How To Clean Your Nicest White Linens

Back when the original Victorian pajamas were in use, fancy detergent and electric-powered washers weren’t around. How did they keep their clothes clean? In fact, many pieces of clothing for children and nighttime or undergarment clothes were purely white. This was considered the easiest color to clean, as you could boil it and be rough without bleeding precious dyes. How about today when we have the technology and know-how to gently clean our nicest, whitest clothing? When you decide to purchase a pretty white lace nightgown, how do you keep it looking fresh as the day you bought it?

It turns out the internet has plenty of helpful suggestions, so a few relevant bits of washing wisdom are collected right here for you.

Material plays a big part in how you wash whites. Percale weaves, for example, are sturdy, pill-resistant and tend to get softer with each wash. That being said, you want to use cold water, not warm or hot, to minimize any shrinkage. Cotton percale especially is susceptible to shrinkage when washed in hot water. The Victorians must have made their clothes a bit on the large side to account for shrink while boiling their linens!

Obviously, a piece of cloth like linen guest towels don’t have to be coddled as much. Even if they shrink a smidge, they’re not going on anyone’s body.

So how do we wash whites without hot water? Here are a few tried-and-true tips:

 

  • Keep all white clothing separated from colors and darks for wash cycles. No red socks turning your white nighties pink!

 

  • Add a half cup of borax or a cup of baking soda to the load along with your usual detergent.

 

  • One cup of distilled white vinegar during the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener helps strip any detergent residues from white fabrics.

 

  • Use laundry bluing or optical brighteners to trick your eyes into believing your clothes are bright and white.

 

  • Dry clothes outside in the sun. The sun’s natural UV rays help gently bleach the fabric and keep it bright-looking.

 

  • Drying clothes in the sun is also a good fail-safe for leftover stains you miss after the wash process; drying stained clothing on high heat in a dryer can lock in the stain. If you notice a stubborn stain, hold off on drying the fabric. Re-treat it and wash it again.

How Men’s Nightshirts Became A Staple Femme Style

You may have seen them in the Jacaranda Living women’s Victorian pajamas collection: coy, classy, white nightshirts. They’re like cute nighties, but with an interesting masculine twist. How did this age-old men’s style of nightshirt become such an intimate nightgown choice for modern day women? There’s actually an interesting history behind it.

 

Up until the sixteenth century, pajamas weren’t really a “thing” in most of the world. Western men, in particular, would either sleep nude or in one of their day shirts. Eventually, this would morph into them wearing dedicated nightshirts, usually their old, worn-in day shirts. Among nobility of the day, it became the fashion for men to wear fancily embroidered nightshirts, sometimes called “wrought” night-shirts.

 

By the Victorian era, the nightshirt had become the standard sleepwear of choice for men, women, and children. They resembled typically men’s day shirts of the time with their collars and buttons, only longer. Often they were monogrammed, as was the practice with much of households’ important linens since as far back as 1200 AD. Some had small feminine details around the bib and cuffs, such as frills, a precursor to the women’s and children’s nightgowns we see still occasionally today. For quite some time the shirt was often paired with a nightcap, but this went out of fashion in the 1860s.

 

So what changed the tide of nightwear? The idea of “pyjamas” brought from India and other Eastern cultures that were then British colonies. The long-sleeved shirt and pants combo (often made of fine striped fabric like silk) captured the heart of British fashion, putting dress-like nightwear out of vogue for a bit, especially for men who enjoyed wearing pants at night as they did in their daywear. In fact, the modern word pajamas and its variations reportedly comes from the Persian words “pay” and “jama”, meaning “leg garment”.

 

Victorian pajamas may have shifted, but that didn’t spell the end for nightgowns, mind you. Women and children continued to wear the nightgown and nightshirt styles until modern day but usually kept them very feminine — even for young male children. So how do we reach the modern allure of a men’s button-down shirt as women’s sensual sleep and loungewear from conservative Victorian pajamas? Cultural change and popular media, of course.

 

Since the emergence of the trope in the 1950s, women have often debated the true appeal of a button-down men’s shirt. Does the appropriated shirt represent the strength and intelligence of women as they strived to be seen socially as equals to men? Or does the borrowing of a man’s nightshirt imply a sense of ownership and sexuality? An iconic advertisement from menswear brand Van Heusen in the 1980s has embodies this debate. In the ad, Van Heusen claims to make button-downs “for a man to wear, and a woman to borrow,” featuring an attractive woman going about her lazy day while wearing a presumably ‘borrowed’ shirt from her partner.

Women wearing a man’s shirt (especially post, ahem, intimacy) has become a popular TV trope all its own. Movies all the way from Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) to Iron Man(2008) have featured it. Based on cultural and fashionable context, a contemporary nightshirt-style nightgown created specifically for women’s wants and style in mind can be a comfortable power statement.

 

How do you feel when you wear a nightshirt?

The History of Sleepwear Trends

white cotton pajamas
Nightgown, nighties, and pajamas; to you, they’re just something you throw on without thinking before heading to bed. But did you know that there’s actually an extensive history surrounding the white cotton pajamas we all know and love?

(Source: 1930s Underwear Models)

Historic Sleepwear

Centuries ago, sleepwear wasn’t the cutest or most comfortable thing on the market. According to mentalfloss.com’s article on changing sleepwear, “from ancient times until the 1800s, people would either catch Zs in a variety of nightwear, ranging from their day clothing to undressing down to their tunic and undergarments—the equivalent of today’s plain white T-shirt and leggings.” Years and years ago, pajamas were bulky and didn’t have any shape to them. They absorbed perspiration, meaning they needed to be made of washable, white linen. The white linen could also be boiled and bleached and was the preferred fabric for lower, middle, and upper classes. The quality of the linen, however, denoted which economic level the wearer fell under.

(Source: BreveStoria del Cinema via Flickr // CC BY 2.0)

Nineteenth Century Sleepwear

During the nineteenth century, nightgowns increased in popularity and became extremely distinguishable from other women’s undergarments. These white cotton nightgowns featured high collars, yokes, and cuffs. The high collar gave the sleepwear a more professional, put together look. They were made to appear more elegant than the historic nightwear of the past. These nightgowns also featured wider necklines that wasted less fabric and were convenient for the ill.

(Source: wikipedia)

Ready-to-Wear Nightwear

As the nineteenth century went on, ready-to-wear white cotton pajamas because available. They were loose and long, had embellishment on the yoke, included ribbon, beading, lace, embroidery, and ruffles. The nightwear could even be monogrammed, if that’s what the person wearing the fabric desired. Monogramming has been around for centuries. The hoarding and use of large amounts of household linen became popular around the year 1200 AD, when sheets, tablecloths, and napkins were marked with dark ink to identify their owner. These nightgowns were typically white but sometimes came in different colors at the turn of the century.

The sleepwear we don today isn’t necessarily what people wore back in the day. Our pajamas tend to be a lot shorter, made of different fabrics, and come in a variety of styles and colors. But there are still many people who choose to stick to the classic nightgown. They’re breathable, comfortable, and all around classy.

Jacaranda Living’s Denise Nightgown is an elegant choice for classy women who love wearing the old fashioned nighties.

5 Ways New Moms Can Actually Get Some Sleep

white cotton nightgown

If you just had a baby you probably haven’t gotten a ton of sleep lately. You may be sitting here thinking you’ll never get sleep ever again, but guess what? Sleep is possible!

The lack of sleep can largely impact your life. And to get your sleep schedule back on track, there are a few things you can do.

The first things you should do are establish a regular bedtime routine and try to relax. While it may be hard to get under the covers at the same time every night, getting into a bedtime routine can be beneficial. There are many different relaxation techniques you should start practicing if you want to get a better night’s sleep. For example, you can read a book, go on a walk to clear your head after dinner, fill out a crossword puzzle, or listen to calming music. You may even consider taking a relaxing bubble bath every now and then (if you can). Do anything that will help you wind down that doesn’t involve a screen. So, stay off of the phone and turn off the television and computer.

Even if you rely on soda and coffee to get yourself through the day, this won’t be very helpful while trying to fall asleep. Cut yourself off from stimulants as well as chocolate and energy drinks by mid-afternoon. We recommend having your last cup of coffee at lunch time. Stimulants like these are guaranteed to make falling asleep harder, especially if you indulge in them later in the afternoon.

When your baby is asleep and you’re finally able to get into bed, it can be very hard to switch off your mind. If you find that you’re having trouble trying to get to sleep, don’t get frustrated. Try writing down what might be keeping you awake. You could also try changing up what you’re wearing to bed. If you’re in a pair of sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, you might not be as comfortable as you think. A white cotton nightgown or white cotton pajamas might be the better option. The great thing about white cotton nightgowns or nighties is that they’re going to keep you warm, yet they’re light enough to be breathable.

Change out your old pjs for something comfortable and cool like the new Natalie PJ set.

Newborns tend to sleep about 10.5 to 18 hours each day. Even though this may seem like a lot of sleep, it can be very hard for a new mom to catch a significant amount of shut-eye. To try and make your sleep experience better, change your sleepwear to cotton PJs and nightgowns, stick to a sleep schedule, and cut back on stimulants and caffeine at least 4-5 hours before bedtime.
The cutest little baby wearing a baby sheep embroidered baby hat from Jacaranda Living. It comes in many designs, choose your favorite here.

Yes, your newborn is adorable, cute and most of the time very needy, but you need to put time aside for yourself too.

The Best Sleepwear to Help You Keep Cool and Avoid Summer Sweats

Waking up drenched in sweat is never a good thing, but it definitely happens to most of us, especially during hot summer nights. It can get unbearably hot at night. The best way to fix this is preparing for warm summer nights with the right sleepwear. Jacaranda Living’s range of cool cotton PJs and nightgowns will help you stay cool and comfortable during summer nights.

girls white cotton dress
Victorian nightgowns to keep you cool during warm summer nights

There are several cotton nightgowns from Jacaranda Living that are great options for summer nights. These cotton nighties are made up of breathable fabric, so you don’t have to worry about suffocating in your wintry PJs made of a thicker fabric. Since these nightgowns are cool dresses, it will help keep you cooler than if you wear a warmer PJ set.

girls white cotton dress
The Kristen Nightie is a flirty favorite with its ruffled flair and short hem. A cute and comfortable choice to wear around the house.

If girls white cotton nighties aren’t really your thing, and you’re more of a pants and top kind of gal, you can still find a sheer cotton pajama set that will keep you cool throughout the night. This new white cotton PJ set with blue piping will be one you fall in love with, especially because it is a great set for warmer nights since you won’t overheat while sleeping in soft sheer cotton. They’re also very easy to take care of, as they are made of cotton, so there’s no need to take your sleepwear to the dry cleaner.

girls white cotton dress
The Iris Cotton PJ is the perfect set to curl up on the couch and enjoy a girls’ night in.

If you’re looking for something cool but a little more elegant then the Victorian PJs are for you. Victorian pajamas have the elegant style you might prefer than a cool and casual look, but they will also keep you feeling cool during warm summer nights. Elegant, classy and comfortable all in one. You can choose from Victorian sleep sets or Victorian nightgowns. If you’re fashionable every day, why not be fashionable while you’re sleeping, too?

girls white cotton dress
The Natalie PJ’s swiss cotton voile dot fabric is sheer and comfortable – a new, elegant favorite that will keep you cool from season to season

You can even get your sleepwear monogrammed – just email info@jacarandaliving.com for personal inquiries! Monogramming has been around for thousands of years. The hoarding and use of large amounts of household linen became popular around the year 1200 AD, when sheets, tablecloths, and napkins were marked with dark ink to identify their owner.

girls white cotton dress
Monogrammed sleepwear are great gift ideas for bachelorettes, bridal parties and showers! Inquire for your requests.

These are all great options to help you avoid those summer night sweats. Waking up in the summer after a long sleep to find your bedding and pajamas soaked is the worst feeling. Try the above sleepwear options to keep cool and comfortable all summer long — or check out some of other great items, like our girls white cotton dress.

Why Choosing a Nightgown Is the Best Option for Your Sleep

nightgown

There’s nothing better than hopping into bed after a long day at work. It’s the time of your day where you get to relax and unwind.

During this time, you should be able to feel really comfortable, and that isn’t just a determining factor of how cozy your bed is. What you wear to sleep is extremely important, too. While many people choose pajama sets, old t-shirts, or nothing at all, modern nightgowns are a great choice for a few different reasons.

They’re Long-lasting
The best nightgowns are made from the finest cotton, which not only means that they’re good if you have allergies, but they will also last for many years to come. All of the times you throw your nightgown into the wash won’t impact the quality of your white cotton nightgown. You can sleep in the white nightie for a long time without having to worry about ruining them. It’ll definitely be the Victorian style nightgown that you can wear time and time again.

You’ll Sleep in Style
Not only are white cotton nighties great due to their longevity, they’re also very fashionable. Choose from classic Victorian inspired nightgowns with touches of embroidery and lace, or from modern, simple styles all in pure cotton. They’re extremely feminine, yet also offer a retro appeal. You can choose the length of the sleeve depending on your comfort level. You’ll have a choice of no sleeves, capped sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, or full sleeves. Hem lengths range from short to knee and ankle length. All of these options are extremely fashion forward. They’re also great for young women and teenagers. Also breast-feeding young mothers love the button-front styles – practical, pretty and natural.

They’re Comfortable
Above anything else, it’s important that you are comfortable in what you’re wearing to bed when you go to sleep. If you’re in something that’s too stiff or too tight, you’re probably not going to sleep very well that night. If you’re in something that’s so thick and heavy, you’re probably going to wake up in the middle of the night sweaty and uncomfortable. Since the nightgowns are made from a pure cotton material, they’re very breathable, flexible, and comfortable. They’re warm enough to wear in the winter, yet cool enough to wear in the summer.

It’s important for a person to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night in order for them to function properly. Without the right outfit, your sleep will be disrupted. The next time you head to bed, make sure you’re putting on your nightgown to ensure a night full of peaceful and comfortable sleep.

Why Cotton Is Still the Number One Fabric Choice

white cotton nightiesCotton has been the favored fabric choice for pretty much everything for a very long time. Cotton is still preferred by a huge number of people around the world.

In terms of style choices, 44% of Americans report that they have an overall “traditional” home, while 22% say they have a modern style, 13% say their home is eclectic, 10% call their style “country”, and 2% of Americans say their home has a global theme.

What does this mean for cotton? Cotton is a staple in the traditional home style. There is really not a more traditional fabric out there. But why do people still love cotton after all these years? Here’s why, according to LiveStrong.

Moisture Control
Cotton fabric is known for being breathable. Livestrong tells us that cotton “transmits moisture away from the body and is absorbent and removes liquid from the skin, like a towel.” This makes it the perfect material for apparel like white cotton nighties (or other ladies nightgowns) as well as sheets and other bedding. Sleeping in cotton is incredibly comfortable when it keeps you dry all night long.

Insulation
In the summertime, cotton actually protects skin from the heat. It also keeps us warm in the winter. How are these both possible? Cotton provides thermal insulation that allows the fabric to hold itself away from the skin and encourage more air flow. Sleepwear, like Victorian pajamas, is made out of cotton for this very reason.

Hypoallergenic
Cotton rarely causes allergic reactions on the skin from contact, unlike many other fabrics. Wearing cotton is usually recommended for people with skin allergies. This makes cotton a great material to use for things like boudoir pillow cases because it is so gentle on the skin.

Durability
According to LiveStrong, “cotton has a high tensile strength, making it strong, durable and less likely to rip or tear. It is 30 percent stronger when wet, withstanding many washings in hot water.” If you want your towels to last for years, make sure they are made of cotton.

Cotton is comfortable, practical, and lasts a long time. It is the perfect fabric to use when making items like white cotton nighties or pillowcases for your guests. No wonder it has been the number one choice of fabric for all of these years.

Hit the Hay like a Jane Austen Character

white cotton nighties
Lounge in effortless style wearing our favorite cotton Pru Pjs

There is something undeniably enchanting about the pages of a Jane Austen novel. The elegant female leads go about their days with grace, entertaining and engaging in literary dramas. And they certainly go to bed with the same poise. With the right decor and nightwear, you too can rest in typical Jane Austen fashion. All it takes is some classic white cotton nighties and classic decor. To make your Pride And Prejudice dreams come true, consider the following bedtime ideas.

Victorian Nightgowns

white cotton nighties
Feel at home in some elegance wearing our Amy Nightgown

Feeling like a proper Jane Austen character is all about how you carry yourself, and this starts with how you dress. By having a set of white cotton nighties in your wardrobe, you can pull on these pieces out every night and welcome luxurious comfort.

Boudoir Pillow Cases

white cotton nighties
Nothing says home like our beautiful embroidered pillows of your favorite designs

Once you dress yourself in lovely nightwear, then you can lounge on some elegant bedding. By decorating your sleeping area with boudoir pillow covers, you are sure to feel like a Victorian woman. You can even design the rest of your bedding with these covers at the center, draping your bed with pretty details.

Embroidered Details

white cotton nighties
A splash of embroidery to elevate your cocktail and dinner parties. Shop our favorite table napkins today

 

From embroidered dinner table and cocktail napkins to the handkerchiefs on your bedside table, these embroidered details will take you back in time. Only one in five Americans are happy with their decor, but with sweet details like these, you are sure to love yours. Especially when hand-crafted, embroidered decor can put the finishing touch on a traditional room.

Pleasant Scents

white cotton nighties
Upgrade your bathroom with a touch of embroidery and sweet smelling flowers

Jane Austen ladies surrounded themselves with rose and lavender, so find ways to include these scents in your room. You might even want to cut some fresh flowers to place next to your bed. These smells will lull you to sleep each night.

Floral Elements

Speaking of flowers, try to include these small details into the overall decor, as floral patterns were a staple of Victorian homes. Whether you go all out with traditional wallpaper or add smaller details such as candles, you are free to be creative.

While we are certainly far from the Victorian society represented by Jane Austen, we can borrow elements of this literary life. From your clothing to bedroom decor, every detail counts when you want to snooze like the heroines of this day.

New Mom In Your Life? How To Craft A Gift Basket

white cotton nighties

When one of your friends or family members becomes a mother for the first time, they can likely use all the help they can get. While this help can come in the form of babysitting or a meal, a simple gift basket can also be the gentle boost this mom needs. From white cotton nighties to decorations for the baby’s room, the contents of this basket can bring simple joys to the mother’s life, providing both convenience and comfort. This guide will help you craft the perfect basket for your friend or family member.

What makes the perfect gift basket for a new mom?
When it comes to gifting the best items to new moms, opt for useful items. They are likely receiving plenty of gifts, and you want yours to provide comfort, not clutter. Even if you have not yet had children, put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would want. You can also draw from your own experience or ask other moms about what they needed at this stage.

What should I put in the basket?
The following items are some simple ideas for the contents of the gift basket. Remember to curate the items based on your friend or family member’s personality, adding sweet personal touches.

  • White Cotton Nighties: Few garments feel more comfortable and luxurious than white cotton pajamas. While white nighties might not seem like the most baby-centric piece of clothing, they will help the new mama relax in the evenings and get fulfilling sleep when she can.
  • Boudoir Pillow: These pillows with boudoir pillow cases can help a new mama decorate the nursery. Whether she places it in the rocking chair or uses it while nursing, this small detail can make all the difference.
  • Essential Oils: About three-quarters of people say they get more comfortable night’s sleep on sheets with a fresh scent. New mamas will love an essential oil spritz bottle.
  • Slippers: Paired with new pajamas, these slippers can be the finishing touch on a perfectly cozy ensemble. They can also help them stay on their feet while bustling around the house.

By giving a sweet, thoughtful gift basket to a new mother, you can give them some simple tools to help them feel more relaxed. And when they are relaxed, they are bound to feel more like themselves. The above items, plus others, can help your friend feel more cared for overall.

Cozy New Year’s Resolutions For Better Sleep

white nightshirt

Tossing and turning through the night? While seven to nine hours of sleep is the general recommendation, it can be difficult to get this much shuteye. And when you wake feeling unrested, you likely drag through your day. Well, 2018 is your year to make a change. By committing to getting more sleep, you can make small changes that will make a big difference. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Upgrade your pajamas
Your stuffy old pajamas may make you more uncomfortable than you realize. Upgrade to a white nightshirt or a Victorian style nightgown in a cotton fabric. This will help your skin breathe more comfortably and will make you feel more luxurious as you unwind.

Spray some lavender
Fill a spray bottle with lavender essential oil and spritz it onto your pillow each night. Just the scent of this flower has been found to calm tension and ease you into sleep.

Make your room more comfortable
Do your cluttered room and outdated decor make you anxious? Add some boudoir pillow cases, linen tissue box covers, and other delicate decor to make you more comfortable in this space. You will then be more inclined to feel restful.

Stick to a nighttime routine
Find a nighttime routine that works for you and commit to it. This may include reading, light stretching, a bubble bath, or any other technique to get you relaxed. Set a time each night to start winding down. After a bit, it will become a habit.

Ask your partner to take these steps with you
Committing to better sleep can be difficult when you and your partner are on completely different sleep schedules. Talk to your partner about syncing up so you can both get into bed at around the same time. This will also help keep you both accountable to your routine.

By making an effort to get better sleep, you can also become a better version of yourself. When you feel rested, you will walk through your day more awake, cheerful, and ready for anything that comes your way. From a white nightshirt to a bottle of lavender oil, you may need to try various techniques until you find a combination that works for you. Then you can finally crawl into bed and look forward to true rest.