It is a common misconception that linen needs specialist care. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and we want to help you see just how easy it is to care for linen and to keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Made from the fibres of the flax plant, linen has been cultivated and used as a textile for thousands of years, long before the existence of dry cleaners or fancy detergents. In fact, it is such a natural, simple fabric that caring for it is simple too.
Not sure how to care for your linen clothes or home textiles? Let us help.
Do I need to dry clean linen?
The easy answer to this is, no. Linen that has been correctly manufactured and treated can be machine or hand washed. It can even be tumble dried on low temperatures. The only garments that are better being dry cleaned are more structured, tailored items such as linen jackets or suits, due to the way they are constructed. Always follow the care instructions on your item, and test any cleaning method on a small, hidden area before washing the whole thing.
Why choose linen over cotton?
Linen is just as easy to look after as cotton, but it is more durable and gets better with each wash, unlike cotton which can become threadbare as the fibres are weakened. Linen uses less resources in its production, so it is also a more eco-friendly, sustainable fabric.
How to wash linen?
Linen becomes softer and more absorbent after each wash, which is pretty neat. Wash linen on low temperatures in lukewarm or cold, and preferably soft, water. Use the gentle machine cycle and a mild detergent to protect the fibres. Again, read the individual manufacturer’s care instructions to be sure.
How do I dry linen?
Feel free to machine (tumble) dry your linen clothes or textile, as long as you stick to low temperatures. Remove from the dryer when still slightly damp to avoid the linen becoming stiff, and hang or lie flat to finish off the drying process.
Do I need to iron linen?
No! Yay! There really is no need to iron linen garments, unless they have become really crushed. In fact, we love the inherent natural creases and crumples – they are what give linen its drapey, relaxed, soft feel. But if you love ironing, or have an item that really needs pressing, iron while the fabric is still damp. Use a medium-hot iron on the steam setting. White linen is better ironed on both sides, whilst dark linen should be pressed only on the reverse side.
How do I store my linens?
Store your linens in a cool, dry place; avoid plastic bags, cardboard boxes and cedar chests. Linen has inbuilt insect-repellant properties so you should have nothing to fear from moths or other nibbly creatures. When you take linen out of storage, give it a good airing and wash if it needs a bit of a refresh.
You can see why we love linen – not only does it look stunning, it’s also machine washable, tumble dryable and doesn’t require any ironing if hanged or laid flat when still damp. Easy!
I know this article is old but it’s so helpful. I’m desperate for info on my situation:
I have 100% linen bedsheets in a dark charcoal colour. I need to disinfect them (covid!), but how can I do that without hot water or bleach? What would happen if I wash them at 60C?
In most of the cases 60C should be fine. with higher temperatures the risk of shrinkage gets higher though.
We read your blog and it is very beautiful and the content is also good, you have well described the fabric well and I liked it so thank you, Silk is a very good fabric, people do it in abundance and it is available in many colors and it is easy to do clothes made of silk. But silk is expensive as compared to other fabrics and it feels royal but few people are aware of how to wash it. You can wash silk very easily like you can with normal water using detergent and laundry liquid And after washing it can be easily dried in the sun.
I have a new bedcover-55% cotton & 45% linen. Iam unhappy with the color-pale yellow.I want to bleach it a little but the care instructions say not to bleach! Can you tell me the reason why I cannot bleach it?Appreciate your help.
It’s hard to say why manufacture makes this warning. Maybe they have reason for this I’m not aware of. Based on my experience almost all cotton whites and most synthetic whites are safe to wash in liquid bleach. The biggest mistake people make when adding bleach is using the wrong amount. Add ½ cup for a normal load with an average soil level, and 1 cup for an extra-large and/or heavily soiled load. That should work.
Linen or linen blends should not be bleached. If it says do not there is a very good reason!
My 100% table linens are white and say “Do not bleach” but I do, I have, I will continue to do so…my tablecloth and napkins are going on 6 years old and have not shown any degradation. I only use light bleach, never average or heavy amounts. Another natural product to try would be Borax. I found that adding Borax had a bleaching effect on my gray kitchen towels after just 2 washes (compared to ones on the bottom of the stack that had not been Borax washed).
I have some 100% Belgium linen drapes that I would like to make into chair covers – the tag says dry clean only but I think I should wash them before bringing to the seamstress or should I have them made into covers and then wash them – thanks
Definitely wash it first to avoid shrinkage after.
I have a king size single layer 100% linen bed cover in charcoal. Is there any safe way to lighten (bleach) this colour. Would love to hear any ideas.
It will get slightly lighter with every wash, you might not notice the difference right away, but it will definitely get lighter with time. If you want quicker effect you could use regular bleach (it will work), but it will be impossible to control the effect and you might be not happy with the result.
Is it a good idea to starch my linen saree?
I would suggest not to starch your linen saree. It to some degree will destroy the natural softness of the fabric giving it a stiff feel unless this is the feel you are looking for.
I have a new 70% cotton 30% linen hand knit sweater that is a little bit large. Will it shrink too much if I gently wash it and machine dry on low temperature? Thank you so much.
Please check manufactures instructions first. My suggestion would be to wash according to their instructions and check if there is any shrinkage. If not then you could try higher temperatures, but do it gradually as there is a risk of shrinkage more than you would like to if you use too high temperatures.
Hey, your article is very helpful. I have a cotton/linen blend fabric and was just wondering whats the best way to take care of it.
The same tips would apply for cotton/linen fabric as outlined in the article.
Hey, thanks for the amazing article!
I brought a really nice black linen maxi dress and the washing label says 40 degrees wash… But 40 degrees Celsius seems really hot so I hand washed it using lukewarm water about 30-35 degrees and mild body soap. The color faded and the water looked brownish….cold water doesn’t seem to work as well. I wonder is it natural for black linen to fade? Should I use hotter water? I’m afraid the dress will become grayish;)
It would be the best to contact the seller for their comments, but it looks like quality of the fabric or dyeing technique was poor. It is natural that colour would slightly fade away over the time after number of washes, but it shouldn’t happen at the first wash. Washing in the machine at the temperature up to 40 degrees should be ok.
I have a roll of 100% linen fabric. Can I wash it with water at over 40 degree Celcius before make it into a shirt so that it wouldn’t shrink , or is there any other way to eliminate shrinkage?
You can’t fully eliminate shrinkage of linen fabric. You can minimize it by washing below 40 degrees. Another option is to buy pre-washed linen fabrics.
I bought some pure linen bedding last year, at great expense. Looks lovely on the bed but is mega scratchy! Washed in line with manufacturer’s instructions, and it’s been washed loads of times. It is SO scratchy I am thinking of giving it to charity (although why should I inflict scratchy bedlinen on them?!), and wasting over £200.
Any ideas please?
It’s difficult to comment not seeing the product, but I believe it is the type of linen fabric (and weav) that you bedding is made of. At LinenMe we use stonewashed linen fabric to make our linen bedding so it is very soft from day one. Having said that linen should get softer with every wash. You could even try to use regular fabric softener with you bedding before you give it away to charity.
There is information online about using white vinegar or baking soda to soften linen. Good luck
I wash my linen once a week on a gentle cycle but the pillowcases are greasy and stained. It looks really yuk. How do I clean them?
Try to change the detergent as well. Using stain remover shouldn’t harm the linen fabric as well. Stay with lowest temperature cycle.
If pillow cases are greasy, add no more than a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (decent brand) to the main wash. I insist also that my pillow cases get soaked in bicarb solution to get rid of any kind of smelly stuff, perspiration, etc. About 2 Tbsp in half a bucket water, wonderful stuff.
Can you dry the linen curtains in the dryer to dry and washing machine to wash.
Theoretically you can wash (using lowest temperatures only), but you should be aware of shrinkage. First you need check the label for manufacture’s recommendations. Strictly follow them. If linen curtains are made from prewashed fabric (as all LinenMe curtains) then the shrinkage would be very minimal if any (if you wash in lowest temperatures), but if your linen curtains are made from not washed fabric then the shringage could be 3-5%. For drying I wouldn’t suggest dryer, hang your curtains wet and they will dry.
How I can save my white color expensive linen curtains ,as they are very dirty also , to get shrink after washing.
I won’t be able to suggest anything more than washing following instructions provided on this article. One extra tip, hang your curtains while they are a bit wet (this way you might gain a little bit of extra length).
I washed my linen duvet cover in cold as instructed, gentle cycle and just a small about detergent.
There are now some lighter areas on the cover. I have read that may be as a result of detergent not completely dissolving… I used very sparingly…
Am now running another cycle of rinse only and hope that eliminates the blotches.
If you have any advice or suggestions I would appreciate it greatly!
It is very difficult to judge not seeing it. It does have smth to do with the detergent though. There is a chance that it didn’t dissolve fully due to higher concentration in one place. If this is the case rinsing should help. If it has smth to do with quality of dying of linen fabric then rinsing won’t restore the color I’m afraid.
I wash church linens a lot. To keep white, rinse and rinse again. To keep from ironing, get the linen item very damp, almost dripping, lay face down on a smooth surface (not painted or wood) like a countertop or washer top, and smooth out ALL wrinkles and bubbles, using a piece of a white t-shirt helps. Allow to air dry. It will be perfect! If you must iron, freeze the item still damp and iron face down with a dry iron. I use the air dry method for my linen pants but don’t get them so wet, and they look great!
Your are a life saver. You mentioned using softener when you wash linen. I assume you mean it goes into the rinse water and not the wash.
Great Blog… The information you shared is very effective for learners I have got some important suggestions from it, Keep Sharing such a nice blog.
Just got this beautiful flax woven top sheet from the antique flea market. The company where it came from is already closed. Vendor has no clue how to wash it. The tag only says c.1890 Woven Flax Top Sheet and no washing instructions or tag. It has some embroidery and detailed with double looped drawnwork on one edge. What is the best way to wash it. Would love to use it.
Lucky! I have been hunting for antique linen but not having any luck. I would hand wash it in cold water and dry over a rack. Be careful of the embroidery if it is colored. Enjoy!
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Hello. I’m wondering if linen always shrinks, even when using cold water to wash. I bought a new white linen shirt and it’s a perfect size right now and worried it will shrink when washed. Any suggestions would be helpful!
It really depends if the fabric for making your shirt was pre-washed or not. If it was pre-washed then there shouldn’t be any shrinkage in washing in up to 40C. If it was not pre-washed then there will be some shrinkage even in washing in cold water. In one or another scenario it is not recommended to wash it in temperature above 40C.
I have a beautiful, full length gored skirt. It has no care instructions- just a tag that says 100% linen. The first time it required cleaning, I took it to the dry cleaner. I’m lucky I’ve not had to clean it again for three years! The dry cleaning is pricey, but I’m a little nervous about cleaning it myself. Any advice? It’s a wrap around style and I’m not worried about shrinkage.
The rule of the thumb would be to use lowest temperature program on your washing machine. You could find some more tips here as well.
Thanks for nice article !!
Help! I bought fabric that is 55% cotton and 45% linen to make into panel curtains. There are no washing instructions for the fabric but the sales person told me I should never ever wash linen.
I would like to wash the fabric before sewing it into curtains in order to shrink it first so that I can wash the curtains in the future, when needed. Besides having the fabric shrink, what is the worst that could happen if I wash this fabric? Thank you! Robin
I’m always washing both 100% linen and linen/cotton blends. I don’t know what could be a reason the sales person told not to wash. Yes it should shrink after first wash, but if you plan to wash your curtains in the future it is good idea to wash the fabric before making your curtains if the fabric was sold not prewashed. The shrinkage depends on manufacture, but composition 55% cotton / 45% linen could probably shrink 3-5% in the worst case scenario. The fabric could easily wrinkle a bit after washing, but it could be ironed without any problem.
I would like to have linen slipcovers made for my sofa & chairs. Could you please tell me what weight linen is most desirable for furniture slipcovers? Also, any special instructions for using linen slipcovers or anything else I should know before purchasing linen fabric for slipcovers?
Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer to me!
There are couple of aspects to consider here. The recommended quality of linen fabrics for slipcovers would be between 200 g/m2 and 350g/m2. Obviously the lighter fabric would be a bit softer and the heavier one more durable (in case it will be used intensively).
Hope that helps.
I bought a pink duvet cover and pillow shams but they are brighter than i want. I would like to fade them a little. I know bleach is out of the question. Do you have any suggestions?
I have an upholstered linen chair. Over the it looks dingy. Of course I can not put it in a washing machine! How should I clean the entire chair?
I hope this article would answer your question.
Let me know if not.
Reading the various questions and answers it would appear that linen clothes should generally be washable, but in one answer you say that suits may need to be dry cleaned due to their construction and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. I have an off white pair of linen dress pants that say dry clean only. They are NOT from a suit. How risky would washing them in cold water be?
Thanks for sharing good tips for linen clothes. Do I have to apply starch for linen sarees like cotton??
Yes you could apply starch for linen sarees exactly the same way as for cotton ones.
Is linen cotton shrinks? I mean slightly size decreases???
Yes it will if it was not yet washed and it shrinks even more than 100% linen. Account for about 10% shrinkage.
It sounds like washing linen in cold water will cause it to shirk 10 % . So I just wear it?
I am not happy that I can not rise it in cold water.
This is a dress which was made in China.
So I will not buy this type of dress?
Washing in lower temperature water is definitely the way to prevent max shrinkage. The exact shrinkage would depend on the weave of the fabric and if manufacture of the dress. All LinenMe dresses are made from pre-washed fabric, so we can guarantee that washing our dresses as per washing instructions you won’t have shrinkage.
Thanks in advance for your help. My sister’s tenant recently washed her linen curtains. They have not been washed before. I know washing should help soften them but it seems to have done the opposite – they feel rough now (and shrunk). Any thoughts on what she should do. Maybe try re-washing them? I wondered if it might have been the detergent that was used..
The key is not to use high temperatures washing linen items that could have caused the shrinkage. You could use regular fabric softener for softness – that should help. Unfortunatelly there is no easy fix for undoing the shrinkage. You could try to hang linen curtains still wet after washing (that should do a bit of work, but definitely not all the way). Some linen curtains have double borders at the bottom, so you could regain the length by redusing the size of that border with a bit of sewing work (if you don’t feel comfortable with that – take it to professional seamstress).
Does Linen stretch out with wear?
No, linen is one of the few fabrics that doesn’t stretch out with wear.
i have new good quality linen curtains … i would like to soften them
what fabric softener should i use?
is steaming sringles out ok? only for some big wrinkles
First of all I would recommend to take a look at washing instructions. Be prepared that your linen curtains might shrink by couple of cm once you wash them. There is no special softener requirements. You could use regular fabric softener for this purpose. Steaming is a good idea as well – it should definitely work on big wrinkles.
What a great site! Looking for some softening tips…I’ve clearly read too much and am now a bit confused on best method to soften. I picked up a super cool square table cloth that I’d actually like to use as a scarf- but it’s not quite “drap-ey” enough and a bit scratchy. Is there a wash method you would recommend? Thanks so much!
Thank you for your question. I understand you reffer to linen tablecloth that you are trying to turn into scarf. Even if it’s linen –
recommendations would depend on the type of fabric that tablecloth is made. Obviously the softest linen you can get is using stone washing method, but at home conditions I would suggest to use regular fabric softener first and see the effect. Good linen is getting softer with every wash, so you’ll need some patience in the process as well.
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Unfortunate incident led to bike grease staining my linen bed sheets!
Soaked and washed them on my first instinct but the stains remain .. Any tips?
Thank you for your note. It’s really unfortunate incident as my experience tells it might be very difficult to do that without a help of professional cleaner (I would consider that as an option). Some oil based stains could be cleaned with the help of WD-40 (yes WD-40, some people reported me success using lighter fluid as well). You could try spraying the stain with a little of WD-40, rub it in, and then wash in the machine as usual. This method could cause discoloration of the fabric, so test it on a small, inconspicuous area before applying this method.
I have had good results getting oil stains out with dawn dish soap. It has never bleached my fabric, but I have read that it can. So test a small spot first if you are worried. It may be too late for this, but I also never dry in a dryer until I get the stain out. Drying tends to make the stains stick. Clorox 2 has also been effective for me, and resolve carpet stain remover when almost nothing else will work. Let cleaner sit on stain over night, wash in the morning. Air dry, do it again until stain comes out.
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I have a set of 100% linen bedding. It’s a pale stone grey in color (so bleach is out). How can I wash them to get rid of the yellowing? I’ve read using borax and white vinegar helps, but is this safe to do on linen?
Thanks in advance!
It’s perfectly fine to use vinegar. Borax could be more effective on stains, but could have some effect on color. If you say that your bedding is pale grey then the fading effect will probably be very difficult to notice.
Hi- Do you have a specific detergent brand you can recommend for washing a beautiful Italian linen dress?
I wouldn’t go for recommending specific brands, but I would suggest better to use mild detergent for delicate / gentle washing.
There is plenty of choice in the market. Use gentle / low temperature cycle on your washing machine.
I’m about to buy some 100% linen dresses and tops. Do I have to buy a size up? Some are loose fitting and others tighter fitting. What’s the difference in shrinking between the cheaper, mid and more quailty linen? Thank you so much in advance.
It really difficult to comment on other manufactures clothing. The key thing is if they pre-wash fabric before making clothes (usually cheaper ones don’t). I could say that all LinenMe clothes are pre-washed, so the shrinkage shouldn’t be taken into account at all and you should buy your regular size.
Good day to you 🙂
I’ve bought a clothes- and it’s said made from cotton linen.
I’ve heard that we need to soak that clothes for 2 hours before we can do any altering. It is true?
And after 2 hours soak, i can just use fabric softener and dry cleaning it as usual?
The only difference between cotton linen and 100% linen is that cotton linen shrinks a bit more. So you should be even more careful with temperatures. I would suggest not to soak. Wash regulary with at lowest temperature (you could add fabric softener) and don’t use tumble dryer.
will lenin clothes shrink?
Depends if manufacture pre-washed the fabric before making clothes or not. We at LinenMe pre-wash all our clothes, so they don’t shrink anymore when customer washes them.
My question is “Why does linen shrink?”
I know that fabrics made from animal products, such as wool and silk, are mainly proteins and they shrink in hot water because the heat of the water essentially cooks the protein in a manner that is similar to egg whites cooking – it is a one-way process that hardens the fabric.
But linen is not protein, in fact I thought it was mainly cellulose, so what is the process that causes it to shrink?
Thank you for this question. Yes in fact linen (flax) is natural cellulose fiber. When the clothes are washed, they soak up a lot of water, swelling up. Then when they dry they shrink to their normal size, and start curling up which makes them a bit smaller than they originally were. The water molecules also act as a lubricant between the cellulose molecules, easing the way to get close to each other. This effect is strongest on fibers which absorb most water, especially cotton, linen, and wool. Hope this helps.
Hello bought linen pants on eBay and they have been dry cleaned! Yikes.Will washing bring them back to softness?
It will, but you have to be careful as if they were not pre-washed (normally it should be as e.g. we pre-wash all our LinenMe clothes) then it could shrink a bit. Use lowest possible temperatures when washing.
Hi. I bought a dress that is a mix of rayon, viscose and linen with a polyester lining. Can this be handwashed? The label says dry clean only.
I’m sorry, but my expertise is in 100% linen and linen / cotton blends. In your case I would suggest to follow the label instructions or contact manufacture directly for advise.
Don’t laugh, but I am looking for a way to get that crinkled look in some linen jacket. Just the opposite of what everyone else is asking. I will start by washing them a lot. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
For me linen is also all about wrinkles :-). Wash it without fabric softener and wring hard before hanging to dry. That should helpyou to get desired crinkled look.
I recently bought some linen fabrics and I plan to make them into shirts and blouses. Should I wash the fabric first to soften it before sewing? The one that I have it made was very stiff so its not comfortable to wear yet. How can I soften the linen quickly? Thanks
Yes, it is recommended to wash before sewing as it not only make it softer, but also help you to avoid problem with sizing (as linen fabric shrinks the most after the first wash). For softening use regular fabric softener when washing.
I have some beautiful Irish linen tablecloths that I washed in the machine after use. There were a few stains that ended up yellowing several spots on the linen. Is there any way to whiten them up?
It really depends on the origins of this stain. Take a look at this article. It has nifty stain removal chart in it:
We are in hand woven products, facing issues to soften the
You need to use fabric softener during washing process. Alternativelly you could add vinegar or lemon acid, which will soften the water and the items will soften after washing.
I have linen fabric that was given to me in 1960… 57 years ago. I have hand-embroidered all over it. Would it be safe for me to wash it?
I’d rather not risk it as the result here is really unpredictable. I would show this piece to dry cleaning specialists for their opinion. If you still take a risk to wash it I would suggest hadwash at low temperature.
I have just bought an inexpensive linen jacket, which is a bit stiff but the instructions say do not wash! The jacket is 100% linen but the lining is polyester. Is there anything I can do to soften it without washing? Or should I just wash it anyway? Thanks
If instructions say don’t wash I would suggest to follow instructions. If it is good linen fabric it should get softer even after first dry cleaning. It will for sure get softer with time.
Thank you for your linen care tips.
I have just bought few linen cloths for shirts. The shopkeeper said put the cloths in water before giving for stitching to avoid shrinking. But when I put into water the colors of cloths began coming out. Is there any tips to keep the colors without going while washing.
The only tip I could give you is to use the lowest possible temperatures in your washing machine and dryer. In this case I sense that it might be an issue with dying quality of the fabric you bought. You could check LinenMe fabrics they wouldn’t have the issue you describe.
I have floral linen fabric which is white taupe and navy. Will the colour run when washed?
You have to look at manufacture instructions or contact them directly in case you lost them. It really depends on how the fabric was dyed or printed. If it is good quality fabric you should be able to wash it in low temperatured though it is also normal that after many washes the colours will slightly fade.
Thank you for all of the helpful tips about linen care.
I’m moving to another state and I would like to ship my summer linen clothing to my new home. How should I pack my linen clothes so that it’s safe to ship them via UPS?
There wouldn’t be any special requirements for shipping linen clothing vs. any other clothing. JUst put them in plastic bags for clothing and pack them in carton boxes.
I didn’t see a mention of linen shrinking. Does that happen either during washing or drying? I just bought a linen sheath dress and a pair of wide-legged pants and my concern is that they’ll shrink. I’d prefer to be able to throw them in the dryer, but I don’t have to.
Linen fabric shrinks that is the fact. Depending on the weaving technique it can shrink 2-5%. It shrinks the most after the first wash and even more if you use dryer for the first time. With linen clothes it is better to avoid dryer if possible, if you use it use lowest temperature setting. We make all LinenMe clothes from pre-washed fabric, but other manufactures make linen clothes from not washed fabric then it is the best to buy linen clothes one size bigger than your size.
I noticed there were only women that responded! I just bought some great linen shirts and I appreciated the information that you have above. I do the washing the majority of the time.
Thanks Joe! Great to hear that you found it helpful.
I’ve ironed my husbands navy blue linen shirt with a hot iron and now the seams look shiny. Is there anything I can do to rectify this? Thank you
Try to wash couple of times it should get a bit better, but the best tip going forward is to iron linen shirts inside out.
After many war rings my linen shirts have become soft. I like them to have more shape. What can I do to add body?
You can try to add cornstarch to the rinse cycle (2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup cold water) to add body and crispness.
Use spray-on starch or fabric sizing for areas like collars and cuffs that you want particularly crisp. The starch also helps to protect the linen from stains.
Hi, My mother accidentally washed my 100% linen bedding with regular detergent and then put it in the dryer until it was hot/dry. It was very soft initially, but it is rough and crackly now. I think it will still fit my bed, but will it soften again with time? Is there anything I can do to soften it (put natural oils back in it somehow, or wet it again and dry it gently), or will it soften as it absorbs moisture from the air?
Regular fabric softener should do the work. Use it every time with your next washes and use dryer only on low temperatures.
I am about to purchase linen 100% tee shirts. Would it be better to purchase a mixture of linen and cotton for better wear and less wrinkles when washed . Could you if possible send me an e mail via my e mail address as I am not so good at computers. Many many thanks for your help and advice
Both 100% linen and cotton linen mix will wrinkle. The more times you wash 100% linen it becomes softer and more beautiful, so I would recommend 100% linen.
I am making slip covers for dining room chairs and the fabric is linen. Should I wash the fabric before making the slip covers?
Linen fabric shrinks 2-5% after washing, so if you plan to wash your slip covers at any point of time in the future the suggestion would be to make slip covers from pre-washed fabric.
Can you please give me some suggestions regarding pre-stitching care for linen? I have linen fabric and it is of good quality. I want to make shirts and trousers out of it. But I am not very sure what precautions should i take before getting it stitched and how linen stitching is different from cotton stitching?
Depending on the quality of your linen fabric it can shrink as much as 5% after the first wash I suggest you pre-wash it before stitching.
What about dying linen? since you recommend washing in cool water, do I need to use cold water dye?
There are different linen fabric dying techniques and I would really recommend to follow instructions of dye manufacturer.
My experience tells that it’s harder to fix colour with cold water dying and fades more.
I bought a linen dress with hand embroidery. The dress is red and the embroidery is white and black. Is it safe to wash it? I would like to soften the fabric by doing so. Thank you!
If it is LinenMe dress then I could guarantee that it is safe to wash. If itis not then I would suggest to check manufacture recommendations as some risks could be involved (colours, shrinkage, etc.).
will the linen fabric shrink after hand wash
If linen fabric was not pre-washed it will shrink a bit, but less than machine wash. Use low temperatures when washing to minimize shrinkage.
I have had long drapery panels made. They are quite wrinkled. It’s my inclination to steam them while they are hanging. But was told to never steam linen. I do not want to take them down. Should I just live with the wrinkles, or what would you suggest?
Of course it is always recommended to check manufacture instructions, but if your drapery panels are made from a high quality linen fabric then you could steam them while hanging and it will help to remove wrinkles.
Thanks for this info! If I hand wash my husband’s expensive linen shirt, is it OK to use the powder soap or shall I use the cake soap, like the sunlight bar soap?
Powder soap is fine. Wash it in lukewarm water.
Hi!! thankq for the article….I was just wondering if we can use fabric stiffener over linen clothing!!… I love linen but hate to see it with so many creases……
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately linen is famous of it’s creaseness and even if you use fabric stiffener it will crease 🙂 Personally I like creased linen more then ironed and do not iron any of my linen clothes or linens.
We bought a linen kitchen towel with a picture on one side. When we got it, it had been folded in quarters and had creases where folded. What is the best way to get the creases out, being we want to frame it.
The only suggestion I have is – to iron it. If you still have folding marks, then please wash it and then iron. Folding marks should disappear after this.
Have a old linen piece with crochet work done by my grandmother. It has lots of stains and I wonder the best way to clean it or if they have been in it so long that they might never come out.
It’s hard to say without seeing these stains. I would put piece in the warm water with some soup and leave for few hours. Then I would wash by hands. You could try to put some stain remover somewhere in the corner to test if it’s not damaging the fabric.
Here are some tips how to wash your linen https://www.linenme.com/news/how-to-wash-linen/
I bought some old nightwear pyjamas in linen you know the one with the initials on the front and they are really stiff.
How can I make them soft and smooth?
Thanks for your question. I usually use some fabric softener, when I do my laundry. It makes all fabrics, including linen, very soft.
Today I participated on a 1600-th century Kulturday. It was a detailed care instruction for the precious linnen fabric, do not- ever was or keep linnen in higher than 80 degrees celsius. It is good to iron damp linen, because the fibers get pressed together…- this was the take home message for me, I use heaps of linnen clothing, and I did not iron them at all, but allas many of them got damaged, because the fibers loosened up for the lack of ironing, strill remember no hotter than 80 degrees celsius, linnen crazy Marija Stockholm.
Make that “storing”, or “stowing”, if you’re feeling nautical! Either way, I’d heard that linen can rub itself to bits over time if folded against itself – hoping you can take some of the “myth-ery” out of it all! I love my linens! Ooh, just 1 more: do embroidered linens require linen thread materials for the embroidered areas not to pull/pucker?
Ok, another stoing linens question. Does one or doesn’t one bother to fold acid-free tissues twixt the folds of the fabric when storing? Hah, 2 pts, used the word ‘twixt”, hee!
I just purchased linen slipcovers for my kitchen chairs. These WILL get stains on them. Love look and feel of linen. What is best way to treat the daily stains? Thx!
Thank you for your question. Every textile product has to have care instructions sewn into the seam. So my suggestion would be to wash based on this info.
If it is a good quality linen, it should be possible to wash at 40 – 60 degree. I wouldn’t put slipcovers in the dryer as they might shrink.
I hope I helped you somehow.
Thanks for the information. My eyes opened wide from a sound sleep this morning after remembering my husbands brand new white linen shirt was dry in the dryer! I rushed to look at it hoping it wasn’t ruined……..it looks ok I think….wondering if I should wash it again now and let it hang to dry?
In the worst scenario what could happen is that your husband’s shirts would shrink 1 or 2 sizes 🙂 This usually happens if linen is not the best quality or washed and dried at high temperature. I understand, that nothing terrible happened 😉 If it didn’t shrink this time I shouldn’t shrink on next.
Thanks for the info. Right to the point…I like that. Was wondering though, should I use fabric softener when washing my linen pants?
I always put softener when I wash my linens 🙂 It makes such a big difference.
Thanks for the info. On this article. I just purchased tablecloths of linen. I hope I don’t mess it up though! Lol. Thanks again.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I’ve bought a new linen jacket which is very nice. But, after I hand wash it, it is so wrinkled. I hesitate to iron it, since too much work in ironing a callous jacket. How do I get rid off the wrinkles after hand washing. Thanks.
I’m sorry to tell you, but if the fabric contains at least 5% linen it wrinkles.
My suggestion would be to hang your jacket when you take it from the washing machine and while it is still wet. Large wrinkles will go out naturally. If you prefer ironing, it would be a good idea to iron while the fabric is still damp.
Personally, I do not iron any of my linens 🙂 I love when they are a little crumpled, because then you can see that this is a natural product.
If you are drying your cloth out in a dry machine, the best way to avoid wrinkles is to take it by two of its ends and make it crack like a whip a few times. All the wrinkles will go way. Then you put it to dry, simulating the way how you wanted the creases on the cloth to be. It works for any kind of cloth, not just for linen.
Thanks for this article. I was debating whether or not to buy a linen top and you gave me the courage I needed. Linen is rumored to be very cool in TX heat. Now I know it’s easy to care for too.
Welcome to linen lovers club 🙂 Inga