Linen clothing can sometimes be perceived as difficult to care for, and frankly, that’s unfair. Linen is actually super easy to launder, you just need to understand its needs, hopes, dreams and fears and it will last for ages. Let’s just start by saying that caring for linen items is simple and rather straightforward high-quality linen fabric is sturdy and durable on its own so you won’t have to slave away tending to its whims. However, if you want to make the most of your linen items, here are some basic rules you should follow.
- Separate white, dark and coloured linens. For best result, wash linen separately from other heavy fabrics for example jeans and towels.
- Wash in lukewarm water (<40°C/104°F). High temperatures may cause shrinkage of up to 10 % and weaken the linen fiber.
- Use the gentle machine cycle and don’t overload your washing machine.
- Use mild detergent without enzymes formulated for delicate fabrics like Washologis Organic wash or Delicate wash and don’t use bleach.
- Fill a small container (bucket or sink) with lukewarm water and add about a teaspoon of mild detergent.
- Submerge the linen garment in lukewarm water and let it soak for about 10 minutes.
- Gently swish the item around. Don’t wring, twist or scrub as it can stretch the fabric.
- Drain the soapy water and rinse repeatedly until the soapy residue is all gone.
Drying your linens is a method of your own choice, but let us run through the basics. Pre-washed linen items can be easily machine (tumble) dried on low heat. Remove from the dryer when they’re still slightly damp and hang or lie flat to finish the process. Air drying is another great option that saves on electricity and adds softness to the linen items. Line-dry your items or dry them flat on a white towel.
Bleaching linen is not the best idea. Bleach and detergents with optical brighteners tend to weaken the fibers and may cause discoloration. If you’re dealing with a stain, please refer to the steps mentioned above.
Linen naturally gets softer with every wash, and stone washed linen should already be at its maximum softness. Fabric softeners (liquid or dryer sheets) weaken the fibers and coat them reducing their absorbency and moisture-wicking properties.
Natural fibers like linen will wrinkle, crumple and crease, you just have to accept it. However, if you really want an item pressed, use a medium-hot iron on the fabric while it’s still damp or overlay it with a damp towel.
Make sure your linens are completely dry to avoid mildew. Natural fibers like linen need to breathe, so it’s best to store them in cool, dry, well-ventilated areas and away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing linen in plastic bags.