After our very first blog post; 10+1 reasons why you should choose linen for your home a couple of weeks ago, we only found it fitting to continue our “linen-lovers” series and create our next blog post abouthow to actually take care of this beautiful fabric so you can enjoy it and keep it beautiful for a long-long time
As you usually see linen as this very natural, slightly wrinkly fabric, it’s not surprising that many people think it’s really hard to take of this material, but actually, it’s quite a misconception. Linen is a simple natural material and caring for it is not a “rocket science” either. However, you should not forget that every single fabric requires a slightly different care, and we should not assume that all the fabrics and materials require the same care process. But fear not, we are here to give you some simple guide with tips and tricks so you can properly take care of your linen fabrics.
Linen becomes softer each time we wash it which is one of the best qualities of the fabric in our opinion, therefore, you can wash linen as regularly as you wish.
- Generally, you can wash your linen in a standard washing machine but try to use a gentle cycle at 30-40 degrees.
- To avoid damage and serious wrinkling, try to wash your linen on their own in the machine which will allow them to have plenty of space to move around.
- In terms of detergent and fabric softener we would advise you to choose a good quality, natural one such as Ecover which has plant-based and biodegradable ingredients or an Eco-Egg. But please, don’t go out of your way to get these, you can use the one you regularly get, just make sure it doesn’t contain bleach.
- Your linen should not stretch but there is a slight chance and percentage for shrinkage but nothing major if you wash it correctly.
Note: You can find Ecover in most of the major supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda) so it’s quite accessible. It is also vegan and cruelty-free with a recyclable bottle which is absolutely brilliant.
You should always try to rinse or soak any stains immediately while it’s still fresh. You can use stain removers (a good eco-friendly alternative is using natural stain soaps) but never use bleach as it weakens the fibres. It’s important to mention that you can find bleaching particles in conventional washing powders which make natural linen colours fade therefore always check the ingredients before you use these.
- If you are dealing with protein stains (human or animal fluids such as blood), you should thoroughly rinse the fabric immediately then soak it in cold water (never ever in hot water) with a bit of a (sea) salt.
- If your linen is the victim of an oil stain, sprinkle (do not blot) it with cornflour and sea salt in order to draw out excess liquid, then scrub it off. For more stubborn stains some boiling water and vinegar /baking soda “bath” can do the trick but after letting it soak, definitely give it a good wash in your washing machine as well.
- Thinner liquid stains such as wine should be blotted with a clean cloth then rinsed and soaked in water and vinegar. Particularly for fresh red wine stains you should cover the area with sugar and salt to avoid permanent staining. I mean, sugar and salt are generally great to absorb moisture so keep that in mind. We learn something new every day, aren’t we?
As linen dries so quickly, there is no need for tumble dry. It’s also worth noting that tumble drying can actually leave permanent creasing and lead to shrinkage which can shorten the lifespan of your fabric. For the best results simply line-dry your linen out in the sun or indoors and just let is dry naturally.
Tip: line-dry your linen immediately after washing which decreases the chance of creasing, leaving your linen nicely dried which some natural and beautiful textures and wrinkles which adds to its cosy and lived-in look.
If washed and dried correctly, linen has quite a cosy, textural and lived-in look which naturally has some wrinkles. We often advice to just embrace and love linen fabric in its natural aesthetic rather than always going for a crisp ironed look. However, we understand if you do prefer your linen to be crisp, neat, and ironed. In that case, you should set your iron on a high temperature on the steam setting (it is important!!) which will help you removing wrinkles and creases. If you don’t have a good steam iron, you can fill up an empty spray bottle with water as it’s so much easier to iron linen when it’s slightly damp. If your linen is very creased, you can dampen the fabric first using the spray bottle, then use the hot iron and steam to achieve a neat and crisp finish.
Storing linen doesn’t really require any special care, simply make sure you put them in a dry place nicely folded (as linen can crease). If you wish to store it for a longer period, definitely make sure you air it out sometimes either at the fresh airoutside or just next to your window. Luckily, pure linen is also moth, mildew and mould resistant which makes it quite easyto use & store without any need to worry. Lastly, if you really want to give your linen some TLC (tender loving care), you can always put some dried lavender or eucalyptus in your wardrobe or storage for some extra freshness.
I really hope this guide with all the tips and tricks will help you to take better care of your linen pieces because it’s the only way you can ensure longevity and to enjoy your linen products for years and decades to come. After choosing a good quality product, it is up-to-you to love, cherish and take good care of it, and especially with linen, it will award your time and care with a beautiful and natural look and a soft feel which makes every room a little more special.