Being a natural and hardy fabric, linen is remarkably simple to look after. The way that linen is washed and dried can however change its touch dramatically and shorten its life. We’ve put together a few tips for you to make the most of your linen, so you can enjoy it for many years to come.
To maintain the quality of your linen, avoid harsh liquid and powdered detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and bleaching agents. These weaken the natural linen fibres and leave a coat on them, reducing their absorbency and moisture-wicking properties.
Prepare your bedding by turning it inside out and button up the duvet cover. It’s really important that there’s enough space in the washing machine for the bedding to rinse properly – this ensures that no detergent is left coating the fibres.
Wash similar items together (same colour and fabric) and don’t mix with heavy items like towels or clothes as zips, studs, hooks etc cause abrasion to the fabric.
Machine wash using a mild, liquid detergent on a normal cycle (with a long rinse cycle/extra rinse cycle if needed) in lukewarm water (less than 40°C). You can wash linen on very high temperatures but aside from using more energy, it will make your linen stiffer when dried.
If you can, line-dry, and let fresh air, wind, and sunshine do their work. If you do tumble dry, make sure it’s on a low heat and instead of dryer sheets, use wool dryer balls to reduce the drying time and naturally soften your bedding. Remove just before they’re dry – this will ensure that you don’t over dry or overheat the linen which causes the fibres to become brittle and fades the colour. It also helps prevent wrinkles, so apply straight to your bed or dry flat on a white towel.
One of our favourite things about linen is that it doesn’t need to be ironed - the natural creases are what gives it relaxed feel. However, if your bedding has become too wrinkly for your liking and you would like to iron, use a medium-hot iron and ensure the linen is still slightly damp. Lighter linens may be ironed on both sides, while it’s best to iron darker linens on the reverse side.
If storing, make sure your linen is completely dry before folding. Then put it into its linen bag in a well-ventilated space (natural fibres need to breathe) that’s out of direct sunlight which can cause discolouration.