how to ACTUALLY care for linen (you might be doing it wrong)
Published Aug 11, 2016 6:00 AM
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photos courtesy of CULTIVER
written by SHANI SILVER
It can be tough to admit, but we don’t know everything. Sometimes we have to enlist the help of an expert, preferably an expert with excellent taste. Enter Nicole Sullivan, founder of Cultiver, who left the financial sector after ten years to become an expert on all things luxe linen. Gazing over Nicole’s impossibly cool and cozy designs got us thinking–are we bad at linen? To confirm we’re not totally destroying our sheets, we asked Nicole to teach us how to care for linen correctly. Below, her tips for getting it right.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO WASH YOUR LINEN!
Linen is made from the fibers of a flax plant, so it’s a natural fabric like cotton but is stronger than cotton fabric. As a fabric, linen actually gets softer with each wash which is a lovely quality in bedding. Use your machine’s gentle cycle, and don’t overcrowd the machine. The same can be said for ironing – use the high heat or cotton/linen setting, and a spray bottle (or the steam option) to help.
TUMBLE DRYING IS OK – PREFERABLE EVEN.
Tumble dry your linen on a low warm setting, leaving it plenty of room to tumble without getting twisted. Avoid using a high heat, which can lead to color fading or brittle fabric. Once your linen is very close to dry, place them directly from the drier to your bed. As linen gets softer, it holds creases less and attains a beautiful drape, to achieve that crushed linen look.
BE WARY OF TOO MUCH SUN EXPOSURE.
Due to its natural origins linen is not as immune to fading as other synthetic materials. To prevent darker colored linen from fading, avoid too much direct sunlight, or rotate the linen to safeguard from uneven fading. If you’re air drying the fabric, consider hanging in your home rather than outside.
AVOID USING WASHING DETERGENTS WITH OPTICAL BRIGHTENERS
as this has the potential to lead to discoloration. Instead, use a plant based liquid detergent, with no enzymes, phosphates or bleaches. Use less liquid than recommended on the bottle, as detergent weakens fibers over time.
DON’T WASH OR DRY YOUR LINEN WITH ANY CLOTHING THAT HAS METAL ZIPPERS,
or other abrasive materials as this can cause pilling or small holes.
SEE MORE FROM NICOLE AND CULTIVER!