The consumer product safety commission recently issued a recall for children's bathrobes because they are considered highly flammable. The robes were made of 100% cotton terry cloth. Even though a bathrobe is not technically sleepwear, it is a piece of clothing that is connected to sleeping and thus must comply with the Children's Sleepwear standard.
More information can be found on the children's sleepwear standard (read this letter on loungewear too). It took me over an hour to finally find links to these two pieces of information and I read lots of interesting information on other products. If you go to the CPSC site, be sure to click on the Business link for guides and summaries.
Since you can read the government regulations at the links above, I won't repeat much of it here. Suffice it to say, the actual Flammable Fabric Act applies to just about all fabrics and articles of clothing (there are some exceptions). Some fabrics that consistently fail flammability testing include: sheer rayon or silk, rayon chenille, cotton fleeces, and cotton terry cloth. Synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon, acrylics) or wool fabrics are generally exempt. This is because these fabrics either simply melt or do not hold a flame once the flame source is removed.
If you design childrenswear consisting of any suspect fabric, you should take the time to send either your fabric or clothing to a testing lab. A flammability test can run anywhere from $200-$500, depending on the lab. Small change compared to a burn lawsuit.
Next time I will tackle children's safety and bedding.