On this blog, we have mentioned how linen only improves with age. It doesn’t pill, lose its shape, and it gets softer with every wash! The best bedding has been used time and time again, but you may wonder how to properly care for your linens. Does it need to go in the dryer? Is it able to be bleached? All your questions will be answered here!
There are certain measures you can take to make sure your linen lasts as long as possible. First, read the care label if there is one! The dyes or stitching used on the linen can affect the way it should be taken care of.
Generally, you should hand or machine wash with like colors and use mild detergent, in lukewarm or cold water on a gentle cycle. Washing the fabric in hot water will gradually weaken the fibers. Remember to not overload your machine, a bigger amount of water is better. Using chlorine bleach or detergent with a color brightener will discolor or weaken linen, so it is never advised to do so. Oxygen bleach can be used for white linen sheets if you really need it.
Linen is very prone to wrinkling, so choosing a good drying method can save
you a lot of time ironing your fabric later. Hanging them on a clothing line to air dry is preferred for the longevity of your sheets, but it can leave the fabric a bit stiff. It helps to put them in the dryer for about 10 minutes on medium heat before you air dry them. This helps keep the sheets soft and beats up the fibers so they don’t dry as one stiff surface.
If you aren’t able to put your sheets on a clothesline and air dry, you can also machine tumble dry on a low temperature or a wrinkle release setting. As soon as the dryer is finished, take them out and fold them neatly to prevent wrinkles. Ironing will not hurt linen, and in fact “linen” is usually the highest heat setting on most irons.
Air drying is best for the longevity of your linen sheets but can leave the linen feeling stiff. If you plan to air dry the sheets, 10-12 minutes on medium heat in the dryer before you hang them out to dry helps to reorient the fibers after washing and leaves a soft finish on the surface of the fabric.
With any stain, quick action is a must. Clean the stain as soon as it happens or it is less likely to come out. Whichever way you choose, try a small area first, in case it doesn’t go the way you want it to. Try sprinkling baking soda on the stain and adding small amounts of vinegar on top. Lemon juice applied directly will help lift any discoloration from whites. A mild dish detergent or a stain removal product will help as well.
So, you can see that caring for natural linen does not require any special handling. Far superior to synthetic fabrics and cotton. Linen is environmentally friendly, sustainable and can become a family heirloom enjoyed for generations.