House hold linens and textiles were valuable assets and treasured until relatively recently. To take care of your beautiful period linen reproduction linens, here are some useful tips for cleaning and storage;
- Treat stains with Oxyi clean or other oxygen-based or colour safe bleach - Do NOT use chlorine bleach;
- Pre-soak as required and follow the instructions for the stains;
- Hot wash with regular detergent and use a short agitate or delicate cycle if your linens are too large for a laundry bag - This will help to keep fringes from getting tangled.
- Hang to dry or short tumble to keep fringe neat;
- Iron as desired with a hot iron and steam ensuring the iron plate is clean. For very delicate textiles or if you are unsure, try laying a sheet of baking paper over the textile and ironing the textile through the baking paper;
Nota: During various periods throughout the medieval and renaissance, it was the fashion to enhance table linens by deliberating pleating and folding and using the period equivalent of an iron to create pleasing geometrical patterns.
- To minimize or avoid ironing, lay linens out wet from the wash on a counter or table and smooth out the wrinkles - then hang to dry;
- Once dry, fold carefully and store with other linens, in an airy dark place;
Nota: To keep the linens fresh and pest free - satchets containing herbs such as lavender were slipped between the layers of linens.