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Linen was already available way before the introduction of special treatment cleansers, or dry cleaning,
so its care is more relaxed than most think.
A couple of basics how to treat your linens to make it last longer:
When it is time to wash your linens, machine or hand wash it using mild detergents; make sure the water is cool or lukewarm. Indeed, washing it by hand in cold, soft water might extend the fabric’s life, especially if the item is very delicate. Otherwise, we suggest not overthinking it. Put it on a gentle cycle or swirl around until the soap is gone and the garment is clean. It is better not to overcrowd the machine or put heavy clothes together with your linen as it can wrinkle or harm the fabric.
Stains are unavoidable but they don’t necessarily mean your garment is ruined. If possible, immediately place it under water to stop the stain from absorbing further into fabric and use some soap if necessary. Don’t be tempted to use hot water as it can cause shrinkage or fiber breakage. Also, tend to avoid bleaches – even for white garments as such chemicals can damage the fabric and change its original color.
Linen will get softer with every wash so don’t be discouraged if after the first cleaning yours become stiff and rigid. Don’t forget that the dye of new linen garments have a tendency to bleed when washed for the first time so don’t forget to separate whites from the color. Also, note that dyed heavy linen fabric could fade faster so make sure to look after it accordingly.
We suggest that you avoid wringing to drain the excess liquid after the wash. You will get even more wrinkles and it won’t look neat. It is way better to just lay the garments flat and let the air do its magic. If you don’t have a space for that, you can always remove the water by putting the garment between two towels and gently pressing it. Hang it after doing so.
Linen tends to dry quickly. Machine drying is acceptable, just have in mind to tumble dry on low temperature (below 50°C would be best). Heavy linen tends to be stubborn when tumble dried so have more patience with this type of fabric. Over-drying linen is common, so make sure to take the garment out before it dries too much or you won’t be able to iron it afterwards.
When ironing linen, steam will be your best friend. Make sure the clothes are still damp so that the task is easier to achieve. You can press some cloth between the iron and the garment if the item is more delicate. With light-colored pieces, start by ironing the wrong side of the garment, gradually moving to the right side for maximum smoothness. If the fabric is dark-colored, ironing the wrong side only should be enough. Usually, linen is capable of tolerating the iron’s highest temperature setting but testing on the side corner first won’t hurt. Because of its dense structure, heavy linen fabric will require more steam and more time to get rid of wrinkles.
Having said that, linen fabric is wrinkly from itself – remember that it is almost impossible to iron it perfectly and keep it that way for the rest of the wear time. Wrinkles will accompany you everywhere you go so it’s better to just embrace them. Plus, we believe it gives the garment more charm and uniqueness!
Linen likes to be worn just as much as we like wearing it. Keeping the garment folded for a long time may cause deep creases and wrinkles which will be hard to smooth out. Nevertheless, it is pretty easy to store it if you follow some basic suggestions.
First off, the fabric needs to be absolutely dry before being put on a shelf. Unwelcome guests, such as mildew, like damp linen, so it is better to avoid wetness at all cost. However, if that happens, after noticing, make sure to wash the clothes thoughtfully and hang them in the sun if possible.
When storing, the place has to be well ventilated, preferably cool and dry. If you decide to pack the garment, use pure linen or cotton bags. Avoid plastic or cardboard boxes as they can yellow the linen with time. Lastly, if storing for a while, make sure to refold the item from time to time.