This Is Exactly How to Wash, Dry and Store Your 100% French Flax Linen
Truth: linen is the low-maintenance bedding option that requires simple and straightforward care. Unlike other bedfellows that can be quite demanding, linen is actually one of the strongest natural fibres known to man, making it one of the most durable materials with ease of use and minimal instructions for upkeep. Even before the local dry cleaner became a mainstay of your street, its ancestors were cultivating flax linen thousands of years ago and, if we follow in their stride, our linens can last for generations and eventually be passed down as heirlooms. Should you want to maximise the longevity of your Bed Threads—and gift your grandchildren with bedding that keeps on giving—take note of our easy how-to guide for washing your linens so they last.
Do you ever feel like every purchase you make has a ‘dry-clean only’ tag on it, deterring you from buying as you calculate its cost-per-wear? Linen doesn’t! The resilient fibre is designed for cost-effective wash and wear. In fact, the more linen is washed, the softer and silkier the material becomes. Dry cleaning your linen can actually cause damage to the product, as the chemicals used in the process of dry cleaning may occasionally react to and weaken the linen fibres, not to mention repeatedly tug on your purse strings.
Instead, you can either hand or machine wash your linen—always separately—and always with lukewarm or cold water. Linen is ultra-absorbent, so we advise that you launder any stains while they are still new to avoid permanent damage. For this very reason, use plenty of water when both washing and rinsing your linen to prevent stain absorption. A gentle detergent will work well, especially when used in combination with an oxygen-type bleach instead of a chlorine-based alternative for pure white linen to minimise the risk of discolouration.
When it comes to drying, there are number of ways to ready your Bed Threads for bed. Line drying, flat drying and even tumble drying on a delicate setting will all do the job with aplomb. Note well: to maintain the brightness of your whites, leave them to air dry in the sun. It’s also key to remove your linen from the line or dryer while still damp—think 80% dry. Over-drying linen can cause brittleness and dent the product with stubborn creases that won’t easily relax.
Linen lovers will note that the material’s natural creases give this fabric its unique charm, which can be preserved simply by folding away your linen as is. Alternatively, if you prefer your pillows chopped and propped and your sheets creaseless, iron your linen while it is still damp to better your chances of removing creases before they sit stubborn and immovable once dry. Before you begin, check the sole plate of your iron is clean and, if you are using a steam iron, check for mineral deposits as these can cause brown spotting. Dial up your heat setting to its maximum and use a spray starch for a crisp, wrinkle-free finish. When working through the creases, iron your sheets back to front and then finish with a once-over on the right side to draw out the linen’s sheen.
Store your linen in a cool, dry and well-ventilated space. Avoid plastic bags, cardboard boxes and cedar chests. Linen has inbuilt insect-repelling properties, so fear not about moths and other hungry creatures spoiling your bedding. Once you are ready to make use of your linen, remove from storage, give it a good airing and wash once to refresh.
Bedding can be demanding, and even worse, require dry cleaning, making some competitors a hard sell and quite frankly, hard work. Linen, on the other hand, is hard not to love—it looks as great as it is easy to wash, dry and wear.
Enjoyed this? Read all about why your linen sheets will become even softer over time.