Friday Feature: Baby Sling Materials

This weekend some friends and I are getting together to make one of my favorite one-hour projects: baby slings, specifically the kind called a Ring Sling.

Since I have ring slings on the brain, today’s Friday Feature is Baby Sling Materials. This mother-of-three uses her sling all the time. I don’t know how I would get out to the car with all three kids without one!

Next week I’ll be posting a mini-tutorial on how I make my baby slings, but for now, let’s just focus on those beautiful fabrics available online and in your local fabric store.

Some things to look for when shopping for Baby Sling fabric:

  • 100% cotton is a good choice. Light linens also work great, and sateen cottons are my favorite. I’m sure there are many other fabrics that would work well (people use silk, double gauze, you name it) but cotton or lightweight linen are my favorite. You need something sturdy, but not too heavy.
  • Choose a fabric that is 42″ to 45″ wide. This will provide plenty of room for the baby in your sling. Quilting cottons almost always fall in this range.
  • You need 2.25 to 2.5 yards of fabric. I personally prefer slings made with 2.5 yards of fabric, but 2.25 is totally do-able for a petite person. It will just leave you with a shorter “tail.”
  • If you prefer prints over solids, look for something with a large-scale pattern. Small prints are too busy on a baby sling. Remember this will cover quite a bit of your outfit. My rule of thumb: pick something you would wear as a dress. Also remember you will use this every day with every outfit you own. The colors should be versatile.

Here are some of my favorite prints out there right now for baby slings:

First up, from Sandi Henderson’s new line Secret Garden (Michael Miller) are these beautiful bouquets:

Fresh Cut Fowers in Speckle

This blue and the yellow below will become baby slings tomorrow.

Fresh Cut Flowers in Maize

These color choices are also beautiful. The red on blue kind of takes my breath away. 🙂

Fresh Cut Flowers Moss

Fresh Cut Flowers Paprika

If you’re looking for something more neutral, try something from “Curious Nature” by Parson Gray (who is actually Amy Butler’s husband David Butler):

Cocoons Brush Green

Cocoons Brush Tin Grey

If you’re looking for something subtle in neutral colors, but with a bit more femininity check out this print from Pat Bravo with Art Gallery fabrics:

Rythmic Gray

Or for something a little brighter, try these Tossed Daisies from Michael Miller’s Citron Gray collection:

Tossed Daisies 
And if none of those work for you, take a look at Amy Butler! She has about a million fabrics that would make beautiful slings. Here are some of my favorites.
A nice neutral gray and yellow:
Optic Blossom Linen
My ultimate favorite Amy Butler print:
Lotus Wall Flower in Cherry

For a baby girl:

Floating Buds in Ivory

This is a beautiful brown/olive:

Lotus Lacework in Olive
And lastly, a gorgeous black/dark grey:

Lark Glamour Ivy Bloom Cinder Grey

Lastly, I found these beautiful fabrics at my local Joanne’s store. These are cotton sateens, which I’ve found make striking, and easy-to-adjust baby slings.

Baby Sling: Caila-Made

You never know what you’ll find at Joanne’s! Sometimes there’s nothing and other times I make a beautiful find. 
Okay, stay tuned for more on baby slings! Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading!


  1. says

    Oh my goodness. Optic Blossom Linen is so striking. Do you think it would make a sun dress as well? I do not currently have a sweet baby to carry but all of your fabric suggestions are very tempting!

    • says

      Hi Cecelia! I appreciate your feedback and the safety information you provided. That’s certainly important stuff for people to read. However, I have been using slings with a single layer of quilting cotton for years and mine have all held up just fine. No wearing or thinning in the fabric, no rips or tears. But I always use high-quality fabric for safety reasons. Any person wearing a baby in a sling should take care to examine it closely each time before wearing, no matter if it is store bought or homemade.