Can You Steam Linen Clothes, or Should You Iron Them?

Can You Steam Linen? Is It Better To Iron or Steam Linen

What is linen? A magical fabric that lets you breathe in summer and keeps you effortlessly chic in winter.

Clothing is something you invest in after careful consideration and several thoughts. One wrong colour pick or fabric choice can lead to utter discomfort and disappointment. When it comes to fabric selection, few match up to the goodness of linen. Its breathability, comfort, and luxurious finish make the fabric a favourite of many. Whether you are searching for a summer fit or a winter favourite, linen outfits make for a stylish look every time.

However, the tough part is yet to come. Retaining your clothes’ finish and quality is paramount to ensure its timeless appeal. So, what happens when it comes to taking care of linen? Can you steam linen clothes, or is ironing the way to go? In this blog, we will explore the process of steaming linen and discuss some of its advantages.

The Wonders of Steaming Linen

Linen is a super soft and natural material known for its sweat-resistant and anti-bacterial properties. However, it is also a fabric that becomes stubborn at times. Smoothening the wrinkles can be a tough chore but not impossible to attain. Normally, you can easily launder linen clothing at low temperatures, but tumble dry isn’t recommended for after-wash maintenance.

So, how do we go about it?

Can you steam linen clothes? Absolutely yes! Steaming linen is a reliable solution as it evens out the fabric and eliminates creases without much struggle. A steamer is not only safe but also a cost-effective solution to handle your delicate fabrics. That’s why when dry cleaners bring your linen clothes, they look fresh as new.

Read More: Does Linen Wrinkle Easily – How To Prevent Linen From Wrinkling?

Relationship Between a Linen and a Steamer

When it comes to linen, its characteristic strong creases can often be a bit of a conundrum, refusing to budge even under the might of a traditional iron. This leaves many wondering: can you steam linen clothes? The answer is yes. However, before diving headfirst into steaming, there are several crucial factors to consider

You always need to ask yourself a few questions before commencing steaming Linen. 

  • Which steamer are you using? 

  • What’s the intensity of the crease? 

  • Which category of thread count of linen are you using? 

  • Is it a dress, bedsheet, or tablecloth?  

These factors play an important role, and you must have a proper answer to these before beginning to steam linen. 

What are the Advantages of Steaming Linen Clothes?

Your linen laundry loves steaming, and here’s why: 

  • Removes Creases: Linens wrinkle easily, and they require tough competition. Steam can relax the fabric and release wrinkles without much effort. It brings your clothes back to their natural form so that you can style them stress-free.

  • Fresh Texture: There are some clothes which are “dry-clean” only. If you start steaming your linens at home, this will not only bring your maintenance cost down but also keep the clothes fresh between washing and wearing. This provides a professional finish to your outfits and offers a deep clean.

  • Safe and Gentle Process: If you iron linen, it leads to direct contact while a steamer doesn’t get in touch with the fabric directly and minimises any chances of creasing or burning. Its heat is not intense and even delicate fabrics can withstand it easily.

  • Eliminates Odour: Another problem with clothes is that they can leave behind a particular odour. That is where steaming comes in handy. It not only removes any allergens but also kills bacteria, making it suitable for hypoallergenic people. Any odour built from your sweat is targeted, and your clothes smell fresh.

  • Convenience: Steaming is quicker and simpler than other care methods. You don’t have to set up additional equipment or get into the struggle of temperature settings. All you have to do is hang the garment and work up the steam!

  • Safe for Embellishments: Linen clothing with embellishments and details needs to be handled with care. They can be damaged while you iron the fabric. Instead, steaming is a safer solution. It doesn’t put the buttons, adornments, or intricate embroidery at risk.

  • Portable Choice: Handheld steamers are compact and easy to handle. If you are travelling and need to steam your clothes before wearing them, a steamer will be the right choice.

What are the Disadvantages of Steaming Linen Clothes?

While steaming linen clothes is a desirable option to prevent creases and eliminate stinkies, there are still some cons to it: 

  • Time-consuming: If you begin steaming every garment, it can take up a lot of your time. For people who are seeking convenience, ironing is a preferred choice. It is comparatively easier and quicker.

  • Not 100% Effective: When you want to eliminate light creases, a steamer is your partner. But when it comes to deeply set or stubborn wrinkles, you might start struggling. In this situation, you would have to switch to professional pressing or ironing.

  • Lacks Precision: Areas like cuffs, hems, and collars are rigid and require rigorous care. Unlike ironing, steaming cannot focus on targeted areas. This proves to be a drawback, especially if you want a professionally neat look.

  • Expensive: A regular iron is cheap, but a steamer is expensive, and some of them are not even easy to carry. So, if you are travelling and require steaming your linen, this is not a convenient choice for most of you.

  • Residue Moisture: A steamer requires water to work effectively. This means that if you are steaming linen on a hot and humid day, the garment may stay a little damp. When left untreated, this can also lead to the growth of mould and mildew.

  • Chances of Damage: Linen, being a natural fabric, is not resistant to excess heat. Your clothes can get damaged when they come in contact with steam. In case you keep the steamer too close to the fabric,  it can also lead to distortion, scorching, or shrinkage.

If these disadvantages have led you to ask can you steam linen clothes, the answer is still yes. It all depends on the right method and steamer.

Read More: Does Linen Shrink In The Dryer?

Different Types of Steamers to Steam Linen

You can steam linen to even out the creases, but the question is, “Which steamer to select?”. There are a few options that are tailored to suit your needs:

  • Handheld Steamer: This is a lightweight and portable garment steamer, ideal for small jobs. They are convenient for quick steaming and don’t require professional understanding for use.

  • Standing Steamer: This floor-length garment steamer is slowly becoming a popular choice. This large unit has a water reservoir and a seam nozzle at the top. Ideal for comfortably steaming elaborate linens like gowns and suits, it is often used for special purposes.

  • Steam Press: Steam press is similar to a flat iron and is commonly used for pressing large fabrics. It has a flat surface that works well with sheets and mats. 

  • Steam Iron: There are a few steam iron equipment that have vertical functions. Hold the iron and release the steam so that your garments freshen up instantly.

  • Commercial Cabinet: This is a steaming-equipment used by hotels and laundries. It is an industrial-grade cabinet which can instantly handle multiple linens at one go. The cabinet is specifically designed for heavy-duty use.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Steam Linen

Steaming brings you perfection. But to achieve that level, what you desire is precision. A step-by-step guide on how to steam linen will give you a clear understanding.

  • Fill the water reservoir with normal tap water. Make sure that your steamer doesn’t have any blockage and is clean.

  • Add any attachments on the steamer, if required. Also, make some area in your room for proper steaming so that there is no shortage of space.

  • Turn on the steamer and let it reach the desired heat level. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for safety.

  • Lay or hang the cloth, depending on the type of type of steamer you are using. Make sure that the fabric is evenly spread on the surface for maximum efficiency.

  • Keep the steamer about 1 inch away from the fabric. If it is in direct contact, the material can burn. Start from the top and move your way to the bottom. Be consistent in this practice.

  • Keep the cloth straight and move your steamer in a vertical direction. If you are steaming heavy fabrics, move the machine consistently till the creases are removed.

  • Once there are no more wrinkles, let the cloth air-dry for the final touches. After that, store it immediately in your wardrobe.

Steam or Iron Linen: Picking the Right Method

In the battle of whether you can steam linen clothes or if ironing is the option, it all depends on your clothes and requirements. For linens, steaming is a preferred choice as it doesn’t damage delicate fabrics.

A steamer is ideal for when you want to eliminate the creases from a soft cloth. But if you are awaiting a crisp collar or sleeve cuff, the debate of whether to steam or iron linen is won by the latter. If you opt for steaming, you will not have to worry about storage space. They are compact and travel-friendly.

So, in case you are wondering if it is better to steam or iron linen, align your requirements and decide accordingly.

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