Linen embodies effortless sophistication and finesse even while being used in day-to-day life, it exudes an aura of charm unmatched by other fabrics. Linen is the gift that never stops giving, despite its refined and elegant demeanour, it is one of the most “low maintenance” fabrics you'll come across.
Caring for linen is not half as cumbersome as one would expect it to be. Its resilience is one of the reasons it stood the test of time. From being donned by the Egyptian royalty to becoming the designer’s favourite in 2021, linen is a legacy in itself.
So let us help you to take care of this prized fabric
Washing and Drying Linen
Let's begin by addressing the elephant in the room- Do you need to dry clean your linen? Well, given the exquisite finish of linen, it is easy to assume that it needs to be tended by specialists and hence ought to be sent to dry cleaning. But no- You don’t have to dry clean your linens. Yep, you heard it right. Contrary to 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 it being less demanding, 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.
Machine washing linen
In general, linen can be both hand washed and machine washed. When opting to wash linen in a washing machine, make sure to separate the whites and separate the light coloured items from the dark hues. Opt for lukewarm water and a mild detergent.
Hand Washing Linen
For hand washing 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 stains
Witnessing stains develop on your favourite linen piece can indeed be a heartbreaking experience. However, if stains are treated immediately, they need not be a complete catastrophe. If you notice a stain, 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 followed by removing the excess moisture with blotting paper. In case, these home remedies fail to yield results, it is best to take the apparel to an expert.
Washing Bed linens
These general guidelines hold true for all types of linen items, however, your special pieces deserve some extra care. Items like bedding and clothing which have their own nuances need specialised attention. Let’s take bedding for example. For bed linens be mindful of the zips and buttons that might be there. Make sure to zip and button up all of the items before proceeding with the washing process. Also, avoid washing them with the other heavier items like curtains and towels. We ten to club all of these heavier items together while washing. But, in order to preserve the sanctity of your linen bedding items, it is important to wash them separately.
Washing Ornate Linens
Now coming to our most prized linen possessions -the clothes. The basic guidelines remain the same. However, spare your linen clothes a tad bit more attention since you would want them to retain their elegance and charm. If your linen apparel is heavily embroidered, then choose not to wash it with any other item. The most common concern regarding linen is its tendency to crease. To prevent that try washing it somewhere where there is ample space and hang it soon after you have washed.
For someone who’s not accustomed to linen and its nature, it’s easy to be tempted to iron the natural crumples and creases out of the fabric. However, linen connoisseurs can attest the natural creases of linen is what gives it a rustic charm and makes it stand out from the other fabrics. But if you must iron a certain linen piece, make sure to iron it while it is slightly damp. Although, try not to overdo it and strip it of its identity and nature.
Caring for linen doesn’t just stop at washing and drying them. Although linen is a quite resilient fabric, how you take care of it goes a long way in determining its longevity. While there is much information on washing and drying linen, the discussion of storing it correctly rarely takes centre stage.
Stuffing linen into a dark cupboard is probably the worst torture you can inflict upon the fabric that 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 crinkling 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 linen’s royal lineage, its minimal effort wash and care comes as a happy surprise. Shower your linens with the care and attention it calls for to watch wash you over with tranquillity.