This is a common question, and unfortunately there is no one way padmakers make their pads.
Firstly, “up”, “upper”, “top”, “topper” or “lining” is commonly meant to refer to the side of the pad that you will bleed on. The side that touches your skin.
The “backing” or “back” is commonly meant to refer to the side of the pad that goes against your underpants.
Some pad makers make their pads to have a printed top and a plain backing, some do theirs the other way around. Some padmakers use fabrics like minky and suedecloth as the pad toppers, some use it as backing. So you cannot tell which way up a pad goes just by looking at the type of fabric used (unless one side is exposed PUL, in which case that is obviously the back!). If in doubt, ask the padmaker!
Some pads (those without waterproofing) can be worn either side up, but it’s important to remember which way up a pad goes that does have waterproofing…. particularly if its a hidden PUL.
There are 2 guaranteed ways to tell which way up a pad goes however.
- If there are “Channel stitching” lines on top of the pad – that means that there is a stitching pattern that runs around the core of the pad on one side only – that side with the channel stitching is the top (skin-side) of the pad.
- If there is a brand label on the pad, that label is mostly likely sewn to the back (underpants side) of the pad (otherwise it would be scratchy)
Shows “channel stitching” on the top of the pad