People living with cancer helped by Selkirk designer

Textile designer Pauline Birse with her nightwear for chemopatients.

Textile designer Pauline Birse with her nightwear for chemopatients.

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A SELKIRK designer has come up with a revolutionary garment that is set to transform the lives of cancer patients.

For many people, the reality of living with cancer is broken sleep patterns, with nightimes constantly interrupted by cold sweats - called drenches - which are often a side-effect of chemotherapy.

Pauline Birse, who has spent 30 years in textiles design and manufacturing, has personal experience of how bad this can be.

During her treatment, Pauline was helped by The Lavender Touch charity, which next year celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Founded in 2003 by Heather Runciman, from Lauder, Galashiels photographer Sheila Scott, and award-winning complementary therapist Jan Beattie, from Selkirk, it has helped more than 2,000 Borders families with its complementary therapy treatments.

It was just over three years ago that Pauline approached Sheila and Jan with the idea for her new sleepwear.

“I felt so much better after using The Lavender Touch that I wanted to repay them for what they did for me,” Pauline told The Wee Paper.

“I would wake up five or six times a night, absolutely frozen with dripping wet pyjamas stuck to my entire body, due to the side effects of chemotherapy.

“I would never have imagined the trauma of going to bed every night until I experienced it for myself.”

But over the last three years Pauline and The Lavender Touch have worked closely to turn her sleepwear design into reality and delivery of the first batch of 100 pairs of ‘Bamboo Touch – Drench to Dry Sleepwear’, to give it its proper title, is imminent.

Extremely soft and comfortable to wear, the sleepwear is completely natural and is 60 per cent more absorbent than cotton, boasting extreme wicking and anti-bacterial properties, and offering unrivalled dryness.

And it is hoped that Pauline’s new garment will give a massive boost to a new appeal to raise £150,000 to fund the creation of a dedicated Lavender Touch Centre.

z Further details of the appeal and information on purchasing the new sleepwear can be obtained by calling 07932 174317 or emailing

Alternately, you can visit the website at

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