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How to Soften a Scratchy Linen Fabric Easily at Home?


Linen is not new to you if you reside in a hot, humid climate where the temperature sores high most of the year-round. A lightweight and airy cloth that lets the breeze in is the best material to beat the heat in summers. With all the comforts, linen, be it a printed fabric or plain, also has a hint of scratchiness to it that makes it uncomfortable for some individuals to wear daily.

Linen is one of the hefty fabrics present in the industry that revolves in the market and is immensely popular because of its loose woven texture. The scratchy discomfort is somewhat concerning. However, the good news is that linen is the type of fabric that softens as time passes; all it takes are a few washes to turn it into a softy.

Moreover, you can always soften the linen fabric prior to using it. Although many manufacturers now soften the linen before sending their fabrics to the market, be it a clothing print or any bed sheet etc. There are always 2 ingredients in the kitchen at home, vinegar and baking soda. You can easily pre-soften your fabric using diluted vinegar with water or baking soda and water solution. Just soak your fabric in either solution overnight and dry the next morning. Here’s how to wash or pre-soften your linen fabric if it is taken by the yard or not.

Baking Soda Solution for Softening Linen Fabric Sheets/ clothing  

Baking soda solution is no less than a magic potion; it has a variety of benefits, from whitening teeth to softening sturdy clothes. Here’s how you can benefit from it for softening your fabric piece.

  • Add half a cup of baking soda with your regular clothes washing powder and place them in the machine for a regular wash.
  • You can also ditch the machine and hand wash your new linen fabric. Just fill one bucket with either warm or cold water with a cup of baking soda dissolved in it. Soak your fabric  in this bucket overnight and dry the following day. Here’s a tip – the more baking soda you will add to this concoction, the softer your clothes or sheets will turn out to be.
  • After soaking, wash in the machine like you regularly or simply rinse with water. 

Using White Vinegar to Soften Linen Fabric 

White vinegar serves as a natural cleaning agent that renders its services a perfect fabric softener. Here’s how you can use it for the said purpose:

  • When opting for machine wash for linen, you can use diluted white vinegar instead of your regular softener. You make this potion by mixing half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water.
  • Before washing, make sure to rinse the linen fabric of use be it printed or not, first in half a cup of pure vinegar. After that, you can rinse the cloth in the normal washing cycle with the powder of your own choice. 

Dryer Balls for Softening Linen Fabric?

This hack seems something out of the box, doesn’t it? Well, let’s have a closer look at this method.

Dryer balls are available in many varieties, different shapes, colors, or materials like plastic or even rubber. But the one having the most popularity is pure wool. These wool balls act as an alternative option instead of regular chemical ones. All you have to do is place 2 to 3 balls in the dryer with your linen fabric piece. This process has dual effects; firstly, it will easily soften your sheets or clothes; secondly, it will amp up the drying speed by up to 25% on the whole.

But how does this happen? The phenomenon is pretty simple, actually. These wool dryer balls placed in the dryer prevent the laundry or your linen from clumping together. This gives the fabric enough space to dry off and separate strand by strand for a softer touch.

If you don’t have access to the departmental store that has dryer balls in stock, you can also use tennis balls in its place. Strange, isn’t it? But it works just like regular dryer balls. Just make sure that the ones you opt for are unused and not soiled. 

Vigorous Washing 

Your sheets or clothes of linen go softer with each wash. However, we can’t set a number of cycles on it to tell definitely. The result is dependent on the quality and making of the linen fabric material. This material has a huge load of lint which makes it scratchy. Eventually, after multiple washes, the lint comes off, and the issue goes away. 

Which Is the Softest Linen Fabric on The Market?

We cannot name one variant as the softest linen; this quality depends mainly on the weave pattern. Here are a few most common types found:

Plain Woven Linen 

Plain woven linen fabric features a checkered or strip-like pattern that is loosely woven and portrays high durability. Its weave pattern makes this type highly absorbent which is excellent for kitchen cloth or towels.

Damask Linen 

It is the smoothest of all and carries an ornate look due to satin and plain weaves. This quality makes it the best material for decorative purposes.

Sheeting Linen 

It is a common choice for bedding materials since it has a greater thread count and a closer weave.

Final Takeaway 

Linen is a tricky material, especially with multiple variants on the market. You may find fabrics of all quality, from scratchy inexpensive ones to high quality, that will make you question any other material you have ever gone for during summers. Why don’t you contact us at Royal Motif Fabrics? We can guide  you to select the best quality material for your needs.

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