Since linen fabrics require a gentle and careful wash, many people tend to think that drying it is a complicated process, yet we can assure you that there is no reason to worry!
You just have to keep in mind that drying your linen items correctly is part of taking good care of them and preserving them.
We will tell you everything you need to know on how to dry linen because there are some dos and don’ts and some useful tips!
How To Dry Linen Clothes?
There are many different ways to dry a linen garment, but the best one is to let it naturally air-dry!
You can for example let your linen item outside, in the fresh air, to dry it, but if you don’t have any outdoor space available you can put it in a well-ventilated area instead, it will do the job just fine!
You might also be surprised at how fast linen is drying: indeed, it is an organic fabric made with natural fibers and is one of the fastest natural fabrics to dry due to its moisture-absorbing qualities.
Even if you are washing some bigger pieces of linens like bed sheets or blankets outside, they can dry under an hour or so, especially if it is hot weather.
Remember to avoid hanging your linen items directly in the sun as this could seriously damage them or contribute to making them fade if colorful.
Simply lay your linen item out on a flat surface or hang them carefully on a drying line to prevent from shrinking and wrinkling.
You should never store linen before it is completely dry. The fabric might keep the moisture inside and be damaged because of that.
Always wait for your ferment to be fully dried to fold it or hang it in your closet. Moreover, hanging a linen dress on a hanger before it is totally dry can damage it: with the weight of the wet dress, it could be deformed – especially where your shoulders are – unless you are using a padded hanger.
Can You Dry Linen In The Dryer?
As mentioned before, since linen is a natural and organic fabric, it requires more gentle care and some precautions during the washing and also the drying process.
And when it comes to drying, you have to be extra careful with what you are doing since it is quite easy to damage the garments.
Indeed, when linen is wet, its natural fibers are more fragile and vulnerable. If not handled with care, you can cause irrevocable damages to the fabric.
However, yes, technically linen can be dried in the dryer. Yet, it should really be your last option if nothing else is available and you have no choice.
If you want to tumble dry it, set your dryer at the lowest temperature possible. If you dry it at more than 90°F (30°C) it is way too hot and will for sure cause damage and maybe even break the fibers or cause shrinkage.
Our advice would be that, after setting your dryer at the lowest temperature available and starting the drying process, you would take your linen clothes out of the machine when they are still slightly wet, just to make sure to not overdry them – over-drying can cause shrinkage.
Then, let them air dry, outside or in a well-ventilated room. With this process, it will also be easier for you if you want to iron clothes after since the wrinkles caused by machine drying won’t be fully set in the fabric.
However, you will probably notice that the care tags of your linen garments usually mention “do not tumble dry” because it is considered a harsh process this fabric that can easily damage fragile garments if not done correctly or carefully.
So avoid it as much as possible, it should not become a habit.
How To Dry Linen Without Shrinking It?
Shrinkage is usually and mainly caused by heat. So, if you dry or wash a linen garment on high heat – anything above 90°F or 30°C in this case – linen will probably shrink.
Of course, some companies pre-wash or soften their linen items to prevent shrinkage. Even if you own something made of linen that was pre-washed or softened, if you dry or wash it on high heat, it will shrink.
Pre-washing and softening only prevent the natural shrinkage that can happen in normal washing conditions.
Over drying a linen garment can also be a cause of shrinkage, thus, you need to avoid dryers as much as possible since an accident can happen very fast.
Also, keep in mind that tumble-drying linen on high heat will not only cause the fabric to shrink but will also break its natural fibers altogether.
The best way to avoid any form of shrinkage is first to carefully read the instructions on the care tag of your garment before washing it.
Then, concerning drying, it is best to let your items air-dry naturally outside or in a well-ventilated room.
How To Dry Different Linen Garments
Even though the technique to dry a linen garment stays the same no matter what it is, there are some tips and tricks to make your life easier with some items.
How to Dry Linen Dresses?
For dresses, as for almost all the other linen garments, air drying is the best and preferred technique.
You can air-dry your dress on a padded hanger or choose to lay it flat on a drying rack, depending on what is available for you.
Always make sure to use a padded hanger since any other hanger would deform the dress, especially if it is wet and heavier due to the weight of water.
Avoid dryer as much as possible and use it if it is the only option available – this should not become a habit though, machine drying should remain occasional to not damage the linen.
To preserve your dress while machine drying, our advice would be to tumble dry it for five minutes or less to help loosen the wrinkles.
Then, immediately take it from the dryer and hang it on a padded hanger or let it dry flat. Don’t over-dry it or shrinkage can happen.
How To Dry Linen Shirts?
Of course, start by taking a look at the care tag for cleaning instructions before washing or drying your item. Some linen shirts are very fragile – especially if they are vintage – and can only be dry-cleaned. As for many other linen items or delicate pieces of clothing, it is not recommended to dry them using a machine dryer.
Linen shirts are very fragile garments and tend to shrink easily, especially when exposed to high heat – anything above 90°F or 30°C. Moreover, if they have a very bright color, avoid the dryer even more since its heat and harshness can cause your garments to fade away.
The best at-home drying method for linen shirts will always be air-drying. You can lay them flat on a drying rack or hang them on a padded hanger.
How To Dry Linen Pants?
Before doing anything, take some time to read the care tag to have all the washing and drying instructions in mind.
Most of the time, tumble drying will be forbidden or strongly not recommended as they could be easily damaged by this process.
Air drying is once again the best technique. You can dry your pants flat on a drying rack or put them on a drying line.
If you have hangers made especially for pants, it is better not to use them during the drying process. Indeed, since the item will be heavier because of water, it could be deformed because of these types of hangers. Only hang your pants on them when they are fully dry.
If you want to air-dry your linen pants but do not have an outside space available, don’t worry, you can let them air dry inside in any well-ventilated room.
How To Dry Linen Skirts?
Our advice for drying linen skirts is pretty much the same as for drying linen pants: always check what the care tag advises before doing anything and avoid tumble drying as much as possible.
If your skirt has a wonderful bright color, machine drying is especially not recommended because it can cause its color to fade away quicker than in normal circumstances because of the dryer’s heat.
However, if you really want to use the dryer or if it is the only option available, set it on the lowest heat possible – maximum 90°F or 30°C.
Air drying remains the safest technique to preserve your linen skirt and keep it as good as new.
You can let it dry flat on a drying rack or hang it on a drying line. Thus, if you have the hangers made especially to hang skirts, don’t use them during the drying process since they could deform your skirt. Only use them when the skirt will be fully dried.
How To Dry Linen Bedding?
Drying your linen bedsheets or blankets can sound a bit more intimidating since they are very large items that you maybe don’t know how to handle. But this is just an illusion, it is simple!
The best solution to dry linen bedding is to hang dry your linen sheets in the fresh, windy air outside.
As always, avoid direct sunlight, especially if the linen was dyed since this can cause some damage to it or make it fade away.
Another tip we can give you when hanging your bedsheet on your drying line is to not use clothespins to avoid any unnecessary wrinkles.
You can also choose to lay the linen sheet out on a flat surface. Of course, make sure to check this surface is perfectly clean to avoid staining your freshly washed sheets.
We would also recommend covering this surface with some kind of clean cloth or towel before laying out the damp linen garment on it.
The two methods mentioned before required either an outdoor area and/or quite a lot of space.
Maybe you have neither of these but, do not worry, we have the solution for you! If for example, you live in a tiny space, you can simply hang your linen sheets over a door. Obviously, before doing so, make sure that the top of your door is clean and not dusty.
If you have a dryer, you can choose to dry your linen bedsheets in it, but be extremely careful: set it on the lowest temperature available – not more than 90°F or 30°C – so it won’t be damaged.
However, pull out the sheets before the end of the cycle, while they are still slightly damp. Then, ley them out on any flat surface available or hang them on your drying line – or over a door – to let them dry up completely.
If you wish to iron the garment afterward, you absolutely can! We recommend choosing ironing on a low temperature to prevent any damage and you are good to go!
The main idea to take from this article is simple - it is always best to air-dry linen outside or in a well-ventilated area.
We hope all our advice on how to dry linen was useful and now you will know everything about how to correctly dry and take care of your linen items at home.