Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Stiff sheet

One of my readers wants to know if there is any way to soften a very stiff Metis sheet.  Metis is a union of two different fibres, usually linen and cotton in different ratios.  It is a very strong closely woven material and was much cheaper to produce than pure linen and was very popular in the 20th century.  Washing the sheets in soft water or rain water and using them as bedding certainly makes them more supple, if you want to use them for upholstery or curtains later, but they can be quite difficult to arrange in soft folds.  You could try hanging them on a line outside in the rain (and snow!) for a few days to see if that works.  Putting them on the grass will probably stain them this time of year.   YOU MIGHT THINK THAT THEY WOULD BE VERY UNCOMFORTABLE TO SLEEP ON AND SCRATCHY, BUT MANY PEOPLE FIND THAT THE SLIGHT FRICTION OF THE WEAVE IS QUITE PLEASANT AND WARM .   It's worth a try.  I really don't know if any of the laundry aids like Lennor, a softener, will work at all - I have never tried, but I do sympathize as I have been trying to use some vintage tea towels which I thought were very sturdy, only to find that they are so hard and stiff I cannot use them for drying any glasses - just not soft enough.  LIVE AND LEARN!


  1. Thank you for sharing! so good to know as I have just ordered a number of the old metis tea towels from France. :)

  2. Both my grand mothers and my mother
    had some metis sheets,with hand embroidered monograms and hand drawn open work.They were top sheets and my brother and I hated the stiffness,also they never faded to pure white.I now have some of these
    passed down by my mother,they must be
    60 years old and softer with wear but
    still stiff compared to linen (draps en fil).Yvette