Knitted fabrics – A brief history
Knitting is one of the oldest forms of clothes-making and has been practiced with smaller changes in the style for centuries together.
The first recordings of knitted clothes date back to the early Egyptian times, between the 3rd and 5th Centuries.
A knitted fabric uses just one piece of yarn that is inter-looped multiple times to create a pattern. Initially, wool was knitted by hand to create comfortable and cozy baby and adult wear that was perfect for winter.
Right now though, knitting is a common fabric-making process used on all kinds of yarn including cotton, viscose, silk, polyester, and spandex. Knitting can be handmade or machine-made and is a lovely style to create all kinds of clothes in.
Knitting was only a home craft during the 1800s. It became the center of the fashion industry after Chanel, a fashion brand, introduced this style to its customers during the early 1900s. By the 1940s and 1950s, knitted wear had become a staple in the women’s and men’s fashion industry.
Right now, knitted clothes are also available for newborns, toddlers, and little children and these knitted baby clothes look charming.
What are muslin clothes?
(Jeremy BN, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)
Muslin was initially known as mulmul. This soft and lovely fabric was originally handspun and was made using locally sourced cotton in India. Chosen cotton yarns were spun with a high thread count and were presented to the royalty. These were soft as butter and caressed the skin of these royalties.
The fact that muslin clothes were lightweight and more breathable than silk made them a popular summer-choice in the palaces.
Right now, muslins have moderate thread count and are lightweight, soft, and breathable. These are usually used as lining for other expensive fabrics or can be used to make thin summer clothes.
Comparing knitted and muslin baby clothes
Muslin is woven while knitted fabrics are created using knitting techniques. Muslin clothes are usually woven with grey-colored yarn and then dyed into various colors. For a knitted fabric, different colored yarns are chosen and knitted to create the final design.
While both knitted fabrics and muslin were hand knitted and handspun in the beginning, right now, both these fabrics are majorly created in industries using large knitting and weaving machines.
Depending on the number of yarns chosen, muslin can be lightweight or heavy. Muslin baby clothes in the market right now are usually sheer and lightweight and are created as every day-use summer fabrics. Knitwear can also be lightweight or thick depending on what type of yarn is chosen. Woolen knitwear is obviously thicker and cozier when compared to skin or cotton knitwear.
Our cotton knitwear range of newborn, infant, and toddler clothes are made from 100% organic cotton yarn.
We also offer everyday essentials like wraparounds, towels, burp clothes, and bibs. This makes them breathable and super soft and lightweight.
Both muslin baby fabrics and knitted baby fabrics are easy to maintain if they are made of good quality cotton.
The lifespan of the clothes
The lifespan of baby clothes is an important factor to consider when one buys clothes. Good quality clothes are expensive and it is natural for the parents to expect more usage out of them.
A major advantage of knitted fabrics is that they are slightly stretchable. The way the yarns are inter-looped and connected makes them expandable sideways. It means they can be used for a longer time, as the little one keeps growing up. Muslin cloths may slightly shrink on washing and also don’t expand as much. These, hence, cannot be used as much as knitted wear.
You may find knitted baby clothes, especially those made of 100% cotton, to be priced slightly higher than regular muslin clothes.
Knitted fabrics are worth the price you pay though.
We at Nature’s Cuddle bring you knitted clothes made of 100% organic cotton. Read more about how organic cotton is made here.
Choosing the best knitted wear and muslin clothes for babies
When to choose muslin baby clothes?
If you have a newborn at home, then you can pick a handful of muslin newborn clothes to keep the little one cool on summer days. Muslin clothes are very light and transparent though and these may not be enough to keep the baby cozy at night.
Many grandparents in India buy meters of muslin fabrics from stores and painstakingly stitch them into nappies and wet clothes for newborns. If that’s too much work for you, you can consider investing in our one-size cotton baby nappies and our wash clothes!
Muslin wraparounds and bedsheets are good for summers too.
When to choose knitted baby clothes?
Knitted baby clothes are available for newborns and toddlers. You can pick lightweight everyday wear cotton knitted baby boy and baby girl clothes that absorb sweat, are breathable, and soft.
On Nature’s Cuddle, our onesies, rompers, leg suits, and other baby-must-haves are slightly stretchable and soft and hence are super easy to put on and take off.
Similarly, our range of T-shirts, shorts, pants, and frocks are also made of 100% knitted cotton yarn and are gentle yet super long-lasting.
You can wash all these in gentle machine cycles and these come with the advantage of being hypoallergenic and 100% made in India.
Both muslin and knitted fabrics are good materials for babies and are soft and lightweight on the skin. Knitted fabrics come with more features and advantages that make them a perfect pick to make baby clothes from.
When you choose clothes for your child, spend some time finding out what kind of material and what type of process is used in the creation of the fabric. Good brands will love to tell you specific details about the fabric when asked.
You can experiment with different knitted and weaved clothes and try and find out how they fare with regular usage. Have different fabrics for different seasons to ensure your child is comfortable wearing them. Get in touch with us if you want to know more about the type of clothes Nature’s Cuddle sells.