It’s that time of year again; time to refresh the table linens. Generally, during the cold weather I like to take the time to refresh and clean all the linens that have been hanging in the closet since their last use. I always like to hang the linens on a nice hanger to avoid wrinkles. Some people, who have the space recommend rolling the linens and using acid free paper. To be honest, I just don’t have the space for this. I like to give the linens a wash on the delicate cycle (be sure and place them in a delicates washing bag). If you don’t have a small bag for them, you can pick them up at any store that sells laundry products. I dry the linens on a delicate cycle, then my favorite part, the ironing. Press the linens and hang them on their hanger. What about those linens that have matching napkins? How do you hang them?
In the event of the matching napkin set, I have two ways I handle this situation. For the first method, I often use a gallon size plastic bag. I place the napkins in the plastic bag, and then make a small hole in the top of the bag. Slide the hole in the plastic bag over the top of the hanger and things are ready to go. If you have a linen addiction, like I know some people do, this may take up too much space. Equally, you may also find that you have cloth napkins that do not have a matching tablecloth, not to mention those small cocktail napkins from the vintage sell that you simply could not pass up. What about all of these?
For non-partnered napkins, doilies, and dresser scarves, try this method. I came to this idea recently when the linen closet was packed so tightly that I feared a scene out the Flintstones. You know the one where Fred opens the closet door and suddenly bowling balls, golf clubs, and a few spare pterodactyls rush to escape the tight quarters. I was walking in a store and saw the smaller chest of drawer which have four compartments. These models are somewhat slim and fit nicely in a small space in addition to being relatively low priced. I decided one drawer could be used for napkins with a match (still in the plastic bags), one drawer for non-matched napkins, one for cocktail napkins, and finally the fourth drawer can be used for doilies, runners, and table scarves.
At this point you may ask, why all the linens? I will be the first to admit, I find that very much like Kermit the Frog, I’ve found that it “ain’t” easy being green. Yet, there is one thing that makes green simple, cloth napkins and table clothes. Think of the amount of paper used when you set the table with paper napkins. Then when you clean up the table at night, paper towels are often invovled. With the table cloth, you catch the spills and crumbs, simply wash; the same is true for the cloth napkins.
I hope these little tips have been helpful. Just wait, soon we will talk about where to purchase some great vintage linens and how to clean them. By the way, the Charlotte Antique and Collectable show is this weekend!