What is the best fabric for making dog bandanas?

Let's explore the best fabric for sewing dog bandanas and what fabrics to avoid.


4/7/20233 min read

Do you want to make dog bandanas but are unsure what fabric is best to use?

white and gray knit textile
white and gray knit textile
pink textile in close up photography
pink textile in close up photography

Are you ready to unleash your creativity and make dog bandanas?

Get started today with the 1-hour dog bandana pattern and fun dog-themed fabric!

Happy sewing!

The Creative Dog Mom

adult brown and white Australian cattle dog
adult brown and white Australian cattle dog

The best fabric to sew dog bandanas with is quilting cotton. Quilting cotton has little to no stretch and is easy to cut and work with. It is also easy to care for, which is essential so you can let your dog play and have fun while wearing their bandana. When it’s time to wash the bandana, just throw it in the washer and dryer.

Best of all, quilting cotton comes in a wide range of colors and prints, and you’ll be able to find fabric to match your dog's personality and your personal style.

Let's look at the other fabric types and why they're not ideal for making dog bandanas.

Fleece and knit fabrics are very stretchy, and your bandana will be harder to tie and easily fall off. Knits can also be hard to work with because it tends to curl at the edges.

Wool, canvas, and denim fabrics are too thick, and your bandanas turn out bulky and are hard to tie.

Rayon, nylon, and silk are delicate fabrics and if your dog were to scratch the bandana, it would likely end up with pulled threads and marks. Because they're silky/slippery fabrics, the bandana will also easily come undone and fall off. These fabrics also tend to require dry cleaning.

As you can see, anything other than good quilting cotton has challenges to work with and is not a good choice when making dog bandanas.

You have lots of options for where to buy your cotton fabric for bandanas. The best place for you will depend on your budget and purpose.

If you want to do a business sewing and selling dog bandanas, I highly recommend purchasing good quality quilt cotton fabric at an independent store.

Buying fabric at big box stores is suitable if you make bandanas just for fun and as gifts for friends and family.

Let's look at the difference in the fabric between independent quilt stores and big box stores.

Independent quilt stores:

These stores specialize in cotton quilt fabrics and are where you’ll find the best fabric for your dog bandanas. A tighter weave and higher thread count make the fabric better quality. This allows you to get cleaner cuts and more accurate piecing/sewing because it's less likely to stretch, fray, and shrink. You will also notice the dye used for the coloring is of better quality and less likely to fade when washed.

Cost: $12-$13 per yard.

To find a quilt shop near you where you can shop in person, pull up Google Maps and type in “Quilt shop near me”.

There are also plenty of online shopping options. I sell dog-themed quilt cotton fabrics right here on SewDogs.com. Here are some of my favorite places to shop online when I need fabric:

Hawthorne Supply Co. They're the only online store I've found where you can shop by collection, so you know your fabrics and colors will match.

The Quilt Peddler. They have one of the largest collections of novelty and holiday fabric. They're also super fast at shipping.

Patched Works. This is my go-to place when I want to make something bright and fun. They have a huge selection of both Tula Pink and Ruby Star fabrics. They also have a lot of fun novelty fabrics.

Blue Bar Quilts. This is my go-to place for modern fabrics. This is a local store, so I can shop in person, but they also have online shopping.

Big box stores (JOANN, Hobby Lobby, Walmart):

This is where you’ll find the best price. But remember, you get what you pay for! While the price and selection at big box stores are hard to resist, keep in mind the fabric is a lower thread count and often fades significantly after just one wash.

Price: $7-$13 per yard and often on sale 30-50% off.

Where can you buy quilting cotton?

What makes other fabrics not suitable for dog bandanas?

three people standing on roadside near building during nighttime
three people standing on roadside near building during nighttime

Knits and fleece.

Rayon, nylon, silk.

Happy Sewing!