Caring for your linens
Surjit Singh Arora, owner of Arora Drape, gives a few important tips on how to keep your bed linen clean and fresh
Bed linens make a big difference to the atmosphere of a room. They also make a big difference to how you sleep. When you go to buy bed linens, you can find a lot of variety in terms of colour, pattern, fabric and the price. And for as many different choices available, there are as many different ways of caring for them.
Thread count is the standard measure used when assessing the quality of bed linen. The thread count represents the number of threads (horizontal and vertical) contained in one square inch of the fabric. Thread counts for bed linen can range from as low as 80 for a basic fabric to as high as 400 for Egyptian cotton.
Choose a fabric with a thread count of at least 100 and, if you’re aiming for a high quality feel, aim for one with a thread count of 200 or more.
Taking care of linen is easy. Linen fabrics are much stronger and smoother than cotton and there are only a few things to know for your linen textile or clothes to last long.
Wash sheets separately from towels or other clothing. This gives the sheets more room to circulate in the water, which means they’ll get cleaner. Washing sheets alone also prevents damage caused by zippers and other fasteners, and it reduces the amount of pilling that can happen over time.
Use only mild detergent and not too much of it. Some detergents contain too harsh (for linen fabric items) cleaning materials that may damage your linens by making fabric thinner in places and causing the colours to fade. By using detergents thoughtfully you will maintain your bed linen in the same high quality as you purchased.
Bedlinen and other linen products can be dried in a dryer. It is only advisable not to overdry them because this can cause lesser durability and colour fade. Overdried linens are also harder to iron (if you prefer ironing in the first place!) To keep your linen bedding in best shape just remember to get it from the dryer when they are still slightly damp.
If you want to iron your bed linen, it’s best to do it when it is slightly damp. If your bedding includes decorative details, place it face down on the ironing board over a towel and iron it, or place a plain sheet over the top of the detailed section and iron over that.
Luxury bedding can last for 10 to 20 years if cared for properly, making it great value for money, so it’s worth spending on high quality bedding and caring for it properly. You can also get some fantastic deals on luxury bedding sets by shopping online, so it may not be as expensive as you think.
In most homes, changing bed sheets weekly is your best bet to keep your bed fresh and comfortable, and to protect your linens from excessive wear. Pillowcases may need to be changed twice a week. Your comforter, duvet, and quilts will only need to be laundered monthly.
Take out bed linens as soon as they are dry and fold them right away. If sheets are wrinkled, try throwing a wet sock or washcloth back into the dryer for 10 more minutes.
It’s always a good idea to have two or three sets of sheets per bed. Using one set on the bed and keeping one set in the storage closet, and one set for emergency use if needed. You have to use one on your bed, another one on the storage and the last one for the laundry. Turn the sets of sheet you use more often so that they remain even. Replace the used bed linens once per week when the climate state is normal. You have to change them more often if you are from the humid and hot areas.
- Use a mattress pad between the mattress and bottom sheet. Wash the pad when needed, at least every few months.
- If you love a particularly expensive pattern, buy just the pillow cases and top sheet in the pattern. Buy the bottom sheets in a coordinating, less expensive solid.
- When sheets are used as fabric for pillow covers, shams, bed skirts, tablecloths, or curtain panels, avoid washing them as they will lose body and become limp. Dry clean if necessary.