You may have noticed that at Amelius, we love our linen. It’s as strong as it is beautiful, and sustainable as it is breathable.
But...how do we take care of it? The good news is that it’s not too difficult, and it doesn’t need specialist care. Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know.
WHAT IS LINEN?
Like cotton, linen is a natural fibre. It is made from fibres of the flax plant.
You’ve probably heard of flax before…you might even put flax seeds in your smoothies. But when it comes to making linen, the fibres are extracted from the plant and stored for long periods of time to soften them.
Unlike cotton, linen actually gets better with each wash, making it a more durable fabric. Cotton can become threadbare overtime, as the fibres are weakened through washing.
Linen also uses less resources in its production than cotton, making a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to cotton.
So, how do you wash linen? Can you machine-wash it?
The short answer is, yes. Linen that has been correctly manufactured can be machine-washed, although it’s best to wash it in lukewarm or cold water. Use a gentle cycle and a mild, eco-friendly detergent to protect the fibres. If you’re worried, you can always hand wash instead.
Of course, when it comes to linen suits, or garments that are more structured, it’s best to dry clean them.
So…can you tumble-dry linen, as well? The answer is both yes and no.
Linen can be tumble-dried on low temperatures, however, if you’re not careful, you will end up with stiff linen! Who wants that?
In order to avoid this, always remove your linen from the dryer when it’s still slightly damp, and continue to air dry it.
Can you iron linen? Well…you can, but there is no reason to iron linen garments unless they become really crushed.
If you must, iron your linen while the fabric is still damp. Linen is nearly impossible to iron when it’s dry. You can spritz your linen with water 5-10 minutes beforehand, then use a medium-hot iron on the steam setting.
Also, use a good ironing board. Ironing linen requires steady, even strokes…otherwise, you might scorch your linen!
White linen is better ironed on both sides. Dark linen, on the other hand, should be pressed only on the reverse side.
You can use spray-on starch or fabric sizing for areas like collars and cuffs that you want to keep particularly crisp. The starch will also protect the fabric from stains.
If you want to wear your linen after ironing it, try to wait 15 minutes to allow the fibres to cool and relax.
If you want to store the linen, first hang it somewhere it can dry completely.
Store your linen in a cool, dry place. Don’t use plastic bags, cardboard boxes or wooden chests...your linen will become stale.
Linen is naturally insect-repellant, so you shouldn’t struggle with moths. However, when you take linen out of storage, give it a good airing and wash to keep it fresh.