Can Bed Linens Really Lead to Ecstasy?

John Gannon was an illustrator who had a gift for showing women who were ecstatic over blankets and sheets:

John Gannam

John Gannam advertisement for St. Marys Blankets; Image courtesy of Isabel Santos Pilot on


McCall’s magazine, Advertisement for St. Mary’s Blankets, Illustrated by John Gannam, June 1948; Image courtesy of Leifpeng on

A modern woman may wonder if bed linens can really lead to such ecstasy?

Bed linens such as these Erwin Luxury Percale (made in the USA) found on Etsy being sold by gillardgurl?

Erwin Luxury Percale

Erwin Luxury Percale, new in packages. Image courtesy of gillardgurl on



Erwin Luxury Percale, with image of the design. Image courtesy of gillardgurl on

Rett and Piglet trying out the freshly laundered sheets

Rett and Piglet trying out the freshly laundered sheets

I can assure you that the answer is most definitely YES!!

We love these sheets, even though they aren’t a six billion thread count Egyptian cotton from an upscale department store.  They come out of the dryer terribly wrinkled but they are 100% cotton and they were made in the United States and they don’t shrink like all of the other sheets I’ve bought over the past few years do.

I just seem to sleep so much better with these sheets.

And that will make anyone ecstatic, retro or otherwise!

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Dr. Julie-Ann

I'm Dr. Julie-Ann, living life in its Technicolor finest by channeling my Grandma, Donna Reed, and June Cleaver with a bit of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly glamour thrown in for good measure, too. I work outside of the home full-time as a university administrator but I nourish my soul and find my greatest happiness by trying to be the "perfect" 1950s homemaker.

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    I quite agree! We love flannel sheets (ours are made in Portugal, though) in the winter and percale for the summer. And they can be absolutely luxurious. I shall look for the made in US ones – hard to find.
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  2. 2


    So, Dr. J. — so that I understand: Are these old stock being sold in original packaging? Or is it brand new stock?

    I’m thinking of buying new sheets. Wrinkling doesn’t bother me but skimpiness does, and a lot of sheet sets are skimpy.
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  3. 3

    Dr. Julie-Ann says

    These were old stock sheets still in their original packaging. I think the seller said that she got them from an estate sale.

    Every once in a while, these NOS (new old stock) items can be found on Etsy and eBay.

  4. 4

    jonimarie says

    The ads look like they are trying to appeal to single women…or married women who fantasize about being single…or the female spouse of a rich couple who have separate bedrooms. Do you know which?

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    Dr. Julie-Ann says

    You have to think in terms of context of the time–the women were the ones receiving linens as shower gifts so the ads were geared toward the women being excited to get whatever brand was being sold. Also, beds back then weren’t giant-sized like they are now. A double bed was standard. Finally, we have to remember that men and women weren’t really “allowed” to be shown in a bed together. So, the husband may be there but he just got up :)

  6. 6

    tokeberry says

    Word! It’s hard to find bedding made in North America. It can be a long search to find bedding with the wool, cotton and even dyes and thread sourced and manufactured here.

    I am disappointed by commercials and advertisements still showing mostly women dealing with household cleaning and purchasing.

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    I think you’re correct about the bridal gifts, Dr. J. I remember when my mother liked to give a set of sheets as a wedding gift. The bride was sure to need double-bed sheets — a big symbol of marriage. And of course, heretofore, no young bride would have needed double-bed sheets. When king- and queen-size beds came into being, Mother gave up buying sheets as gifts. The possibility that a gift would be unwanted / returned never occurred to my mother. She was appalled when I exchanged a set of glasses I didn’t like for the mattress pad I needed.

    We also see ads from the ’30s and ’40s where the young woman is starry-eyed over silver place settings. Boy! Did that go away!
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