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15 types of suitable fabric for baby and kids clothes

Whether you're making clothes for your child or making them as a gift, handmade items are undoubtedly unique. However, before you embark on your next sewing project, you must pay attention to the fabric that you choose. A child's skin is very sensitive, so you want the fabric that you choose to be soft and non-irritating. It is also important for the fabric to be breathable, as well as sturdy enough to withstand regular washing and general wear and tear. This article details different types of fabric that are deemed suitable for baby and kids' clothes.

1. Muslin

Muslin is a cotton fabric that comes in several different weights ranging from paper-thin to somewhat dense. Thin muslin is ideal for fashioning children's clothes as it is breathable and feels gentle on the skin. Muslin is commonly used to make burp cloths, cloth diaper covers, and swaddle cloths. This fabric is also suitable for lining clothes as well as for making petticoats.

2. Lawn cotton

This is 100% cotton fabric that is characterized by its high thread count and soft feel. These qualities make it suitable for kids' clothes, especially baby garments – it is commonly used to make christening gowns. Another noteworthy quality of this fabric is the lightweight nature that allows it to dry quite fast.

3. Batiste

Batiste is a cotton open weave fabric that has a very soft feel to it. Unlike lawn fabric, it is opaque. It is much more durable than other types of cotton fabric, plus it is very comfortable for children to wear as it feels soft even on sensitive skin. The lightweight quality of this fabric also makes it a superb choice for making clothes that are to be worn in the summer.

4. Voile

This is a semi-sheer fabric that has an almost gauze-like quality to it. It shares several similarities with lawn cotton, but it is generally thinner, more transparent, and somewhat crisp. Voile is also free-flowing, which makes it suitable for making cute little dresses for your little one.

5. Bamboo rayon

Bamboo rayon is an ultra-soft yet durable fabric that is derived from bamboo plants. This fabric is believed to have non-allergenic properties, which makes it a fitting choice for eco-conscious parents. It is also great for sensitive skin, plus it is thermal-regulating, which means that it will readily adjust to the body temperature of your child, so you don’t have to worry about the risk of overheating. This quality makes bamboo rayon a great choice for layering.

6. Wool

This natural fabric has several advantages, but it requires a lot of care and attention to maintain. Wool is great for making kids' clothes as it is effective at retaining heat. Some woolen fibers may cause discomfort due to their texture – to avoid this, pay close attention to the composition of the wool. For instance, when wool is combined with acryl it becomes soft to touch.

7. Fleece 

Choose a light fleece fabric to make your child's winter clothes. This fabric is popular for its moisture-wicking properties as well as its ability to keep the body warm. Unlike wool, fleece is quite easy to maintain as you can simply toss it in the machine for a wash, plus it dries fast. You can use this fabric to make hats and scarves for your child to wear in winter.

8. Handkerchief linen

This is semi-sheer linen that has slubs on its surface that give it a slight texture. Because it is linen, you can expect the clothes that you make to have the elegance of linen, but with a soft texture. Because it is lightweight, it is suitable for sewing dresses with pleats, gathers, and smocking without the bulk.

9. Minky/minkee

This is a soft polyester knit fabric that has a brushed pile which gives it a superb plush hand. This fabric is ideal for making soft plush toys and coy blankets. It is worth noting that this fabric is not as breathable as natural fabrics, so it is not suitable for making summer clothes.

10. Jersey knit fabric

Jersey knit fabric is commonly used to make baby and kids’ clothes, and with good reason – it is soft and breathable. This fabric is also stretchy, which allows it to accommodate constant body movements as well as growth spurts.

11. Microfiber fabric

This is a newer type of fabric that is non-allergenic and very soft. If your little ones have hyper-sensitive skin, consider going for this fabric.

12. Broadcloth

Broadcloth is a smooth and lightweight fabric that can either be cotton blend or cotton. Go for cotton if you plan to make clothes for your baby. Cotton broadcloth is renowned for its fine ribbed texture and lustrous surface. This fabric is great for making dresses, gowns, and tops.

13. Eyelet cotton/ broderie anglaise fabric

Eyelet cotton and broderie anglaise fabric feature embroidery on their surfaces, which makes them great for making kids’ nightgowns and dresses. They can be used to make the clothes themselves, or as accents or trims.

14. Gauze

This is a cotton muslin fabric that is light, airy, and breathable with a slightly wrinkled appearance. Single gauze is one layer of this fabric, whereas double gauze features two layers of the fabric tacked together at regular intervals. Japanese double gauze is known for its opacity and an ultra-soft feel. The quality of this fabric can vary due to printing, dyeing, and maker, so ensure to do your research before purchasing.

15. Waterproof fabrics

If you are looking for fabric to make winter coats, cloth diapers, washable bed pads, diaper covers, bibs, nursing pads, and training pants, you will want to go for waterproof fabric. Polyurethane laminated polyester is a great place to start, especially for diaper covers and cloth diapers. This jacket can serve as an inspiration for the type of fabric to use to make a waterproof coat for your little one.

Final thoughts

It might be tempting to go for flashy fabrics such as sequin knits and synthetic lace, but before you make a purchase, think about your child's needs. Keep in mind that your little one has delicate skin, and dazzling others with a dress made from pretty fabric is none of their concern. Always pick a fabric that will allow your kid to feel comfortable.

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