What are Oxford and Housewife pillowcases?

What's the difference between an Oxford and a Housewife pillowcase?
There are two types of pillowcase, the Oxford and the Housewife. The Oxford has a fabric border around the edge, usually ranging from 5cm to 10 cm. The Housewife has no border, just a plain sewn edge. 

Oxford pillowcase:

What is an Oxford pillowcase | scooms bedding

Housewife pillowcase: 

What is a Housewife pillowcase | scooms bedding

What sizes are Oxford and Housewife pillowcases?
The Oxford and the Housewife pillowcases have the same internal dimensions although the Oxford may look bigger. Both designs come in a wide range of pillow sizes including standard (50cm x 75cm), King size (50cm x 90cm) and square (typically 50cm x 75cm).

Oxford v standard pillowcase?
Sometimes we are asked what the difference is between an Oxford pillowcase and a standard pillowcase. Oxford refers to the style and standard refers to the size. So you can have a standard size Oxford pillowcase.

What is a continental pillowcase?
A continental pillowcase is a square pillowcase, usually 65cm x 65cm, which can come in both Housewife or Oxford design. Continental pillows are usually used either as back pillows set against the headboard or as decorative pillows to dress a bed.

What is a terse pillowcase?
You may occasionally hear the term 'terse pillowcase'. This is simply a pillowcase without a border; essentially the same as a Housewife pillowcase.

What is a bag style pillowcase?
Bag style pillowcases tend to be popular in the mass market hospitality sector as they enable housekeepers to change bedding more rapidly. This can amount to big time savings for large hotels. Less important for domestic houses! They are essentially a Housewife pillowcase with a simple opening.

So where do the terms 'Housewife' and 'Oxford' come from?

The Housewife
In the 19th century, pillowcases had a simple opening at one end which meant that the pillow would often fall out. So, in the 1880s, the Bolton Housewives Co-Operative created an inside flap at the end which prevented the pillow from easily falling out. In honour of the Co-Operative these pillowcases became known as ‘The Housewife’.

The Oxford
The name derives from the type of cloth from which it used to be made, Oxford cloth. This was a hard wearing cloth that was typically used to make shirts. The Oxford pillowcase was created as a more elegant and prettier alternative to the simple Housewife pillowcase. The fabric border was often scalloped or ruffled for decoration. The pillow opening is at the back which is covered by the flap giving a smart and attractive finish.

Oxford v Housewife - which is best for me?
Oxford and Housewife pillowcases are equally functional, so your choice will come down to style preference.

Housewife pillowcases, with their basic rectangular shape, are relatively plain and simple. While Oxford pillowcases can add a more decorative and elegant look to your bedding.  At scooms we prefer the Oxford. scooms pillowcases and duvet covers come in a stylish, classic white Oxford design with single silky marrow stitch piping. Equally important is the fabric that your bed linen is made from. scooms pillowcases, duvet covers and sheets use the highest quality authentic Egyptian cotton in 600 thread count.

We also believe that plastic packaging is unnecessary. Bed linen doesn't need to come wrapped in plastic. Our pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers all come in lovely cloth bags which you can find many other great uses for around the home!

And finally!
One other thing you might want to consider is that the Oxford pillowcase is generally better for pillow fighting! The fabric border around the edge is great for holding on to whilst trying to bash your opponent! Did you know, there is even a national pillow fight day!

Pillowcase cotton bag | scooms bedding


Cotton pillowcase bag on vase | scooms bedding

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