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


The First Wash of your Percale and Sateen Bedding

When you unbox your cotton-based linens (Percale and Sateen sheets and pillowcases), read and follow the included care directions. Always wash new 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, 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.

Caring for your Sheets: Do's and Don'ts

DO separate linens into light and dark colors. Wash matching linens (e.g. 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 and brightness.

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 detergent directly onto the fabric; instead, add it to the water as the wash tub fills, or dilute detergent with water and then add linens. Unless linens are very soiled, you need only use half the recommended amount of detergent.

DO pre-treat any stains prior to washing.

DON'T use any fabric softener, which coats and weakens natural fibers. Your 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.

DO wash 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.

DON'T overload the dryer.

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

DO remove 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.

Iron with Care

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

  • Iron while linens are still slightly damp
  • Use a steam iron on recommended setting
  • Embroidered linens should be ironed on the reverse side using a white terry towel until smooth but not dry
  • 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 investment 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.

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  • Tom Ceconi