Kids fabric choices: best fabrics for children
Kids fabric is an important consideration. Remember when you’re sewing: your child isn’t a ‘mini me’; you can’t clothe children in many fabrics you wear every day. In fact, you can cut the list by more than 50%, especially when it comes to sewing baby nursery wear.
They have different needs and their skin is more sensitive, too. So read this before you put any fabric on your list for sewing childrens fabric clothing, nursery fabric, toys and accessories.
The clothing fabric youn choose for sewing needs to withstand wear and tear, which can include crawling, playing rough and running around. The material also needs to be soft and delicate on their skin, as many children have skin allergies that flare up in the early years.
Choose breathable fabrics for sewing that are easy to wear in summer, and warm, cuddly fabrics that they can snuggle in when it’s cold outside.
- Choose natural fabric: Organic, natural fabrics are the best for children. We’re talking about childrens cotton, linen and some knit/wool fabrics. These are the fabrics you should use for childrens clothing, blankets, bed or cot linen and towels.
- Buy quality fabric: Of course it’s tempting to choose quantity over quality, as your children grow so quickly. But remember, you can’t compare the 2: your child’s skin is delicate, so, when you shop, choose natural, quality fabrics for your shopping cart.
- Think about comfort: Before you buy at a shop, make sure the material is soft, hard wearing but also gentle on the skin – and it should be easy to wash and quick-drying, too.
- Find out all the details: Sure, cotton thread is a great fabric children will love. But, as there are so many different types of cotton fabric UK, you need to find out which ones are the best.
Ask yourself the following questions
Is the fabric breathable? Comfortable? Sustainable? Did manufacturers create the fabric from natural fibres? Those are just some of the questions you should be asking. And here are a few more important ones about material your children will enjoy…
· Is the fabric suitable for the item you're making for kids?
Remember: material is not only used for childrens clothes, it’s also used to make bed linen, blankets, many toys and accessories. Fabrics have certifications that indicate whether they are safe for children, are free of harmful dyes and chemicals, bleach and other allergens.
For instance, cotton is one of the safest fabrics for children if it has the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 class 1 certificate.
This certifies that the material is safe to use on childrens’ skin, even if the child is under the age of 3. It’s also important to check when you view the textile label, that it’s flame retardant before you add it to your basket.
· Is the material natural or synthetic?
These days, thanks to modern technology, you can use a blend of natural and synthetic fabrics. For instance, we make fleece material from polyester, but the fabric is ideal for children over the age of 3 or 4, especially if we combine the material with cotton to make it soft and warm.
· Is the textile durable?
Children mess a lot, spill food and drink on their clothing, fabric toys and accessories. So the fabric you choose for sewing needs to be able to withstand washing as well as wear and tear.
Remember: wash material items for children before you wear
No matter whether you’re buying fabric products or clothing, make sure to wash the item first before your child wears it. If they used any chemicals in the manufacture of the garment that are evident on the fabric, you should get rid of as many of these first.
The 8 best fabrics to use for little ones
Many people choose cotton fabric for dressmaking children’s clothes and accessories as the textile is so soft, lightweight and washing is a cinch.
This dressmaking textile is also breathable, hard wearing and dries fast, which is a blessing as you land up having to change your child’s clothes often, due to spills and energetic play.
If you have a choice, select organic fabric to your stock, as the fibre is grown without pesticides or chemicals. There are numerous organic fabrics to choose from, in different weights depending on what you want to make out of the fabric.
Popular cotton choices including cotton poplin
Whether it’s cotton poplin, gingham, voile or durable denim fabric, you’ll find the right textile for your needs.
Various blends include other fibres as well, like broadcloth, or polycotton fabric. This type of material is also perfect for some child products.
Muslin is another popular 100% cotton material, which comes in various weights. We often use it for babies’ accessories like swaddling blankets and bibs.
Batiste is an extremely hard-wearing soft open-weave fabric. It’s also comfortable and light, perfect for nightwear and dresses.
If you wish to adorn these fabrics, select options like bias binding, eyelet material or broderie anglaise for dresses and nightwear, or use those textile choices as children decor.
Sure, linen fabric creases, but don’t overlook this natural fabric. It’s ideal for a range of children fabric products, including clothing.
While cotton fabric is breathable, linen is even more so. It also helps absorbs moisture and regulates the child’s temperature, making it a perfect textile choice for summer wear. If manufacturers blend this textile with flax, it will also protect children from the sun.
Lightweight handkerchief linen textile is particularly breathable. It’s soft, and although it does wrinkle, we often use it for christening gowns because it’s such a light fabric. Read all about How to print on linen fabrics for some inspiration.
Material made from this natural fibre is the perfect choice when you shop for brand childrens clothes: the fabric is light, stain-resistant, sustainable, versatile and very comfortable.
Best of all, wool textile allows air to flow and draw moisture from the skin, so children stay dry and never feel sweaty or damp. Wool fabric doesn’t lose its shape either, and doesn’t crease or tear.
Merino wool and cashmere are popular wool fabrics for little ones, because of their softness, warmth and durability. Cashmere blankets are truly luxurious and Merino woollen knits, blankets, hats and gloves are soft and sumptuous.
Although bamboo is a natural fibre, organically manufactured from the wood pulp of the bamboo pulp, its textile production involves chemicals to transform the pulp into a soft fabric. Think about this when you shop or before you put it on your fabric wishlist.
Despite the fabric being non-allergenic, many children with eczema are allergic to bamboo material because of the chemicals involved in the manufacturing process.
If your kid can wear bamboo fabric, you’ll find it’s very soft and breathable. The textile regulates temperature, so children can wear it without getting too hot. It’s also durable, mould-resistant and even hypo-allergenic.
Don’t confuse merino wool fleece with fleece fabric: they are 2 completely different fabrics. We often use fleece material as an alternative to wool. We make this synthetic knit fabric from polyester. It's very soft and doesn’t fray.
Like wool, the fabric has moisture-wicking properties and insulates the body, so it’s very warm, and is ideal for winter clothing and accessories.
Fleece material is a lot easier to wash and care for than wool fabric: you can wash it in the machine and the fabric dries quickly. It’s ideal for fabrics UK for a child’s jackets and blankets, but don’t use this fabric on babies, as it doesn’t breathe and your little one could overheat.
These dressmaking fabrics set themselves apart because they are stretchy, not woven. When you print on them, the colours and designs are vibrant. You can also make them out of different fibres. For instance, we make cotton T-shirts from knit fabrics.
Make sure to put these fabrics on your list, as they are ideal for any children’s fabrics UK for clothes and accessories.
Different types of knits
Today there are various different types of knits, including the most popular fabric, knit, a textile which is made out of a variety of fibres, including wool, silk and cotton, or a blend of cotton and polyester fabric.
If it’s a blend, you’ll find the textile regulates temperature (ie it won’t be too hot to wear in summer) and is very breathable.
Jersey fabric made from cotton is medium-weight, has a 4-way stretch. T-shirt jersey fabric is not as soft as the knit which is made of rayon or silk.
This fabric withstands wear and tear, is soft, comfortable and breathable. We commonly use it to make T-shirts, vests, undies, baby grows, and lots of child-friendly fabric accessories.
7. Waterproof material
Children need plenty of waterproof fabric products – for dressmaking as well as bedding, nappies, bibs, rain jackets, you name it.
We often make waterproof fabric garments and accessories by the metre and half metre. And when we do, we use Polyurethane Laminated Polyester or terry cloth fabric that has a vinyl backing. But whatever material you choose, make sure it’s a breathable land won’t make the child uncomfortable.
This is the one time when it’s best to choose a synthetic fabric that has waterproof characteristics. That’s why so many waterproof jackets for children and adults alike have synthetic outer fabric layers. This fabric protects us from rain, snow, wind and cold.
8. Fast-drying textiles
Many fabrics that dry quickly are synthetic, as these fabrics tend to dry the fastest. Children can put on numerous outfits in the span of a day, so you need fast-drying items. These textile products need to be easy to clean and dry quickly.
Of course, swimsuits for children are something you need to think about carefully. We’ve compiled a very comprehensive blog that offers The definitive guide to childrens swimsuits. Take a look right here before you choose fabric items for swimwear.
If you have a tumble dryer, you have a bigger choice of fabrics. The reason? You can dry the clothes fast with some technological assistance.
Polyester is a popular choice for children’s fabric items as it’s fast drying. Sure, natural material dries quickly as well, but it’s not as warm and not necessarily as durable as its synthetic fabric counterparts.
Don’t add these fabrics when you shop
We’ve mentioned the good fabrics to shop for. But there are a number of bad ones for space children use as well as children’s clothes and accessories which you shouldn’t include in their wardrobes. These include:
- Fake fur:This material sheds, so it’s best to avoid it as children can swallow the fibres. Check the quality of fake fur on toys, especially if the child is under the age of 3.
- Silk fabric:This delicate fabric will be ruined by childrens’ rough and tumble lifestyles.
- Vinyl: Because chemicals are used to make this plastic fabric, many children and babies are allergic to it. So it’s best to refrain from using this fabric for clothing and accessories
Sample maake’s best textile choices
Best childrens fabric online options – select these now:
Cotton textiles for your cart
- Organic Blossom Muslin Gauze: Lightweight 100% organic cotton double layered Muslin textile which is ideal for summer clothing and accessories, as it’s certified safe for children.
- It’s a light, airy very versatile fabric with a double layer. This makes the fabric super absorbent and perfect for mopping up after children. Colour prints vibrantly on the white base of this plain weave fabric.
- Single Cotton Elastane Jersey: Made of 90% Cotton and 10% Elastane fabric, this lightweight material has a 4-way stretch, which means the fabric stretches in every direction and springs back to shape easily.
The textile is soft to the touch and a popular choice for leggings, T-shirts and the little ones to wear. When you print on this fabric, colours may appear lighter and a bit muted.
- Stretch Lycra French Terry: This comfortable fabric is ideal for garments needing a bit of stretch, including sweatpants, sweaters, tops and hoodies. Made from 90% Cotton and 10% Elastane fabric, it has a soft pile print face.
Add this fleece fabric option
- Eco Fleece: A warm, versatile and very comfortable fabric made out of 100% Recycled Polyester (rPET). It’s certified safe for children and very soft, making it ideal for blankets. In fact, you can order ready-made blankets made from this cuddly fabric on maakeHome.
- Organic Jasmine Lycra Jersey: A soft, lightweight cotton fabric made out of Organic Cotton Lycra which is ideal for clothing for little ones, as well as T-shirts and leggings.
This smooth textured knitted fabric doesn’t fray and is certified safe for children. When you print on this fabric, colours may seem lighter. They look a bit more muted than if you had printed on similar fabric made from polyester.
- Organic Jersey Interlock: This popular 100% GOTS Cotton interlock fabric has a 2-way stretch, so it’s not as stretchy as other similar fabrics. But it’s still ideal for clothes and accessories for young and old, as its comfortable and has a smooth texture.
- Organic Lily Jersey: A blend of 93% GOTS cotton and 7% Elastane fabric, this lightweight material is known for its 4-way stretch, which allows the fabric to pull in every direction and then stretch right back again.
The smooth textured fabric is soft to the touch and often used to make children’s clothes, T-shirts and leggings.
More knit choices
- Poppy Lycra Jersey: Combining 89% cotton and 11% Elastane fabric, this lightweight cotton material is soft, smooth-textured, simple for sewing and doesn’t fray easily. An excellent choice of clothes, T-shirts and leggings for any age.
- Single Cotton Elastane Jersey: This 90% Cotton, 10% Elastane fabric is lightweight with the fabric’s iconic 4-way stretch. The lightest of all our cotton jersey fabrics, it’s ideal for sewing clothing, T-shirts and leggings.
- Stretch jersey: A mediumweight combination of Polyester and Elastane fabric with a signature 4-way stretch, this smooth knitted fabric washes really well. The fabric is also certified safe for children and popular for childrens garments, leggings and T-shirts. Colours print vibrantly on its white polyester fabric base.
Waterproof or water-repellent material for your stock
- Neraki Waterproof Canvas FR Made from 100% Polyester, this flame-resistant fabric has a water-repellent finish. The fabric feels like soft canvas. It's perfect for sewing children’s fabric play mats, aprons, bean bags and pets accessories because it’s a very hard wearing fabric, too.
You can wipe the fabric clean, which is big plus if you have little ones, and it’s tear-resistant, another bonus. Printing on the optic white fabric base produces vibrant colours.
Tentex (Water Repellent):A mediumweight 100% Polyester fabric that is water-repellent. We often use the fabric to make playmats, outdoor cushions and aprons.
Add this fast-drying fabric
Eco Sprint Knit (rPET) Made from a blend of Recycled Polyester (rPET) fabric and Elastane, this fabric is ideal for clothes for young and old, especially sweatshirts, hoodies and dresses. The fabric is popular because it dries very quickly after washing.
Printing with maake
We use no water in our polyester fabric printing process. All the inks we use to print with meet Oeko-tex requirements and pass EN71-3 certification.
We print these natural fabrics or fabric blends in one of the most eco-friendly ways possible. And we use Digital Pigment inks to print with.
At maake, we use a printing process for these fabrics that requires no water. It also uses around 95% less energy than traditional screen printing on fabric.
Let's get creative
Once you’ve created your fabric design, maake’s process is easy:
- Select the file and upload…
- Confirm copyright is yours
- Your fabric design is ready to upload and be printed on fabric.
Choosing one of our designs instead?
How to use our innovative Colour Atlas for material
Get creative and order your Colour Atlas now before you start printing on fabric!