Linen is a beautiful, natural fabric that has a variety of uses, the most popular being window treatments and clothing. It has a softness in both texture and the way it filters the light, diffusing it to create a soft glow in the room. Interestingly, the care for both linen window treatments and linen clothing are remarkably similar.
The fabric is made from a plant called flax. While it may appear filmy and delicate, it is actually pretty durable and definitely up to the challenge of daily wear. With periodic cleaning and a little regular maintenance, your linen window treatments will last a long time and look gorgeous doing it. However, while it is for the most part easy to maintain, there are a few things to keep in mind when you choose lovely linen for your home.
How is Linen Used in Window Treatments?
Linen is found in many different types of window treatments. There are linen drapes which are opaque and often lined, and linen sheers which are semi-transparent and not lined. Linen is also a popular fabric for many types of blinds and shades such as Roman shades, roller shades, and woven shades. They are a beautiful, affordable way to
Can linen drapes be washed?
Linen is one of the few window treatment fabrics that can be washed at home. Cotton is another. The natural fibers actually get softer each time you wash it which only adds to the beautiful effects of the flow of the material and diffused effect of light.
You can send your linen sheers or drapes out to be cleaned, but it is possible to do it at home as well. If washing drapes, you should vacuum them first, especially if you are hand washing them. Pretreat any spots or stains with a stain remover. Always do a color test if you have never used that pre-treat on your drapes before to make sure it does not affect the color. If the drapes are unlined or if they are sheers, you can wash them in the washing machine on the delicate cycle in cold water. Use a mild detergent like Woolite to gently clean them.
If you have lined linen drapes, it is probably best to send them to the dry cleaners. The lining can be problematic in the washing machine. Washing by hand is an option though. You can also steam the drapes and spot clean.
How do you clean linen blinds?
Linen blinds and shades can be cleaned at home and require little upkeep. You don’t want to wash linen too often because it will very soft, causing it to lose its shape.
Regularly vacuum both sides of your blinds or shade to reduce the need for actual cleaning. Make sure you take extra care to get in the pleats and creases. These tend to collect more dust so if you have swags, cornices, cascades, and valances, make sure you are getting into every little nook and cranny.
Once you have vacuumed your shades or blinds, inspect them to make sure they don’t have any damage like tears, broken or loose string loops, drooping hems or torn stitching. Make any needed repairs then spot clean any areas that are soiled using a mild detergent.
If you are cleaning pleated linen shades, remove them from the window and lay them flat to vacuum and clean. Treat soiled areas by using a mild cleaner and using a damp sponge to gently rub parallel with the pleats. Take care that you do not wrinkle to crush the fabric. Pat dry with a clean cloth and let dry completely before rehanging.
Roman shades require similar care, but you should only wash them when they are actually dirty and need to be cleaned. Begin by removing the dowels from flat shades. You can remove the strings or leave them attached. Follow the fabric instructions for washing and hang to dry. If there are any wrinkles you can steam them or press with a cool iron.
Bring some natural beauty to your home with custom linen drapes, sheers, and blinds from Valley Drapery & Upholstery. Contact us today and let one of our talented, creative designers help you find the hidden beauty within your home.