Stonewashed Bed Linen & How to Take Care of It

As those who’ve experienced it will tell you — there’s nothing quite like sleeping on natural, pure stonewashed bed linen! Buttery soft, naturally breathable and cool to the touch, stonewashed linen holds a texture that exudes timeless grace.

In its raw state, however, linen has a thicker and slightly scratchy feel, owing to the extra durable fibres of the flax plant it’s fashioned from. Traditionally, this type of linen was handed down as an heirloom, surviving for generations, where it hit a certain ‘softness sweet spot’ decades into its life-cycle. 

While this ‘linen of old’ is still available, it’s generally considered too uncomfortable for modern bedding — at least in its early stages. 

Stone washing accelerates the ‘wearing in process’ of linen, delivering maximum softness, suppleness and vintage fade prior to sale. What this means is that your product is ‘sleep ready’ and beautiful from day one, as it does not have to go through years of washing to get to this stage. 

Stonewashed linen has a much shorter life-span than the flax linen handed down to your great grandmother. You can expect your fitted/bottom sheet to last 18 months and more as this is the linen that will experience the most "wear". This is the case for all linen stonewashed 165gsm bought in Australasia.

Caring for stonewashed linen

The first thing to note is that stonewashed linen requires a little extra love than raw linen to stay at it’s best. In practice this means doing things like:

  • avoiding repeated same day wash and wear cycles — particularly on fitted/bottom sheets that cover high-contact areas.
  • using two to three sets of sheets on rotation. 
  • hand washing and soaking your linen sheets — where possible — to avoid the agitation of constant machine cycles.
  • paying attention to the washing agents you use. Pure flax linen is best paired with gentle soaps and detergents.
  • using the gentle cycle on your washing machine; making sure your linen is able to move freely inside the machine.
  • line dry in shade — where possible — to  improve the longevity of your linen.
  • Linen always has wrinkles. If you want to iron, use a warm setting and press when slightly damp.

How do we stonewash our linen?

Unlike some producers, who employ harsh chemical combinations to achieve a stone-washed effect, we choose to use real natural stone — Pumice to be precise. 

Once the linen weaving process is complete, our pure flax linen is placed in a large machine washer with the Pumice stones. As the cycle progresses the textile is pummeled by the stones, giving it flexibility and ever so slightly loosening it’s weave. The end result is a product that’s both beautifully textured, luxurious and uniquely comfortable.

Kate & Prue xx