All parents would agree that it’s a herculean task to maintain children’s clothes. All the chocolates and cookies that they snack on inevitably leave their mark on that pretty dress or handsome pair of pants, not to mention puddles of mud and dirt cakes. Moreover, the sensitive skin of the tiny tots may be affected by certain fabrics and textures. That’s why I’ve come up with a few simple tips to apply when selecting fabric for children’s clothes.
Type of fabric:
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid synthetic fabric for children’s clothes because of its high level of chemical content, which could cause allergic reactions to their delicate skin. Try to use all natural fabric like cotton, wool, and silk at all costs. For toddlers, organically grown natural fabric would be the best bet.
We did a post recently on Amazing Eco-Friendly Fabric Innovations that provide ideas about “green” fabrics that would be great for kids.
The weave of fabric:
If you hold the fabric against the light, you can observe how tightly or loosely the fabric is woven. If the fabric is woven loosely, it may not be able to withstand rough usage, so try to avoid light-weave fabrics if your munchkin is a Superman or a Wonderwoman.
Resistance to fading:
Children’s clothes are likely to be washed more frequently than yours, mainly because of their rough usage. You need to choose a fabric that's able to withstand fading as a result of repeated wash. Always opt for fabric where the base color and print color are the same. If the base color is white and the fabric is dyed in a different color, the color is likely to fade after repeated wash. Remember, bright colors have a tendency to fade faster.
You don’t want to have to iron kid’s clothes after every wash, so try to go for wrinkle-free fabric to ease your workload. Take the fabric in hand and squeeze it. If it leaves wrinkles, it's better to avoid it.
Keep this in mind when sewing special outfits and party-wear. The lining you’d usually use might not be comfortable for little ones to wear. To combat this, wash it 2-3 times to make it super soft and then use it for sewing.
Children outgrow their outfits very fast. Select stretchable fabric so that garments can be used for at least a year or two. Fabrics like elastics and knits tend to stretch and are the smartest choice for children’s clothing.
Some fabrics tend to be heavier than others, even though they may look good and comfy. When it comes to children’s clothing, lightweight fabrics like cotton voile, silk and satin are the best option and they're not only lightweight, they also add to the beauty of the outfit.
For some further reading on satin, please check out our post called Smooth and Shimmery Silk Satin.
It’s a common practice to go for shades of pink for girls and shades of blue for boys. But times are changing and it's okay to go outside the box. Your child's complexion should also be considered when deciding on a color. While most colors suit children with fair skin, those with darker complexions often look best in shades of white, pink, and green.
Apply these tips when selecting fabric for your children’s clothes and I am sure they are going to feel comfortable and relaxed, meaning you will too! Happy choosing and happy sewing!