When it comes to nightgowns, it’s all about how it feels. Being your second skin as you sleep, it must be light and breathable but still warm, soft and delicate and yet still durable. What it all comes down to? The fabric.
At Miss Elaine, our designers select our fabrics with the utmost care, taking into consideration how they look, feel, and last, to create nightgowns that are both comfortable and luxurious. Because an amazing nightgown is a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe. From the special way it makes you feel when you slip it on, to the deep, restorative sleep you get every time you wear it.
So, what are these miracle fabrics? Let’s take a closer look at some of our most popular Miss Elaine nightgown fabrics.
How it’s made: The word “tricot,” pronounced “tree-ko,” is derived from the French term “tricoter,” which translates to “knit.” It is made on a machine with a warp-knit pattern using synthetic nylon fiber. The construction makes it appear delicate, but the fabric is strong, highly durable, and more resistant to snags.
What it looks like: Nylon tricot has a tight knit that is smooth. Our nylon tricot nightgowns have a smooth matte appearance that drapes beautifully and resists wrinkles, making you look refreshed and put together even after a long night or traveling.
How it feels: Nylon tricot is soft, light, and extremely comfortable. It does not have much stretch. One of the benefits of nylon tricot is that it’s silky-smooth, and women throughout the years rave about how it moves with them as they twist and turn at night.
How to wash nylon tricot: Nylon tricot can be machine washed in warm water - dark colors separately - and tumble dried on a low setting. If you choose to iron or steam it, do so on the lowest heat setting, as too much heat can damage the fabric.
How it’s made: As the name suggests, this fabric gives the appearance and feel of real silk, but with a more affordable price tag and easier care instructions. The 100% polyester fiber is widely known for its comfort and durability.
What it looks like: Our silk essence nightgowns are feminine, romantic, and slightly sheer, with a gorgeous pearlescent luster. Very glamorous.
How it feels: Silk essence fabric feels light, smooth, and buttery soft as it delicately floats over your skin. It’s an instant mood-booster, melting away your worries as you slide into the fabric.
How to wash silk essence: Because silk essence is made with synthetic polyester fiber, it is a very simple fabric to care for and wash. Like nylon tricot, it can be machine washed in warm water and tumble dried on low. You could also lay it flat or hang it to dry, which can help extend the life of your garment. To remove stains, pre-treat it with your go-to commercial stain remover. Do not scrub it. Then, wash as usual.
How it’s made: A series of interlocking loops are made by single or multiple yarns knitted together. Miss Elaine offers multiple types of knit nightgowns, including jersey knit, silky knit, and cotton knit.
What it looks like: The look and feel of a knit nightgown depends on the type of fibers used in the knit. For example, cotton knit has a matte appearance, and silky knit looks more sleek.
How it feels: Jersey knit, a type of cotton fabric, is super soft and stretchy, like sleeping in your favorite t-shirt but even cozier and definitely more flattering. Its flexibility makes it perfect for sleepers that toss and turn a lot. Silky knit is just as lightweight and comfortable, but feels a bit more luxurious with its delicate smoothness.
How to wash knits: Knit fabrics are sturdy and require little care. Depending on the type of knit, most can be machine washed in cold water. Line dry silky knit, and tumble dry others on low. They are generally resistant to wrinkles and retain their shape easily, making them perennial favorites. They make great gifts!
How it’s made: While 100% cotton is also a knit, its popularity warrants a separate mention. The fibers in this fabric come from cotton plants. Cotton bolls are harvested, and the fibers inside are cleaned, de-seeded, and compressed. Then the cotton fiber strands are spun and woven or knitted into the fabric.
What it looks like: Unlike fabrics like silk essence, 100% cotton fabric looks crisp, not draping or flowing. It’s also matte, not shiny.
How it feels: 100% cotton is extremely soft, light, and famously breathable, making it an ideal fabric for summer nightgowns. It is also naturally absorbent, which is great for women who run hot or suffer from night sweats.
How to wash 100% cotton: A natural plant-based product, 100% cotton fabric is not as strong as some synthetic and blended fabrics. Can you wash 100% cotton at home? Yes, but you need to understand what washing does to the fabric. When 100% cotton is washed, it relaxes the fibers. This is why cotton gets softer with more use and washes. But, because the fibers relax, the fabric gets compressed and the garment shrinks. If you haven’t learned how to wash 100% cotton with minimal shrinking yet, here’s the secret: machine wash on the gentle cycle in cold water and line dry or lie flat to dry. Avoid washing in hot water or putting them in the dryer. 100% cotton also wrinkles very easily, which is easily remedied by ironing or steaming with the lowest setting.
How it’s made: Cottonessa sounds more like a person’s name than a fabric. So, what is cottonessa exactly? Cottonessa is our cotton/polyester blend that combines the best of both fabrics into a soft and durable knit.
What it looks like: Cottonessa looks very similar to cotton knit, and it’s just as beautiful as the name suggests.
How it feels: It’s soft, light, and breathable like cotton, but not quite to the extent of 100% cotton. A cottonessa nightgown is perfect for someone who likes warm, cozy sleepwear but wants to stay cool throughout the night.
How to wash cottonessa: Cotton is soft and breathable but not very durable. Polyester is durable but not very breathable. With this beautiful blend, you can have the soft cotton feel without the worry of wrinkles, shrinking, or tearing. Therefore, it’s quite easy to care for - just machine wash on cold on the gentle cycle and toss it in the dryer on low.
Caring for your nightgown
How often you launder your nightgown really depends on your body. If you wear it all evening and all morning, or if you sweat considerably during the night, you may want to consider washing it daily or every other day. Otherwise, you’re safe to go two or three wears before washing it. Showering at night before putting on your nightgown also helps to reduce the number of washings. One of the questions we hear often is "how else can I refresh my gown?" If you’re in a pinch for time, mist your nightgown with water and a bit of white vinegar, and toss it in the dryer for a few minutes.
All Miss Elaine nightgowns are made with exceptional quality, carefree fabrics to make you feel comfortable and beautiful all night long. Life is too precious and short for fussy fabrics that require hand washing and special care.