Linen clothing is perfect for humid, hot weather. The natural flax fibers help to wick moisture away from the skin. Linen clothes can be made from light to heavyweight fabrics and will wear well if handled correctly. Most linen clothing will shrink slightly so consider that as you purchase garments.
After linen is washed, it should not be dried on high heat which causes fibers to shrink together and break. Air dry or tumble briefly on low heat. Linen should be ironed with a good quality steam iron while it is damp, if you choose to iron at all. The more often linen is worn and washed, the softer and more supple it will become. However, if you are looking for a crisp appearance, ironing is a must.
Follow these tips for successful ironing:
- Always iron linen while it is still damp. When ironing is complete, hang the garment in an uncrowded space to dry completely. Wearing it while damp will cause more creases.
- Use a steam iron and sprinkle on additional water if necessary to get a smooth finish.
- Press clothing on the wrong side to prevent shiny spots. This is particularly important with darker colors.
- Use spray-on starch or fabric sizing for areas like collars and cuffs that you want particularly crisp. The starch also helps to protect the linen from stains.
- Ironing embroidered items can be difficult because the iron can get caught in the stitching and cause damage. Use a lightweight cloth - like muslin or a linen dishtowel - over the stitching and iron the two together.
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