You’ve spent months deciding exactly which combination of linen bedding works best for your space—weeks spent tossing up if you’re more suited to a mix of khaki and olive greens or mustard yellow and rust, but now that you’re curled up and enjoying the comfort (and style) afforded by a set of good quality bedding, how do you actually take care of it? After all, it’s safe to say it’s the one place we spend most of our time.
Who better to ask than Genevieve Rosen-Biller, founder of Bed Threads, a cult local label creating the linen bedding that’s found a prized place in just about every Australian home. As an expert, Rosen-Biller knows a thing or two about how to get the most out of your freshly purchased linens, and here she tells us the tips and tricks to make your bedding go the distance.
But for those not yet accustomed to the Bed Threads range, it features a variety of 100% flax linen, which is grown in France by registered farmers and suppliers, and what started as its signature line of bedding has quickly grown to linens fit for the table and bathroom, including napkins and towels. “Ideally you should be washing your bed linen once a week. Sheets that are made from natural fibres like the Bed Threads bedding are breathable, so will need to be washed less frequently than synthetic or synthetic blend materials. This is because all natural fibres tend to be moisture-wicking, light and cooling, so you don’t overheat.”
Don’t worry if you’re a stickler for freshly washed linens (guilty!) Rosen-Biller adds there’s really no harm in washing your bedding too frequently—as “linen gets softer and more comfortable with every wash.”
As for how exactly, according to the expert it comes down to taking care when you actually get to the washing. The best way to care for your linen is to machine wash on a gentle, cold or lukewarm water cycle with a mild liquid detergent,” Rosen-Biller explains. “Avoid pilling the fabric by washing them on their own, so no clothing with zippers, Velcro or rough fabrics in the same load. Never dry-clean them and skip the fabric softeners too as both can weaken the fibres of the linen. Avoid tumble drying and air dry them on the line in the sun to kill any germs if you can. If you need to use a dryer, remove them when they are ever so slightly damp and lay flat to finish drying.”
When you’re not using the set of linens, Rosen-Biller adds its best to store them somewhere “cool, dry and well-ventilated with minimal light exposure”, as well as avoiding plastic containers which “trap moisture and breed mildew”, and will end up leaving your sheets with a yellowish tinge.
The natural fall of linen is always why it makes it such a favoured bedding option too, with the creases giving off that effortless finish many of us look for—basically, there’s no added stress of having to iron your sheets after they’re dry. “If you prefer your sheets wrinkle-free though, iron while they’re still damp as once they’re dry the creases are much more stubborn and difficult to remove. “
But just because your bedding doesn’t necessarily need frequent cleaning, the same can’t be said for your pillowcases. Understandably so, considering they see much more buildup of skin, dirt and often, makeup.
“Your pillowcases actually need more frequent washing than your sheets to help avoid the build-up of cosmetic products, dead skin cells, oils and dirt from your skin and hair and the surrounding environment, which can cause breakouts and irritation,” Rosen-Biller explains. “We recommend washing them every two to three days. If you use pillow protectors they should be washed about once per month.” When it comes to the bulkier items, don’t stress too much about having to be so diligent in cleaning—with Rosen-Biller explaining that pillows and the duvet only need to be cleaned about every six months to “keep bacteria at bay”, but also to prolong their life.
“If you don’t use pillow protectors or you sleep with your duvet closer to your body, i.e. without a flat sheet between, consider washing every few months. Depending on what they’re made from they may be machine washed on a gentle cycle, otherwise they can be dry cleaned.”
Image Credits: Bed Threads