Sharing passion and love
for linen fabric and slow living

linen dress pockets

Tips on Washing Your Linen Clothes

People appreciate linen clothes for many thousands of years. Made from the fibers of the flax plant linen is a natural fabric. It has many positive properties that make linen clothes popular among people on various ages, nationalities and social status. Linen fabric breathes well; it is stronger than cotton fabric, and more difficult to weave, which makes linen a pricier fabric to make into clothes and other household textile such as bed linen, linen tablecloths and linen towels. Linen dyes well with different colors and can be blended with other materials, which may impact the ways of care the piece of clothing will require. The way you’ll wash linen clothes will also depend on many factors.

washing linen clothes

As we always say – first check the washing instructions on the label before you wash your linen clothing. Although all pure linen dresses, tunics, trousers and shirts etc. can be washed in a washing machine, other materials used for stitching, trim or lining may require dry cleaning. Ignoring or being unaware of that advice can ruin your garment.

Washing linen clothes

  • Always wash your linen clothes on your machine’s gentle cycle. If it is possible to select the water level in the washing machine, always use the maximum offered. Your clothing should move freely.
  • Do not crowd the washing machine with too many items at once. This can cause twisting or pulling the linen fabric out of shape.

washing linen clothing

  • Make sure the any other items in the washing machine are similar to your linen clothes in terms of color, weight and washing instructions.
  • If you hand wash linen clothes, only use a gentle swishing motion – never wring, twist or scrub the fabric. Hand washing is recommended for clothes that is not heavily soiled, or for linen fabric with a loose weave, which might be damaged during a wash in a washing machine.
  • Linen clothes as all other linen home textile has to be washed in lukewarm temperatures – never in cold or hot. Does linen shrink? Yes it does, especially if you wash it in too hot temperatures (above 40C is not recommended) . If your linen clothes were sold as not prewashed expect that they will shrink a bit after first wash no matter what water temperature you use.

washing linen clothes

  • Use only a mild detergent for washing and make sure that all of it is completely rinsed from the piece of clothing before drying.

Drying linen clothes

  • If your linen garment is pre-washed during a production process, it is safe to dry it in a tumble dryer. Make the drying temperature low and remove the garment while it is still slightly damp.
  • Always try to dry your linen clothes flat. Hangers or clothespins can cause marks on the fabric and also cause deformation of the garment.
  • If there is a need for ironing, iron your linen clothes while slightly damp.

You may also like

Why We’re Talking about the Menopause
A Simple Path: with Emma Lavelle of Field+Nest
linen clothes summer
6 Everyday Clothes We Can’t Live Without
Why We Love Women’s Clothes That Have Pockets

19 Responses

  1. Pingback : How to Make No Sew Stamped Linen Napkins - TLC Inspirations | Crafts for life

  2. Pingback : Laundry Tips for Linen Bedsheet and Towels | Pearltrees

  3. p robinson

    What temperature you say it should be washed at …20 or 40…also what spin cycle …i recently washed a shirt at 40 didn’t realise as i am using a different machine …it now feels harder than it was but i did also use some soda crystals…


    1. Linenbeautyadmin


      We suggest to wash at lowest possible temperature (but don’t go above 40). You should be fine using fabric softener to get more softness.


  4. Ron

    I read on the other thread that a linen shirt can become long, but that washing will also make it linen which is not pre-washed shrink. I want to wash my linen pants, will it expand or will it shrink. Thank you.

    1. Linenbeautyadmin

      Dear Ron,

      If it is made from not pre-washed fabric it will shrink. You shouldn’t worry about expanding when it comes to washing linen items.


  5. Pingback : Linenbeauty – Sharing passion and love for linen fabric 5 Simple Tips for Washing Linen Bed Linen | Linenbeauty

  6. Pingback : Linenbeauty – Sharing passion and love for linen fabric 5 Simple Tips on Washing Linen Bed Linen | Linenbeauty

  7. Pingback : How to Iron Table Linen Like a Pro | Linenbeauty

  8. Pingback : The Essential Guide to Linen | Linenbeauty

  9. Pingback : 7 Simple Hacks Using Linen to Create Stunning Interiors | Linenbeauty

  10. Pingback : How to Care for Your Linen this Summer | Linenbeauty

  11. Pingback : Spring Cleaning – the Best Ways to Make Your Place Look Spotless | Linenbeauty

    1. Linenbeautyadmin

      Dear Alex,

      I would suggest to wash it in a regular way as described in this article – that should work.


  12. Mark Murphy

    I really appreciate your advice to try and dry your linen clothes in a tumble dryer if they can handle it. My wife has a lot of clothes and she says that the laundry can be overwhelming. I will be sure to tell her that she doesn’t have to worry about her linen clothes!

  13. Rory Tate

    So glad this information was available. THANKS! I just bought a very expensive linen shirt. I didn’t have a clue how to wash it. But I knew I had to get valid information. Can I use dish washing soap.

Leave a Reply