Can I Wash a Linen Jacket?
Linen is a very particular fabric which has many benefits when using as a clothing material. Perhaps the most important is that it is light and breathable. This means it is the ideal material for warmer climates as more heat from the body will be released. Although linen is made from a light material, it is surprisingly durable. However, it is prone to creasing, so keeping it from wrinkling can be tricky. Linen is also very absorbent, meaning it can absorb stains easily.
At oneHOWTO, we ask can I wash a linen jacket? We look at how to care for a linen suit to make it last as long as possible, whether we can iron linen and if maybe it is something we should leave to a dry cleaner.
Caring for linen suits
Linen is a woven fabric made from flax. Although it is light and breathable, it is also very strong and this makes it ideal for use in summer suits. In fact, it is so strong, it is also used to make garments such as a butcher's apron, but this we expect to get stained.
One of its main downfalls is that it creases very easily. This means if we sit down for a long period of time, it can look very wrinkled once we get up. We need to be careful when we are sitting to make sure the pants are as flat as possible. Don't roll up or fold jackets when not wearing them. Essentially, if the linen suit or jacket is not on you, it should be placed on a hanger until you wear it again.
As stated in the introduction, linen is very absorbent and prone to stains. However, the fabric itself is very hardy and these stains tend not to be permanent. In fact, this means it is actually relatively easy to clean.
This article asks can you wash a linen jacket and the answer is yes. The only exception is at the end of the article, but the vast majority of linen can be washed in a washing machine. There are some things you need to consider, so we show you how to wash a linen jacket or suit below.
How to wash a linen suit
First of all, to know how to clean a linen jacket you should look at the label of the jacket to see what washing instructions are provided by the manufacturer. If you can clean the jacket or suit by machine, it is likely not going to require a temperature greater than 40 ºC. Linen can have a tendency to shrink, but if you keep to the manufacturer's instructions, it should be minimal.
You will need to set the washing machine to the mode for delicate fabrics. You will also need to be careful with colored linen. It can fade and dye can leach into other clothes, so be careful what you wash it with. You can test it in a basin of water first if you are unsure.
Here are the steps you need to wash a linen jacket:
- Read the label for specific instructions.
- Place in the washing machine on a delicate wash at no more than 40 ºC.
- Put in washing detergent for light or delicate clothes.
- Add a little starch to the machine to avoid wrinkles.
- Turn on the washer, but make sure you do not use a spin cycle.
A spin cycle on a washing machine can make it even more wrinkled when it comes out. This is one reason we need to put it on a gentle wash.
Drying a linen suit
You can dry a linen jacket or suit in a tumble dryer. However, you need to be careful with it. Unlike cotton or other fabrics, you should not dry the linen suit completely in a dryer. This is because it will most likely crease. Instead, you should take the linen jacket out when it is still a little damp and air dry for the remainder. Ideally, if you have the time, you should air dry it completely. Since it is usually worn in warm weather, hopefully this won't be a problem.
Can I iron a linen suit?
You can indeed iron a linen suit. Although it is a light fabric, it will be durable enough to withstand the heat of the iron. You will need to ensure the iron will be on the linen function which means the heat will be high. With this high heat we need to be careful we don't leave it on the fabric for too long as it can burn.
Linen is very difficult to iron when dry, some might say impossible. We will need to use the steam function, but even this may not be enough. For this reason, you should fill a spray bottle with some clean water and spray this on the linen as you iron out the creases. Hang immediately after ironing and do not fold.
Should you dry clean a linen suit?
When you check the label of your linen suit or jacket, you may find it says ‘dry clean only’. In this case, you should respect the label and only dry clean it. However, this is unlikely as most linen can be washed in a machine at home. In cases where you are not able to dry clean the suit, but you have a stain, you can spot clean.
Spot cleaning linen is easy. Simply take a clean cloth and wet the end with clean water. Press it slowly and repeatedly on the stained area. Do not rub hard, otherwise you may cause the stain to become embedded in the linen fibers. If you still cannot get the stain out, leave it and take it to a professional.
As you can see, caring for a linen suit, jacket or any piece of clothing it easier than you might have thought. If you have other clothing you want to last longer, take a look at our related articles on:
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- Do not use bleach on natural or embroidered linen, the fabric will be damaged.