Caring for Your Bedding and Fine Linens

Caring for Your Bedding and Fine Linens

Caring for Your Bedding and Fine Linens


Sleeping on quality bedding and fine linens is one of life’s simple pleasures.  By following some simple suggestions, you will prolong the life of your bed linens, while preserving their beautiful appearance.  While most natural fibers can generally be machine washed at home, please be sure to read the care label on each item for best results.



It’s best to pre-wash your linens before their first use.  Separate fine linens from other items in the wash, especially those containing polyester, which tends to create pilling.  Likewise, do not wash bed linens with items with heavy zippers, which can damage the fabric.  Separate light and dark colors.  Avoid overloading the washing machine, which can cause fibers to break down due to excessive abrasion and agitation.  Most bedding can be washed in warm water on the gentle cycle, with a cold water rinse.  Be careful to pretreat any stains prior to washing.  Always be sure to check the care label of each item before laundering.



Use a mild detergent free of added bleach, whiteners, brighteners, or fabric softeners.  Do not pour detergent directly on fabrics.  Add detergent to the water as the wash tub fills, or dilute detergent with water, then add linens to the wash tub.  Unless bedding is extremely soiled, use only half the recommended amount of detergent.  We highly recommend using LINEN WASH or WOOLITE for fine linens and bedding, as these detergents are specially formulated for fine items made of natural fibers.



Chlorine bleach can weaken and break natural fibers and cause them to yellow.  We do NOT recommend using bleach on any fine linens.



Most linens can be machine dried using low heat, but again, be sure to check the care label.  Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softeners.  Never use a high heat setting as this will weaken the fibers, cause shrinkage, and shorten the life of your linens.  Shake out damp linens before placing in the dryer, and do not overload.  Drying items separately will result in fewer wrinkles and less drying time.  Do not over-dry fine linens…remove from the dryer promptly, while still slightly damp to minimize wrinkles.



Some hair and skin products, such as makeup, acne lotions, face creams and toothpastes contain oxidizing agents.  These items can cause discoloration of colored sheets and towels.  When using such products, it is best to sleep on white bed linens, but even those may be permanently stained.  It is highly recommended that all products be removed before sleeping on fine bed linens.



All natural fibers will shrink to some extent over time.  Most fine linens are cut generously to allow for shrinkage.  The number one cause of excessive shrinkage is washing and/or drying on a hot or high heat setting, which will cause excessive shrinkage and damage to the items.  Follow the instructions on the care label.



Iron linens while still slightly damp.  As a general rule, iron on the reverse side to restore the luster of the fabric.  Use a steam iron on a warm/hot setting for cotton; use a hot setting for linen and a water spritzer as needed.  For embroidered linens, iron them on the reverse side atop a towel to preserve the three-dimensional effect of the embroidery.  Use a press cloth to protect delicate lace and cutwork.



When the care label says “hand wash”, NEVER machine wash, even on the delicate setting.  Hand wash in gentle soap and rinse thoroughly in clean water to eliminate soap residue.  Lay flat or hang to dry.  Avoid wringing linens to avoid wrinkling.



Professional hand washing is recommended for most delicate linens with heavy embellishments and embroidery.  Heirloom and worn linens should also be professionally hand washed.  Be sure to use a reputable launderer who knows how to launder delicate linens.  Visit or call 800.637.6334 for more information.



Dry cleaning is recommended for luxury fibers such as cashmere, merino wool, and alpaca.  Dry cleaning is also recommended for top-of-the-bed items such as Matelasse, and Egyptian cotton coverlets to avoid shrinkage and keep these items looking their best.  Always use a professional dry cleaner with experience in natural fibers and luxury linens.



Store linens in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.  Linens stored long-term should be wrapped in white cotton, muslin, or acid-free paper, (old pillow cases can also be used).  Avoid storing linens in plastic bags or boxes which can cause permanent yellowing—natural fibers need to breathe.  Cedar chests can also yellow or cause streaking on fabrics.  If hanging, use cardboard tubes on hangers, without plastic, to prevent crease marks from setting and weakening fibers.



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