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  Bed, bath and table linens are essential elements of the home. With proper care, fine linens will last for many years instilling them with heirloom qualities. Even the finest linens are meant for everyday use and to be enjoyed by all.  

Recommendations for general linen care

  For best results always follow manufacturers instructions on label.

  Home laundering is usually recommended for all linens except those where dry cleaning is advised. Fabrics such as wool, mohair, pique and matelasse should be dry cleaned.

  Prewashing before use is recommended and linens should be washed separately from any items containing polyester. Polyester has a tendency to “pill” and will shed on natural fibers and can diminish the smoothness and softness of the fabric.

  Use a gentle laundry detergent. Products with bluing agents or whiteners are not recommended for coloured linens as they may, over time, fade the linens.  

  Consider the longstanding French tradition: rotating your sheets; with a set in the closet, a set in the wash and a set on the bed. This ensures that no one set receives more use than the others.

  Shrinkage – shrinkage will occur in all linens made of natural fibers, generally between 4% and 10%. Most manufacturers allow for this in the construction. Linens washed in hot water or dried at a hot setting will shrink more. Pre-shrunk items will generally not shrink more than 3%. Items with a very high thread count are generally not preshrunk.  

Washing Bed Linens

 

  Separate linens into light and dark loads. Avoid overloading the machine, as too much friction will break down the long fibers in Egyptian cotton. Always wash in warm water, using a gentle detergent. Rinse in cold water and if pre-soaking is needed, this should also been done in cold water.

  Make sure all detergent is fully dissolved before adding linens. Unless your linens are very soiled, ½ the recommended amount of detergent should suffice. Remove linens from machine promptly; this helps reduce wrinkling. Shaking linens before line or machine drying also helps.  

Washing Bath Linens

  Wash towels before use to “break in” the fibers, making them softer and more absorbent. Several washings are required before towels reach their maximum absorbency. Wash towels in warm water and gentle detergent. Do not use fabric softener as it decreases the absorbency of the towel.

 

Washing Table Linens

 

 Use guidelines for bed linens. Fabric softeners are not recommended as they decrease absorbency and add a fragrance that may not be desired.

  Please note: as lovely as tea towels are- they are very strong and are meant to be used. Bleach can be used if necessary to maintain their appearance.  

Drying Linens

  These guidelines are for all linens. Line drying is recommended if possible. Using the proper settings on your dryer can also be satisfactory. Do not over dry your linens. Use a permanent press setting which has a cool-down cycle or you can use a simple air cycle that tumbles without heat. Remove linens promptly to avoid wrinkling. Smooth linens using finger pressing while folding.  

Ironing Linens

  Washing and drying linens properly will help to eliminate wrinkles. Fine linens of natural fibers do wrinkle, particularly when new. As they age they become softer and less prone to wrinkles.

  Use a good steam iron for bed and table linens. Avoid using spray starch as it sometimes attracts silverfish to stored linens. Iron linens while still damp. If the piece is embroidered, iron from the reverse side. Always check care labels before any ironing.  

Storing Linens

  Iron linens before storing. Store linens flat. If shelves are wooden lay down some tissue paper first. Some woods contain oils that may damage linens. Do not expose linens to direct sunlight while storing to avoid fading this includes leaving them on the table where they might be exposed to direct light over time.  

Caring for Down Duvets

  Always use a duvet cover on your duvet. Use cotton protectors on pillows and featherbeds and wash regularly. Fluff duvets and pillows daily to maintain loft. Spot clean small stains using a damp cloth and mild soap. For complete cleaning we recommend laundering as opposed to dry cleaning. Laundering will rejuvenate your down. Dry cleaning may leave residue from the solvents. To wash your duvet, use a front loading, large capacity machine. The agitation from a top loader can damage the delicate cover and the down. Use a gentle detergent like Eucalan in warm or cold water. Never do anything on a heat setting with down products. After washing you can dry your duvet outside either on the line or by laying flat on the lawn on a sheet. Shake them well and turn every so often to ensure distribution of the down. You may also tumble dry on a cool setting in the machine. Be sure that your downs a re completely dry before using or storing. Any dampness remaining will become mildew and permanently stain your duvet. Store in a cotton bag, never plastic.  

Tips For Stain Removal

 

Berries and Fruit - If the stain is still wet, sprinkle with salt and gentle liquid soap. Let sit for a few hours and rinse well. If the stain is dry, use a solution of borax (1 part borax to 6 parts water) and soak until stain disappears.  

Blood – Attend to bloodstains immediately. Rinse well in cold water-never hot (hot water will permanently set the stain) then try one of the following: a) sprinkle with unflavoured meat tenderizer or b) blot on hydrogen peroxide with a damp cloth, allow to bubble and wipe off with a fresh cloth. Repeat if necessary. For dried bloodstains: soak overnight in cold water and two cups of salt. Wash as usual.

Butter or Margarine- Mix one teaspoon of detergent with warm water. Apply to spot and blot. Repeat as necessary. Try one part white vinegar with two parts water. Saturate stain and wash as usual.

Candle Wax- Gently peel away wax that can be easily removed. If wax is soft harden with an ice cube. After removing what you can with your fingers, place linens between two sheets of brown paper and press with a warm iron; the wax will be absorbed by the paper. If the wax is coloured, wash with a bleaching agent.

Coffee or Tea- Apply a borax solution (one part borax, six parts water) directly to stain. Wash in warm soapy water.

Grease- Do not allow grease stains to set! Sprinkle fresh grease stains with baking soda or cornstarch and leave for a few hours until powder gets thick. Scrape away and repeat. Brush off residue and launder as usual.

Grass- Mix one- third vinegar to two-thirds water. Apply to stain and blot. Or presoak in hydrogen peroxide and launder as usual.

Lipstick- Scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Use a prewash spray and rub with a clean white towel. Washurs usual.

Mildew- Apply white vinegar and lemon juice to kill the mildew. Let the item sit in the sun for a few hours. Was as usual but separately.

Scorch Marks- Treat the same as mildew but there is no need to dry in the sun.

Wine- White wine is usually removed with normal laundering. Red wine stains can be approached two ways: a) rub salt on the stain and soak in cold water or b) saturate with club soda until it disappears.  

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