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Always check the care label before laundering your luxury linens. Remember that natural fibers will wrinkle and ironing may be required, depending upon your preferences.

Here are some important basics to remember when washing:

*Always pre-wash new linens before using. As fine fabrics are generally not pre-washed, this first wash is important for setting the threads, preserving the fabric’s beauty, and prolonging its life. Be sure to fully unfold, set the machine to include a cold pre-soak, and use minimal liquid detergent. (Laudress, Dreft, Seventh Generation)

*Never use fabric softener with any fine linens, as it coats and weakens natural fibers. Your luxury linens will soften naturally with frequent use and additional washings.

*Never use chlorine bleach with any fine linens, as it also weaken natural fibers and may cause them to yellow. If fabrics need bleaching, use an oxygen-based bleach.

*Use a mild liquid detergent. (Laudress, Dreft, Seventh Generation) Do not pour detergent directly onto the fabric; rather, add it to the water as the wash tub fills, or dilute detergent with water and then add linens. Unless linens are very soiled, you need only use half the recommended amount of detergent.

*Pre-treat any stains prior to washing.

*Most linens can be washed on a gentle cycle in warm water, with a cold-water rinse.

*Separate linens into light and dark colors.

*Avoid laundering fine linens with towels or other items, especially those containing polyester, and items made of heavy material, rivets, buttons, zippers, etc., as these can damage fibers and fabric.

*Wash matching linens (e.g. sheets and pillowcases) together, as each piece should be cared for similarly regardless of whether or not it is soiled (or even used) to help maintain color consistency and brightness.

*Do not overload the washing machine, as this can cause unnecessary abrasion to the fabric.

Here are some important basics to remember when drying:

*To machine dry, gently shake out and smooth damp linens before placing in the dryer (unraveling any items that may have twisted in the wash cycle.)

*Never use dryer sheets with any fine linens, as it coats and weakens natural fibers.

*Avoid overloading the dryer so items will dry evenly.

*Set dryer to the lowest heat — high heat settings will weaken the natural fibers and increase shrinkage.

*You may want to consider drying bottom fitted sheets and duvet covers separately, as the pillowcases sometimes get “balled up” inside those items and do not dry thoroughly.

*Remove items from the dryer promptly and while still slightly damp; smooth and let air dry before storing, or press with an iron while damp to remove any remaining wrinkles.