I have always loved beautiful linens, and I have been collecting them for as long as I can remember. Tablecloths, napkins in all types, style and size, bed linens, and covers were always so beautiful to me, and I have drawers running over. I have just monogrammed a set of solid cotton napkins for casual use.

Matouk 

How to care for linens, from washing to storing, is also important.  Below are the sources for items and products that will lengthen the life of these precious heirlooms and tip on the proper care of linens.


There are many products to choose from, but these are designed for your fine linens. The products above can be found HERE.

Leontine

Much of the proper means to take care of linens is so far from how I am inclined to do so. I am one of those people that likes to keep their linens ready for use. This is the worst thing you can do, so I have resolved myself to keeping only my casual cotton linens clean and folded, and that is only if I am using them frequently.

So… for those of you that are sane enough to launder and put away your linens – you are ahead of the game.

Wash on gentle cycle after checking tablecloth and napkins, spot-treating the stains immediately after use. I USE AN OXY CLEANER OR CLUB SODA as soon as possible. I have also used a dab of lemon juice on cloth, putting it in the sun to bleach out stains, but you need to spot test if you are not certain it is cotton or linen. Some bleach their linens, but I don’t get near chlorine bleach with my linens. (Bed linens are an exception if white cotton.) I use linen or lingerie bags to wash my linens.

Store the laundered linen without starching or ironing until use, layered and rolled, leaving no creases. Folding puts much more stress on the fabric. Do not hang on hangers (another one of my favorite ways to store the tablecloth and napkins.) Layer them on top of each other and roll them up, storing them rolled or very loosely folded up in acid free tissue paper or cotton cases. Make sure the temperature is moderate with low humidity, away from light and dirt. If folded, all folds MUST be loose.

If you use the linens within a year, there is no reason to re-wash, just starch and press. Press damp linens with hot iron using a pressing cloth between fabric and iron. Some put damp linens in the refrigerator the night before pressing. I haven’t tried that, but I make sure that the linens are damp. If the linens are dry, just spray with water and starch if needed before ironing. I use the bottled starch.

Take extra care with the cloth on and around monograms, eyelet, lace and hemstitch. I have a tightly balled up piece of cloth that I put under monogramming or creases, but many people use terrycloth, and always press linens on the wrong side. Martha Pullen Company carries tiny irons for machine and hand work that is difficult to press with a standard iron.

MAKE SURE that your floor and ironing board are clean, because your tablecloth will most likely touch the floor. Hang dry table cloth on padded hanger in closet, with tissue in folds to keep the crease from forming.

Important:

While we are talking linens, it is never good to put a tablecloth on your table with a CREASE in it. This is an etiquette issue to some.  You decide if it is important to you.

Never store linens before they are completely dry!

If you are not certain of the type cloth you have, ask the person at your laundry cleaners. I would not launder a cloth that is not cotton or linen unless it is a less expensive, casual-use material, and I wouldn’t get near silk to treat, launder, or press.

If you have any good hints please leave a comment!
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I will be offering a collection of monogrammed heavyweight linen towels, very much like the one above, soon.  I am looking forward to sharing!

These are a few of the pagoda linen hand towels carried in my Etsy shop.






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