Care Guide for Luxury Table Linens
At Fine Linen and Bath, we believe investing in high-quality table linens is always a great decision. A welcoming table is the heart of any gathering and the hallmark of a gracious host with sophistication. With proper care, your luxury table linens will endure in beauty and performance for years to come.
The Do's and Don'ts of caring for your Luxury table linens
DO always wash matching table linens together (whether used or soiled) to allow the table linens fabric to wear at the same rate.
DO treat the stains on your luxury table linen when they are fresh, whenever possible (see below for guidance). If allowed to set, stains may be impossible to remove from your table linen which detracts from their inherent elegance. Fine linen requires immediate attention when stains occur.
DO use a mild detergent, preferably one formulated for fine table linens such as Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash or Le Blanc Linen Wash. Unless your luxury table linens are heavily soiled, use detergent sparingly (half the recommended amount).
DO machine wash your luxury table linen on gentle cycle; use warm water for whites, cold water for colors.
DON’T use bleach, which can weaken natural fibers in your luxury table linens and cause yellowing or deteriorate the color.
DO invest in a fine mesh laundry bag for delicate lace and embellished table linens. The table linen should be placed in the bag before being put in the washing machine to protect them against snags.
DON’T twist or wring out table linens before drying - this will maintain their durability and timeless elegance.
DON’T use dryer sheets or fabric softeners on your luxury table linens. These leave a chemical residue on fibers of your tablecloth. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners, at times, can do more harm than good when it comes to your fine linen.
DO try to line dry white table linens outdoors if possible; this helps keep white linens their brightest. Otherwise, tumble dry on low heat until slightly damp. Colored luxury table linens should not be line dried as they can be 'sunburnt' and fade over time.
How To Iron your Luxury Table Linens: Simple Tips for Success
Most fine table linens require ironing. Following these suggestions -- along with manufacturer directions -- will help keep your linens smooth, stylish, and elegant for the long term.
- Always check to make sure your steam iron is clean-mineral deposits may build up and cause brown spotting (ironing your table cloths with this will cause discoloration).
- Iron your fine table linens while still slightly damp.
- Use a steam iron on a warm/hot setting for cotton, or the hot setting for pure luxury linen.
- Spray the fine linen with water from a spray bottle for stubborn wrinkles, if needed.
- Embroidered table linens should be ironed on the reverse side atop a white terry towel until smooth but not dry.
- Jacquard table linens should be ironed on the reverse side.
- Delicate lace should be ironed beneath a press cloth.
- Touch-up the drop of a tablecloth by smoothing with a hand-held steamer.
NOTE: If you cannot iron immediately, roll your luxury table linens in a towel or a plastic bag and temporarily store in the freezer for up to 24 hours. This trick will make your linens easier to iron while preventing mildew.
How To Properly Store Luxury Table Linens
Store table cloths rolled around cardboard tubes or hung on hangers (without plastic) to prevent crease marks from the setting, which can weaken fibers, durability, and the elegance overtime. Store your collection of table linens in a well-ventilated place. Cover your luxury linens only in cotton, linen, or muslin, or wrap in acid-free tissue. Never use plastic, cardboard, or cedar chests to store your fine table linens.
Helpful Hints for Removing Stains from Table Linens
Need to remove some stains or spills from your luxury table linen? Use these special strategies for stain removal, and launder as usual. Do not dry or iron if the stain remains -- treat stains until they disappear.
Candle Wax: Scrape off as much of the wax as possible with the dull side of a knife, then iron between absorbent paper, changing paper until wax is absorbed.
Coffee, Tea, Soda: Soak your table cloths afflicted area in hot water and pre-wash with stain remover. Repeat the soaking process as needed, using fresh hot water and stain remover.
White Wine: Rinse the table linens afflicted area with Club Soda and pat the stain out against a clean white terry towel.
Red Wine: Cover the luxury table linens afflicted area with salt, then rinse with cool water. Repeat as needed with fresh cool water.
Oils: Blot the table linens afflicted area while still wet, then pre-treat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent.
Grease: Sprinkle the table cloths afflicted area with cornstarch or baking soda and allow to sit so the powder soaks up the grease. After the powder thickens, scrape away and repeat the process as needed. Be sure to brush off any remaining powder before laundering.
Meat Juice or Tomato Juice: Rinse the table linen with cool water - never hot - and blot with a clean white terry towel.
Ink: Hold stain against a clean white terry towel and spray closely from behind with aerosol hair spray. Ink should transfer from the table linen to the towel. Repeat as needed with clean portions of the towel, then launder (see above).
Protect Luxury Table Linen with detergent formulated for fine linens
Choosing the proper detergent can help extend the life and beauty of your table linens. At Fine Linen and Bath, we recommend using only detergents specially made for fine linens such as Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash or Le Blanc Linen Wash. These products are formulated to remove tough stains; gently clean and preserve delicate thread fibers; and keep your linens looking beautiful over time.
For additional resources on caring for your luxury bed linens and more, be sure to visit the Fine Linen and Bath blog.
- Tom Ceconi