Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Little Linen Love

One of my small pleasures in life is the ritual of changing the bed linen. Aside from the delight of turning in at night to a fragrant and freshly made bed, there is also the pause in the day to press the clean sheets and pillowcases.

Time it right, and ironing is a simple, quick, and enjoyable task no matter what anyone may tell you! The right timing is damp dry from the line or dryer. Getting a smooth finish with ease requires a damp fiber and a hot iron. The work then just glides.

Beautiful linen should be enjoyed beyond just a prettily made bed. I find I most appreciate my collections when I am taking care with them. Laundering, and especially pressing, highlights the workmanship of fine linens like nothing else.

Displaying a pile of gorgeous bedding nearby triples the pleasure. I love looking at a wonderfully styled linen closet or shelf, don't you? But just a little quilt rack or linen stand in the bedroom holding the next change of linens is both pleasing and convenient. Even a small table or chair will do.

I realize that not everyone has my commitment to linen. I always have room in my house for a standing ironing board. The old-fashioned kind, of course. Nothing modern will creak just right when you lean and press into it.

Rumpled linen has become fashionable. I like a bit of that look myself. But there is nothing like laying your head down on a smooth pillow to take the cares away!

I'm often asked about my laundry secrets, and I don't have any. 1)Ward of permanent stains by inspecting before washing, and pre-treating with any standard laundry stain remover. 2)A cold water wash is important. Hot water sets in stains permanently. 3)For stubborn stains or to whiten newly purchased vintage linens I do a long soak (sometimes days) in Oxyclean or a non-chlorine bleach (the kind for colors).

The important thing is to enjoy your investment. Linens stay whiter the more you use them. And pure linen gets better and softer with every washing.

Are you getting enough linen love in your life?
Easy to fix.
I hope your week is off to a great start!


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  1. I am a new follower, and I wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your photos and posts. Thank you for sharing some of your laundry wisdom. I fully agree, when you go to sleep on a fresh set of linens, your dreams seem sweeter. Thanks,Suzy

  2. Such elegance and grace, I too love falling asleep to the fresh scent of newly washed linens. Diane

  3. Your linen photos are just lovely! Two of the things that attracted me to my cottage was an old wooden ironing board in the kitchen that pulls down from the wall, and a huge linen closet in the upstairs hallway! I sometimes use a light linen spray, either "Egyptian Cotton" or "Lavender", to scent the linens as I iron.

  4. Gorgeous linen pictures! So glad someone treasures these beautiful linens the way you do. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Your pictures are beautiful! You have managed to capture all the wonderful details of your embroidered linens. Just lovely!

  6. What a beautiful set of linens. Do you change them everyday? What luxury that would be. I just picked up a nice collection of linens at Scott's this month, but nothing quite so grand and beautiful as yours.
    I did purchase a beautiful bedspread that I want to sell on Etsy, but I don't know exactly what it is or how to describe it. If I send a picture of it to you, could you steer me in the right direction so I could describe it accurately?

  7. Interesting post and beautiful photos. I agree that it's so much more enjoyable and relaxing to turn in to a nicely made bed. Fresh and beautiful linen can make difference for a good night rest.

  8. Your linens are gorgeous and luxurious. I use flannel in winter and poly/cotton in summer. Nothing fancy. And I don't iron. I remember ironing cotton sheets and pillowcases as a young girl then polyester was invented. :) Sleep well!

  9. These are always my favorite posts of yours. I collect vintage linens, too. Pillowcases. I use them and love to sleep on them.

  10. Those are beautiful, but let it be known to all man and beast that one of my least favorite things to do is change the sheets!


  11. Another beautiful post! I iron bedding too, nothing is nicer than a pressed pillow case. Some of my friends think I'm nuts. Thanks for sharing this week, Laura

  12. Jacqueline,
    Hm~m~m...I can smell the freshness of your linens in this post. Hear the hiss of the steam iron and the creak of your ironing board makes we yearn for an outside clothes line, once again. My Grandmother always sprinkled her linens fresh from the line and placed them in a plastic bag, then into the refrigerator until she could press them later that evening or the next day! I loved, loved, loved sleeping in her bed as a child! Thank you for reminding us all how the simple pleasures of the life of yesterday can still be enjoyed today!
    P.S. I find soaking removes most stains, too!

  13. That beautiful tatted edging on those pillowcases steals my heart. It must have taken hours. Why don't we still do things like that? It was those touches that made the difference in it being a house or a home. Sweet.

  14. Your photos of your beautiful linens are so gorgeous. I adore linens, especially with trims and ruffles. My collection is slowly growing but I really need to find some vintage bed linens. Most of my pieces are smaller.

  15. Thanks for sharing a little linen love! ;-)

  16. You have some beautiful linens!
    Mary Alice

  17. Lovely linens, purple is really pretty.

  18. I certainly won't be ironing any linen bedding in the near future, but I sure Love the look... Your photos are Beautiful with the perfect details~ Thanks for sharing, I hope you will take the time to stop on over to my blog too~

  19. Everytime I come to visit,I drool over your beautifully pressed linen. I just love the smell of freshly pressed linen.
    xx jeanetteann

  20. Beautiful linens are a great way to treat oneself!

  21. These are LOVELY! So pretty!

    I was thinking perhaps you['d like to come round and change my bedding for me. ;-)


  22. I too love ironed linens and am not afraid to use them until they need to made over into something else.. Thanks for your beauty every day! xo marlis

  23. Your blog today makes me want to finish my linen pillow cases. I also love to put my head on something pretty and ironed at night. Hugs:-)))

  24. Lovely linens...some of them remind me the ones my grandmothers embroidered for me...
    Ciao Alessandra

  25. So true about the linens,I remember my grandmother ironing sheets and pillowcases, and there is nothing like the feel of that on your skin, great post,

  26. I share your love of old linens and yours are stunning !

  27. The best way to care for vintage linens is most definitely to use them! Another fabulous post, Jacqueline.

  28. Wonderful post - I SOOOO agree! I love my vintage sheets - they are so soft compared to new ones. I didn't relish the pressing so much until I purchased for vintage Kenmore Mangle Iron (complete with original chair) from a local auction ($25, and it works perfectly!) Now I really enjoy the pressing - I set it up in front of the TV, get the pile of linens, spray with a little homemade lavender pressing spray, and go to town. Sigh ... thanks for sharing and bringing a smile to my day! Might have to do laundry this weekend ;-)


  29. Hi J,
    Love the eye candy! Oh the purple!!! with tatting too, gorgeous!!
    I thought hot wash, and have learned from my mistake, thanks for the hint!

  30. You have the world's most beautiful linens! I can almost smell how fresh they are by looking at them!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful ppst at Potpourri Friday!

  31. What a lovely collection! I so enjoy the look and feel of fine linen- I even enjoy the handwork of embroidery and crochet lace. However, I just don't have the oomph to take care of it. So, I must be content with just appreciating other people's treasures. Thank you for sharing yours!


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