How to pick the per­fect linens

From del­i­cate silk cov­ers to wool throws and plush vel­vet quilts, we love our lay­ers, but most of all we love real linens

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Sourcebook Bedrooms -

What are the ad­van­tages of nat­u­ral linen?

‘The great thing about linen is that it’s breath­able, highly ab­sorbent and there­fore cool in the sum­mer and warm in the win­ter,’ says Theresa Tollemache, owner of Volga Linen (vol­ga­li­nen.co.uk). ‘Not only that, but the more it is used and washed, the softer it be­comes.’ Is it eco friendly? As linen isn’t chem­i­cally treated, it is nat­u­rally hy­poal­ler­genic and re­sists bac­te­ria. It’s durable, re­cy­clable and biodegrad­able: a great eco choice.

Does linen have a thread count like cot­ton?

No. Flax fi­bre is much thicker than cot­ton, so rather than a thread count, it’s mea­sured by weight – the higher the weight, the thicker the yarn and the heav­ier the weave. From 160 gsm ( grams per square me­tre) to 180 gsm is a good weight for bed­li­nen; any­thing above that is more suit­able for ta­ble linen and up­hol­stery.

Where does the best linen come from?

‘Euro­pean linen is renowned for its su­pe­rior qual­ity,’ says Inga Lukauskiene, founder of Linen Me ( linenme.com). ‘Lithua­nia, Bel­gium and Nor­mandy in France are con­sid­ered the best cli­mates for flax pro­duc­tion. Asian pro­duc­ers of­ten mix flax with syn­thetic ma­te­ri­als or ramie (a less durable fi­bre made from net­tles), which de­creases the linen’s qual­ity and over­all ap­pear­ance.’ How do I make my linen last? ‘Hand or ma­chine wash on a cool cy­cle us­ing mild soaps,’ says Lukauskiene. For a beau­ti­fully pressed fin­ish, iron sheets while still slightly damp or if you pre­fer your linen slightly crum­pled, fin­ish in a tum­ble dryer. Store it in a dry place where air can cir­cu­late.

From top ‘Char­coal’ merino wool throw, £174, Larusi ( larusi.com). ‘Khullu’ blue scarf, £264, Car­a­vane (car­a­vane.fr). Du­vet cover in Light Grey, £79.99 for a set in­clud­ing pil­low­cases, H&M ( hm.com). Silk du­vet cover in Sil­ver Grey, £299, Gingerlily ( gin

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