Housewife vs Oxford Pillowcases. Why the names, what do they mean? The difference is simple, ‘Housewife’ Pillowcases have no frill, while ‘Oxford’ Pillowcases have an extra border, generally around 5cm, around the edge. They’re both to fir the same standard size of pillow, 50cm by 75cm wide.
Housewife vs Oxford Pillowcases
Housewife vs Oxford Pillowcases. There’s no real practical difference between Housewife and Oxford pillowcases, it’s all about the aesthetic. We find that the best option for a great-looking bed is to mix and match the two. Ona Double or King Size bed, use two Housewife pillowcases on the sheet and two Oxford types to finish the look off. The extra frill adds a touch of style to your bed and really sets off the design.
‘Housewife’ describes what we might call a ‘normal’ pillowcase. These pillowcases do not have the 5cm ‘frill’ present on ‘Oxford’ pillowcases. These tend to be the most popular pillowcases and have an unmistakable ‘classic’ style, being simple and elegant. Our Housewife pillowcases are the standard Ireland/UK size, 50cm by 75cm and fit all our pillows.
The term ‘housewife’ – used by many, if not all, linen retailers – originated in the 1800s when The Housewives Co-operative in Bolton in Lancashire, designed the style with a flap at one end to easily open and close the case. This simple design feature arose because previous pillowcases had a plain, open end, from which the pillows often fell out. To pay tribute to the diligent work and design inspiration of the ladies of the The Housewives Co-operative, they became universally known as ‘Housewife’.
We know there has been some backlash to the use of this term recently, calling it rather dated, even sexist. We’re aware of that, but use the term as it is a commonly accepted description. If you feel we’ve made a mistake there, please let us know.
The main point of an Oxford is the border, or frill, around the edge. Usually about 5cm, the border adds an extra touch of style to your bed. An Oxford Pillowcase often (but not always) has an opening at the back where the pillow is inserted and it’s famous for having a decorative border of various shapes and sizes. It’s usually mistaken to be larger in size because of its wide-stitched flat hem. The borders on Oxford pillowcases is sometimes decorated.
Oxford pillowcases get their name, not from the design, but from the material. It also has nothing to do with the city of Oxford. The name comes from ‘Oxford Cloth’, which was typically used to make hard-wearing shirts, but became popular for use as bed linen. It was designed by Oxford to look more elegant and more distinctive than your traditional Housewives pillowcase.
Our Oxford pillowcases are the standard Ireland/UK size, 50cm by 75cm (plus 5cm frill) and fit all our pillows.
Which Should I Choose?
We say mix and match! A double bed with two Housewives and two Oxfords looks great! Coordinate your bed linen, with our Satin Stripe (sometimes called ‘Hotel Stripe’) Duvet Cover and Pillowcase set. Sets contain one duvet cover, two Housewife pillowcases and two Oxfords. All are made from a high quality, durable cotton/polyester mix, with the unmistakable stripe design, so associated with luxury hotels. That said, the choice if, of course, yours! There’s no real difference between the two pillowcase styles, it’s just a matter of preference!
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