As you might expect, we are always singing linen’s praises. There are a lot of good reasons why we do. It’s an incredible natural fabric that has timeless style and is kind to the planet due to its minimal requirements for water and added chemicals. But did you know that one of the other reasons that we should all be praising linen to the heavens is that it is really easy to look after? And that there are a few very simple steps that you can take to make your linen last longer. Read on to find out how to keep your linen looking fresh.
Linen is one of the most durable fabrics in the world, hence its history on the seas when it was used for ships’ sails. When looked after properly, linen can last a really long time. That’s because it is naturally moth resistant. It can easily last for up to three decades and often much longer than that. Cotton, on the other hand, often has a life expectancy of just five years.
In order to make sure that your linen reaches the grand old age of thirty, you should protect it by washing linen with lukewarm or cold water and avoid using bleach. Mild soap is the best cleaning product to use when washing your linen as it is gentle on the flax fibres in the fabric. We’d always recommend you line dry your linen rather than sending it for a spin in the tumble dryer. It’s kinder to the fabric and, although you can tumble dry it on a low heat if necessary, it will become wrinkled and need a steam iron to get it back into its smooth shape.
Linen typically doesn’t like high temperatures, but that doesn’t mean you’re not able to iron it - In fact you can iron it to great effect. Simply spray your linen with cold water, or iron it while it is still slightly damp after being washed. You should not store your linen in plastic bags, cardboard boxes or cedar chests because the natural fibres need to breathe.
If you have followed all these simple tips to protect your linen, then you should have it for decades. However, if your linen has reached a stage where it no longer looks its best then it might be time to replace it with new, fresh linen. But remember, linen fabric can be heirloom pieces if looked after properly. As linen ages and is washed over time, the fabric relaxes, gets softer and more luxuriant. If your linen has gone beyond that stage and looks stretched and baggy, then it is time to replace it.
Adding to linen’s impressive sustainability, it is also a recyclable fabric. Pure linen, like natural cotton, can in fact be composted because it is such a natural product. Great attention is being levelled at clothing retailers to make clothing items from all natural, organic fabrics like linen in order to help decrease the clothing industry’s significant carbon footprint. Surely that’s just one more reason to invest in more incredible linen fabrics for your home!
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