Monday, 2 January 2012


A view of the linen cupboard at Freshford, Avon
   If you are the proud owner of fine French linen and there are just one or two little things that bother you, perhaps the following might help, gained after renovating and restoring hundreds of old French sheets, possibly even thousands, but who's counting?
  When you get your sheets home and before washing, you may want to remove any stains and/or ironmould marks.  There are several good chemical solvents  that work well, but I find the best are in the supermarket shelves in France  next to the detergents - they seem stronger and are more specific.  Rubigine anti-rouille  rust stain remover is brilliant, but be careful,as it does not harm the linen but is actually a very powerful and toxic acid.   
   Old discoloured linen needs a good long soak in several changes of plain cold water over several days  to soften the inner core of the fibres and to remove the tobacco stains that seem to invade all French fabrics and soft furnishings.  After this, give the linen a good hot wash with an oxygen based powder  (bleach is not recommended unless you are desperate).   If there is delicate embroidery or fine lace, wash on gentle programme in a pillow case or by hand in a bath - do not spin or twist, and hang out to dry on a line in the sun and wind or flat on the grass.   Use a light starch for a crisp glossy finish but remember that this does yellow in storage.  I would never send precious lace and embroidery to an ordinary laundry - fine decorations can be ruined and you may not even get your own linen back as some of the staff have a good idea of the value of the finest items and several of my clients have had unfortunate losses.

No comments:

Post a Comment