Clothing is one among the most important
three basic needs in every human life. It protects our body from various
climates and gives us a good appearance. In this youthful world, children
are given more care for the selection of their garments. Today children are
largely exposed through various media. They themselves have become the
customers in their own rights. They also have their own definite opinions
about the clothes they wear. While developing their own styles children
reveal their own creative streaks.
The designers concentrate on simplicity,
comfort and new look in designing the children's garment.
Generally kids are grouped according to their age.
Babies up to two years come under
this classification. Infant's clothing is sized according their age: 3, 6,
12, 18, 24 months. During this age, the head does not correctly stand on
their neck. So, garments should be selected with full opening. According to
the seasons, the material should be selected, ie, thick or thin. Normally
soft materials with lightweight should be selected.
the age of two to eight are called as toddlers. From the age of two, the
average child loses fat until about the age of eight. This slimming down
process is very apparent. Toddlers have very little waist shaping and
protruding stomach. These features decrease as the child grows and loses
Age groups above seven to twelve are normally said as
children. Manufactures decided to accept a 6 cm height interval as a base
for coding scheme as this approximates to the average growth per year over
this period. It is to be noted that the range of heights for any particular
age group is larger than the amount of growth that occurs in any one year.
It is better to link other body measurements to height rather than age.
Requirements of children's clothing
The ideal baby clothing should be:
Soft, comfortable, easy to put on and take off and comparatively loose.
Easy access to his/her nappy because it requires frequent changing.
Underclothes should be
essentially made of organic fibres.
Allow quick transmission of sweat from
skin to environment.
Children garments are generally
classified into many categories. They are as follows:
designed for informal occasions are termed as casuals: They are T-shirts,
knitted garments, etc. Knitted fabrics give more freedom of movement than
woven fabrics and are ideal for casual wear. During the movement these
knitted loops helps in pumping air through close-fitting garments, thus
removing body heat during summer. It gives pleasing appearance, loose
elastic structure, comfort and softness.
The fabric's selected to
wore as daytime wear are cotton, gingham, gabardine and sail doth during
Double knits velveteen and corduroys are selected during
winter season. Children's day garment has to be made up with a fabric that
will stand for repeated laundering, the seams should be strong and
fastenings should be secure.
While selecting the garment it should
not possess any harmful ingredient and
accessories, as the skin of children
is very tender and smooth. The garment selected should have good drape and
it should serve the purpose.
Industries focus on manufacturing
luxurious garments for children in various styles and prevailing trends.
These are also called as special
occasion garment. Fabrics like velvet,
denim, satin, etc, are used in party wears with different styles.
The uniform worn by children should be subjected to certain treatments like
antibacterial finish, etc, and it should be free from odour.
should have freedom of movements. Knitted garments have higher extensibility
in both length and widthwise directions. Hence, knitted materials are mostly
selected as sports wear for children. Active sports wear can be classified
as summer sports wear and winter sports wear.
clothing has always been a reflector of change in life style of people. A
complete range with the most luxurious look and superior comfort is an
absolute must. Greater spectrums of bright, vivid colours and designs have
become the key for the purchase of high fashioned wear. They look only for
latest fashions and these can be worn during special occasion like parties.
Selection of material for children garments
Organic cotton: It is a
specific name of cotton, which is grown without the use of any pesticide,
fertiliser and harmful chemical.
Linen: It is more safe fibre than cotton
because very less amount of pesticide is used on linen than Cotton: So,
linen fibre-based garment, either 100% pure or with blend cotton or other
suitable fibre, can be used for clothing after appropriate eco-friendly
Wool: Conventional wool is a polluted fibre because; it
is subjected to various processes such as scouring, dyeing and finishing
treatments using various chemicals. Hence, organic wool is suitable for
Coir: The coir has the properties of moisture absorption
and holding capacity of any amount of moisture until the air is circulated
and wicks it away leaving the mattress dry and healthy.
Bamboo fibre: Bamboo
fibre is a kind of antibiotic fibre. This fibre has good dye ability and
drape, soft, easy to weave, deodorant, special elastic resilience,
wear resistance and high comfort value. It has high air permeability and can
absorb moisture instantly. It is biodegradable and environment-friendly
fibre. The bamboo fibre can be blended with cotton and synthetic fibres like
polyester, nylon, etc. This fibre can be used for underwear, baby towel,
bath towels, etc.
Viscose fibre: It has a great sense of softness and
luxurious feel. Fabrics made from it have stable shape with silky touch.
Inherent flame-retorted viscose fibre is also very effective to produce baby
Chitcel fibre: It is a multiplex cellulosic fibre added with
natural antimicrobial high polymer chitin. It has merits of both chitin and
cellulose fibre. It has a wide application in medical textiles also. This
fibre is soft and luxurious with higher dyeing and rate and affinity. The
fabric made from this fibre provides soft and smooth feeling, comfortable
due to its high moisture and air permeability. The raw materials are formed
from natural regenerated resources. The product is biodegradable and can be
thoroughly decomposed within three months being buried 5 cm under the
Ring spun yarn is suitable because, due to its highly migrated
structure, it provides better fabric hand than rotor and friction spun
yarns. Combed yarns can be used for yarn of children clothing should be less
than adult wearing because more loftiness is required in case of baby
In summer, the fabric should be more open for frequent
transfer of moisture vapour. Satin and sateen weaves are more popular summer
wear. It is smooth, soft, lustrous and excellent drape, floats, snags
easily. In baby blanket, leno, towel and bath towel, felts are used. Twill
weaves are also very suitable due to diagonal effect, less dust capturing
tendency and more smoothness.
||From top of head, against a wall, without shoes.
||Around fullest part.
||Around string marker placed at natural waistline.
|Hips or seat
||Around fullest part: 5 1/2'' -7'' below for girst;
4 1/2'' - 5 3/8'' below for children; 3 1/2'' - 4 1/2'' for toddlers.
|Back waist Length
||From prominent bone at back of neck to waist.
||24-26 1/2 inches
|Back waist length
|Back waist length
While selecting the fabrics choose
durable fabrics that will take a lot of war and tear. Firm knits and firmly
woven fabrics such as denims, poplins, broadcloths, and corduroys are good
choices. Avoid loosely woven and knitted fabrics that may snag or catch.
Children prefer soft, absorbent fabrics that do not "Scratch".
Polyester cotton blends provide comfort, durability, and easy care.
Children's pattern types are based on body measurements. Because children go
rapidly, measurements need to be taken often.
It is designed for
infants who are not yet walking. Patterns for babies are chosen primarily by
weight and length. There are two sizes, new born and six-months.
is designed for a figure that is taller than a baby but shorter than a
child. Toddler pants have diaper allowance. Choose size closest to chest
measurement. Toddler patterns often apply to boys and girls.
the same chest and waist, as toddler but is taller with wider shoulders and
back. Many patterns suit boys and girls. For children's patterns choose the
size most closely matching the chest and back waist length measurements. The
chart shows the body measurements for exact pattern measurements and sizes.
Selection based on seasons
garments are selected with respect to season in order to protect their body.
During selection, the garment is selected according to two seasons, summer
and winter season.
Lightweight garments should be preferred on
summer season because the lightweight fabric can be able to breathe the body
moisture in to the environment easily. Children feel more comfortable on
wearing cotton fabric. The garment selected should be loose to wear. Colour
also plays vital role. Colour differs according to different climatic
condition. During hot season light colours like white, blue, green, purple,
etc, should be given importance. Black colour should be totally avoided
during summer season.
To give a warm condition, the garment
should be in thick nature. Hence materials like wool, acrylic are mostly
preferred. The colours preferred for this season are red, red-orange, maroon
etc, during this season children easily get affected by cool air. So,
knitted garments like sweater come into their existence. Sweaters can be
designed as smooth and bulkier, shagged, hairy, etc, which prevents the loss
of heat from the body. Sweaters are also named as pullover. Cashmere type of
sweater is used for great softness and lightness.
Selection based on liking
Children focus their eyes on the new creations, new styles and new models
while selecting their garment.
Children wider their selection based on:
Painting and printing
reflects the changing life style of garment. Fashion changes accordingly to
the new development techniques. Now-a-days fashions are created according to
the mindset of children. The garments are designed and styled based on these
Children like bright colours: Red, blue and yellow. Brown,
warm/cool colours combination, the royal purple is some of the colours that
are raising its peak in this youthful world. The colour reflects the mood of
the children. The colours used in children's garments should not be
sensitive to their skin.
The value added works in children
garment mostly consist of:
Trim can make a garment special to child. Decorative machine
stitching, embroidery, smocking, ribbons, braid, rickrack, appliqués,
ruffles. Lace and bias binding are some trimming possibilities. Be sure the
care requirements are compatible with the fabric while selecting the trim.
Children also like designs. Such as printed designs, stripes, and plaids
should be small and in scale with the child's size.
Finishes for children
A finish is a process given to a fabric to improve its qualities such
as appearance, hand, drape and certain other properties.
Synthetic fabrics are hydrophobic in nature and tend to accumulate static
electricity. This static electricity causes problem such as clinging of the
garment, attraction of dirt and sparking. These fabrics are given a chemical
treatment, which enables the fabric to attract and retain water molecules.
This helps to dissipate electric charge from the fabric surface and making
the fabric more comfortable to children.
Antibacterial static finish
a chemical treatment, which makes the fabric resistant to bacterial growth.
It renders the microbes inactive, which come in contact with it. Some of
these finishes also make the fabric mildew resistant and even prevent damage
of the fabric by perspiration.
are applied to the garments like sports wear, leisure wear, T-shirts, socks,
wipes etc. Antimicrobial are used to control the growth of algae, bacteria
and yeast. This prevents the fabric from rotting, staining, unpleasant
odours and other health concerns like physical irritation, allergic
It is also called as permanent
press finish, or durable press finish. A resin treatment is given to a
fabric, which is then stitched into a garment, eg, a pleated skirt for
girls. Heat treatment is applied to the garment to have a permanent pleat.
It does not require ironing but may require light pressing.
Cotton/linen and cotton/wool blended fabrics are mostly liable to
mildew in humid climates or if left moist in the dark. Cotton and rayon's
containing starch are particularly vulnerable to attack by mildew. If a
mildew resistant finish is given, these fabrics resist the growth of mildew
or mould. This is mainly given to children's bed spread, towels etc.
Wool is susceptible to attack by moth. If the wool is
treated with certain chemicals like fluorine compounds, chlorinated
sulphonamides, quaternary phosphonium compounds it is not damaged by moth
and carpet beetle. This is given to woollen sweaters and woollen garments of
Soil release finish
This finish is mainly applied to sports-wear
of the children, which helps the garment from getting stained. The finishes
that give soil release are:
Polymer containing carboxylic groups.
Compounds containing oxyethylene or hydroxyl groups.
containing hydrophilic groups chemically reactive compounds.
This helps the
garment from getting stained.
Anti-shrinking is a process in which the dimensional instability is avoided.
This makes the fabric dimensionally stable. The material used for children's
wear should be treated with anti-shrink or anti-stretch treatment.
Non-apparel textiles for children
Non-apparel textiles for children are
diapers, towels, socks, bed sheets and bedspreads and other textile goods.
Diaper cloth is a twill dobby or plain-woven water absorbent cotton.
Diapers are of two types: Disposal diaper and non-disposal diaper. Diapers
are made of gauze, flannelettes in rectangular or fitted type. Gauze allows
air to circulate there by keeping the children comfortable. These types of
diapers are easy to wash and dry, this implies that these diapers are
non-disposable. Flannelette is soft but bulky this could be used during long
It should also be selected on the basis of season.
During cold season the bed sheets should be thicker to give warmth. During
summer season it should be thin and have good air permeability and it should
have good air circulation capacity. Children's bedspreads mostly in the
colour of pink, purple, red etc. Colourful, fun and creative patterns and
fabrics for a child's bedspread can spark imagination, enhance play and make
naps and bedtime something to look forward to!
The towels used for
children should be capable of absorbing the water, which should have soft
and smooth feel. It should be treated with special finishes like
antimicrobial finish which avoids the growth of microbes. These finishes
must not affect the tender skin of children. Figure 15. Children's Towels
Socks are made from cotton, linen and wool. Socks are normally used
along with uniform and it can also be used during cold climate to protect
the body by preventing the direct contact of cool air. It should be surely
treated with antibacterial finish. This prevents the garment from the growth
of the bacteria.
As children's skins are more sensitive, more
care should be given while selecting the material for them. Some functional
factors influencing styles and finishing for children wear are listed below.
The colour dyed in the garment should not be sensitive to children skin.
It should be eco-friendly.
Hard materials having sharp edges should not be
used in babies garment as it may harm the tender skin.
Kids wear should
not have drawstrings as they have a tendency to wind round the children neck
and cause danger.
Children's wear must have sufficient seam allowances and
must offer styles.
Tight dresses are avoided, as they tend to have larger
Their foundation garment should have correct fit and should be
comfortable. It should be able to absorb perspiration.
It should be
durable and easy to launder.
Enough gap or spacing should be given in the
neck when considering pullover.
Preserve the garment in the dry condition,
so that it is free from bacteria and odours.
For infants and babies
elasticised garments should be avoided.
For babies full opening should be
Respective finishes should be given to respective garment.
The selection of suitable cloth to the children is imperative to
their enjoyment of health. The cloth should not irritate the delicate skin
of the children. When selecting children clothes, there are a few things
needed to be aware of in order to keep your children safe and comfortable.
So, the construction of the children garment should be simple and comfort.
1. Monika Gupta: A New Look for School Uniforms for the Next
Millennium, Evolving Trends in Fashion, the NIFT Millennium Document, 2000.
2. Kate Buller: The Knitter's Bible, Collins and Brown Limited.
Buller: Style Your Own Kid's Knits, Collins and Brown Limited.
Blaxland: Creative Clothes and Accessories for Children, Milner Craft Series
- Sally Milner Publishing.
5. Gloria Mortimer Dunn: Pattern Design for
Children Clothes, BT Batsford Ltd, Published in the Year 1996.
6. Noemia D
Souza: Fabric Care Newnes - Butterworths and Co-Publishers Ltd, Published in
the Year 1998.
Note: For detailed version of this article please
refer the print version of The Indian Textile Journal December 2008 issue.
Ms M Vimala
Department of Textile Technology,
RVS College of
Engineering and Technology,
Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.
Ms P Ramalakshmi
Ambatur Clothing Limited,