Linen is not just another fabric. It is in fact a beautiful and precious love story written in a fabric. Hailing from the Mediterranean heartland, linen embodies the elements of sophistication and finesse. Even while being used as a daily wear item it exudes a certain level of charm that is usually unmatched by other fabrics. Linen is almost like a gift that never stops giving. Despite its aura of refinement and elegance, it is one of the most “low maintenance” fabrics that are out there.
Caring for linen is not half as cumbersome as one would expect it to be. Its resilience is one of the reasons why the fabric has stood the test of time. From being donned by the Egyptian royalty to bringing the designer’s favourite in 2021, linen is a legacy in itself. Now, as much as love and care for our prized pieces, once in a while things just don’t go as planned and we end up staining our favourite pieces. But we come bearing the answers to one of the most frequently asked questions...How to get any stain off linen. Well, it is not as difficult as you might think
Washing and Drying Linen
Let us start off with understanding the basics of washing and drying linen first. Because how we take care of our linens, in general, go a long way in determining the overall health of your linen.
So, Do you need to dry clean your linen? Well given the exquisite finish of linen, it is easy to assume that they need to be tended by specialists and hence ought to be sent to dry cleaning. But let us break this myth for you. You don’t have to dry clean your linen wear. Yep, you heard it right. Contrary to the popular belief, linen is not high-maintenance at all. You can easily wash your linens at your home. However, if you are possessive about your beautiful linen suits, you can send them for dry cleaning since their structure might make it laborious for you to wash them at home.
Despite being low -maintenance, it is important to give linen the care and attention that it deserves. Make sure to go through the disclaimers and warnings on the label before washing the piece of fabric.
In general, linen can be both hands washed and machine washed. When opting to wash linen in a washing machine, make sure to separate the whites and also if possible separate the light coloured items from the dark hues. Opt for lukewarm water and a mild detergent.
For handwashing too, the mantra remains pretty much the same. Separate the hues and wash them gently in lukewarm water with a mild detergent. Avoid wringing or twisting as it can be detrimental to the linen fibre.
Talking about drying our linen pieces-for machine drying it is best to opt for a comparatively lower temperature. Air drying in fact is a better way to dry your linen apparel. Make sure to dry it in ample space to prevent any extra creases.
Dealing with the stains
Okay, now let’s talk about the linen in the roomWitnessing a stain develops on our favourite linen piece can indeed be a heartbreaking experience. However, if stains are tended to immediately, they need not develop into a catastrophe. Tending to the stain immediately is actually the first step of successful stain removal. Old stains may require you to send your linen pieces to dry cleaning and dry cleaning doesn’t always agree with linen, so it is important to tend to stains as soon as possible.
The second important step is to gently remove the excess solid or liquid that has fallen on the linen. Don’t try to squeeze it or wring it as you may end up doing more damage to it. Try using the flat surface of a spoon to get rid of all the unwanted substances. Once you have removed the excess particles, try to blot the stain with a white paper towel. Gently dab up and down with a paper towel, for example, to lift the stain from your linens to the towel.
Next, up to treat the stain. If it is a mild strain, try soaking the fabric in mild detergent water and then treat the stain with club soda. some stains may be more tricky to deal with. For such emergencies try tending the stain with a little amount of baking soda and vinegar and then absorb the moisture with blotting paper. Lemon juice can help whiten any dingy materials. Squeeze some juice onto a stain or discoloured linen item and let it sit until you see it begin to lighten, and then rinse it out.
However, if these home remedies fail to work, it is best to take the apparel to an expert.
Apart from general washing, drying and tending to stains, proper care of linen also involves storing them correctly. Stuffing linen into a dark cupboard is probably the worst torture you can mete out to the fabric which craves a breathable environment. Store your linens in a cool, dry and breathable environment. Its inherent antibacterial qualities mean that you won’t have to obsess over moths and other insects ruining your favourite linen dress.
While folding linen, it would be wise to be a tad bit mindful of the fold creases. Though we love the natural crumbling nature of linen, an obvious crease might steal away some of the charms of the fabric. So while folding them, it is a good idea to fold them across different lines so as to prevent the formation of deep creases.
Given the royal and regal aura that linen casts around itself, it is almost underwhelming to realise how little effort does it take to care for this ethereal fabric. Shower linen with the care and attention that it deserves and it will continue to make you look splendid and sublime for years to come.
Also, read our Detailed Linen Wash Care Guide