We make clothing from linen because it’s light to the touch, kind to the Earth and sums up summer. And if you need any evidence that it lasts: the oldest dress in the world (5,000 years old, to be precise) is made of linen! Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of nature’s “strongest material”.
1. Cool the heat.
When machine washing, use a Cold Cycle - 30 degrees is best. Linen will shrink at higher temperatures, making cold washes an important part of linen care.
2. Swirl, don’t twist.
When handwashing, adopt a gentle swirling motion to protect the fabric. Never twist or scrub, and spot clean whenever possible (this saves water too!).
3. Use a natural detergent.
This is another important factor when caring for your linen. Natural materials prefer natural detergents, so make a trip to your local shop to see what they have to offer, while reducing your carbon footprint!
4. Soften with white vinegar.
Conventional fabric conditioners can harm your linen - so a cupful of white vinegar will help bring out its softer side instead.
5. Never, ever, use bleach.
With their light texture and extra-cool feeling your linen garments were made for the beach, not bleach. Bleach will replace one problem with another, by getting rid of your stain but damaging the fabric’s fibres.
Weak acids like white vinegar are a safer bet for stain removal, but always test on a non-visible area to see if the colour of the garment changes first.
Another top tip: dab it onto the fabric, don’t rub.
6. Can you tumble dry linen?
YES, but use cool air only. Also, remove linen garments from the dryer when they’re still slightly humid to avoid the linen becoming stiff. Then hang it or lie it flat to finish the drying process. For more structured garments (jackets), we do recommend dry cleaning.
7. The wetter, the better.
If you’re not fond of linen’s natural wrinkles, leave it soaking wet when drying as the extra weight will straighten the folds. Air-drying on a sunny day is the best bet and drying flat is even better as it will preserve the garment’s shape!
8. Ironing, who needs it?
This one’s easy - it’s not even necessary to iron linen! Refer to tip 7 for advice on how to naturally decrease the wrinkles. But if you need a quick fix: turn your clothing inside out and use your iron’s steam setting.
9. Store in a cool, dry place.
Make sure your linen garments are completely dry before storing and try to avoid storing them in places that get very stuffy. Worried about pests? Lavender is an excellent moth-repellent and will leave your linen smelling as good as it looks. Put a few drops of lavender oil onto cotton balls and place it with your garments to keep the pests at bay.
Final thoughts on linen care
So there you have it! 9 tips to care for your linen. While that might seem like a lot to take in, they shouldn’t be a cause for panic. Following at least a few of our tips will ensure your linen can soften in the right way and look fresher than even the day you first wore it. Good garment care is also a key pillar of sustainability. Because, much like the environment, the better care we take of our clothes the longer they will last.