Specialist Jane Sacchi tells us what to look for when investing in antique linen:

  • Linen improves with age, acquiring its soft sheeny patina that makes it so sought after. It’s extremely hard wearing and should last at least two to three generations so store as you would any bedlinen (guard against moths with natural repellants like cedar and lavender).

  • Look out for linen that’s worn thin – hold it up against the light and if it’s too transparent, then don’t buy it.

  • If you can’t afford a whole set, start with a pair of pillowcases which will feel so soft against your face.

  • Wash antique linens in the washing machine but don’t tumble dry. Allow to dry naturally if possible, and best to iron it just as its slightly damp (if it dries fully then damp it down but allow it to establish a uniformity of humidity before ironing). Iron any linens with embroidery face down on a towel so that the detail isn’t flattened.

  • When buying antique linen, keep an eye out for your own monograms, otherwise try to pick ones that feel more personal (your Granny’s initials, for example)

  • The most sought after antique linen is generally 18th-19th century French but it’s becoming harder to find; Irish and Scottish linen is a fabulous alternative as it is very fine, very high quality.

August 29th, 2009

Posted In: Top Tips

Tags: ,