Getting Ready for Baby: Receiving Blankets
June 8, 2012
Back in April I wrote about some really beautiful and special muslin receiving blankets I spied in a posh baby store in Charleston, SC. Well, I have seeing these blankets popping up everywhere around town but the price is still pretty steep, especially for us who can make. So I set out to recreate the look and feel of these heirloom-inspired baby blankets using similar materials; you decide which you like better.
First off, Fabric.com carries a wide variety of muslin just not the specific kind of loose, open weave heritage muslin used in the inspiration blankets. So I called upon my fabric knowledge and selected three different kinds of fabric to test and see which would give me the finished product I was aiming for. First, I wanted cottons because muslin is first and foremost cotton so to be true to the essence of the inspiration blanket I had to stick with the same fiber. I choose Hero Cotton and Ivory Gauze. Both of these are cotton, true, but I was unsure how closely the weave and texture would be to heritage muslin, so for my third fabric I choose cotton blend batiste, which is a very lightweight, woven fabric. Here is a little descriptor of each fabric:
Hero Cotton (56 in. wide): This fabric is 100% cotton and very similar in natural to gauze in that it has a wrinkled texture but unlike gauze Hero's texture is more uniform (think herringbone) and it is less stretchy than gauze. Hero is also thicker than gauze, of the three fabrics it is the thickest and I would classify it as medium weight. This will be great for fall swaddling or winter swaddling for a hot natured baby.
Cotton Gauze (52 in. wide): A 100% cotton fabric which random vertical wrinkles that make this lightweight fabric slightly stretchy. Of the three fabrics, gauze matches the weight of the inspiration blankets being not too light and not too thick. The ivory color is also very similar to the white muslin used in the inspiration blankets and is airy enough to make great swaddling as well as a stroller cover, burping cloth but too light for a nursing cover. This fabric will prevent overheating in the spring and summer and also make a great play mat for outdoors.
Cotton Blend Batiste (44 in. wide): This fabric is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester and has the same even, light weave of heritage muslin but is the lightest weight of the three fabrics (think voile). It has a very smooth texture unlike the muslin. It did take the stamping the best given its smooth texture. I had thought this fabric would have been the most similar to the muslin but I found it to me the most dissimilar. It still makes a great blanket but it has the least stretch and I worry about its breathability given the 50% poly. I will still try it when baby comes and know that even if it doesn't make a great swaddle blanket then it will make a nice pillowcase, curtains or a summer dress.
All of the fabrics tested are wide enough to make a 40 x 40 in. blanket set that I found in the posh baby boutique and you can easily make 2 sets for the price of one and gift them to friends or loved ones. I will be posting next week on the fabric markers and stamping I used to recreated the stamped patterns I found on the inspiration blankets. * Hint it is a lot of fun and you will want to use fabric markers on everything!**
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