Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to Wash Flannel Fabrics - Tips and Tricks for taking care of flannel

We published this article back in 2012 but we still get questions every now and then on the best way to take care of our soft and colorful flannel fabrics.  Here are some recommended, tried and true washing tips to get the most out of your flannel products:

Ahhh….flannel, so soft to the touch, perfect for newborn babies’ skin. Brushed flannels (like we sell at BobbleRoos) have a raised fiber surface that makes the fabrics so soft to the touch. However after washing several times, sometimes the fibers get mashed down or worse yet, begin to “pill”. Pilling, the little raised balls that create a lumpy surface, can be common with cotton, especially flannel fabrics and any other raised fiber fabrics (fleece, knits, etc). So how can I preserve my soft flannel blankets and sheets? We have several tips to help you out.
First, let’s look at the some common factors that can contribute to flannel pilling:
Pilling Problem - Friction
Friction can be from physical rubbing (think of the underarms of a flannel shirt or fleece sweater), or it can be caused during a vigorous wash cycle. When washing flannel fabrics, make sure you use a gentle cycle as the agitation of the wash is much slower than regular wash cycles, reducing the amount of friction on the fabric. You can turn our playard sheets and toddler pillow cases inside out to also help reduce friction on the outer surface.
Pilling Problem – Hot Water!
Another common cause of flannel pilling is improperly washing the fabric. Since flannel is commonly used for bedding items - sheets and blankets - many people wash these items in hot water because of dust mites, etc. However flannel items should be washed in cool or warm water – never use hot water!
Solution – Cold Water and Vinegar!Yes, vinegar – just standard plain old fashioned white vinegar. We recommend trying ½ cup white vinegar added to the rinse cycle to help reduce pilling. If your machine has a dispenser for rinse cycle softener, use this compartment for the vinegar instead of a rinse cycle softener. You can also use one of the balls that you toss into the machine that releases the rinse cycle softener (in this case, vinegar) into the wash. Another great recommendation – when an item is new, for the first wash, use just cold water and vinegar to “set” the fabric as a preventative measure.
Bonus! An extra bonus of vinegar is that it can also keep any bright colors from bleeding. Another bonus - if an item has already started to form pills, try washing the item without detergent – just cold water and ½ cup vinegar and this may help restore the fabric to the original softness.
Vinegar? Thumbs up - I love when we can recommend a cheap and natural solution!
Commercial Rinse Cycle Softeners and Dryer Sheets – Yeah or Nay?Some sources recommend using a commercial rinse cycle softener, however in a study done at the University of Nebraska, researchers found that when washing cotton flannel fabrics, rinse cycle softeners (liquid fabric softeners) resulted in an increase of fabric pilling as well as increased fabric breakage or weakening. Using dryer sheets did not seem to affect the pilling. Researchers also found that using laundry detergents containing the Cellulase Enzymes significantly reduces the pilling common with cotton fabrics. So “Nay” to the rinse cycle softeners, okay to dryer sheets if you like them.
So, for best results when washing our flannel products and other cotton items, wash on gentle, using cold water and 1/2 cup white vinegar for the initial wash. For future washings, continue to use cold water and a gentle detergent (preferably one containing Cellulase Enzymes*), plus ½ cup white vinegar during the rinse cycle, but avoid the use of commercial liquid or rinse cycle fabric softeners. These tips should help keep all of your cotton items (especially flannel fabrics) looking and feeling great for years to come.
*We've contacted several major detergent manufacturers to find out which brands contain Cellulase Enzymes. We do not recommend one brand over the other. We will update this list as more become available:
  • Most Tide powder varieties (HE and regular)
  • Tide TOTALCARE varieties
  • Ultra Tide Varieties (including HE) and Ultra Tide Free powder
  • Ivory Snow liquid and powder
  • Cheer brightCLEAN liquid varieties (but not powders)
  • Dreft HE Ultra Liquid
  • Dreft 2x Ultra Liquid

New toddler pillow fabrics now in stock

It's official - Jungle Stitch is now here.  Available in our toddler pillows, toddler blankets, playard sheets, and preschool nap mat sheets.  Crib sheets are coming soon.  This is quickly becoming my new favorite fabric.  Stay tuned for details on how to win this awesome toddler pillow and toddler blanket set!

Also, available in small quantities, we have a small supply of this new Pirate Plunder print - bright and bold, this toddler pillow is perfect for a Pirate theme room.Our toddler pillows are perfect for travel over the upcoming holiday season!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Preschool Nap Mat Sheets are Back!

We sell a lot of our Preschool Nap Mat Sheets in August and September for those kiddos starting a new year of preschool.  Our inventory was getting pretty low after this year's back to school rush.  But good news - we have been busy cutting and sewing and we are now fully restocked in our Preschool Nap Mat Sheets in many of our popular fabrics as well as most of our newer fabrics.  We also have our Preschool Nap Mat Sheets available in a set with our popular Toddler Pillows.  This makes the perfect set for daycare or preschool nap time. We also have customers who create their own unique set by mixing and matching, or adding one of our supersized toddler blankets

We currently have a coupon for 20% off any of our Preschool Nap Mat Sheets (or Toddler Pillow with Preschool Nap Mat Sheet set.  Use coupon code NAP20, expires 11/1/13.  Also take advantage of our reduced pricing on embroidery to personalize your child's nap mat sheet with his or her name - $5 per item (regular price $6.95).  Our Preschool Nap Mat sheets are designed to fit a 24" x 48" nap mat (up to 3" thick). 
Toddler Pillow and Preschool Nap Mat Sheet set in Oceans fabric

Preschool Nap Mat Sheet in Hoot fabric

Saturday, October 12, 2013

More Preschool Nap Mat Sheets Coming Soon

Our Preschool Nap Mat Sheets are a popular selling item especially close to the start of the preschool year in August/September, and again before many toddlers transition to new preschool classrooms in December/January.  We have been working hard cutting and sewing a new batch of our Preschool Nap Mat Sheets in many of the newer fabrics and they will be available starting October 21. We will have the new sheets available on our website as well as our store on  Thanks!

October savings!

Don't miss out on our October savings - 15% off any non-sale items using our current coupon code OCT15.  This is a great chance to purchase that personalized Toddler Pillow set, and save!  One per customer but feel free to share, coupons cannot be combined. Expires Oct 15, 2013.
toddler pillows
Personalized Toddler Pillow and Toddler Blanket Set
(Jungle Parade, Clean Block, Royal Blue)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vacation Notice Aug 9-17, 2013

Vacation Notice: We will be closed the week of August 9 - 17, 2013 for our annual sewing machine maintenance and restocking break.  During this time, no orders will ship however the website will remain open for placing orders. All orders of in-stock items (non-personalized) placed prior to noon EST August 8 will ship before we close.  All orders of personalized items placed before noon EST August 7 will ship before we close.  All orders placed on our website during our break will begin shipping when we reopen on August 19.  We will be checking emails and voicemails during this time so feel free to email if you have any questions.  Thanks so much for your support!

If you are in need of BobbleRoos products during our break, please check our products on as they are fulfilled and shipped by Amazon warehouses and will ship immediately, many with 2 day delivery.  In anticipation of our break, we are making sure to have our products well stocked on  Please note that Amazon does not offer personalization of our products, and they only stock a handful of the most popular fabrics/products such as our toddler pillows, playard sheets, crib sheets, toddler pillowcases, and allergen pillowcases.

Restocking Playard Sheets!

Playard sheets in new fabrics now in stock!
Playard sheets in current fabrics now back in stock!

One-of-a-Kind clearance playard sheets - just a few left! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Fabrics for Toddler Pillows

Our Toddler Pillow set is now available again in this cute Oceans fabric - perfect for summer vacations as a travel pillow for adults or kids.  We also have our toddler pillow set now available in Work Zone, Spring Garden, and a few more new prints coming this summer.  Don't forget - we offer personalization to all toddler pillows so make sure to add your child's name.  I recently gave a personalized toddler pillow to a friend in the hospital to make her stay more comfortable - paired with some crossword puzzle books, magazines, chapstick, and chewing gum, it was a perfect "Get Well"  hospital gift - better than a bouquet of flowers or balloons and a great way to brighten somone's hospital stay.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When to give your child a toddler pillow

"When is the right time to give my child a toddler pillow?" I get asked this question frequently at BobbleRoos. There are a lot of opinions to sift through, but currently, most of the official guidelines (from organizations like The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) are relevant for infants under 12 months of age. So does that mean a 13 or 14 month old can start using a pillow?

We typically recommend our toddler pillows for 2 years and up and even then, it's best to check with your pediatrician. Your child's pediatrician will be up to date on changing safety recommendations and will also know your child's heath history including any issues that may impact sleeping, allergies or asthma, etc. Many leading child developmental experts agree that it's best to allow young children to sleep on a flat surface, and when you do introduce a toddler pillow, choose one that is somewhat firm, yet flat - nothing too poofy or fluffy. Pick a pillow that is the right proportions for a child, which is why we like our 12 x 16 toddler pillow.

A toddler pillow is a great transitional item when the child is converting from the crib to a toddler bed or twin bed - but it all depends on age. With my two children, I waited as long as possible to move them out of the crib and it was usually around 3 - 3 1/2 years old. However I have friends with "climbers" who have moved their kids out of the crib before their first birthday. I also have friends with 2-3 year old children who had frequent ear infections or sinus problems and the pediatrician recommend the use of a small pillow to help elevate the child's head. I've had many customers also tell me that they knew their child was ready when he/she bundled up blankets under his/her head at night to sleep on, or slept on a stuffed animal. But PLEASE check with your child's doctor first.

If your child or baby is not yet ready for a pillow, our toddler pillows still have a ton of great uses during the daytime - your child may still enjoy cuddling up with it during playtime, or using it for a "seat" to make that wooden chair more comfy, or for playing house with dolls. It also makes a great travel pillow - even for adults. I took one to the hospital with me during labor and delivery - great to put behind your lower back or neck for extra support. I also used mine frequently during nursing. We also use ours for traveling as they squish up easily inside a suitcase, can be carried on a plane, and great for making the car seat ride more comfortable. Just make sure to keep that pillow and loose items out of the crib until they are ready.

So the bottom line is that many children are ready for a pillow sometime after their first birthday - typically around 2-3 years of age, but check with your pediatrician first and educate yourself on the current safety recommendations and pros and cons. When you do choose a pillow, choose one that is in proportion to your child (lightly filled 12x16 is perfect!) and pick out some fun printed pillowcases that will allow your child to get attached to the pillow and make sleeping time fun! I can't tell you how may parents have told me that our toddler pillows have helped restless sleepers (which is great for the child and the parents!!) Feel free to post your ideas and opinions about using a pillow with children.