- Wash Linen Clothing Correctly
- Dry Linen Clothing With Care
- Store Linen Clothing Properly When Not in Use
- Special Care Tips for Cotton Linen
- Protect Linen Clothing While Wearing
Linen and cotton linen fabrics make excellent choices for fashionable seasonal clothing. Both natural fibers are breathable, lightweight, and have a relaxed vibe perfect for warmer or transitional months. However, these materials also require special gentle care between seasons to avoid damage from improper washing, drying, and storage methods.
Follow these tips to keep your favorite linen and cotton linen clothes looking and feeling fabulous season after season. Taking the time to care for these delicate fabrics correctly will extend their lifespan significantly.
Wash Linen Clothing Correctly
The first rule of washing linen clothing is to always use a gentle cycle with cool water to avoid excessive shrinking or pilling. Hot water can damage or shrink natural fibers.
Look for liquid detergents made specifically for delicates and avoid any detergents with optical brighteners, which may yellow the linen over time. Fabric softeners can leave residue that diminishes linen's signature crispness.
Check care labels and wash linen clothing separately or with other delicates. Turn items inside out to minimize fraying and abrasion damage to the exterior.
Pre-treat any stains by blotting gently with a diluted dish soap solution before washing. Avoid vigorously scrubbing linen as it can damage the natural fibers.
If you notice pilling, use a fabric shaver gently across the surface to remove the bunches without harming the linen material.
Dry Linen Clothing With Care
Linen clothing should always be hung or laid flat to dry. The natural fibers relax and smooth out beautifully this way. If line drying items isn't possible, dry on the most delicate setting possible.
If machine drying, remove linen items promptly when finished to avoid over-drying that can bake in creases. Give clothes a quick shake while still slightly damp and smooth or hang up right away.
High heat causes linen fibers to contract and become brittle over time. Follow care instructions but opt for the coolest temperature that will get items dry for the best results.
Store Linen Clothing Properly When Not in Use
Storing linen apparel correctly between seasons helps prevent yellowing, musty odors, and deep creases from setting in.
Use breathable cotton muslin or linen storage bags or archival boxes. Avoid plastic containers or bags, as linen needs airflow to prevent deterioration. Arrange items neatly, as haphazard folding strains fibers.
Add cedar blocks, lavender sachets or cedar strips to linen storage containers to repel moths, silverfish and other pests without imparting overwhelming fragrance.
If possible, store linen off-season apparel in a clean, dry place. Damp basements or attics can damage clothing over time. Refolding and rotating stored clothes seasonally keeps them fresh.
Special Care Tips for Cotton Linen
Cotton linen is a popular blended fabric that combines properties of linen and cotton for a best-of-both-worlds effect. The cotton makes the linen easier to care for and more durable for everyday wear.
However, cotton linen still requires gentle treatment. Pre-wash new cotton linen clothing in a cold delicate cycle before wearing to preshrink fibers. This helps items maintain their shape.
Cotton linen can withstand slightly higher washing temperatures than pure linen. Use warm water for heavily soiled clothes.
This blend can go in the dryer at medium heat but remove promptly before over-drying sets in wrinkles. Iron while still slightly damp using the linen setting.
Fabric softener can be used to reduce cotton linen's crispness, but use sparingly. Dryer sheets are also safe for cotton linen clothing.
Protect Linen Clothing While Wearing
Don't save your linen only for special occasions! It's made to be worn and loved. Just take steps to protect it while enjoying these pieces.
- In warmer months, sweat and skin oils can stain linen. Wash it after just 2-3 wears rather than letting stains set. Bring a small stain remover stick for accidents.
- Avoid sitting on outdoor surfaces to prevent grubby marks on light linen pants or skirts. Wear a camisole under open linen tops to minimize deodorant issues.
- Use mesh wash bags for delicate items to prevent snagging delicate linen in the wash. Zip up or button linen clothing before tossing in a hamper or wash.
With the proper seasonal care, your linen and cotton linen clothing can last for many years to come. Follow these tips to gently wash, dry, store, and protect your favorite linen pieces between wearings. Showing linen some love will keep it looking its best from season to season. Don't let the special care needs deter you from incorporating more of these breathable, sustainable fabrics into your warm weather wardrobe.