Read through our handy guide for taking care of your home linens
Bed linens coming out of the closet signal the changing seasons. However, as they wait in cupboards or chests for their turn to snuggle up to you, they are prone to the effects of weather themselves. They need the right kind of care while they are stored as well as when they are in use.
“Woollens, rugs and cotton linen… they all need care while in storage,” says Aishwarya Singh, proprietor, The Shop, Mumbai.
She suggests airing them well before putting them away until the next season. “Lay them out in the open when the sun is out. This will remove all the moisture from them. Also let the sun come into the house as much as possible periodically, this will act as a natural disinfectant and remove the musty smell from the house,” she says.
It’s important that the winter linen is taken out from time to time for some air and sun.
Using silica gel pouches in the cupboards or between clothes soaks up the moisture and prevents fungus growth on linens. “Putting a few arcs of neem leaves in your linen also keeps the fungus away,” says Aishwarya.
If dampness in cupboards is a major issue, a low-voltage light bulb can be installed inside to counter it, she suggests. “It helps generate mild heat, which keeps bacteria and moisture at bay.”
Natural fibers need to breathe, so never store linens in plastic, it will result in yellowing. Wooden cupboards and chests can also lead to yellowing or streaking of fabrics. So, wrap the linens with something breathable or place them in cotton pillowcases. “Quilts and heavy blankets must be stored in vacuum bags in a dry place,’’ she advises.
Alternatively, you can use tissue or newspaper for wrapping them. The winter linens should also be kept rolled in tissue, instead of folded, to avoid creasing and tearing. “Expensive material like silk and satin can also be rolled in tissue and stored with some silica gel bags,” she says.
Periodical washing is also important to keep linens in good condition. However, wash linens with like colours and do not mix with rough and abrasive clothes. If you are using duvets, the insert should be removed and the outer cover should be washed.
Also, do not use hot water or harsh detergents and run the machine on delicate cycle. Ironing while still damp on the reverse side brings them back to their original state.