We rated 6 natural fibers on a 5 Star Scale to see how they stack up when used in kids' apparel. There is a clear winner.
Organic Cotton - ★★★☆☆
Organic Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the seed pod of cotton plants. It is known for its softness, durability, and breathability. It is hypoallergenic and does not cause any allergic reactions. It is also biodegradable and recyclable. However, it’s not the best and heavily covered in pesticides if you don’t get 100% organic. It also requires 10 times the amount of water to grow compared with something like Bamboo. Organic Cotton is a good option, but not the best.
Wool - ★★☆☆☆
Wool is a natural fiber that is made from sheep's fur. It is warm, durable, and hypoallergenic. It is also biocompatible, recyclable, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Other than being quite itchy, wool does have a big downside. Wool requires a lot of humane animal upkeep, which quite frankly doesn’t always happen. It takes a TON of effort to keep sheep healthy and we believe the only way to properly harvest it is in smaller batches. How do we know that the sheep haven’t been mistreated? We believe the larger the operation becomes there is less focus on the humane treatment of the animals. Smaller operations may treat their stock well, but the product is very expensive and not suitable for the mass market. On the other hand, the larger operations aim to reduce cost and maximize output, putting the sheep's quality of life in jeopardy. We tend to stay clear of Wool due to the mistreatment of the animals in some cases and because of the cost factor in others.
Silk - ★☆☆☆☆
Silk is a natural fiber that is produced by silkworms, soft and semi-durable. It is bioprotective and anti-bacterial. The issues with silk being used in children's garments are as follows. A. It’s lightweight and only good for warmer weather. B. it it’s easily warn/torn & C. It’s not good for getting wet. Silk takes delicate care and upkeep and let's face it; it just isn’t a good option for children’s clothing.
Hemp - ★★☆☆☆
Hemp is a natural fiber that can be grown from hemp seeds. It is hypo-allergic and biodegradable. It is also renewable and eco-friendly. One downfall with hemp is that it can be quite itchy and irritate the child's skin. Additionally, the bad publicity that hemp received in the 1900’s has created a scarce supply. There aren’t a lot of hemp growers in the US, making it expensive, inefficient and less affordable. Oh, and did we mention itchy.
Rayon - ★★★★☆
Rayon is our runner up. Rayon is a synthetic fiber that is created from wood pulp. It is durable, hypoallergenic, and biocompatible. It is also recyclable and anti-microbial. It works well in children's clothing but can be less durable than desired. We’re giving Rayon a 4 out of 5-star rating.
Bamboo - ★★★★★ (Winner by a long shot)
Bamboo is a natural fiber that originates from bamboo trees and is our CLEAR WINNER for CHOICE NATURL FIBER in our kids clothing. It is durable, lightweight, hypoallergic and sustainable. It is bioplastic, biodegradable, renewable and requires 10 times less water to grow than cotton. Oh, and don’t forget, it’s vegan (requiring no animals) making it a better option than both Silk and Wool. Bamboo is extremely durable and when worn as athletic attire, bamboo clothing outperforms all its competition. Kids need something durable and versatile that can be worn all year round. Bamboo checks all those boxes. There isn’t a close second.
Our pick for the number one fiber to look for in ALL your children's clothing is BAMBOO.