Table and kitchen linens take a bit of a hammering, what with wine spills, candle wax drips, lipstick marks and food stains. If you’ve wondered about how to treat stains on your linen tablecloth, or get marks out of your napkins, here’s a handy how-to.
1. Act Fast
The quicker you can treat a stain the better the chance you have of getting it out. We don’t mean you should whip a napkin out of your guest’s gravy-splashed hands, but some timely treatment will prevent stains setting into the fibres of your linen. Use a suitable enzyme-based spot treatment and apply gently to the mark, without rubbing. Don’t be tempted to use chlorine bleach as this will damage the fabric and can cause yellowing. It is useful to test a new product on a hidden area of your linen to check that it doesn’t remove the colour or cause unsightly marks. The clever folk at Martha Stewart have designed this stain removal chart that they recommend laminating and pinning up near your laundry area so you can quickly check the best ways to remove marks.
Fill a large pan with hot water, or put the linen into your washing machine and allow it to fill with hot water, and soak overnight.
Being mindful of your item’s care instructions, wash on a short cycle in the machine, or gently hand wash if it is not machine-washable.
Line drying is best if you can, as the sun will add its bleaching power. Remember to dry shaped items flat to prevent them being stretched. Tumble drying, if your care instructions permit, is fine but can cause any residual stain to be fixed in by the heat.
If you like your linen napkins and tea towels crease-free, resist the urge to iron them now. They are better off being rolled and stored, then swiftly ironed before use. Store linens flat if you can, rather than folded. If you have lots of different sized tablecloths, hang them instead – you could even sew on coloured hoops to differentiate the sizes (blue for large, red for small etc) and make for easy table laying. Ironing can be useful if there are candle wax stains that haven’t come out: once you’ve scraped off as much wax as possible, blot with blotting paper and iron over the top to remove any leftover wax. If you are storing precious family heirloom linens, secure in a sealed bag and throw in a lavender pouch to keep them fresh.
Et voilà! Now all you have to do is set a beautiful table, rustle up some delicious food and get ready to share a meal with some loved ones or new friends. These gorgeous candles, glasses and dinner plates are currently on our wish list for a dining table makeover that will impress our guests. Make sure your kitchen linens are the perfect backdrop for your tableware. Banish stains and bring on the gleam!
Disclosure: We sometimes work with affiliate partners to bring you beautiful products we think you will love as much as we do. We will only work with brands that share our ethos and fit with our aesthetic. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Linenbeauty.
With six new books out this winter covering the topic of ‘hygge’, it’s no wonder everyone is talking about it. But do we really know what this Danish word means, and how do we do it? Here’s where we come in. We thought we’d give you a quick explanation of hygge, and some simple ideas for how to bring it into your home, whether you live in Scandinavia or Seattle.
The word ‘hygge’ doesn’t have a literal translation, which is why it has proven tricky to explain to non-Scandi folk. It’s best characterised by feelings and mood rather than a direct object: think coziness, warmth, contentment and you’ll be pretty close. Hygge is something that we can all attain, regardless of wealth or background. It embraces the simple, gentle things in life and encourages us to notice with full intent the things we are surrounded with. It is about finding pleasure in the presence of soothing things, about connection with others, belonging and ritual.
The reason the Danes are so good at hygge is because they have looooong dark winters to endure, and this is a way of bringing light and comfort into the harshest of months. It has been associated with winter for this reason, but you can ‘hygger’ at any time of day or year. It’s a life-enhancing, happiness-spreading thing, which is why we wanted to give you some hygge-bringing hints. Because we all need a little contentment and gentleness as the holidays approach, right?
Our elemental connection with fire goes back thousands of years, and it still plays a vital part in creating heat and light. An open fire or wood burner creates an immediate focal point for a room and radiates warmth and comforting crackles. This is an essential aspect of hygge, and if you can’t make a fire at home try to have one outdoors. Bring blankets and marshmallows to toast.
The hygge look is all about layers of natural fabrics. Create a contrast in textures with a linen cushion against a snuggly cashmere throw, wear chunky woollen bed socks and a flannel gown, dress your bed in soft linen sheets and drape with a thick blanket, put a sheepskin rug on a hard wood floor. Invest in a top quality pullover that you can wear with anything all through winter (like this rather fabulous number from Toast).
Light, light, light
Candles are a vital part of any hygge toolkit, creating a gentle glow and calming flickery shadows. Dot them around your home, bringing light to dark corners, set a thick pillar candle on the table and eat pancakes for breakfast around its light, take a long bath surrounded by tea lights and scented candles. Lighting a candle is such a quick and easy way of adding some joy to your home, don’t wait for a special occasion. Invest in some decent ones, preferably chemical-free, to ensure they burn well and for plenty of time.
Winter is a time for hibernating, slowing down and stocking up on energy depleted by the darkness and cold. Make space for some quiet time, whether a family walk or cup of steaming coffee on the stoop. Notice the sounds around you, be in Nature whenever you can, take up a craft like knitting, savour happy moments. Before you fall asleep, take a moment to be grateful for any good things that happened during the day.
Hygge is essentially a communal feeling to be shared with friends and family. Invite friends over for a casual kitchen supper, drink mulled wine wrapped in blankets with your beloved, make hot toddies for your children and drink together in front of the fire (just heat some milk with a pinch of cinnamon and ginger, add a dollop of maple syrup, then froth with this genius stove top frother), or watch a film with a friend curled up on the sofa with hot water bottles. Offer guests food or drink and let them make themselves at home. Encourage children to share their toys and spaces with others.
Hygge is not about money or status, and requires minimal input. But you get massive returns. Go get your hygge on!
(Images courtesy of hannahinthehouse.com, decor8blog.com, whiskyandmilk.tumblr)
Disclosure: We work with affiliate partners Amazon.com to bring you products we think you will love. We will only collaborate with brands that match our ethos and aesthetic, and that will bring beauty and usefulness to your home.
As temperatures drop and the days draw in it’s time to reach for the cosy woollies. If you’ve had your winter woolen clothes and throws stored away over the warmer months, now’s the time to dig them out.
Not sure how to care for your wool garments? We will show you how to make sure they look beautiful and last as long as possible, with these simple tips:
Despite the fact that in our part of the world we are experiencing a mini heatwave, our thoughts are turning to the Fall. We love this season shift, as the nights draw in and the evenings become chilly. There is such bounty in Fall: the ripe fruit hanging from the trees waiting to be eaten or preserved, the hedgerows swaying under the weight of juicy blackberries, the squash and pumpkins swelling above the soil. Then there’s all the thrills of Halloween, Thanksgiving (in the US) and Bonfire Night (in Britain). We find ourselves drawn to rituals that celebrate light in the face of the coming darkness of winter.
Many of us will be waving off a child this month as they leave for college (*weeps*), or moving out of our family home and into a new life of
parties studying. We thought we would ease the transition by rounding up some top tips on how to boss dorm room style on a limited budget. Make any room, any size, feel like home with these simple ideas. Easy as ABC.
One of our favourite linen producers and designers is LinenMe, the Lithuanian company that specialises in ‘affordable luxury’. We were thrilled to hear about their adventures in the Big Apple at NYNOW, one of the most prestigious home, handmade and lifestyle design shows in the world.
Let’s follow LinenMe’s Inga for a day in her New York life:
Sleep is essential to our wellbeing, yet many of us struggle with insomnia or disrupted sleep. Whether unable to fall asleep or waking in the early hours, bad nights can wreak havoc with our health and happiness. So, we’ve got some tips that will help you tackle the issues head on, and hopefully get some proper, restorative ZZZZZZs.