works best for your cage and your crew. 

Offline Robinkwr

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 04:12:53 AM »
I make all of my own liners (as well as sell them) and the typical liner is a fleece bottom and a fleece top. I never liked these because it wasn't well for absorbing and I would have needed to change them about every 2 - 3 days for my 2 girls. So I switched to sewing my personal liners fleece/terry cloth/fleece. They work brilliantly. I love them. They are super absorbent because of the terry cloth (towel).

Offline Dianaj

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 07:39:06 AM »
Thanks.  I got the moving blankets today in the mail.  They're not as thick as I thought.  Its more like felt even though it says it's made out of recycled denim.  I going to make just enoughl iners to get though one week and then see If the rats chew them to pieces.  Then I'll be moving to cement mixing tub.

Thanks!!!!

Offline jonahsmom

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 09:10:53 AM »
My boys are chewers.  I used the uhaul blankets in some of my liners as well.  If they want to chew....they will chew right through those just as easily as one layer of fleece.  And since my boys chew, I just use the one layer of fleece.  If I'm going to be spending money on more liners more often than originally planned, I'm not going to spend more than I really need to just for them to destroy it!  I do change the fleece out often though.  They're pretty good about pottying in their litter box only.  4 of the 6 boys are neutered and the two that aren't neutered yet still mark a lot.  Once I get them neutered, I think the cage will stay even cleaner.  I spot clean every morning and every night, so that probably helps a lot with any smelly issues that I could have if I just let them wreck the cage for a week straight!  :D

Offline ceopet

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 12:13:43 PM »
Seconding cloth terry cloth fleece. I had some liners done witth that and while they weren't super soft they were pretty absorbant. Before i got thoose I sued fleece with a towel under and that worked well too. I have some liners with batting in them, and while they aren't super absorbant like the terry cloth they are still pretty good. I find my rats have loved chewing them though. I had one and I used it twice before there was a giant hole on the bottom of the pan liner. I have to find a way to patch it up. I refuse to throw it away only ofter two uses lol *IT's probably my favorite one I got them, It's got really cute dinos on it.

Offline Dianaj

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 12:56:21 PM »
Well, I took the fleece and moving blankets over to a local tailor to have them sew 2 liners to try and they gave me a long list of reasons why it was a bad idea in terms of sewing.  I explained it was for rats and that it didn't need to be perfect but they still wanted to charge me $25 a piece even though I had cut out all the panels myself.   I said "no thanks."  I think I'll just lay it all on top of the shelves and clip the fleece on. 

Offline Ratilda

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 01:00:42 PM »
Why is it a bad idea to sew them together?
Rats: Carl, Daryl, Walternate, Peter, Philip, Stan, Butters, Smudge
http://rittlesandbittles.blogspot.com/

Offline Dianaj

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2012, 05:12:39 PM »
She said it wouldnt look good and it would be uneven and the thread might pull their claws and it has to go on a special quilters sewing machine bla bla bla

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2012, 06:46:56 PM »
She said it wouldnt look good and it would be uneven and the thread might pull their claws and it has to go on a special quilters sewing machine bla bla bla

LOL!! Did you explain to her that it very likely would be EATEN and POOPED on? XD

Offline anaverageasian

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 08:57:05 PM »
I had been using fleece pillowcase type liners ever since I got my sewing machine a couple years ago.  I liked them way more than that paper bedding stuff I used last time I had rats.  it was just a pain having to constantly change and wash them.  also, I never could seem to get them to not stink even after washing, bleach, hot water, multiple washings, whatever.  I shudder at the thought of trying to wash the fleece/towel/fleece liners. 

recently, I realized I was making liners and throwing them away because they smell bad even after washing.  I stopped making them and just cut out sheets of fleece and use binder clips.  then I just toss the fleece out.  its wasteful, I know, but now my clean cage actually smells like a clean cage, minus whatever hammock got left in.  also, I hate the binder clips because the top half sits where they could try to chew it or pee on it a bunch, which they don't, but the opportunity is there.

so now I'm at a point where I'm trying to find a way to make an easily washable, affordable liner with my crude sewing skills, and no, two years has not shown significant improvement in my sewing ability.  which is why my plans for a viper pilot flightsuit have been put on hold.

Offline msommers

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 09:50:21 PM »
I sure can't afford to throw fleece away on a teacher's salary.  :puppy_dog_eyes: It took me a while to figure out what to do about the stink. I made my very ugly, but serviceable liners. I just cut cheap towels to fit the Martin's shelves. Cut some fleece the same, but about an inch bigger. Folded the fleece around the towel and sewed around the border. I made 4 sets in about 4 hours, but it took me about 3 of those to figure out how to use the sewing machine that has been in my closet for about 15 years.

Here's the thing. You know how when you first buy towels they don't absorb well? I think this is part of the reason that they didn't come clean at first. Soaking them over night in Eco laundry soap and a several glugs of vinegar takes care of it now.

My liners are seriously ugly, but they work.

Offline Dianaj

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 10:20:17 PM »
I can't sew and I have no sewing machine.
 I promised my partner they wouldnt smell and we've only had them for one day and its a noticeable pee smell.  I have a moving blanket under the fleece but it seems like the pee just sits on top of the fleece and doesn't wick even though I washed it a bunch of times.  I'm going to try a bath mat on the bottom next and a towel on the top shelf.  If that doesn't work then I have the cement mixing tub and I'm going to put aspen in it.  Whew!  Gotta get this figured out fast.  The rats have adjusted great an are happy and not stressed at all :)  They love the smell of pee.


Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2012, 10:28:40 AM »
I don't seem to have a problem getting the smell out of the liners - and even my husband, who complains about the slightest odor, doesn't notice the smell after they've been washed.

I just wash in hot water with Tide (the no dyes and no perfumes one in the white bottle) and pour a generous portion of vinegar in the wash. Then I do a second rinse cycle, again, adding vinegar to the water. Dry everything in the dryer and I can't smell the pee anymore. However, if I forget the second rinse, I do still smell the pee.

I think the vinegar in the wash really helps. Sometimes, if the cage starts to smell but I don't have time to do a complete liner and hammock change, I will spray the liners with vinegar to try to get by until the next day and that makes it a little better.

Also - using an air purifier in the room will help a lot with the pee smell. It also is beneficial to the rats with their sensitive respiratory systems - so that is a win-win situation.

Offline Dianaj

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 03:53:38 PM »
Thanks.  Thats really good info.  I use that Tide for my family anyway and it's good to know about the second rinse.  I cleaned this morning and put a bathmat on the first tray and towels on the shelf.I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I hope to only have to change the cage every 3 days or so.  I'm definitely getting the air purifier.

Thanks again for all the suggstions everyone!

Offline anaverageasian

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2012, 02:00:31 AM »
i did buy this little odor pouch thing for a few bucks.  it hangs outside the cage and does make a small difference

Offline Violet976

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Re: Advice on making fleece liners
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2012, 01:19:55 AM »
Wow, I'm surprised so many can get away with the terrycloth padded liners. I would love to use those, but I stick to sewing mine just fleece/fleece as Bug has figured out they can be chewed. I can't honestly stand the mess of chewed terrycloth, but I love the idea of it, and they are sooo plush.