How To Wash Your Summer Linens And Keep Them In Perfect Condition

Summer is here, which means that it is time to rock all your favorite linen outfits. If you don't have any, you might want to consider making them a part of your closet this season. These lightweight fabrics are perfect for those hot, sweaty days that might just feel unbearable sometimes. Even science backs the reasoning behind why linen is the best summer fabric.

"Linen is a comfortable material for summer because of its high moisture absorptivity and relative stiffness," Jintu Fan, a professor of fiber science and apparel design at Cornell University, tells Vogue. In fact, linen is a natural fabric made of the fibers that grow inside the stalk flax plant and is one of the oldest cultivated plants in history.

This fabric, with a luxurious feel, goes through an intensive manufacturing process that begins with planting, growing, and harvesting the plant. Then, they are processed through a fiber-separating machine that removes leaves and seeds. Unusable outer fibers are then separated from the inner fibers that will be used. Next is the combing of the fibers, spinning them into yarns, and reeling them into a bobbin. Once the yarn is dried, it is ready to be made into apparel (via Sewport). After this lengthy and careful process, it's important to properly clean your precious linen clothing so it can stay in good, long-lasting condition.

How to wash your linen clothing

Before you just throw your linen goods into the washer, always be sure to read the label for special care instructions, as some linens may be mixed with other types of fabrics, treatments, or dyes. If you're unsure about what the label means, refer to a guide to help you (via Who What Wear). Once it's time for it to go into the washer, be sure to put it on the gentle cycle with lukewarm water. Linen Beauty notes that linen garments and materials should not be overcrowded in the washer as it could twist or pull the fabric. Additionally, it must be paired with other items of similar material, delicacy, or color.

You may also opt for handwashing your linen for an even gentler wash that you have more control over. If your garment is unsoiled, hand-washing is the recommended method to go with. Do so in a soft, swishing motion, and do not wring, twist, or scrub it (via Linen Beauty). Whether you are machine or hand washing your linen, also be sure to use a mild detergent made for delicate fabrics (via Dengarden).

How to dry your linen

How you dry your linen garments is just as important as how you wash them if you wish to maintain their best condition. It is important to note that pre-washed linen may not shrink during the washing or drying process. This makes it safe to throw it in the dryer using a tumble dry setting with a low temperature, making sure to remove it while still a little bit damp. However, if not pre-washed, the best risk-reducing option would be to air dry (via Linen Beauty). If hanging your clothes, avoid clothespins that may leave marks on your garment, and try using a padded hanger if possible. Otherwise, air dry the garment flat.

Additional tips for the best linen care include ironing it using medium-hot temperature. Although linen is a fabric that wrinkles and creases easily, a nice press would only elevate your look. When ironing it, make sure the linen is still damp following its wash, or manually spray it lightly. Using a damp towel over your linen also helps it absorb the moisture necessary before a good press (via Son de Flor).