Choosing The Best Fabric For Baby Clothes: A Comprehensive Guide

 Happy baby sitting on lambskin rug wearing a Woolino 4 Season® Basic Baby Sleep Bag in Butterfly print

4 Season® Basic Baby Sleeping Bag, Merino Wool, Butterfly - $79.00

Choosing the perfect outfit for a baby is not only a delightful task for many but also a crucial decision that extends beyond eye-catching prints and designs. One essential factor that often goes overlooked is the fabric choice. This matters a lot, but how do you choose the best fabric for baby clothes? There are a lot of options out there.

You can dress your baby in almost any kind of material, including wool, cotton, polyester, silk, muslin, bamboo, fleece, and more. With such a vast number of options, it’s hard to know where to start. Whether you’re thinking about daytime attire or you’re wondering how to dress a baby for sleep, it’s crucial to understand the effects of the different materials.

Today, we’re going to look at the advantages and drawbacks of different kinds of fabric, helping you to choose the best type of material to ensure your little ones' comfort. Let’s read on to find out more!

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Baby Clothes

Several factors come into play when determining the ideal 'fabric for babies.' Foremost among these are safety and comfort, aspects that directly influence your baby's daily well-being. 

Fabrics that are harsh and scratchy can cause discomfort, leading to a fussy baby, while any materials with potential safety issues must be ruled out entirely.

Further considerations include the fabric's durability — essential to prevent frequent clothing replacements — and its ease of maintenance. There's little value in gorgeous baby clothes if they remain unworn because they're too complex to wash.

Many parents also incorporate environmental considerations into their choices, opting for fabrics that have a minimal environmental impact. After all, the health of the planet their baby will grow up in is a significant concern. With all these factors at play, who knew that buying a few onesies could be such a thoughtful process?

Baby lying on back wearing an Ecolino® Organic Cotton Adjustable Baby Sleep Bag in Triangle print

Ecolino® Adjustable Baby Sleep Bag, 100% Organic Cotton, Universal Size: 2 Months - 2 Years, Triangle - $49.00

The Different Types of Fabrics for Baby Clothes

Given the considerations, let’s check out the most popular baby clothing fabrics and how they measure up to each of the above factors.

  • Wool: Known for its remarkable insulating and temperature regulation properties, wool can keep babies warm in colder conditions whilst ensuring that they don’t overheat. This natural fiber is highly breathable and moisture-wicking, good for both warm and cold climates. This makes wool – such as that used in Woolino's merino sleep sacks – a great 'fabric for babies.' However, care must be taken to choose high-quality, fine wool to avoid potential skin irritation.
  • Cotton: A hypoallergenic material, cotton is often recommended for babies with sensitive skin or allergies. It is easy to care for and can withstand high temperatures during washing, making it hygienic. However, cotton tends to lose its shape over time and may not be the most durable choice so make sure that any cotton product that you are buying is of good quality.
  • Organic Cotton: Made without harmful chemicals, many parents prefer organic cotton for their little ones – like Woolino’s organic cotton sleep sacks – as it carries all the benefits of regular cotton but with the added advantage of being eco-friendly. It's softer and more comfortable for a baby's skin. Keep in mind, though, that organic cotton may fade faster due to the absence of chemical treatments. So again, make sure that your buying quality.
  • Bamboo: This versatile material has been praised as a fabric for baby clothing because it’s extremely soft, has thermo-regulation abilities, and it’s hypoallergenic. Bamboo fabric is highly absorbent – more so than cotton – ensuring your little one stays dry. Bamboo baby clothing can be expensive and does need to be washed with special care to retain its shape and softness.
  • Polyester: Known for its durability, polyester retains color and shape well, making it a practical choice for everyday baby clothes. However, because it's not as breathable as natural fibers, it may not be suitable for sleepwear or hot weather clothes.
  • Fleece: Lightweight and warm, fleece is excellent for the outdoors and winter clothes in general. It's also easy to clean, making it a practical choice for parents with a messy baby. It’s worth noting that fleece is a synthetic material and may cause overheating if it isn’t used properly. Consider for outdoor clothing for your baby, choose something else for pajamas and indoor bodysuits.
  • Muslin: Suited to warm weather conditions, muslin is made up of a lightweight cotton fabric that is often used for swaddles, blankets, and a range of summer clothes. It's soft which allows for the utmost comfort for your little one whilst also breathable, which helps to keep your bundle of dry cool. Disadvantages of muslin include its lack of durability compared to other materials whilst also, not providing an abundance of insulation to keep your baby warm.
  • Modal:  A kind of rayon, modal is soft and stretchy, making it comfortable for babies to wear. Known for its resistance to shrinkage and pilling, it makes an excellent material for long-lasting baby clothes. It also has a silky texture, which can make it a comfortable choice for sleepwear. It does tend to be quite an expensive option so bear this in mind if you're baby is growing quickly! As a downside, its production process is not as eco-friendly as natural fibers so again, bear this in mind if you are opting for environmentally friendly clothing.
  • Nylon: Nylon is durable and strong, meaning it will last well, but it doesn’t breathe the way natural fibers do. Babies dressed in nylon may be hot and uncomfortable, so it’s not the best material for baby clothes.

Each fabric has its strengths and weaknesses, so your choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, budget, and personal preferences.

Baby sleeping peacefully in a Woolino 4 Season® Ultimate Baby Sleep Bag in Night Sky print

4 Season® Ultimate Baby Sleep Bag, Merino Wool, 2 Months - 2 Years, Night Sky™ - $109.00

Introduction to Wool - The Super Fabric

Wool has been used in bedding of all kinds for thousands of years. It’s sometimes referred to as a super fabric, with merino wool being the best of the best. It’s an excellent choice for baby clothes, for a whole range of reasons. 

One of the key factors is its ability to regulate temperature. Wool’s ability to absorb moisture from the body keeps your baby’s skin dry, meaning that they don’t get too hot or cold.

This thermoregulation feature positions wool as an ideal 'fabric for babies' in different climates. While it's often used for warm garments and winterwear, it’s surprisingly good at remaining cool in hotter climates and will prevent your baby from getting sweaty and uncomfortable.

However, wool can sometimes be itchy - and this is where Woolino steps in. Committed to providing baby clothing that is comfortable, safe, and of high quality, Woolino has crafted products using merino wool, which retains all the benefits of wool and offers even more.

Merino wool is especially good for infants because the fibers are particularly fine, this means they are very soft against the baby’s skin. It’s, therefore, one of the best materials for baby clothes, and because it’s hypoallergenic, it’s very unlikely to cause irritation. 

It’s perfect for swaddles, blankets, sleepwear, and many other kinds of bedding. Your baby will stay at a comfortable temperature throughout the day and night, and the super soft fabric will be gentle on their sensitive skin. That’s what Woolino is all about!

 Toddler sitting on bed wearing a Woolino 4 Season® Sleep Bag With Feet

4 Season® Baby Sleep Bag with Feet, Merino Wool, Birch Gray - $129.00

Caring for Baby Clothes

An important aspect to consider when it comes to infant clothing is garment care. Different items require different cleaning methods, so it's important to review the manufacturer's instructions prior to washing all clothing. While a significant number of baby clothes are designed to withstand a standard washing machine, others require more delicate handling.

Materials such as cotton and polyester can generally be added directly to your washing machine. However, garments made of certain materials like bamboo require a more cautious approach. Following these instructions correctly will help prevent any damage to these items.

A noteworthy advantage of wool as a 'fabric for babies' is its self-cleaning properties, reducing the need for frequent washing. Often, simply airing it out is sufficient, although there will be instances where a thorough wash is necessary.

Understanding that parents would prefer not to spend extended periods figuring out how to clean delicate garments, we’ve developed our own specialized wool wash

Engineered to effectively remove stubborn stains and dirt from our sleep sacks, it's available in both scented and unscented versions. With this wool wash, all you need to do is put the garments in the machine, let them dry, and they're good as new!

Signing Off

The fabric of your baby's clothes truly makes a world of difference in how they feel. As a new parent, it's crucial to bear this in mind when shopping for those adorable onesies and sleep sacks. Natural fibers are often more breathable and comfortable for your child, but it’s important to find options that will keep them warm enough in the winter, and cool enough in the summer.

Choosing the right fabrics can be a challenge, but it’s worth taking the time to do this for the comfort of your infant. Finding the right material will keep your baby safe and content. It may also require a bit of trial and error to find a fabric that you’re baby is comfortable with.

It’s particularly important at night when your baby will be less closely supervised and is at particular risk of getting too hot or too cold. Woolino’s wonderful sleep sacks have a whole host of benefits, but comfort and thermoregulation properties are among the most important!

Check out our full range of merino wool baby clothes to find the perfect clothes for your little one, so they are always at the right temperature and feel comfy.


What makes merino wool suitable for baby clothes?

Merino wool is particularly well-suited for baby clothes because it’s so comfortable. Merino wool is the softest sheep’s wool there is, so you can take advantage of its temperature regulation properties without having scratchy fibers irritating your child’s skin. 

How do I wash and care for merino wool baby clothes?

Wool is essentially self-cleaning, meaning that you will rarely need to wash merino wool baby clothes. Instead, hanging items up to air and putting them in sunlight will be enough to clean them. However, babies may throw up or experience diaper leaks. This is where Woolino’s special wool wash is the perfect solution.

What should I look for when buying baby clothes?

Always look for breathable fabrics that are going to be soft on your baby’s skin. Babies aren’t good at regulating their temperature and are prone to overheating or getting too cold. That means you need to choose fabrics according to your climate and season, but also think about things like washability, cost, durability, and environmental impact.

Are Woolino’s merino wool clothes safe for babies with sensitive skin?

Yes, Woolino’s merino wool clothes are safe even for babies with sensitive skin. It’s hypoallergenic, meaning it’s less likely to cause a reaction, even if your baby’s skin is easily irritated. Of course, any material can be problematic, so always check your baby is comfortable in their clothes.

How does wool compare to other fabrics for baby clothes?

Wool has been popular for centuries, and there are excellent reasons for that. It’s also an eco-friendly option because it depends on natural fibers that are not particularly intensive to harvest, and that will decompose naturally at the end of the product’s life. It’s comfy, temperature-regulating, and hypoallergenic, ticking all the boxes to create one of the best fabrics for baby clothing.