Linen sheets and cotton sheets are very different. They’re both made from natural fibres but they need different levels of care. With these tips from Wilton London you can extend the life of either of your lovely new sheets for years to come. Over to you, Sam...

So what’s the difference?

Cotton sheets, as you may have guessed are made from the ‘bolls’ of a cotton plant. These are woven into fine fibres which make them lovely and soft, almost silky. While linen fabric is made from flax fibres – these are woven together less finely which makes linen sheets durable and very breathable.

Cotton care

Your cotton sheets are a little more delicate than linen, so they need to be treated with some extra TLC. Cotton fibres are finer so more easily broken, for this reason, try to wash them on their own and avoid adding items that might tag the sheet – for example zipper and bras.

White cotton sheets will easily pick up other colours. No one like greyed out white sheets, so make sure your wash your whites with other whites only – this is probably the best way you will keep your sheets looking new for longer.

You don’t need a hot wash to get a good clean. Our laundry liquids will give you great results at low temperatures. But I would suggest to avoid using the ‘quick wash’ setting. These wash cycles don’t give the detergent enough time to work which means results can be disappointing and sometimes means they need to go in again. If there’s a stain on your sheets, you can add a drop our laundry liquid directly to the stain just before popping them in the wash.

Growing softer with age

Cotton will be soft the moment you pull it out of it’s package, this is especially the case with a high thread count fabric. But over the years this softness tends to fade without proper care. I suggest that you avoid using hot washes, they’re not only bad for the environment, they’re also bad for your sheets. You might love a hot soak, but your luxury cotton sheets don’t. I also suggest using a little fabric conditioner, a little goes a long way and over time it will build up a little to keep your fabric conditioned (just like your hair). Our fabric conditioners will also help repair the fibres and protect the delicate fibres from the heat of an iron.

Linen on the other hand is a different kettle of fish - it isn’t super soft out of the packet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t soften it up. Linen loves a wash, in fact, your linen sheets will get softer with every tumble in the washer. I would say after about five washes, you’ll be at the perfect snuggle level. You’ll even notice that simply using the sheets on your bed will soften them. You can also speed this softening process up a little with some of our fabric conditioner. Just like cotton, a little goes a long way and over time it helps soften and protect the natural fibres.

If you don’t want to use fabric softener, I would suggest letting your sheets air dry (outdoors on a windy day is best) then when they’re almost dry, pop them in the dryer for 20 mins with a dryer ball. Take them out before they’re dry but not bone dry. Over drying your linen will actually make your sheets feel harder!

If you get a stain on linen sheets, it can be a little harder to remove. I suggest soaking your sheets in a bucket of warm water and laundry detergent, leave it there for a few hours before popping in the wash. Just like cotton, you can add a little of our laundry liquid directly to the stain before popping in the wash. But the best thing you can do is act quick, as soon as that Sunday breakfast jam lands on your sheets – whip them off!

To iron or not to iron

Let’s face it, cotton sheets need an iron. You can reduce the time it takes to iron by line drying your sheets outside. I like to pull them tight when they’re on the line, it actually pulls out most of the creases. You can iron your fitted sheet on the bed, but if you have a polyester topper or mattress, you’ll need to test an inconspicuous spot first. My fave ironing tip . . . a glass of vino, seems to make the ironing much quicker.

This has to be the best thing about luxury linen sheets – they don’t need ironing. Yes, you heard it right. Not only do they look great with a few wrinkles, those lovely lumps will actually drop out over a few days of use so they will actually look crisper by the end of the week.

Good quality sheets last

Investing in a high quality set of sheets pays for itself, if you look after them with the tips above, your sheets will look great for years to come. In fact, your luxury linen sheets will look better than the day they arrived on your doorstep – you don’t hear that very often!

I hope these tips help.

Sam

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