The ultimate guide to muslins

Gone are the days when a swaddle was solely for swaddling. Kate Finney reports on the supersized trend for multi-purpose muslins

Before they know it, every expectant or new parent begins to delve into the world of extra-large muslins. It’s impossible to walk down the street without seeing a buggy with a large patterned muslin draped over the hood, covering up a sleeping baby, or protecting them from the sun.

They are versatile, useful, practical and now feature any number of prints and colours to suit most tastes. Whether you’re into monochrome, dip-dye pastels or cute storybook characters, you’ll find yourself stocking up before you know it.

Perfect for a multitude of tasks, these muslins are all big enough to swaddle your baby in the early days – if you choose to do so – as well as being soft enough to use as sheets for the Moses basket or crib and as blankets for a newborn. When an everyday essential crosses into must-have accessory territory, the designs start to get more and more exciting, and designer collaborations start to pop up. In fact, if you’re not a convert already, you soon will be!

Marloe London

Marloe London
These luxurious, extra-extra-large muslins are beautifully soft and sumptuous. The collection of block colours and ombre dip-dyes appeal to mothers and babies alike, and they have the added bonus of personalisation with a name, birth date and contrasting embroidery trim, making these muslins the perfect present for a newborn. The fact that these muslins can also be used as a sarong or scarf for mum means that a Marloe is not only chic, but guaranteed to be in use long after your little one has grown up.

Anyone who loves Scandi style and colourways will love the beautiful muslins on offer from baby brand Mori. Incredibly soft, made from 100% pre-washed cotton, available in four neutral tones (white, dusk blue, light grey and blush pink) and featuring the subtle signature Mori print, these muslins add an element of grown-up style to life with a baby. So versatile, you’ll want one in every colour. 

Bertie’s Blankets
Set up by a new mother, Bertie’s Blankets swaddling muslins come beautifully presented in a gift box, and are printed with a stylish safari design in either pinky grey or blue. Made from a mix of bamboo rayon and cotton, these muslins get softer with every wash and are particularly comfortable for babies with sensitive skin. Plus, the gorgeous print gives them a longevity beyond the baby days: Bertie himself is now four years old and loves to use his blankets to build dens!

Faye & Lou
Bold and bright, these zingy muslins can’t help but cheer you up. The extra-large cotton ‘Cozio’ swaddling muslins come in a whole palette of rainbow hues, and are highly absorbent and breathable. Plus, there’s zero chance of them ever fading to a dull-looking grey. For a bit of extra cushioning, the muslin blankets are made from three layers of cotton muslin – great for using as a play mat or lining the pram.

aden + anais

aden + anais
Ever since a newborn Prince George was introduced to the world wrapped in a bird-print aden + anais swaddle, the brand has shot to international stardom, with Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Alba and Jamie Oliver being the latest celebrity fans. What started off as a small range featuring star prints, jungle animals and pretty patterns has now expanded to include collaborations with the likes of Disney and charity RED, and exciting new ranges featuring subtle metallic prints and nostalgic alphabet designs.

Lil’ Cubs
Featuring a selection of vibrant prints in bold colours, these super-soft cotton muslins are suited to parents looking for unisex designs. We particularly love the rainbow chevron pattern, the juicy fruit prints and the simple yet striking lightning bolts. Made using only eco-friendly dyes  (so some subtle fading may occur over time) and bursting with personality, these muslins are both practical and fun.

Inspired by family life in Provence, the pure cotton muslins from Lullabébé are supersized, lightweight and highly versatile with beautiful French-style colours and prints. The white muslins feature sweet blue or pink designs (including little elephants and hearts), are delicately soft and come with a matching muslin drawstring bag. They’re ideal gifts for expectant mothers, especially if you use the personalisation service to embroider the baby’s initials in beautiful French script on one corner.

Molly & Moo
Minimalist designs and muted greys give these muslins from brand new company Molly & Moo an undeniably Scandinavian feel, perfect for parents who favour natural shades and a cleaner, more modern aesthetic. The generous dimensions and durable, super-soft quality means they will be a hit with baby, doubling as a comfort blanket as they grow. These muslins make a lovely essential for your changing bag.

Want more? Take a look at how to swaddle