How to look after your linen clothes

There is something special about linen. As a natural fabric, it is comfortable to wear, particularly in summer. On the negative side, the fibres are rigid once creased, and wrinkles and creasing can be extremely difficult to remove.

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Here we take a look at some top tips for keeping your linen clothes, including mens designer shirts and women’s floaty skirts, looking crisp without the need for constant trips to the dry cleaners.

Keep it clean

Always check the label. If linen is mixed with other blends, such as cotton or rayon, the care instructions will be different from those for pure linen. Similarly, any trims or linings may affect the washing instructions. Many are dry clean only and it is always best to stick to the manufacturer’s label.

Mean machine

Although a delicate, short or linen cycle can be used, avoid harsh detergents and don’t mix colours. Hand washing is by far the better option.

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Do it by hand

Washing linen should be done with cool water and a mild detergent. Rinsing is key and will need to be done a number of times to make sure that all soapy residues are removed.

Wear it well

Examples of linen wear can be found on a host of sites, such as Here are some top tips for wearing linen well:

– Don’t wear a linen jacket while driving and always have a coat hanger available.
– Iron out wrinkles between washes.
– Avoid stretches and sags by holding the fabric gently at the knees when you sit.

Linen stains

Washing soda is by far the best antidote when removing stains from your linen clothing. Remember that spot testing is the way forward to avoid discolouration and that bleach should never be used. Pop into your nearest dry cleaners, which will be able to offer advice without the dry cleaning price tag.

High and dry

The best advice when drying linen is to air dry on a hanger or flat on an airer. Don’t wring it and don’t put it in the dryer for extended periods.

Ironing linen

The linen setting on an iron has a purpose, so use it along with a spray of water. Wrinkles can be removed much more effectively in this way, leaving you with linen garments that are a joy to wear.