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Care Guide for Luxury Percale and Sateen Bed Linens (sheets and pillowcases)

  • by Tom Ceconi
  • 3 min read

The First Wash of your Luxury Percale and Sateen Bedding

When you unbox your cotton-based bed linens (Percale Sheets, Sateen sheets, and pillowcases), read and follow the included care directions. Always wash new luxury bed linens before using them for the first time. Fine fabrics are generally not pre-washed, so this initial wash is important for setting the threads, preserving the fabric's beauty, comfort, and prolonging its life. Be sure to fully unfold items, set the machine to include a cold pre-soak, and use minimal liquid detergent. Either line dry or tumble dry on low heat. Remember that natural cotton fibers will wrinkle, and ironing may be required, depending upon your preferences.

How To Care for your Luxury Sheets: Do's and Don'ts

DO separate luxury linens into light and dark colors. Be sure to wash matching luxury linens (e.g. luxury bed sheets and pillowcases) together, as each piece should be cared for similarly regardless of whether or not it is soiled (or even used) to help maintain color consistency, brightness, and comfort.

DO use a mild liquid detergent, preferably one formulated for fine linens such as Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash or Le Blanc Linen Wash.

DON'T pour the bed linen detergent directly onto the fabric; instead, add it to the water as the wash tub fills, or dilute detergent with water and then add linen sheets. Unless luxury linens are very soiled, you need only use half the recommended amount of detergent.

DO pre-treat any stains on your luxury bed linens prior to washing.

DON'T use any fabric softener, which coats and weakens natural linen fibers. Your fine linens will soften naturally with frequent use and additional washings.

DON'T use chlorine bleach with any fine linens, as it also weakens natural fibers and may cause them to yellow. If fabrics need bleaching, use an oxygen-based bleach.

DON'T overload the washing machine, as this can cause unnecessary abrasion to the fabric (and place unnecessary strain on your washing machine).

DO wash luxury linens on a gentle cycle in warm water, with a cold-water rinse.

DON'T launder fine linens with towels; items containing polyester; items made of heavy materials; or items with rivets, buttons, zippers, or other adornments. These can damage fibers and fabric.

DO dry your linens on a line in soft, outdoor sunlight if possible. It's gentle on the fabric and the sun provides natural bleaching.

DO gently shake out and smooth damp linens before placing in the dryer. Be sure to unravel any items that may have twisted in the wash cycle. You may want to consider drying bottom fitted sheets and duvet covers separately, as pillowcases often get "balled up" inside those items and don't dry thoroughly.

DON'T use dryer sheets with any fine linens, as they coat and weaken natural fibers.

DO use wool dry balls instead of dryer sheets for your luxury sheets.

DON'T overload the dryer with your fine linen.

DO set the dryer to the lowest heat to protect your luxury sheets against shrinkage and weakening of natural fibers.

DO remove fine linen items from the dryer promptly and while still slightly damp; smooth and let air dry before storing or press with an iron while damp to remove any remaining wrinkles.

How To Iron Luxury Bed Linens with Care

If you prefer not to iron, make up the bed immediately to minimize wrinkles in your luxury bedding. If you opt to iron, be sure to follow all manufacturer directions and these simple guidelines:

  • Iron while fine linens are still slightly damp
  • Use a steam iron on the bed sheets recommended setting
  • Embroidered fine linens should be ironed on the reverse side using a white terry towel until smooth but not dry - Similar to caring for luxury table linens.
  • Sateen and Jacquard linens should be ironed on the reverse side.
  • Delicate lace should be ironed beneath a press cloth.
  • Touch-up the bed skirt & tablecloth drops by smoothing with a hand-held steamer.

Protect your Luxury Bed Linens with detergent formulated for Fine Linens

Choosing the proper detergent can help extend the life and beauty of your sheets. 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 bed linens looking and feeling beautiful.

Fine Linen and Bath: An In-Store Shopping Experience Delivered to You Online 

At Fine Linen and Bath, our mission is to deliver a concierge luxury linen shopping experience with online convenience. Browse our website to access an expansive collection of bedding, bath, table linens, and accessories from the world's premier brands.

When you need answers, consultation, or help to narrow your choices, our team of expert design consultants is here to assist you. We offer individualized recommendations, personal consultation, and even complimentary swatch samples for your review. We'll help you make the right buying decisions for your style, budget, and design goals.

Please connect with us online or -- even better -- give us a call at (866) 352-4522. We'd love to get to know you!