How to care for a linen shirt

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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Linen is a durable fabric made from flax. It is a popular material for clothing because it is breathable and comfortable to wear. Linen shirts are perfect for all seasons. Great in hot temperatures, these shirts also provide a comfortable shirt to wear beneath sweaters and jackets in colder weather. A linen shirt can last a long time (years) as long as you care for it properly.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Washing powder
  • Iron
  • Soft hangers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place your linen shirt in the washing machine with other similar fabrics (and colours) that need to be washed. Make sure everything is removed from pockets and avoid washing this fabric with items that have sequins or zippers--these can cause some wear on fabric during the wash cycle. Note that if you are washing your linen shirt for the first time, it will shrink a bit.

  2. 2

    Set the washing machine to a warm water, delicate cycle. Add mild washing powder and let it run through a complete wash, spin and rinse cycle.

  3. 3

    Remove the linen from the washing machine immediately after the cycle has finished. Hang the linen shirt to dry, or lay it on a clean towel on a table to dry. You can dry linen on low heat in a dryer; take it out before it is fully dry. This prevents wear on the fabric from over-drying.

  4. 4

    Turn the shirt inside out. Iron your linen shirt on a warm or hot iron setting. Make sure your iron is clean so you don't transfer a stain to your shirt. After you've ironed the shirt inside out, iron the other side. Stylephyle.com recommends ironing linen while it is still slightly damp.

  5. 5

    Hang the shirt in a well-ventilated closet. Use plastic or padded hangers (not bare wire hangars) to provide the least amount of wear around the shoulder seams. If you must store the shirt, know that linen is sensitive to humidity and chemicals in storage containers. Purelinen.com.au recommends using a fabric garment bag containing no synthetics.

Tips and warnings

  • If you get a stain on your shirt, use a commercial stain treatment (test it in an inconspicuous area first) and wash the shirt before the stain sets.
  • Purelinen.com.au advises against using a chlorine bleach on white linen; it may yellow the fabric. Use oxygen bleaches instead or, as Purelinen.com.au suggests, dry them in sunlight.

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