- Handle Linen Gently When Washing
- Dry Thoroughly Without Heat
- Store Linens Properly Between Wears
- Freshen Up Wrinkles with Steam or Air
- Treating Stains and Repairing Damage
- The Common Mistakes to Aviod when Taking Care of Linen
Linen is a breathable natural fabric loved for its lightweight feel, especially in warm weather. With its relaxed, casual drape, linen lends itself to a comfortably rumpled look. While part of linen's appeal is its natural wrinkles, there are easy ways to keep it looking its best. With proper care and storage, you can enjoy the softness of linen while maintaining its clean, crisp appearance for many seasons. A few simple tricks allow you to embrace the casual charm of linen without looking unkempt. With some strategic washing, folding, and hanging, your favorite linen pieces will stay looking fabulous and feeling cool against your skin.
Handle Linen Gently When Washing
Linen has a very low elasticity. That's why it's important to wash linen garments very gently, either by hand or on the most delicate machine cycle. Use cool or lukewarm water-never hot!-with a lightweight detergent. Skip the fabric softener, as it can leave behind residue.
It is suggested to place linen items in a mesh bag before machine washing to prevent excess agitation. Make sure to zip up buttons and fasten hooks so they don't snag on other items. When handwashing, treat linen as you would a precious silk blouse-with care. No twisting, wringing or scrubbing!
Dry Thoroughly Without Heat
Once linen is washed, avoid the dryer which can damage, shrink or wrinkle it further. Instead, shake out items gently and hang them on a clothesline or rack outside or in a well-ventilated room. Make sure there's ample space around each garment so air can circulate freely.
If you must use a dryer, opt for the lowest heat setting and remove items promptly when finished to prevent over-drying. I like to lightly iron linen while still slightly damp-the moisture helps smooth out creases better.
Store Linens Properly Between Wears
Don't just toss freshly laundered linen items into a heap! Make sure to fold or hang them neatly. I keep my off-season linen clothes sealed in breathable containers with cedar blocks to prevent creasing and repel moths.
For garments in regular rotation, use wide hangers and space items out on the rod. Folding flat in a drawer also prevents wrinkles. I find storing linen in cotton garment bags helps regulate moisture and minimizes crumpling.
Freshen Up Wrinkles with Steam or Air
For pieces just needing a quick refresher, hang in a steamy bathroom or gently steam with a handheld fabric steamer. Or try airing items outside on a line for the natural air circulation.
Treating Stains and Repairing Damage
Act quickly when you spot a stain on linen-the loose weave means liquid can spread rapidly. Blot stains immediately with a cloth and cold water or natural agents like lemon juice, white vinegar or diluted soap.
For minor linen repairs, patch small holes or use seam sealant to stop runs. Hand stitch the tears discreetly and reinforce seams with iron-on patches as needed. But know when to call it-excessively damaged linen may need retirement.
With proper care, your linen will last many seasons.
The Common Mistakes to Aviod when Taking Care of Linen
At the end of the blog, we have prepared a list of common mistakes to aviod when caring for linen clothing and fabric. This could work as a guide for you as a reminder:
- Using hot water when washing - This can cause linen to shrink, warp, and lose its shape. Always use cool or lukewarm water.
- Overloading the washing machine - Linen needs room to move around gently without bunching and wrinkling.
- Using chlorine bleach - Bleach can weaken and damage linen fibers over time. Avoid it.
- Using fabric softener - Softener leaves a coating that can attract dirt and lint to the fabric.
- Aggressive scrubbing or wringing - Linen needs gentle handling when washing.
- High heat tumble drying - The heat can scorch, shrink, or wrinkle linen badly. Air dry only.
- Leaving linen balled up when wet - Smooth it out flat or hang up immediately after washing.
- Storing when damp - Linen should be fully dried before putting it away to prevent mildew.
- Forgetting to remove stains promptly - Linen's loose weave lets stains spread quickly. Pre-treat spills right away.
- Over-ironing - Excessive ironing, especially at high heat, can damage linen over time.
- Hanging linen improperly - Use wide/padded hangers to avoid imprints on shoulders.
- Neglecting repairs - Don't let ripped seams, missing buttons, etc. go too long before mending.
Being gentle, using cooler temperatures, air drying, and storage care are key to keeping linen looking fresh and avoiding premature wear. Handle it with care!
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