The best fabric for the hottest weather has got cool again. Effortless and easy to wear, linen is our wardrobe’s best kept secret for summer. Made from the fibres of the flax plant, this lightweight fabric is renowned for its durability and timeless style – so much so, it’s making a comeback with a slick, contemporary edge.
First and foremost it's important that, as with all your garments, you check the care instructions label before cleaning. If your item is washable, there are two options for laundering your linen at home: by hand or by machine. With every wash, linen becomes softer and its natural beauty and lustrous quality are enhanced. Start by sorting your darks and brights from your white linen. Linen is highly absorbent and benefits from being washed separately from other fabrics, so don’t be tempted to pack in the rest of your laundry basket! Wash in lukewarm or cold water and if possible, use mild soap suds or a non-biological detergent to maintain the colour of your linen. Remember, never bleach linen as the harsh chemicals damage and degrade the fibres of the cloth.
Be speedy and remove your linen as soon as possible after washing from the basin or washing machine to avoid wrinkles. Linen benefits from drying naturally so reshape whilst damp and lay your linens flat as they dry, which will also reduce the chances of wrinkles.
If there’s more than a hint of creasing in your linen, don’t panic. For the best results, run your iron across the front and reverse whilst the linen is still a little bit damp so as to avoid burning the fabric. Extra wrinkles? Lay a damp, light-coloured cotton cloth over your linen before running a warm iron on steam setting across it.
When stowing away clean and dry linen at the end of the summer, store in a cool, dry place. Avoid wrapping it in plastic. Slatted wooden shelves will allow the air to circulate and keep your linen fresh. Try to store your favourite linen pieces as flat as possible to avoid wrinkling and creasing.