How to soften diapers?

Have used diapers for cleaning for many years, found out how great they were when my sons quit having to nuse them and I had them "left over". Have given them to the new moms in my family to use as wipes and burp cloths and such due to their absorbency and quick drying. However this past month I bought my usual Gerbera birdseye diapers at Walmart. They were not absorbent, actually non absorbent. I was surprised to say the very least. Have been washed over and over and are still not absorbent. Does anyone know how to remedy this? Has anyone else had this happen? Are there other brands out there besides Gerber? I know cloth diapers are not used much anymore. Thanks, actually had a liquid bead up on one!

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