I’ll be honest: I’m not a big fan of housework, and I never thought I’d be writing a blog post about laundry. But like many people I’ve fallen for the wonderfully relaxed look of linen bedding, and after investing in sets for our bedroom and spare room, I’m keen to keep them looking their best. So, I’ve teamed up with London-based company The Linen Works, which stocks a beautiful range of linen in stylish, muted tones, to put together a few handy tips…
The more you wash linen, the softer and more comfortable it becomes. Most linen bedding can be machine-washed, but it’s worth looking for options that have been pre-washed as the fabric can shrink by as much as 5% when first dunked in water. Select a gentle cycle, a lowish temperature (no more than 40C for coloured linen and 60C for white linen) and a moderate spin, and avoid using harsh detergents which contain bleaching agents.
The Linen Works has launched a laundry range that’s been specially formulated for linen, with ethically sourced, natural and hypoallergenic ingredients. They kindly sent me bottles of laundry liquid, fabric softener and linen water to try, and I loved them all. They’re scented with bergamot, meadow flowers and patchouli, and our bedding came out of the wash with a delicate scent that lingered for ages. The packaging looks very pretty, too!
Tumble drying can damage linen, so hang it up instead; linen dries very quickly anyway, which is one of the reasons it makes such comfortable bedding. Just be careful to avoid plastic clothes pegs with a tight grip that could leave a mark on the fibres – old-fashioned wooden ones work best.
One of the beauties of linen is that you don’t have to spend ages ironing it – in fact, I love the slightly crumpled, laid-back appearance of un-ironed linen bedding. If you prefer a smarter look, iron it when still slightly damp and spray it with linen water as you go. You can fold it before ironing to speed the process up a bit.
Deal with stains instantly by diluting them with a little water (many people suggest using white wine to counter red-wine stains, but in my view that’s a waste of good wine!), and then soak as soon as possible. Don’t put salt on linen stains, as it will fix the mark into the fibres.
This is a collaborative post with The Linen Works, but all words and opinions are my own.
Photography by Abi Dare and The Linen Works