Here’s a list of tips on how to wash linens:
• Regular washing is actually good for pure linen, as it softens and beautifies it, giving it a lovely ‘lived-in’ look, and you don’t need to store it away ‘for best’. Linen fabric gets rid of dirt more easily than other textiles, and if rinsed thoroughly it comes up just as new every time.
• White pure linen items without special finishes such as hemstitched borders can be laundered at temperatures of up to 95°C. We normally recommend using 60°C setting, as higher temperatures tend to wear linen out faster.
• Before washing, separate dark, coloured linens from white or off-white linens.
• You can use stain remover on stains before laundering, but avoid using bleach since it weakens fibres and may affect the colour of dyed linens. It’s worth noting that bleaching particles in conventional washing powder make natural linen colour fade.
• Try to rinse the stains immediately, when still fresh, and use natural stain soaps if needed. Cover red wine stains with sugar or salt instantly to avoid permanent staining. Sugar and salt are well-known for absorbing the moist; wipe the sugar off the tablecloth straight away.
• Linen garments, table linens and bed linens normally do not need the pre-washing (or soaking). However, if you are washing a linen item for the first time, it can be soaked briefly in lukewarm water before the wash to avoid creasing.
• A conventional machine wash and fast spin is recommended. Use hot iron while the linens are still slightly damp.
• Linen has a distinctive crispness which you should be able to achieve with a hot iron – no need to use starch. However, if you insist, table linens can be starched after the wash to achieve extra crisp finish.
• Wash linen articles separately from other materials, especially during the first wash, as natural fibres tend to loose lint (nap), which you don’t want ending up on your other items.
• To reduce creasing, load your washing machine half-way. This will also ensure linens get plenty of water while rinsing.
• Do not tumble dry your linens, as it may leave permanent creasing and it definitely shortens the life of linen. Statistically the percent of shrinkage in linen products is approximately 4-5% if dried naturally, but it increases to nearly 10-15% if linens get a good spin in a hot tumble dryer.
• Straighten out the linen after the wash before hanging it on the washing line.
• Fine hand-hemstitched items, such as above-mentioned Queen tablecloth, require extra care. If washed in a washing machine, low-temperature and low-spin setting is recommended. Never tumble dry fine hemstitched linens. Dry-cleaning is also recommended.
And last but not least, follow the instructions on the label attached to the linen item. They are there for a reason.