Fine linen items are an investment, so it just makes sense that you want to properly care for that investment. With a little bit of know-how, you can ensure that your linens last a long time and give you years of service.     

 

CLEANING
Unused, never-washed items
For all new items, it is advisable to let them soak for a minimum of 12 hours before the first wash. Prepare hot water and ensure any non-caustic soaps are spun out before putting your item in the bath. Rinse several times to get rid of any soda. It is also advisable to wash items by hand for the first few times to avoid any threads breakage : putting this sort of linen into the washing machine can weaken the threads. After the second or third hand wash, using a washing machine should not be a problem, however do select low spin speeds.

Normal condition
I always use the washing machine.However, in order to avoid rubbing between textiles that could wear them prematurely, make sure you do not overload the machine. For linen and pure linen,use the maximum temperature possible (boil wash) : it makes the linen whiter and does not damage textiles (in the olden days, people always used to do it that way !).

Fragile condition
The best solution is hand washing. For small items you can sometimes use a textile bag to wrap them in and put them however in the washing machine.

DRYING
recommend open air drying outside instead of machine drying ! It saves energy : it smells much better for those are lucky enough to live in the country or fairly unpolluted cities, and it makes the linen whiter : there is nothing else like the sun to make whiten fine linen (all linen !).

IRONING

Use a very high temperature when ironing pure linen items .
never to let your item dry completely : 70 to 80 % dry is enough because the drier it is, the more it will crumple and it will not be possible to push the iron hard enough to make the creases disappear. So the best way to do it is to iron when the item is damp and then let it dry completely then iron one last time and then fold. If in certain places the textile is too dry, use another piece of fabric (like an old cloth), dampen it and put it over the textile to iron and then iron on it. This applies especially to linen and pure linen because flax is well known for creasing very easily !!!

stretch the fabric in order to restore it to its former shape
for a beautiful result after ironing, especially if there is raised satin stitched embroidery, is to iron on the reverse side of the textile, with a thick cover on the ironing board.

when ironing, to push and pull at the same, and with both hands. You push with the hand that is holding the iron and you pull with the other one : this allows the fabric to be stretched therefore avoiding creases, non-flat areas and makes the embroidery well spread out so every details can be seen and appreciated !
 when you have several items of the same shape (like napkins, towels, ...) iron everything flat, then fold .

Storage

Fine Linen has many enemies:

1 Dampness:avoid places that retain or collect water

2.Mice:avoid places that are visited by th ese beasties with long teeth!

3.Light:avoid places where your fine linen will be in the sun all day long

4.Sodas:avoid washes without sufficient rinsing because over time and with storage this will casue many holes!