Your bundle of joy is on the way—congratulations! Chances are your nursery or baby rooms are a work in progress, and you’re worried about safety and which fabrics are baby-safe. After all, you want your child to have the best possible health and live in a safe environment while they grow.
Luckily, we’ve got the best baby room fabric choices here from the Kovi range of fabulous fabrics and also some safety considerations to keep in mind.
What Kind of Baby Room Do You Want?
Before you start, it’s probably a great idea to think about what kind of baby room you want. Is it a multi-functional space, and will you convert the room into a kids’ room as your child grows? What’s appropriate for a baby may not work for a young child aged five or six years.
Here are some essential considerations to weigh up when making your selections:
Your color needs to be flexible; otherwise, you will spend more of your hard-earned cash to repaint and redecorate as soon as your baby starts being a toddler.
Of course, if you are planning to have more than one child, and you have an extra room in your home for your child as they age, you can go to town with the babiest baby room ever as you’ll be using it a bit longer.
The days of pink for girls and blue for boys are long gone. Today, baby rooms have a slightly more mature feel. You may even opt for a nature-inspired baby room. Certainly, if you are planning on having more than one child, then designing a “girls only” room is not wise and you may need to redecorate if the next baby has a different gender.
However, by choosing neutral base tones for your baby’s room, you can easily transition the room’s accessories to meet its new occupants. With a rusty gray wall color and some great basic baby room essentials like the crib liner, rug, and towels, you can easily shift between a girl’s room and a boy’s room.
Designs and Patterns
Baby and toddler rooms need to have a range of soft surfaces while still remaining hygienic. If you opt for soft fleece blankets, choose a darker tone than the traditional white, yellow, blue, or pink in a baby room. Instead, opt for a medium blue, fluffy olive green, or deep gray to ensure spills can be washed vigorously without leaving stains.
Start your baby out on a more mature themed pattern than the usual baby elephant or sheep or toy car themes that dominate the average baby room. Instead, go for a cool movie theme to create a baby and toddler theme that is multi-purpose and also wonderfully alternative. Why not choose a Shrek baby room?
Just imagine a wood frame crib and crib liner that has forest plants on it. Add a plush Shrek toy made of hypoallergenic fabric and filling, a fluffy gray and green blanket, and a princess Fiona tiara or Shrek ears sewn to your baby’s beanie or baby hat.
Elaborate the theme for older toddlers with a Donkey rocking horse and soft toys from the movies.
Whichever theme you choose, your baby and toddler room need to be functional. That means you must be able to wipe all surfaces, wash soft or plush items in the washing machine, and mop floors or vacuum carpets.
Part of functionality is the durability of the fabrics you choose. If you opt for drapes on the curtains, ensure these are out of reach so your baby and soon-to-be-crawling toddler can’t reach them.
It goes without saying that fabric that tends to shed fibers is a big no-no in baby rooms. You want to prevent allergies and fabric dust.
A baby room needs to grow with your needs. As your baby grows older, they will start to need a play area, so having enough space and not filling it with oversize furniture is a great idea.
If the nursery is small, using pale colors will help visually increase the size of the area. For small rooms, use multifunctional furniture items and wipeable surfaces to prevent having to keep a stack of extra towels and coverings for surfaces.
Use mold-resistant fabrics to ensure mold spores don’t find a place to hang out in your nursery. Fabrics that handle being washed frequently are a great idea to help with the overall hygiene.
Babies can easily develop allergies in response to fabric fibers. So ensure you opt for fabrics that are safe for babies such as 100% certified organic cotton or linen or a blend of the two. These two natural fibers are ideal for the baby’s crib liner, sheets, and blankets.
A final safety consideration is thread-count. For babies, a higher thread count is recommended to ensure the fabric is soft and durable. The fabric should be able to withstand frequent washing.
However, while the 400 thread count cotton and linens may feel luxurious, it doesn’t breathe as well as a slightly lower thread count. Rather aim for fabrics of a 300-350 thread count in winter and summer cotton and linens of 180-250 thread count to ensure cool climate control.
Great Fabric Choices for Baby Rooms
While most fabrics used for baby rooms are cotton types, there are a few other fabrics that are also suitable for baby rooms.
Cotton – High Thread Count
Cotton is hypoallergenic, mold-resistant, durable, and can easily be cleaned to prevent staining. It’s soft, fluffy, strong, and won’t pill. An added bonus of cotton is that it is breathable and aerates the baby and baby room better.
However, when choosing your cotton, try to get the highest quality organic cotton guaranteed free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. These chemicals and toxins will remain in the cotton fabric, exposing your baby to serious risk.
Also, remember that fabric stained with artificial colorants and dyes can become toxic. Some colors contain heavy metals, and you wouldn’t want that anywhere near your baby. Choose vegetable-stained fabrics where possible or fabrics that use organic dyes only.
This airy fabric is a firm favorite to keep a room cool while controlling harsh sunlight and creating a bit of privacy. Voile is a cotton blend, so it does contain some synthetic fibers, but it is reasonably safe to use for the curtains and drapes in your nursery.
It’s safer to use a cotton mesh for a mosquito net if you live in an area where this is advisable, even though the voile would look gorgeous draped around the crib.
Fine Quality Linen
Linen is another natural fiber that is used to make fabrics. Linen is native to France, but it is grown all over the world, and the long fibers create a quality, durable, and very hypoallergenic fabric that can be colored to your heart’s content.
One downside of linen is that it wrinkles very easily, making it a bother as you need to iron it each time you wash it. However, a linen and cotton blend is ideal as this will wrinkle less while still providing a 100% natural fabric.
Muslin or Gauze
Muslin is usually used in the food and building industry. Still, it is made of cotton, so it can be used in baby rooms for stuffing toys (to avoid those nasty cheap polyester synthetic fibers that are put into most toys), making drapes and cushions, and also for ornamental items.
Gauze, which is also 100% cotton, can be used to make curtains, crib covers, and mosquito nets. It’s also hypoallergenic, breathes well, and is ideal for warm and humid climates.
Broderie Anglaise Fabric
If you are looking for that old-world charm, opt for this classic choice. Broderie is a cotton fabric with an embroidered pattern, sometimes with the design punched or laser cut to create details.
Crib liners and curtains are simply stunning with the broderie border. Since Anglaise fabric is usually white, it can be “bleached” and kept sparkling white with oxy-bleach.
Cotton Wool or Organic Wool Knit
A baby room isn’t complete without a bit of knitwear and knitted blankets or toys. It’s a grandmother’s pride to lovingly make these treasures.
Using organic natural wool or cotton fiber yarn, you can make perfectly safe and precious treasures to fill the crib and nursery. A warm knitted mohair blanket will keep your winter baby nice and snug while it is still organic and safe for little ones.
In terms of synthetic fabrics, microfiber has gained popularity in recent years as a do-all fabric. While it’s soft, stain-resistant, and retains color well, this fabric can also shed fibers that are microscopic and can potentially be inhaled. Further, microfiber or fleece can retain bacteria since the textile is super absorbent—just think of microfiber dusters and mops.
For the baby’s room, it may be useful to use microfiber in areas where the baby won’t be in direct contact with it. Microfiber rugs, curtains, and drapery can be useful in a baby room. However, it’s recommended to keep traditional natural fabrics like cotton and linen to make crib liners, sheets, and blankets.
While you may not see denim as an ideal baby fabric, it can be very useful for baby tote bags, as a crib liner, and even as a curtain. Denim is strong, resilient, can be dyed in a range of colors, and won’t pill or stretch.
In a nursery, denim fabric can be used for chair upholstery, making curtains, and also for nifty baby product holders. The creative potential of denim is endless.
If you are serious about only using hypoallergenic fabric, then investing in bamboo rayon is worth it. The natural fibers (rayon) of the bamboo plant are used for anything from weaving fabrics to making synthetic fleece and fluffy toys.
Rayon can be dyed, and the fabric is considered safe for those with allergies, making it a great choice for babies. The only downside of rayon is that it wrinkles easily, making it hard to iron and keep neat. However, if rayon is blended with a fiber such as cotton or even a small proportion of synthetic fibers, rayon’s less likely to wrinkle.
In recent years, vinyl has gotten a bad rep as a safe fabric to use around children. It’s said that vinyl releases harmful chemical gasses (especially if left in direct sunlight). Yet, vinyl still remains an ever-popular choice for children’s room floors. Vinyl can provide a soft surface for your little one to learn how to walk and eventually take their first step.
The Final Yarn
When it comes to your baby, only the best will do. If you can afford it, opt for natural fiber. Cotton, linen, and wool are the best and safest fabrics for your baby’s health and happiness. For the latest information on whether you can use microfiber and vinyl for toddlers’ rooms, read the Kovi blog now.