We recently stumbled across an unopened box containing an exquisite double damask Irish Linen table cloth in pristine condition. A wedding present to our parents some 50 years ago, it was used for the first time at Easter '16 lunch. In the box we found a charming little pamphlet with care information which is as true today as it was then. It reads:
"There's nothing so easy to keep so lovely as Pure Irish Linen. The more it is used and laundered, the lovelier Irish linen becomes ... and it lasts a lifetime! You can please yourself about the way you wash Irish Linen --- and the wonderful results will always please you. You can take good care of your Irish linen without fussing over it. Other fabrics have so many warnings and worrying 'do's and don'ts', but not Irish Linen. You can wash Irish Linen any way you like - by hand or in the washing machine, with plain soap and water or your favourite washing preparation".
FRANCIS M. linen sheets can be machine washed up to 90°C, may be boiled for maximum sterilization, using a standard detergent - preferably one that is earth-friendly. It is best to air-dry linens rather than tumble dry and you will be surprised how quickly this happens. If you prefer your linens formally crisp, always iron whilst lightly damp to avoid fracturing the fibre.
But if you relish the caressing feel and finish of the rich wrinkle, then simply fold after drying and put away. Linen is naturally mildew resistant. A spritz of water and a straightening tug when you are read to use your linen goods will have them looking just right. Linen is the only luxury bedding material which whitens naturally in sun, and moonlight, requiring no whitening chemicals.