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How to Select a Baby Safe Yarn: Complete Guide

When choosing the best yarn for baby clothes, there are a few things you need to consider. For instance, the yarn needs to be soft and gentle against the baby’s skin and should be manufactured without harmful chemicals and substances.

I have written this small guide to help you select a baby-safe yarn for your next knitting or crocheting project.

What Materials Make up a Good Baby Yarn?

I’m a big fan of natural fibers such as merino wool, bamboo, and organic cotton. These materials are soft and breathable – perfect for keeping your little one comfortable.

  • Cotton is easy to care for. It can be washed in high temperatures and you can hang it out to dry or even tumble dry. Most commercial baby clothes are made of cotton.
  • Merino wool is very soft and suitable for most babies but it can be itchy for babies that are allergic to wool or have super sensitive skin. One downside of wool is that it can be difficult to wash but because wool is naturally dirt resistant it actually doesn’t require washing quite that often. You can also choose superwash wool that can be machine washed.
  • Wool by other sheep breeds than merino can be itchy when worn next to a baby’s skin but they are a good option for instance for socks and clothes that are not meant to be worn right next to the skin. Items made of wool need to be dried flat in order to avoid stretching.
  • Bamboo is soft, absorbent, and has a lovely drape. Bamboo can be machine washed but needs to be air dried to prevent shrinkage.

There are also baby yarns made of synthetic fibers such as acrylic. These are usually less expensive and can be machine-washed and dried, which is convenient for busy parents. However, acrylic pills quite easily and doesn’t breathe. In addition, it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a fire-retardant material.

Avoid these

Babies will put into their mouths everything they can get their hands on. Mohair, angora, and alpaca fibers are all soft and luxurious but may shed, posing a danger to the child. Save these fibers for items that will be used by other than small babies.

In addition, usually hand-dyed yarns bleed color easily so they are not a safe option.

How Thick Can the Yarn Be?

The best yarn for baby clothes should be thin or medium weight (fingering or DK weight). This will make your finished project light and more comfortable for wearing.

For blankets, you can choose thicker yarn.

How to Know If a Yarn Is Manufactured Without Harmful Chemicals and Substances?

If you want to be absolutely sure that no harmful chemicals or substances are used in the manufacturing process select a yarn that has the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® or GOTS Certification.

It means that the yarns have passed the highest standard, suitable for direct contact with the most sensitive skin, even babies and small children. They have been tested for over 350 harmful substances by independent laboratories and certified not to contain harmful levels of irritants, allergens, or carcinogens.

Baby Safe Yarns

Natural Fibers

Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 120

Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 170 is super soft and super fine with a great stitch definition due to it’s multi-thread construction. Guaranteed to be free of chemicals

You have over 40 colors to choose from. Here’s a free baby blanket pattern for this yarn.

  • Weight: DK
  • Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool
  • Care: Machine wash 40°C (104°F)
  • Certification: OEKO-TEX®
© LoveCrafts

Hobbii Baby Cotton Organic

Of all the cotton types, Egyptian cotton is the most exclusive. It is famous for being extra strong, soft and incredibly durable. The long, exclusive cotton fibers are extra luxurious and are used for the finest cotton products around the world.

Baby Cotton has been manufactured with respect for the environment – completely without the use of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilisers etc.

Here’s a free baby blanket pattern for this yarn.

  • Weight: Fingering
  • Fiber Content: 100% Egyptian Cotton
  • Care: Machine wash 40°C (104°F)
  • Certification: GOTS
Hobbii Baby Cotton Yarn
© Hobbii

KnitPicks Dishie

Dishie is a hardworking worsted weight 100% cotton yarn with a tight spin and high absorbency. This makes Dishie not only easy to knit with, but extremely durable as well.

Here’s a beautiful baby blanket pattern for this yarn.

  • Weight: Worsted
  • Fiber Content: 100% Cotton
  • Care: Machine wash
  • Certification: OEKO-TEX®
© KnitPicks

Synthetic Yarns

Hobbii Baby Snuggle Solid

This yarn is thick, chunky, super soft and OEKO-TEX® certified. It means that the yarn has been manufactured with respect for the environment – completely without the use of harmful chemicals.

Here’s a free baby blanket pattern for this yarn.

  • Weight: Super Bulky
  • Fiber Content: 100% polyester
  • Care: Machine wash 40°C (104°F)
  • Certification: OEKO-TEX®
© Hobbii

Schachenmayr Baby Smiles Bravo Baby

All Baby Smiles yarns are guaranteed to be skin-friendly, free of chemicals, easy care and exceptionally soft – perfect for baby’s tender skin.

Here’s a beautiful baby blanket pattern for this yarn.

  • Weight: Sport
  • Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic
  • Care: Machine wash 40°C (104°F)
  • Certification: OEKO-TEX®
© LoveCrafts

Knitting Patterns You Might Like

More free knitting patterns you can find here.

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