History of Nighties

Ancient Egyptians wore linen rag clothes. There is thought that Egyptian women used animal organs as protection against the cold. After several washing items, the organs would cling to the body and limbs, making them feel alive and protected.

During the Middle Ages

When the sun was shining, long dresses were worn. Later these would be shortened to make dresses, and eventually blouses. Women wore connected nightcaps over their coifs during colder weather, an early hairdresser’s name, to keep warm at night after taking it off during sleep.

As silk under-gowns replaced rag clothes, cotton and flannel took their place.

During the reign of Elizabeth 1

It was fashionable for women to wear clear white gowns with flowing sleeves at night. These gowns were known as modern-day nightgown nighties.

Women wore white cotton embroidered with lace and fringes or plain cotton/wool cloth in winter. Due to their practicality, they changed into their daywear for bed.

Exceptionally luxurious French nightgowns made from sheer silk were embroidered and trimmed in white lace.

Even very conservative women wore cloth skirts and long flannel nightgowns to bed to keep warm in winter.

During the Regency period

The lightweight fabrics used were perfect for the hot weather.

Evening gowns became shorter and no different from daywear, which was not suitable for sleeping. Less wealthy women wore nightcaps or slept with their hair tied up in a towel to keep it out of the way.

During the Victorian period

Women continued to wear both day and night dresses. They could choose from a range of fabrics such as cotton lawn, silk, poplin, and flannel. There were calls for reform as people wanted lighter clothing at night. The invention of the sewing machine helped the process of designing new, lighter nightgowns.

The invention of the electric light also made nightwear more appealing. It became easier for women to do embroidery and other tasks at night without relying on candles or oil lamps. The combination of changing social attitudes towards fashion and better technology led women to become interested in wearing pretty, soft, and flowing nightgowns to bed.


Silk was the most important luxury fabric throughout Chinese civilization and was regarded as more valuable than gold or silver by many emperors from ancient times right through to the 20th century.

In ancient China

The 8th-century Tang dynasty (618–907) was known as the Silk Road, and traders were traveling to China from Europe and Africa and vice versa to trade goods such as silk, gold, silver, pepper, spices, and ivory.


Flannel is a soft woven fabric, most commonly of wool or cotton and sometimes rayon or synthetic fibers. Flannelette typically refers to a cotton fabric imitating the softness of flannel. The word is a compound of “flannel” and “nettle,” producing a scratchy fabric like nettles. In old Europe, flannel was used by poor people, whereas rich people would wear fur or velvet clothing. 


Throughout history, women’s nighties’ in Pakistan has changed by fashion trends. The invention of the electric light enabled people to carry out tasks in bed that they couldn’t before and led to creating more lightweight fabrics. The invention of the sewing machine greatly contributed to the creation of nightwear which was softer, lighter, and more feminine in appearance.

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