I use a few different types of fabric for different purposes:
Kona Cotton – This is my go-to fabric. It is high thread count 100% cotton quilters’ fabric made by Robert Kaufman, and is readily available in different shades of skin tone, depending on where you purchase it. You can stuff it very firmly with minimal lumps, and it needle sculpts beautifully.
Muslin – For doll bodies, I use high quality 100% cotton muslin for doll bodies when the face, hands, and feet are made from clay, or for cloth dolls that are to be painted and varnished over. As long as the raw fabric isn’t seen, I’ll use muslin as a base to work with.
Windsor Comfort – Remember the Cabbage Patch Dolls from the 1980s? This is the fabric. It’s an interlock fabric with a little stretch. The dolls will be a bit softer because it’s not stiff like the two fabrics I just mentioned above, but I sometimes like to use this as a skin. The knit weave looks interesting, especially on a larger doll.
Craft Velour – A bit fuzzy on one side, and smooth on the other. It’s on the thicker side. You can use the fuzzy side either in or out.
Deersuede – Similar to craft velour, but denser, and the weave is seen less. More expensive. The colors are more neutral and not as “fleshy,” but the texture is worth it.
Dolskin – This is really stretchy stuff, and used for more delicate skinning. Think of a nude bathing suit.
Cotton / Lycra – This is great for “cloth over clay.” Like Dolskin, it is also used for skinning, but it’s much thicker and not slippery at all. Think of really stretchy jersey knit fabric.
Paper towels, cheap muslin, or my husband’s old shirts – For drafting and testing patterns