Colored and delicate white lines also needs some attention. Here are some guides on to wash the colored lines and how to iron the lines and tablecloths in a perfect way.
TABLE LINENS. Easy-care table mats of plastics and bamboo and fresh paper napkins have edged linen off most family dinner tables, but it still presides on important occasions. Although adapted to weaves of exquisite fineness, linen is a very tough durable fabric that lasts for years. It launders easily to a snowy whiteness and has a stiffness all its own. It accepts dyes graciously and may be bought in a lovely array of colors. There is nothing complicated about its care.
LAUNDERING. White table linens should be soaked for about twenty minutes in plain cool to lukewarm water before being laundered. Then wash all but the most delicate pieces in hot water, using an all-purpose laundry soap or heavy duty detergent. In machine washing give them eight to twenty minutes, depending upon the amount of soil.
FOR BADLY STAINED CLOTHS AND NAPKINS use household bleach in the wash water (read the label for the proper amount) then rinse thoroughly. Most stains are removed by bleaching, but there are a few stains that should be treated before linen is put to soak: candlewax drippings, wine, fruit, tea, and coffee. Instructions are given in the chapter on stain removal. Lipstick and grease stains usually wash out, but it is a good idea to pretreat them with a liquid detergent or soap. This pretreatment is especially good for grease stains on colored linens, notably dark-colored ones that tend to hide grease spots until the material is ironed.
BLUING CAN BE USED FOR WHITE LINENS, if desired, but it is not necessary because, properly laundered, they emerge dazzling white.
STARCHING IS NOT NECESSARY unless an unusual amount of stiffening is desired. Women who are really fussy about the appearance of their table linens wash them separately from cottons. This is because damasks, especially, tend to pick up cotton lint that makes them look fuzzy.
FOR COLORED AND DELICATE WHITE LINENS use warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Dry white linens in the sun, if possible, and colored ones in the shade. Hang them neatly folded over the line with their hems smoothed straight for easier ironing later never pin them by a corner.
IF LINENS ARE AUTOMATICALLY DRIED the temperature should not be too hot. Make it room temperature if you can.
TO IRON LINENS successfully, they must be thoroughly and uniformly damp much damper than cottons, otherwise they will not be smooth and glossy when they are finished. All but the thinnest and sheerest linens require quite a hot iron (linen setting) and they should be ironed until they are completely dry. If you are truly fastidious about its appearance, you will cover your ironing board with an old linen cloth to avoid dimming the sheen of your linens with lint picked up from a cotton cover. A dry iron, rather than a steam iron, is recommended for ironing linen.
TABLECLOTHS AND NAPKINS should be ironed on both sides. To iron a tablecloth fold it wrong side out, lengthwise. Iron it with the thread of the material. Refold the cloth right side out and iron it again, pressing in the center crease. Fold it lengthwise a second time, then crosswise several times without pressing the folds. One sharp crease down the center is all you want. Iron napkins first on the wrong side, beginning with the corners and getting them properly right-angled to avoid distorting the weave, then iron them on the right side. Fold large dinner napkins in thirds and small ones in squares with the edges even.
Table lines can easily be cleaned. To launder the white table linens, soak it first before washing. For badly stained cloths and napkins you can use the household bleach. Use warm water and a mild soap or detergent to wash colored and delicate white lines. Dry the colored lines under the shade. Ironing the lines needs a hot iron, and iron them until they are completely dry. Table cloths and napkins should be ironed on both sides.
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