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How to Care for Linen Clothes

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How to Care for Linen Clothes

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Linen clothes are made from a natural fiber from the stem of the flax plant. Linen is sturdy and durable, moth and perspiration resistant. Unlike cotton, linen is weaker when wet and prone to abrasion and should be cleaned with care.

Linen fibers can be weakened by chlorine bleach. Undiluted bleach should never be applied directly to the fabric - even if it is white. Dilute bleach solutions can be used safely on linen or cellulosic fibers for stain removal and whitening. However, even dilute solutions will weaken fibers causing them to rip and wear out if used too often.

Fibers in clothes each react differently when treated with stain removal products and during laundering. Always read hang tags and labels before attempting to remove a stain.

Linen garments should be turned inside out before laundering. Use warm or cold water for washing and always rinse in cold water. Linen garments should be air dried or dried on medium heat in the dryer and removed while still slightly damp to avoid set-in wrinkles. Hang clothes immediately.

It is easier to iron linen garments while they are slightly damp. Extremely high temperatures when ironing can scorch linen fibers. The scorching or yellowing occurs as the fibers begin to burn. Burned fibers cannot be revived. Always be sure to use the correct iron temperature setting when pressing linen.

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