How to love your Irish Linen… so it loves you right back

 

My Grandmother loved beautiful things and even though money was tight, she would always buy the best quality she could afford. One of my many memories of visiting her house was the wonderful fresh smell of her starched, ironed Irish linen tea towels and pillowcases, dazzling in their bluish whiteness. I loved their cool sophistication and soft hand feel, the threads worn smooth with use. I am so lucky to have inherited them from her.

 

Here’s how to keep your contemporary printed 100% Irish Linen happy, so you too can pass it down to your grandchildren.

 

Cleaning

Please follow the care instructions when cleaning your linen.

 

  1. Do Not Wash – linen really doesn’t like being squashed into a confined space, like a washing machine, and will look crushed after washing. Many washing powders contain optical brighteners that will lift the cloth colour but have a negative impact on the performance of the dyes, making it likely that repeated washing will significantly change the colour of your print or fabric, and also make it more susceptible to the detrimental effects of sunlight.
  2. Do Not Bleach – not surprisingly bleach will absolutely change the colours in your fabric and will weaken the strength of the fibre considerably.
  3. Iron at Medium Temperature on the Reverse Side – you may be tempted to iron at a high temperature. Turn down that dial. We recommend that if you are ironing your fabric, that you do so at a medium temperature and on the reverse side using a gentle steam to help iron flat.
  4. Dry Clean P Only – dry clean using any solvent except Trichloroethylene. This is a gentle cleaning method that will keep your fabric draping beautifully with little impact on the print or colour. We advise that curtains made from our lovely linen are dry cleaned by a curtain specialist. Please be aware that dry cleaning may also cause shrinkage.
  5. Do Not Tumble Dry – natural fibres like linen do not like being forced to dry at high temperatures, which can lead to shrinkage and weakening of the yarn.

 

Sunlight

Sunlight has a detrimental effect on natural fabrics like linen over time, which can result in fading and weakening of the yarn. We’ve all seen those faded, shredded curtains that look like someone has had a go at them with a sharp scissors in a fit of pique. Luckily, linen is a lot tougher than silk and the following will help reduce the impact of sunlight on your fabric.

 

  1. Use a good blackout fabric as the lining for your curtains or blinds, which will stop sunlight streaming through the back of the fabric.
  2. Use blinds, sheers or shades as a secondary window dressing. These will absorb sunlight before it hits your curtains, reducing fading. This is particularly important if you are using our linen fabric in rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight.
  3. Alternate your curtains every month in the summer so that not just one edge of your curtains is exposed to the heat and light of the summer sun.
  4. Avoid using our lovely printed linen in a conservatory or a room with direct overhead sunlight. Fabrics specifically created for outdoor use are better suited to these areas.

Dust

Dust can make your curtains, cushions and upholstery look dirty. Give your curtains a little shake when opening them to reduce its build up. We recommend that you vacuum your curtains, cushions and upholstery every couple of months or so to remove dust completely. Use a handheld vacuum with a soft brush attachment to avoid trapping the fabric in the machine. You can also steam your curtains in situ to remove creases.

 

Making up

Linen is a natural fibre and so is affected by atmospherics. We recommend that the fabric is left in the room in which the curtains will hang for at least a week before making up to give it time to acclimatise. This will help reduce the likelihood of shrinkage or stretching.

 

When making up linen curtains, we recommend that the bottom of the linen and any lining is hemmed separately to avoid bagging. Hems should be on both sides but not the bottom. We also advise that you factor in at least 4% shrinkage when hemming your curtains.