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How to make cotton nighties last longer

There's nothing like a soft cotton nightie against your skin for a good night's sleep. Cotton nighties come in different thicknesses, different weaves, some are brushed for extra warmth, some are blended with other fibres such as silk or polyester, and can be a knit or woven fabrication. 

When you invest in a good quality cotton nightie from reputable brands, you do expect them to last longer than the cheaper brands from the discount store. So here are some of my tips for looking after your nighties:

  • Hand wash your nighties. Handwashing is much more gentle on fabrics and some cottons, such as voiles or cotton/silk blends, are quite delicate. Soak the nighties in cold or lukewarm water first, then give them a gentle scrub and rinse. Squeeze out excess water, then dry on a flat towel or hang in the shade.
  • If handwashing is not possible, put your nighties in a washbag before placing them in a washing machine. You can purchase larger wash bags for this purpose. A Google search will lead you to stores that stock these. A washbag provides a barrier between your nighties and other clothes, so there's less "rubbing of fabrics, and your nighties will last longer. When fabrics are tossed together, as they will in a washing machine, fibres will be released (this is the lint your machine collects) causing fabrics to gradually thin with repeat washes.
  • Use the gentle cycle on your washing machine to wash your nighties.
  • Cotton is a fabric that shrinks easily due to the production process. Use cold or lukewarm water when washing cotton garments.. Hot water results in faster shrinkage.
  • Wash using a gentle detergent or, even better, use soap flakes or liquid soap. Make sure you follow the instructions on how to use these products.
  • If in doubt, check the washing instructions on your garment.

 Pictured is the Gwenda mid length cotton nightie by Givoni