Kids need to have clothes that are both comfortable and durable. If you have a child that complains about socks being on the wrong feet, or always has you cut the tags out of their shirts because they are itchy, you know how important soft fabrics are to children. Durable fabrics including polyester fleece and prewashed denim are durable enough for active children, without sacrificing comfort.
Soft, but Durable Fabrics for Kids’ Clothes
Fleece pants made with polyester fleece are a soft and durable option for active kids. This material is soft, warm and thick enough to protect against wind and a light rain. When my son wears his fleece pants to the playground, I don’t worry about torn pants and skinned knees, as the material is durable enough to withstand the occasional fall.
Unlike some thick and durable materials, he never complains about the texture of the fleece pants and he wears them all the time. They are warm enough to wear in the winter, but not so heavy that he can’t wear them in the fall and spring.
The polyester fleece pants have survived mud and salad dressing stains, without any extra laundry treatments. Although the fabric care instructions advise washing these fleece pants in cold water and drying on low, they usually end up in the regular wash and high-heat drying cycle, and are no worse for the wear.
Stiff denim is not comfortable. A better option is prewashed denim, especially for rough and tumble kids. Denim will withstand jungle gym and tree climbing while protecting kids from sharp edges or twigs and sticks should they brush against any. Kids who like to roll down hills and play in the grass in the jeans may bring home grass stains. Soak jeans in vinegar and water for about an hour to remove grass stains.
The popularity of corduroy pants waxes and wanes, but corduroy is a solid choice for both comfort and durability for kids. Corduroy is actually cotton. The fabric is made with cotton piled fabric,designed with vertical ribs. The result is a soft fabric that is thicker and more durable than standard, thin cotton. Corduroy pants are best for kids who need multi-purpose pants. Corduroy is nice enough for school or holiday gatherings, but sturdy enough for play time. Some corduroys are treated to repel stains.
Nothing beats a cotton T-shirt for a child’s comfort. Organic cotton is also becoming more popular. Thicker cotton shirts provide warmth for kids and are easy to clean. Treat a stain on a cotton T-shirt quickly by rinsing it out and pre-treating it with liquid laundry detergent. For ice cream or other dairy stains, soak the cotton shirt for an hour before washing.
The Phrontistery, http://phrontistery.info/fabric.html
Back to School – Sewing for Children, http://www.fabrics.net/children.asp
Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Care, http://instituteoffabricscience.org/content.jsp?pageName=FabricCareGuide_AcetateBlends