International Women’s Day 2024: How Alternative Fabrics For Maternity Wear Are A Boon For Today’s Working Mothers

International Women’s Day 2024: How Alternative Fabrics For Maternity Wear Are A Boon For Today’s Working Mothers

These fabrics offer a blend of style and sustainability, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of modern mothers-to-be

Anjali KochharUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 07:18 PM IST
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Pic: Freepik

Maternity wear has indeed been closely associated with cotton for its comfort, breathability, and adaptability to changing body shapes during pregnancy. However, with the ever-evolving fashion landscape and increasing emphasis on sustainability, expectant mothers are now presented with a plethora of fabric options that go beyond the traditional confines of cotton. These alternative fabrics not only prioritise comfort but also offer a blend of style and sustainability, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of modern mothers-to-be.

From luxurious bamboo and modal to timeless linen and eco-friendly organic cotton, the choices available today reflect a growing awareness of the environmental and social impacts of fashion. This shift towards alternative fabrics marks a significant evolution in maternity fashion, empowering expectant mothers to make conscious choices that align with their values. In our exploration of these alternative textiles, we'll delve deeper into their unique properties, benefits, and the insights shared by industry experts and expectant mothers, providing a comprehensive understanding of how these fabrics are reshaping the maternity wear landscape.

Ankieta Kothari, co-founder of Block Hop, a maternity wear, emphasises the importance of alternative fabrics, stating, "Alternate fabric has become a norm now. There are so many research that shows how the fabric you wear affects your skin. So now people are becoming more conscious of what fabric clothes they are wearing, especially during pregnancy."

Komal Khatri, first-time mother and business woman, shared her love for Block Hop. “Maternity fabric has to be comfortable and soft. Block Hop’s bamboo fabric is really soft and suited me a lot. I ordered all my pregnancy wardrobe from them. After delivery, the clothes were also easy to breastfeed the baby. Would definitely recommend their products to all mommies!”

Natural wonders

Bamboo: Renowned for its buttery softness, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties, bamboo fabric has become a go-to choice for expectant mothers. Shalini, an expectant mother, shares, "Bamboo fabric feels incredibly soft against the skin and keeps me cool during those hot summer days of pregnancy." Its hypoallergenic nature also makes it gentle on sensitive skin, ensuring utmost comfort throughout pregnancy.

Modal: Derived from beechwood cellulose, modal fabric shares many characteristics with bamboo, including its softness and breathability. Ideal for flowing garments and dresses, modal offers excellent drape and retains its shape effortlessly, making it a popular choice among expectant mothers seeking comfort without compromising style.

Linen: Embraced for its breathability and temperature-regulating properties, linen is a natural fiber perfect for warmer climates. Its unique texture adds a touch of sophistication to maternity wear while ensuring mothers stay cool and comfortable. Its versatility allows for both casual and elegant maternity outfits, providing expectant mothers with stylish options for every occasion.

Sustainable solutions

Organic Cotton: Prioritising sustainability, organic cotton minimizes exposure to harmful chemicals and promotes environmentally friendly practices. It retains all the benefits of conventional cotton while offering peace of mind to eco-conscious mothers.

Recycled polyester: Offering a second life to discarded plastic, recycled polyester is an eco-friendly option that reduces environmental impact. When blended with natural fibers like cotton or elastane, it provides both comfort and shape retention, making it a practical choice for maternity wear that doesn't compromise on sustainability or style.

Tencel: Renowned for its luxurious softness and breathability, Tencel fabric is derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp. Produced using a closed-loop system, Tencel minimises its environmental footprint while offering exceptional comfort and moisture-wicking properties. Arpit Srivastava, Regional Marketing & Branding Manager (South Asia, Middle East, Thailand), notes, "Fabrics crafted from TENCEL lyocell and modal fibers are gaining momentum in the Indian market, particularly for applications like close-to-skin and loungewear products. Their attributes make them ideal for maternity wear, where comfort is paramount."

Comfort and style

Jersey: A blend of cotton and elastane, jersey knit fabric offers unparalleled comfort and stretch, making it an essential fabric for maternity wear. Its adaptability to a mother's growing belly ensures both comfort and style throughout pregnancy, allowing for easy movement and flexibility.

Rayon: Versatile and lightweight, rayon fabric offers a soft, draping texture that complements maternity wear beautifully. Blended with elastane, it provides added stretch and shape retention, ensuring mothers look and feel their best during this special time.

Choosing the right fabric

When selecting maternity wear, it's essential to consider various factors to ensure optimal comfort, style, and sustainability:

Season: Choose breathable fabrics like bamboo or linen for warmer weather, while opting for organic cotton or Tencel™ for cooler climates.

Comfort: Prioritize fabrics that feel soft against the skin and offer sufficient stretch to accommodate a growing body.

Versatility: Look for pieces that can be dressed up or down, allowing for multiple outfit options throughout pregnancy.

Sustainability: Opt for organic or recycled fabrics whenever possible to minimize environmental impact and support ethical fashion practices.

"Incorporating alternative fabrics into maternity wear not only enhances comfort and style but also contributes to a more sustainable fashion industry," remarks Karan Aylani, MD of Prithviraj Studio. "Chinon fabric, known for its smooth and soft texture, provides a comfortable feel when worn. Additionally, I recommend Organza fabric, a lightweight material often used in kurtis. Organza is an ideal choice for maternity wear, citing its attributes of comfort, softness, coolness, and weightlessness."

The exploration of alternative fabrics for maternity wear signifies a shift towards a more conscious and inclusive approach to fashion. By embracing these innovative textiles, mothers-to-be can embark on their pregnancy journey with confidence, knowing that they can prioritize comfort, style, and sustainability without compromise. As the fashion landscape continues to evolve, the exploration of alternative fabrics paves the way for a more inclusive and environmentally responsible maternity wear industry.

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