To Launder or not to launder?

February 01, 2019

To Launder or not to launder?

One of the most important things when purchasing a product made of fabric is to find out if it can be washed, and how difficult that's going to be. We've all been there. "That shirt looks great and I want it but it's dry-cleaning only; no thank you!"

In a way the same thing applies to table linens. Before I go into more details, I have a bit of good news. All our tablecloths, napkins, placemats, runners and towels can be washed at home in a washing machine, period. Wow, what a relief! The one type of products that can't is chair pads (there had to be an exception!) Because of the filling, they are not supposed to be washed. For that matter we only carry acrylic coated ones so they can be wiped clean with a sponge or wet cloth. Now there are some variations and some limits, so let's talk about it. I will also include a handy chart that will allow you to read the cryptic international wash symbols found on most European linens.

Let's separate our products by material. We have:

Polyester
Cotton
Cotton / polyester blend
Teflon treated cotton
Acrylic coated cotton
Linen

Provence fabrics

 

Polyester

Our most affordable line is made of polyester. Polyester is very easy to wash and has one huge advantage: it's wrinkle free, yay! Our polyester tablecloths can be washed on warm (40 deg C or 105 deg F) on the normal cycle with the detergent of your choice. Choose a high spin and they'll come out almost dry. They are not supposed to go in the dryer, but you can tumble them with no heat or hang them to dry (the shower rod is a great place to do it if you can't hang it outside). They should not be ironed but since they are wrinkle free there should not be a need! However we have found that you can use a fabric steamer to remove creases or any wrinkles with great results (from the back side). 

Cotton, cotton/polyester blend and Teflon treated cotton

The majority of our products are made of cotton. Some are coated with acrylic, some are not. The washing instructions are similar but we included a separate section for the coated fabrics below. The non-coated cotton tablecloths, napkins and placemats should be washed on cool (30 deg C or 85 deg F maximum) on the gentle cycle. If there is a stain, put a dab of detergent or a specialized stain remover on it before the wash. Some cotton kitchen towels can be washed on medium or even hot. Refer to to the care label to be sure and err on the cooler side if no temperature is shown. Use your choice of detergent. Our cotton table wares can't go in the dryer and should be hung to dry. Some towels can be tumble dried on low heat; refer to the care label. They all can be ironed on medium or steamed with a fabric steamer.

Coated cotton

This is what we are known for, the wonderful acrylic coated tablecloths, placemats and table runners. The idea behind these is that you don't have to wash them. For day to day use, they should be wiped clean. Basically, you want to use a wet non-abrasive sponge or cloth and wipe down the surface. It should wipe off the same way as a hard surface would. Now, you have to be aware of those liquids that tend to stain and be proactive about it. Wine, especially red, oil and others will stain the fabric if they are allowed time to do so. It is very important to blot them off as quickly as possible. Occasionally, the coated items can be machine washed the same way as the non-coated cotton ones. However, the more they are washed, the weaker the coating becomes. The coating will not peel off or anything scary like that, but you'll notice that the coating has become less effective. Just like the non coated ones, they should be hung to dry. They can be ironed but on the back side or the coating will be fighting the steam from the iron. They can also be steamed (on the back) with a fabric steamer.

Linen 

Linen is a tough material that can handle a lot of abuse and a lot of heat. Our 100% linen products can be washed on hot (60 deg C or 140 deg F max), machine dried on medium heat and ironed on medium. It's hard to go wrong with these! Also, don't worry about washing them often as linen seems to get softer and more absorbent with use. 

 As promised, here is a handy-dandy international care symbol guide. We included a link to download the full version from Textile Industry Affairs website so you can print it out and display it next to the washing machine!

Guide to textile care symbols




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