Linen: noun, “cloth woven from flax” – the dictionary definition of one of our favourite fabrics but what this definition does fail to mention is that linen is not just ‘cloth woven from flax’ but a real pain to keep looking in pristine condition!
There’s no need to let the care for this fabric put you off purchasing though as we’ve got all the tips and tricks any man could need for keeping his linen jacket, trousers or suit looking crease-free and fresh for every occasion.
Why Is Linen So Tricky?
Linen is probably best described as temperamental. It creases very easily which essentially makes it a nightmare to transport anywhere but it also doesn’t iron easily, meaning the creases can be pretty tough to eliminate.
Linen is actually very easy to care for and easier than some other fabrics and a lot of people panic and over-complicate it wasting money on dry cleaning, but you just have to be conscious of how you store linen and be proactive with washing and drying it.
How Do You Wash Linen?
You do not need to pay a specialist to wash your linen suit unless it is particularly stained or damaged, you can easily wash it at home.
Linen is best washed on a lukewarm or cold wash with a mild detergent. It is a delicate fabric that creases so easily, so a gentle wash cycle is the best option if you have one on your machine.
Using soft water is also beneficial to the washing process of linen if you can have control of this.
How Do I Dry Linen?
You can dry linen in a tumble dryer but if you’re going to do this then you need to take it out when still slightly damp and hang or lay flat to finish drying to avoid excessive creasing and the fabric going stiff.
Do not tumble dry linen and then forget to remove it from the machine immediately as the creases will become impossible to remove.
Can You Iron Linen?
You can iron linen but whether you do or not depends on the look you’re after. We personally think linen suits look best smooth and crisp, which means ironing will definitely be required after washing and drying.
Linen is easiest to iron slightly damp, using a medium-hot iron or you could opt to use a steamer if that suits you better. Unfortunately, linen isn’t one of those fabrics you can leave hanging to ‘drop the creases’ because it is a naturally crumpled fabric and they’re unlikely to drop out.
How Do You Store a Linen Suit?
Your linen suit needs to be stored hanging straight and somewhere that it won’t get folded or crumpled as the creases won’t just fall out when you get it out. Linen does have natural insect repellents in the fibres, so you don’t need a suit bag for the purpose of protecting from moths etc but when it comes to avoiding the suit becoming squashed in your wardrobe, it may be worthwhile.
A broad coat hanger with padded corners is ideal for a linen jacket as it will avoid putting hanger marks in the shoulders of your jacket as the fabric is so delicate.
How Do You Pack a Linen Suit?
If you’re travelling and need to pack your linen suit, the best option is always to pack it in a suit bag that can be hung up but if this isn’t an option then packing it as flat in your case as possible is the next best thing.
Fold your linen suit perfectly flat and place at the top of all your clothes in your case to keep it as flat as possible and hopefully no excessive creasing will appear whilst travelling.
So, linen is the most dapper fabric for summer and although it can get crumpled in the blink of an eye, it is also super easy to wash, dry, iron and store when you know how, so now there’s really nothing stopping you from checking out the range of linen suits at Slater Menswear!