Care Guide for Luxury Table Linens
Here at Fine Linen and Bath, we believe investing in high-quality table linens always a great decision. A welcoming table is the heart of any gathering, and the hallmark of a gracious host. With proper care, your table linens endure in beauty and performance for years to come.
Do's and Don'ts of caring for your fine table linens
DO always wash matching table linens together (whether used or soiled) to allow them to wear at the same rate.
DO treat stains when they are fresh, whenever possible (see below for guidance). If allowed to set, stains may be impossible to remove later.
DO use a mild detergent, preferably one formulated for fine table linens such as such as Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash or Le Blanc Linen Wash. Unless linens are heavily soiled, use detergent sparingly (half the recommended amount).
DO machine wash on gentle cycle; use warm water for whites, cold water for colors.
DON’T use bleach, which can weaken natural fibers and cause yellowing.
DO invest in a fine mesh laundry bag for delicate lace and embellished linens. These items should be placed in the bag before being put in the washing machine to protect them against snags.
DON’T twist or wring out linens before drying.
DON’T use dryer sheets or fabric softeners. These leave a chemical residue on fibers.
DO try to line dry white linens outdoors if possible; this helps keep white linens their brightest. Otherwise, tumble dry on low heat until slightly damp. Color linens should not be line dried as they can be ‘sunburnt’ and fade over time.
Ironing: Simple Tips for Success
Most fine table linens require ironing. Following these suggestions -- along with manufacturer directions -- will help keep your linens smooth and stylish.
- Always check to make sure your steam iron is clean—mineral deposits may build up and cause brown spotting.
- Iron linens while still slightly damp.
- Use a steam iron on a warm/hot setting for cotton, or the hot setting for pure linen.
- Spray with water from a spray bottle for stubborn wrinkles, if needed.
- Embroidered linens should be ironed on the reverse side atop a white terry towel until smooth but not dry.
- Jacquard 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 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.
Storing Table Linens
Store tablecloths rolled around cardboard tubes or hung on hangers (without plastic) to prevent crease marks from setting, which can weaken fibers. Store in a well-ventilated place. Cover 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 Stain Removal
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 in hot water and pre-wash with stain remover. Repeat soaking process as needed, using fresh hot water and stain remover.
White Wine: Rinse with Club Soda and pat the stain out against a clean white terry towel.
Red Wine: Cover with salt, then rinse with cool water. Repeat as needed with fresh cool water.
Oils: Blot while still wet, then pre-treat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent.
Grease: Sprinkle 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 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 to the towel. Repeat as needed with clean portions of the towel, then launder.
Protect your investment 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.
- Tom Ceconi