You just received your new Grae Cove linen dress in the mail and you're excited to wear it. Whether you're team wear-it-right away or team wash-then-wear, you'll eventually have to clean it. And, I know you're wondering if your linen items will shrink.
All of your Grae Cove linen clothes and bedding (Yes! We have bedding now) have been pre-washed for shrinkage and for extra cozy-softness. But, if you've purchased linen clothes from another brand or just want to avoid shrinkage at all costs, here are some ways to prevent it from happening.
TIP #1: READ THE CARE LABEL
I know it sounds super obvious and it's tempting to toss everything in the washing machine without checking the care label. Believe me, I've regretted this decision before. But, taking the time to read the care label can save you a lot of heartache. We recommend machine-wash on the gentle cycle in cold water.
TIP #2: USE COLD WATER
Here's the science behind it. Linen clothes, just like many natural fibers, are made up of long chains of molecules. These molecules are held together by these teeny-tiny chemical bonds that weaken when exposed to heat. When your new linen top is washed in hot water, these bonds can break causing the fibers to shrink. Not cool, right?
But, here's where cold water comes in as the hero. Cold water doesn't have enough energy to break these bonds, so the fibers are less likely to contract and shrink. By washing your Grae Cove linen tops, pants, dresses and sheets in cold water, you're helping to protect the delicate fibers and preserve the shape and size of your garments.
Plus, cold water is more eco-friendly, and we're all about living more sustainably, right?
TIP #3: DON'T USE THE DRYER
Linen clothes should never be put in the dryer. The heat can cause the fibers to shrink and become misshapen. Instead, hang them up to air dry, preferably in a shaded area to avoid direct sunlight. It takes longer (we know), but you'll be able to preserve your beloved linen clothes and linen bedding longer too.
TIP #4: IRON WHILE YOUR LINEN IS DAMP
Once the linen clothes or linen bedding is dry, those stubborn wrinkles are tough to get out. But, the trick to make ironing easier is to iron your clothes (and if you're daring enough, your sheets) while they are still damp. This will help your clothes maintain shape and avoid shrinkage.
TIP #5: HAND-WASH (IF STILL YOU'RE NERVOUS)
While I have washed Grae Cove linen clothes in the machine plenty of times, I also recommend hand-washing (if you're still bit cautious). This will ensure that they don't shrink or become damaged in the washing machine. You'll have more control over the water temperature and you'll treat your clothes more gently than a machine (by sloshing it around and rinsing, but never wringing your linen). But, let's be honest - this is a last resort option. I know many of you are busy with life and don't have the time to fuss with hand-washing.
Grae Cove essentials are accessibly price, but it's still an investment. With a little bit of care, your linen clothes and linen bedding won't shrink and will last for years.