In the not so distant past, a type of muslin was the fabric of Indian Royalty. Not so any longer! First made in Mosul Iraq, the city from which it obtained its name, Muslin is a fine, plain woven cotton fabric. It can be sheer, like gauze fabric but with a plain weave rather than being lightly woven. Muslin can also be coarse, and is seen in its natural color or dyed. If interested, check out http://info.fabrics.net for info on different types of cotton and weaves.
There are so many uses for muslin for babies! First is swaddling. Because the cloth is tough and durable yet also flexible, it makes a great fabric for baby swaddles and is a main reason for its current height of popularity. Muslin is light and compresses well so it can be fit into diaper bags and used to cover surfaces out of the home for changing clothes or diapers. Durability added to softness allow them to be used as a “blankie” on plane rides or car trips. If you have a child who needs to hold something when upset to calm herself in the car, you know this can be a lifesaver.
When our baby was 0-4 months she slept in a bassinet beside our bed which was so old it was an unusual size and shape. Muslin cloth can be used as sheets on these type of sleepers as long as they are properly tucked!
Finally, and a personal favorite use, is as a multipurpose cover. Since it is breathable, it is so fantastic for covering baby in these hot southern summers. Whether covering your baby during breastfeeding, at ball games in the car seat, or to provide a shaded section of an outdoor play area, muslin allows air in and hot sun and the sun’s rays out. This is especially useful for babies too young for sunscreen! It also allows your baby’s heat to escape rather than trapping it under a heavy cover. Playtimes in our yard with a crawler were far easier with the shade this fabric provided, without making the play area hot and stuffy.
I’m sure there are other uses for the marvelous muslin, but these are some we discovered and loved! Enjoy exploring all of the uses with your own!