Belgium’s Finest: Easy Care Tips for Linen
We all know that feeling of purchasing something we are going to love for a long time. But how do we maintain the beauty of natural linen and prolong it’s life and character for as long as possible? As linen is used it gains character; an aged patina, further enhancing the fibre’s natural beauty.
1 | INVEST IN QUALITY
Our first tip is to purchase quality over quantity. Purchase the very best quality linen you can. Linen stands the test of time (and trends), so is a great investment item. We always choose high quality certified linen made from ethically produced flax.
If you can’t purchase everything you want to use straight away, we suggest collecting your favourite design or colour, then adding pieces of linen your collection as you can afford it. A quality linen is made to last and if well cared for, will give you decades of service.
"With a focus on investing in the highest quality linen from the start, you can make sure not only does it last, but that its character is enhanced with time and use."
2 | STORAGE
With just a bit of knowledge it is easy to take care of linen. In fact, once you know what to do, it is one of the easiest fibres to look after.
Keep your linen in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight. This will ensure your linen doesn’t fade or experience issues with damp. Protect linen by storing in a large pillowcase- this also keeps sets organised! Use sachets to discourage bugs and gently fragrance your linen.
There are also a few don’ts with linen storage: avoid damp or bright spots for storage, steer clear of cardboard or cedar boxes to prevent yellowing reactions, and don’t overcrowd your linens when packed away.
3 | WHEN IN USE
We’ve all experienced the frantic hurry of getting ready for guests (oh how we’ve missed this!). The casual drop arounds or the planned luncheons, or the delight of making and hopping into fresh beds for ourselves or a guest.
Avoid overcrowding your linens in storage to reduce creasing so your linens are ready to use off the shelf.
If you have time, hang your linen in fresh air before using so they smell fresh and folds drop out before making the bed or setting the table for guests.
Linen also gains a beautiful aged patina the more it is washed. The natural, relaxed texture of linen is often a feature of the alfresco table or bedroom setting inviting you to immediately jump under the covers. So unless you’re after a highly polished look, there is no need to iron your linen!
Should there be a spillage (as there often is during leisurely lunch sessions), be sure to pour salt or mineral water on the affected spot, continue enjoying your guests, and then get your linen into cool gently soapy water as soon as possible.
4 | WASHING
Linen becomes softer and more characterful with each wash. This enhanced texture is referred to as an ‘aged patina’. It’s best to wash your new linen a couple of times before use to soften the fibres so it is soft, not scratchy to touch.
Wash your linen with cool water on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and if possible, dry naturally outdoors in the shade. But don’t dry it to a crisp! Touch dry will do nicely.
To keep linen’s characterful, relaxed texture, don’t iron after drying. If you are going to iron your linen, do it when it’s not completely dry as this will make ironing easier.
Simply fold and store in a cool, dry place without overcrowding the shelf of storage container. We suggest keeping your linen sets inside a large pillow case to keep your linen organised clean.
5 | END OF LIFE
Quality linen will last a lifetime, but can also be repurposed if it’s been stained, ripped or worn beyond repair.
Should you ever get to the end-of-life stage with a linen piece, you can repurpose or recycle your linen. By cutting around holes or stubborn stains you can create something new and useful such as a linen apron, napkins, tea towels, cushion covers or table runners, or even, if you have enough fabric, a garment, giving the linen new life for years to come.