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Organic Fabric for Baby Clothes: Cotton, Wool, & Bamboo

Organic Fabric for Baby Clothes

Handmade clothes are a unique creative gift.

For beginners, baby clothes are a great starting point. However, note that they’re not the same as sewing together fabric for adult wear.

Newborns’ skin is vulnerable to rashes, so your baby clothes must use safe and gentle fabrics.

So what’s the best solution? Please take every organic fabric material into consideration when choosing baby clothes!

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Organic Fabrics for Baby Clothing

Baby clothes now come in a variety of designs and fabrics. For most people, there’s nothing cuter than a baby rocking the latest styles!

But in truth, the children’s apparel boom is also one case of people learning a lot more about the previously unknown dangers of the textile industry.

As many cases of toxic materials in baby clothes reportedly cause developmental defects, parents worldwide began to seek organic baby clothes.

Organic Cotton

Main Characteristics

  • Soft with a bit of stretch
  • Smooth to the touch
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Highly absorbent
  • Warm

Cotton is usually our first option for fabric that is safe and comfortable.

Organic cotton is mostly SIMILAR to typical cotton. Their only difference is how the cotton was grown and processed.

You can trust that organic cotton is NOT LADEN with chemically treated dyes.

This means a child with skin issues can wear organic cotton fabric with NO PROBLEM, unlike those made with rough, synthetic fabrics.

Bamboo Clothes for Babies

Main Characteristics

  • Durable
  • Soft and Comfortable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Can block UV rays
  • Temperature-regulating

Cotton may be great and all, but don’t forget about other fabric types!

Bamboo fabric beats cotton in terms of resiliency, and it’s known to block harmful UV rays naturally. This material would be great for the outdoors and playtime!

Moreover, bamboo is breathable and absorbent, so your child can play all day feeling cool and sweat-free.

Merino Wool

Main Features

  • Thermal regulating
  • Breathable
  • Odor-cancelling
  • Super soft
  • Good Ultraviolet Protection Factor against UV rays
  • Fire-resistant

Merino wool comes from Merino sheep, hence its name. Since regular wool feels itchy for some, Merino wool solves the problem by having softer and thinner fibers.

However, this won’t affect its capacity to keep your little one warm. Merino wool will also regulate the body temperature of your child.

And when it gets TOO warm, Merino wool can transport sweat away from the body and cancel out odors too!

Muslin

Main Characteristics

  • Soft with some stretch
  • Smooth texture
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Highly absorbent
  • Lightweight

Organic muslin is a cotton fabric that’s been loosely woven. Depending on the form and weight, muslin can be soft and smooth or coarse and stiff.

So in terms of baby fabric, consider only high-grade muslin. It has more evenly threaded fibers, creating a smooth and even texture.

Its features are similar to cotton though muslin must be treated MORE gently when washing since the loose weave may come undone easily.

Other Types of Fabrics for Baby Clothes

Organic clothing can be a little more expensive, but it’s a small cost for your child’s health. Though if you find them hard to find or too costly, check out these options for synthetic fabrics:

Regular Cotton Fabric

Like we’ve covered in the previous section, regular cotton has mostly SIMILAR characteristics to organic cotton.

What sets them apart is that regular cotton isn’t hypoallergenic. Some children with sensitive skin issues may react to the dyes and chemical components used in the cotton’s processing.

Jersey Knit

Jersey knit are stretchy fabrics typically made from wool. Nowadays, we have cotton jersey knits, popular in baby fabrics.

The popularity of jersey knit fabric is because it’s breathable and easy to sew with. The more elastic fabric allows clothesmakers to experiment with fun and interesting styles.

Fleece

When an infant needs to keep warm, fleece is one fabric that comes to mind. You’ll find it in outerwear, towels, and blankets since it is soft, making it great for your child as well.

You might be wondering, why not wool?

Both fabrics ARE quite similar. The difference is that fleece is artificial, while wool is a natural product we get from sheep.

Linen

Linen fabric is often reserved for summer. This hypoallergenic fabric is absorbent and lightweight, so your child won’t overheat while wearing them.

In addition, linen will last a long time in your baby’s wardrobe because the flax keeps the fabric from rotting.

You’ll save up on buying many clothes, and it makes for a nice hand-me-down once your kid has grown out of it.

Viscose

Next up is viscose — a light, breathable, and soft fabric that’s also inexpensive. It’s a versatile material used in upholstery: BABY FABRIC!

However, note that viscose production is NOT environment-friendly. It uses a high concentration of toxic substances that have contributed to air and water pollution.

Polyester

Polyester is one of the most common synthetic fabrics. It provides slight warmth for cooler days and can be considered waterproof, perfect for those rainy days.

But despite these qualities, when it comes to baby clothes, polyester may irritate the skin, so it’s not the best fabric for your little one.

Nylon

Another well-known synthetic material is nylon.

Not only is it used in fabric, but you’ll also find it EVERYWHERE in most plastic products. It also DOES NOT pile as much as, say, cotton.

Like polyester, nylon is generally safe, but some of the materials used to create nylon may cause skin irritation, so it’s safer to avoid nylon fabrics, especially if your child has a delicate complexion.

How Is Organic Clothing Different From Conventionally Made Clothes?

Organic clothing means that natural fibers were derived from plants grown using chemical and pesticide-free methods.

The difference between the conventional and the organic can be summed up in two aspects:

Organic Clothing: GOTS Certification

It should be easy to spot “organic fabric” on the label, right?

Not quite!

Just because it says “organic,” it doesn’t mean the material is 100% ORGANIC. You need to take this into consideration when buying baby clothes and items in general.

To regulate and prove whether a fabric is truly organic, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) uses a clearly defined and transparent set of criteria to monitor MOST, if not ALL, fabric manufacturers.

This means if some baby fabric manufacturing company passes the GOTS, its exports are made of the best organic quality and can be accepted in all major markets.

On the other hand, transparency of the company’s supply chain helps customers make the RIGHT CHOICE when choosing between organic materials and many brands.

Conventional Baby Clothes: Are They Toxic?

Organic baby clothes have become the widely preferred choice, but that doesn’t mean your option of conventional fabric is completely toxic.

This issue arises because there is NOT ENOUGH transparency in the apparel industry about the chemicals used in fabric and their impact on the wearer.

A 2014 study actually demonstrated a connection between the use of ethers, which are commonly found on commercialized baby clothes, to the onset of other issues like:

  • Early puberty
  • Hormonal disorders

The list goes on, but a 2019 Environmental Research study points out that there is not enough information on the effects of chemical exposure via fabrics.

It’s up to the parents to decide whether organic fabrics are a must or a luxury.

However, if you’re not looking to go organic just yet, we highly recommend washing your conventional baby clothes with the safest baby laundry detergents just in case.

Should Your Child Wear Organic Clothes?

While the effects of certain components in the fabrics of baby clothes are mostly unknown, other studies have found that children are MORE susceptible to toxins in the environment.

Newborns have a HIGHER ratio of skin surface area to body volume, meaning they absorb chemical material easier.

In addition, their skin is 30% thinner than adults’, further increasing the chances of absorbing harmful toxins.

According to Dr. Gerstner, the BEST solution is to avoid synthetic materials altogether when it comes to your young child.

The fact that synthetic fabric is made from these materials should be enough to have parents consider procuring more organic baby clothes.

It’s part of the growing eco-friendly trend as well, as more parents become aware of the possible dangers unexpected items may have on children.

What Is the Softest Fabric for Baby Clothes?

Truthfully, it depends.

People will have various opinions as to which fabric is the softest. Many would say organic cotton, but wool may also be a good choice.

The best way to decide is to try them out and see which ones your little one is most eager to try! If they don’t cry or throw a tantrum while wearing it, you can bet on the comfort of that clothing!

Baby Clothes Features to Check Out

Beyond softness, there are many other factors to consider when making or buying baby clothes.

Expert Mom Tip: Of course, your child must be comfortable wearing said baby clothes, but don’t forget to think of your own convenience when washing or doing the laundry. With that, we made a guide on how to wash baby clothes properly to help you out.

Softness

Super soft fabrics are a must for any child because they add comfort and reduce rashes since the fabrics won’t make your child experience itchiness.

Movement and Stretchiness

Your child will love to roll and crawl wherever they can go.

In fact, they need that ability to exert their motor skills. If there’s one thing the fabric must be, it’s to become playtime-ready fabric.

Breathability

Breathable fabric allows moisture vapor to pass through instead of condensing and drenching your baby in a lot of sweat.

This doesn’t necessarily translate to the lightweight fabric. Rather, it’s about the tightness of the weave.

Overall Comfort

All these factors contribute to the OVERALL COMFORT, one of your baby’s main needs. Scoring an A+ on all factors WON’T matter as much if your baby yields no comfort while wearing their baby clothes.

Consider which fabrics resemble the clothes your baby is used to wearing and ones that don’t have too many obstructive designs like too many buttons or embroidery.

These can feel itchy or get in the way of movement.

Best Organic Baby Clothes Brands to Consider

Need some inspiration? We actually have a review of the BEST organic baby clothing brands you can consider buying, but here’s a quick list of some of the best organic baby fabrics brands that will spoil you and your newborn child.

1. Burt’s Bees Baby

What You’ll Find

  • A selection of organic jumpers,
  • Pajamas for the family

You may recognize Burt’s Bees as a makeup and skincare brand, but the company has since branched out to making organic baby clothes!

Burt’s Bees Baby is known to be one of the best, as proven by its GOTS certification for reaching the HIGHEST global standard for organic textiles.

2. Finn + Emma

What You’ll Find

  • Apparel in funky patterns
  • A selection of artisan wooden toys

Finn + Emma is a baby fabrics range that gives back. Also GOTS-certified, this brand sells baby clothes with style as well as hand-knit toys.

Using only organic and eco-friendly materials, the company also helps women achieve social and financial independence.

3. Hanna Andersson

What You’ll Find

  • A variety of pajamas
  • Fashionable sweaters

Hanna Andersson boasts the use of OEKO TEX certified Pima cotton in its organic clothing.

Coupled with floral themes and cute animal-inspired hoodies, each piece is fun to wear and take photos of.

The Wrap-Up

Kids may only have their baby clothes for a short while in their life, but the memories they make with them are some of the best things they won’t forget.

So the choices to utilize organic fabric and consider their sensitive skin are all worth the effort!  

 You have a lot of options regarding the possible material you can use for baby clothes. There’s organic cotton fabric, bamboo fabric, muslin fabric, and Merino wool.

When we make things kids would love, our choices for fabric are endless, but it pays to be aware of the reasons behind the organic movement.

If we want to stretch the life of a certain material, we have to make that choice to get the best of them all.

About the author

angelica-graham

A few years ago, Angelica found out about all the plastic and toxic ingredients that got into most children’s products. And this worried her to no end. Because of this, she began to research what the best ingredients and materials were for children and made it her mission to share this information with other mothers.