Why Does Fabric Say Do Not Use for Children’s Sleepwear?

Like sewing machines, not all fabrics are made the same. When it comes to children’s clothing you need to read the labels. Not all fabrics are good for all children’s activities. The problem comes in when the cure is as bad as the issue it is trying to prevent.

Why does fabric say do not use for children's sleepwear? This is a safety notice to help you find a good fabric that will not put your children in a difficult situation. For example, polyester is used for children’s sleepwear because it does not catch fire that easily.

If you want to learn more about the fabric that is good or bad for children’s sleepwear just continue to read our article. It goes through the data to provide you with the information that is the most pertinent

Fabric Not to Be Used for Children's Sleepwear


Two of the more common fabrics that are not supposed to be used for sleepwear are flannel and cotton. The reason for their exclusion is that the majority of those fabrics have not been treated with a flame retardant chemical.

Another fabric on the exclusion list is silk chiffon and the consensus is that to be excluded depends on how the fabric is woven. The conclusion is reached because silk fiber is flame resistant and acceptable.

Then if you want to know all the fabrics that are not included on the safe for children’s sleepwear list, you just have to check to see if those fabrics have been coated with a flame retardant chemical or not.

If they have, then you can use the fabric for the sleepwear. If they haven’t then you are not supposed to use that fabric. When you read the rulings and regulations though, the logic doesn’t always make sense.

They are also too generic and apply to situations that are never at risk for a fire. But the best thing you can do to avoid conflict is to buy the flame retardant coated fabric.

Best Fabric For Children's Sleepwear


Polyester is a very good fabric to use when you are making your children their sleepwear. It is said that fire has a hard time catching on polyester fabrics making this option one of the safer ones to use.

You can also use a variety of other fabrics that have been placed on the excluded list as long as they have been treated with a flame retardant chemical. That means you can take advantage of the benefits that cotton, fleece, linen and other popular nightwear fabrics offer your children.

Flannel is another good sleepwear fabric that helps your children be very comfortable. All of those options are very comfortable fabrics to use including bamboo. If the last one has been treated without using chemicals then it is a good option for those who do not like chemicals in their clothing.

There is a little rebellion going on as many mothers feel that if cotton and those other excluded fabrics are okay for day time use, then they are okay for night time use. Keep in mind that the labels that say ‘not for children’s sleepwear’ are placed there to protect the store from any possible liability.

Flannel For Children's Sleepwear


Despite the warning label flannel s a very good fabric to use when making sleepwear for children. One main reason is that flannel softens over time making it cozier to be in.

Plus, flannel is a thicker cotton, wool or synthetic fabric making it perfect for colder temperatures. What prompts the safety level for flannel is that it has little fibers that stick out and have the possibility of coming in contact with an open flame.

Whether it be a match, candle, cigarette, and other flame options doesn’t matter. The government has deemed such a fabric design to be hazardous to the health and well being of a child.

The argument goes that such accidental touches do not happen with smooth fabrics thus the flannel is more dangerous for children to wear. Children between the ages of 0 to 9 years of age are exempt from the rules governing all these excluded fabrics.

The reason for that is that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has ruled that young babies are not active enough and do not approach open flames. The other exemption is tight-fitting sleepwear.

Those items are exempt because fire needs oxygen to burn and tight-fitting clothing cuts off the oxygen supply.

Flame Retardant Flannel Fabric


Ironically, the idea behind using flame retardant materials is not a modern invention. It is not just flannel that gets the flame retardant coating. The need to cover fabrics and protect them from burning up started back in about 400 BC.

It may have been earlier but it is hard to find records stating their original invention. While flame retardant was used on fabrics for the next 2100 years it was not put into widespread use until about the 17th century.

Fabrics were used a lot in Paris theaters and a way to keep them from burning was needed. Later, in the 18th century two kinds of salt, alum, and ammonium, were used to protect the fabric. Alum had a low melting point and created a glass-like barrier to stop the flames while ammonium developed into a non-flammable vapor.

But it wasn’t till 1953 when Tetra phosphonium chloride was discovered. This chemical moved flame retardant materials into the 20th century and greatly expanded the work of making fabrics flame resistant.

This chemical could be applied to a variety of fabrics including flannel. With the discovery and the Flammable Fabrics Act of 1953, the manufacturing of clothes drastically changed, as did their marketing.

How Much Fabric for Toddler Pajama Pants?


This is not a difficult measurement to figure out. The rule of thumb goes like this, a yard of material for toddlers, 2 yards for adults and children are somewhere in between.

Depending on the size of your toddler you may use more or less than a yard of fabric to make pajama bottoms. If you are not sure of the size at this point, you can always bring a pair of pants with you to the fabric store and measure using your hands and eyes.

That method may spare you from buying too much fabric or buying too little. You can also use those pants as your pattern saving you a little time trying to hunt one down.

How to Make Fabrics Flame Retardant


If you do not like all the chemicals manufacturers use then you can do it yourself and make your non coated fabrics okay for children’s sleepwear. Here are the instructions and materials you will need:

The first step is to buy pure borax. Avoid buying laundry soap with borax mixed in. That will not help your cause. Leftover pure borax can always help your washing.

Step number two, boil some water and mix in about 13 ounces of borax. You want to stir till the borax is fully dissolved. Warm and cold water do not do the trick very well.

Next, get an empty spray bottle and fill it with the mixture. Spray the mixture onto the fabric and let dry. Once that is done and the fabric is drying, mix another 9 ounces of borax with 4 ounces of boric acid in another gallon, or close to it, of hot water.

Pour this mixture into another empty spray bottle and spray onto your already dry fabric. Wash the fabric then reapply the mixture and there you have made a flame-resistant fabric without using harsh chemicals that may have too many carcinogens.

Avoiding The Harsh Chemicals in Sleepwear


These may be rather obvious solutions if you do not like the idea of having your children exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals while they sleep. First, you can make your sleepwear out of those fabrics that are on the excluded list.

It is not like the government is going to raid your home to check. But you may have a problem if a fire accident occurs while your children are wearing those fabrics. Second, you can buy tight-fitting sleepwear as those clothing items are exempt from government regulations.

Some Final Words

Governments take very strict and great steps when it comes to trying to protect the children of their nation. They create different rules to make sure that when children are asleep they have a layer of protection trying to keep them from being hurt.

The problem is these rules are only applied to certain situations like night time and do not address the whole situation. But you can avoid these issues by making your flame retardant fabrics and keeping the harsh chemicals away from your kids.

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