Just like the tiny bodies they drape on, infant clothes are made up of a variety of combinations - fabric combinations that is. But reading all those labels and trying to make sense of them all can get really confusing. Here's a breakdown of what those fabric labels really mean.
The most common fabric in infant clothes, cotton is soft and absorbent and gentle on a baby's skin. It is available in an organic version and will shrink up to 10% upon the first wash and dry cycle if you use heat. See also:
A blend that dries quickly, resists wrinkling and is typically less expensive than infant clothes made of a 100% natural fiber. This blend is easy to care for and doesn't shrink, making it a popular choice among busy parents.
For the ultimate in comfort, a cotton/spandex blend is where it's at. Stretchable, this material moves with your baby, which is why it is found in tights and baby legwarmers. It is also easy to care for.
Warm and fuzzy, fleece is often found in baby outerwear and is available in a variety of weights. Great for layering, it's good for in-between seasons. Fleece dries quickly, is moisture-wicking and is a vegan alternative to wool. Also, it's virtually stain-proof and super easy to care for, just toss it in the wash with like colors and you're set.
A luxury textile, cashmere can be found in high-end designer infant clothes. I don't recommend wasting your money on any piece of infant or baby clothing made from cashmere for a couple of reasons: your baby will grow out of it quicker than you can bat an eye and it's extremely difficult to care for meaning your baby needs to avoid spills and messes when he's wearing it - yeah right! Unless you have a personal maid or laundry service, don't bother.Other high-maintenance fabrics: linens and hand-knits. See also:
An all-natural fabric, bamboo is becoming an increasingly popular choice for baby clothes. Thermal-regulating, it will adjust with your baby's body temperature and is great for layering. It has a host of other fantastic selling points including being hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial; right along with 100% cotton, this is my favorite fabric for baby and infant clothes. See also:
So there you have it. A run down of the most common fabrics you'll find infant clothes made of. To make laundry time a little easier, it's a good idea to choose a few fabrics that you know you can wash together and stick with those.