Product Care

WASH YOUR LINENS WITH CONFIDENCE

We go to great lengths to use only the finest fibres and have tested our products to ensure their beautiful appearance is maintained year after year.

Here we give you the extra guidance to look after your linens in the best way possible.

Some of the most frequent questions we receive at The Linen Works have to do with the use of soap, detergent, fabric softener, and bleach. Our answer is we always recommend the most natural form and we will explain why.

As with any changes it takes some time to adjust, but everyone we know whose stopped using some laundry products, says they were buying it out of habit or thought you were “supposed to use it” and having stopped it, won’t ever go back.

WASH

Linen items can be both hand washed and machine washed - either of these methods are fine and won’t stretch or shrink your linens. Select a gentle wash, 40°C. Do not overload the machine. Choose a very low spin cycle if the linen has any special finishes such as fringed edges, we always advise to shake very well our fringe collection before drying to straighten out the fringe.

Eco friendly Detergent: It’s easy to find brands of laundry detergents without nasties such as optical brighteners, which weakens fabrics. We like companies like Bio-d and Wilton which are doing a great job.

IRON

Pure linen doesn’t have to be ironed but if you enjoy a crisp linen finish, try ironing whilst it’s still damp. First iron on the wrong side first, then on the right side to bring out the natural linen sheen. Iron dark linens on the wrong side only. If your linen has already dried out before ironing, we recommend using our Linen Water, either spray directly onto the product or pour into the iron reservoir.

DRY

Air drying your linen is always recommended plus it is better for the environment.

Air-dry your clothes, it helps reduce static! I also really encourage air-drying because it not only saves a lot of energy, it's better for the environment but really increases the longevity of all fabrics. There’s less rubbing and wear – just look in the lint tray, those are all fibres that have been broken off or pulled from the fabric! Air-dried clothes will sometimes feel less soft than using a dryer, especially if you’re used to fabric softeners, but you can try just putting them in the dryer for few minutes to fluff them up.

If you NEED to use a dryer, wool dryer balls can not only help soften your linens but also cut down on drying time.
Also don’t over-dry your linens, the dryness is what causes static and make your linens feel less soft.

We don’t recommend tumble drying our fringed collections.

SHRINK

One of the joys of pre-washed linens is that you won’t experience any first wash shrinkage. If you choose a linen that hasn’t been pre-washed, allow for 3-5%. This includes our fabric by the metre.

A NOTE ON WASHING PRODUCTS

BLEACHING AND OPTICAL AGENTS

Many detergents today contain optical brightening agents, which weakens and deteriorates fabrics over time and cause yellowing or yellow stains.

Optical brighteners are chemicals that conventional manufacturers use in their detergent formulations to make laundry look whiter and/or brighter. They do this by absorbing UV rays from the sun and radiating them back to the human eye. They don’t actually remove discoloration or stains or help the cleaning process at all—they just cover them up by enhancing the whiteness of the laundry. Essentially, optical brighteners are creating an optical illusion.

Water-insoluble abrasive minerals such as talc, diatomaceous earth, silica, marble, volcanic ash (pumice), chalk, feldspar, quartz, sand and even sawdust are often powdered and added to soap or detergent formulations.

Do All Detergent Have Optical Brighteners?
No, not all laundry detergents have optical brighteners in them! Optical brighteners are synthetic chemicals. So if you’re trying to keep these harsh chemicals away, you should check your packaging.

What To Look For On The Ingredients Label
  • Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate
  • DMS
  • Fluorescent Brighteners
  • Fluorescent Brightening Agents
  • Fluorescent Optical Brighteners
  • Fluorescent White Dyes
  • Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWAs)
  • Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs)
  • Optical Whiteners
  • Organic Fluorescent Dyes

    FABRIC SOFTENERS

    Linen naturally gets softer with every wash, and our stone washed linen should already be at its maximum softness.

    Fabric softeners work by applying a waxy coat on fabrics which interferes with moisture wicking and absorption properties. Linen fabrics are notorious for wicking moisture from the skin to the outside of the fabric where it can evaporate, but if you cover the fabric in a waxy coating it’s like plugging up a drinking straw and blocks the ability to move moisture. The coating also builds up over time making it harder for water and detergent to permeate the fabric so odours and stains are more difficult to get out and become sealed in.
Although the fabrics might feel extra soft and nice at first, this build-up of fatty film overtime makes fabrics less absorbent. This is especially a problem with towels which obviously need to absorb a lot of moisture, as well as bed linens which absorb sweat for comfort.

Fabric softeners can also stain your fabrics, liquid softeners can occasionally leave blueish or grey stain spots on fabrics and overtime the waxy build-up can also cause yellowing on whites. They also can leave residue in your machines which isn’t good for the machines and also means you can get fabric softener residue on other fabrics even when you’re not using it in that load.

The problem is product build-up that never gets rinsed out. Every time you do the laundry, more and more product gets left behind. This build-up make appliances stink, colours look dingy, whites turn gray and linens feel stiff and scratchy. Towels, especially, can turn sour and stinky no matter how much you re-wash and re-soften.

If you are a fabric softener addict there are now a number of companies that provide alternatives. But, essentially, these are unnecessary products can interfere with the functional aspect of linen textiles. For instance, when used on towels and bed-linens, softeners can reduce absorbency.

Washing machines will need plenty of water to remove all soap, detergent and residual soil to prevent the formation of the so-called age spots due to the oxidation effect of these products.

There are lots of good resources online which also explain that these products aren't good for marine life or our own health. Given this, maybe it’s worth asking whether the time has come to break the fabric softener habit completely.

To soften the fabric naturally: Try adding half a cup of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. Don't worry: the smell doesn't linger on clothes. Be sure not to use with bleach.

FOR STAINS


Try the following:
  • Ink: Soak in milk, or in soap-and-ammonia mixture, and rub the spot.
  • Blood: Rinse immediately in cold water.
  • Fruit, coffee, tea and chocolate: Rub with alcohol, white vinegar and ammonia.
  • Candle wax: Scratch off dried wax, absorb residue with blotting paper and iron.
  • Greasy Stains: Rub with ammonia.
  • Red Wine: Rub immediately with white wine or a stronger clear spirit such as gin.
If stains do not disappear, you can try:
  • Soaking the linen in a good washing detergent, or dissolving 3.5 oz. sodium borate in boiling water, then adding enough cold water to yield 1½ gallons, and let soak for 1 hour.
  • Never use chlorine bleach which may damage the fibers.

Try a traditional remedy: spread the linen out on a sunny meadow or your back garden for a few days!

KEEP YOUR LINEN FRESH WITH LINEN WATER

5 WAYS WITH LINEN WATER


1 | IRON

Spritzed on linen during ironing to give a gentle and lasting perfume to your clothes and household linens.

2 | ROOM SPRAY

Instantly refresh and scent any room with a quick spritz, it can be used in the same way as an air freshener.

3 | PILLOW MIST

Mist your pillow just before bedtime to help you get a restful night's sleep.

4 | BATH FRAGRANCE

Naturally diffuse it in the bath water. It is 100% natural so perfect for baby baths.

5 | TRAVEL

Ideal for nervous travelers, a homely scent can be effective way for those who need a little reminder of home to relax.

ADD LITTLE LUXURIES

WE ARE HERE TO HELP

If you have any queries about how to care for your linen please contact us.

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