Caring for Your Linen

by Alice Erbacher

Linen is believed to be one of the oldest textiles in the world. It was very commonly used in ancient civilizations and it still holds a special place in society today. There is, however, a common misconception that it is difficult to care for, but once you have the following dos and don'ts down-pat it really is quite simple:

  1. Linen likes low temperatures and so for best results always hand wash or machine wash your linen in lukewarm or cold water. Ensure the detergent that you use is only mild, to help protect the fibers.
  2. After washing, it is safe to hang it on the line or lay it flat, but it dries faster than cotton so don't let it over-dry or it'll become quite stiff. It can also be placed in the tumble dryer but keep the temperature low.
  3. Unless it's really crushed, ironing your linen isn't a necessity. The slight wrinkles add an element of imperfection and it's one of the reasons we love it. To ensure as few creases as possible though, hang it or lay it flat while still damp. If you do choose to iron it, use a medium-hot iron on the steam setting. For white linens, you can iron both sides; but if you're ironing dark linen, it's safest to only iron the reverse side.
  4. To store your linen, avoid cardboard, cedar and plastic boxes; and due to its natural insect-repelling properties, moths and other bothersome creatures tend not to touch it.

There you have it! Follow these easy steps and you can keep your linen looking beautiful for years to come.


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