Fabric Matters

We’ve been working with nightwear fabrics for a long time. Without giving away anyone’s age, we realised recently that amongst our team, we’ve been involved with developing and selecting fabric for PJ’s, dressing gowns, chemises and nightdresses for over 50 years.

You develop a knack over time of knowing what works and what doesn’t when it comes to fabrics and for us it’s a delicate balance of some important factors. Many designers will base their choice of fabric on how it feels, moves and how rich and deep the colours appear. This is a great start but we’re a bit greedy when it comes to our fabrics and want more. For starters, fabrics should last and keep their lovely colours, softness and fluidity no matter how many times they’re worn and washed. There’s no point in them looking great when you buy them, only to look shabby and out of shape after a few washes.

When it comes to softness, what we’re really after is comfort and there is more to this than how it feels in your hand. Real comfort in nightwear is found in fabrics that won’t allow you to become too hot. Many polyesters feel beautifully soft and silky in your hand but let you down when you wake up feeling too warm and dare we say it, a bit clammy. Demanding as we are, we want fabrics that are gorgeously soft, keep you cool and let your skin breath. Talking of skin, comfort is also about being kind and gentle. We know from experience that fabrics that can feel wonderfully soft in the hand, can become itchy and irritate when worn in bed. We’ve got ‘kind to skin’ to on our wish list too.

Fabrics can be kind in other ways too. We hear, on a regular basis, about the impact our obsession with fast fashion is having on the planet. For us it’s therefore important that as a nightwear brand, we’re not adding unnecessarily to this. We want to use fabrics that are natural and don’t use harsh chemical processes to create them. We want them to last for a long time but when they finally come to the end of their life, are biodegradable or compostable.

Sounds like an impossible wish list, doesn’t it? Well, actually it’s not. For many years now, we’ve been using modal and it ticks all of the boxes on our list of requirements:

  • Incredibly Soft (modal is naturally soft)
  • Beautiful colour that lasts (modal takes colour well with a subtle sheen
  • Fluid and flattering (modal fabrics fall gently around the body and move with you)
  • Washes and wears well (modal is hard wearing and shrinks very little)
  • Comfortable to wear (modal is naturally cool and allows the skin to breathe)
  • Kind to the skin (modal is less irritating than other fibres)
  • Kind to our world (modal is made from wood pulp, doesn’t use harsh chemical processes, is biodegradable and compostable.

You may never have heard of modal and if that’s the case, here’s a quick look at where it came from and what it’s about:

The lowdown on modal:

  • Developed in the 1960’s by an Austrian Company called Lenzing
  • It comes from a natural source. Modal is made from wood pulp, mostly from beechwood.
  • It’s made in a similar way to nylon, but the big difference is that the process and chemicals used are environmentally friendly.
  • Modal can be used on its own or in combination with other fibres like cotton (we do both)