The Best Fabrics for Babies and Infants

The Best Fabrics for Babies and Infants

A newborn baby is the most precious thing in a parent’s world and naturally you want to be sure that the fabrics you choose for your baby’s clothes are safe and will protect the baby’s skin as well as being comfortable to wear. And what new parent doesn’t want their baby snuggling up in clothes and blankets which are so comfy they will help them sleep? In this blog we will outline what qualities to look out for in fabrics for babies and older infants and the best types of fabric to choose for different babies’ clothes.


Why is it important to choose the right fabrics for babies?


Babies have incredibly sensitive and delicate skin, so just as it is important to use gentle skin care products it is almost as important that the fabric they wear next to their skin is free from harmful chemicals.

It is also much harder for babies to regulate their temperature than it is for adults which means that fabrics should be breathable. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to avoid synthetic fabrics which may not allow air to circulate, and which may also irritate a baby’s skin due to the chemicals used in the textile production process.


Factors to Consider when Choosing Baby Fabrics


  • Comfort: above all clothing should be comfortable for the baby to wear; this means lightweight and soft against the skin, non-scratchy and easy to remove and put on (no zips, ties or buttons which could be a choking hazard).

  • Breathability: this is important as babies are unable to regulate their temperature properly. According to medical research a baby can lose heat up to four times as quickly as an adult as their skin surface area to body weight ratio is much greater. Newborn babies do not have the same ability to sweat as a grown adult and so they do not have a developed internal system allowing them to cool down. Breathable fabrics like cotton allow air to circulate which can cool babies down in hot weather and allow air to be trapped between layers to keep them warm in cold weather.

  • Hypoallergenic properties: hypoallergenic fabrics are free from harmful chemicals which can irritate a baby’s skin. Look out for OEKO-TEX 100 certified fabrics which have passed the most stringent global tests to guarantee they are free from harmful chemicals sometimes used in textile production.

  • Durability and ease of cleaning: baby’s clothes often need washing after just one wear and so it is important that fabrics used to make their clothing can be easily washed on repeat. Cotton fits this requirement superbly as it is strong and can survive repeated washing. It is also durable enough to survive soaking in a hygienic stain remover which also removes germs. You know the type of germs we mean!


Top Fabrics for Babies




  1. Cotton: our No 1 top fabric for babies and infants would be cotton and if possible, an organic cotton. Cotton is a natural fibre, highly breathable and luckily, cotton which is grown and manufactured organically is now widely available. Use for loose clothing and bedding.

  2. Bamboo is another fabulous natural fabric very similar to cotton although possibly even softer. As it is naturally pest-resistant it doesn’t need pesticides when growing so bamboo is hypoallergenic if it has not been manufactured using chemical solutions - so look out for organic bamboo fabrics or those that meet OEKO-TEX 100. These are suitable for making clothing like baby grows and socks.

  3. Jersey is great for baby grows but preferably the organic cotton jersey with a small amount of elastane content which has been organically produced.

  4. Double gauze: often confused with muslin,  double gauze is superb for babies as it is incredibly soft and doesn’t need ironing. It is a lightweight cotton with a loose weave and two layers of fine cotton fabric stitched together invisibly which makes it light and airy but surprisingly cosy too. Great for baby pyjamas and bedding.

  5. Brushed cotton: this is a type of cotton which has a soft brushed texture on the face side through a process of removing excess lint and fibres. It is super soft and breathable and ideally suited to winter pyjamas and sleep sacks.

  6. Muslin: a loose open weave, lightweight and breathable fabric usually made from 100% cotton. It is hypoallergenic and highly absorbent which is why it is popular as an all-purpose fabric for babies. Do remember that while muslin is useful to shade a baby in the pram, it is not UV resistant so won’t protect your baby from the sun.



Fabrics to Avoid for Babies


  • Any synthetic fabrics like polyester or viscose which have been manufactured using a chemical process.

  • Wool which is too heavy and scratchy against babies’ skin.

  • Denim can be used for older children such as for dungarees for toddlers. However, it is too coarse and heavy for babies, restricting their movement.

  • Fleece which is super snuggly but is generally made of 100% polyester and not particularly breathable.


Tips for buying baby fabrics and clothes


When buying clothes:

  • Read labels for fabric content
  • Considering the climate and season

  • Check for potential irritants like tags and seams

  • Wash new clothes before use


When Buying Baby Fabrics




  • Look for OEKO-TEX 100 certified fabrics like cotton, bamboo, jersey and double gauze. This means that the fabric has been produced without using any harmful chemicals and will be completely safe against baby’s skin. Fabrics Galore Owner, Paul Johnston, explains everything about OEKO-TEX over on our Instagram page. 

  • Look for GOTS certified cottons. The Global Organic Textile Standard defines high level criteria for manufacturing fabrics which meet environmentally and socially responsible standards.

  • Buy natural and organic fabrics which are grown without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers


Fabrics Galore Baby Fabrics


Fabrics Galore sells all fabrics by the half metre, which is ideal and affordable for tiny baby outfits. Check out our curated range of children’s dressmaking fabrics which includes many organic cotton and jersey fabrics featuring gorgeous prints. All our plain double gauze fabrics meet OEKO-TEX 100 and many of our jersey fabrics re organic. If you are unsure which fabrics are suitable for babies, don’t hesitate to email our friendly, knowledgeable team on

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Welcome to the Fabrics Galore London online store, packed full of beautiful fabrics to inspire your next dressmaking, patchwork quilting, craft or home furnishing sewing project. We stock a huge range of different materials alongside designer fabrics from Liberty, Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely, Laura Ashley, William Morris and Alexander Henry. We source the highest quality fabrics, so whether it be a cotton, linen, viscose, chambray, jersey or wool, we have you covered.Check out our dressmaking fabric for something with drape, fabulous Liberty cotton lawn prints, quilting fabrics for patchwork inspiration or the home furnishing section to pimp your pad. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get sewing!

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