Like wine and quality leather, fine bed linens fall into the category of things that only improve with age. Our all-natural linens are an heirloom product, expertly crafted artisanal textiles that start out beautiful and only grow softer, smoother, and more comfortable with each use & wash, built to stand the test of time.

Wrinkling

The only way to achieve low- or no-wrinkle sheeting is to either heavily chemically treat the fabric (often with formaldehyde) or cut the fibres with a high percentage of polyester, neither of which will ever be the case with our linens. With that in mind, there will be a wrinkle factor, which we regard as a sign of quality, all-natural bedding! Luckily wrinkling will reduce significantly with time, and can be easily minimized with proper care.

TIP: for a wrinkle quick-fix, mist your linens with water or linen spray until damp and smooth out with the palm of your hand.

Softening

The beauty of artisanal bed linens is that they only improve with time, taking on more body, smoothness, and softness with each use & wash. While your new sheeting will feel great out of the package, they simply can't compare to the feel of your well-loved pieces that have had plenty of time to relax and break in. Your new sheets will get there - we promise! - it just takes a bit of time and patience while you allow the fabric to "break in."

TIP: distilled white vinegar is a natural clarifier & fabric softener. Add 1/2 cup to your rinse cycle for natural softening.

Sizing

With over 40 years of experience under our belts, we are keenly aware of the rates at which our natural fabrics shrink (and trust us, they will shrink!). We use this knowledge to calculate the correct amount of extra fabric to build into our bedding. Of course extra fabric will = an oversized fit, but this will correct itself over the first few months of use and washing; the sheeting simply needs time to reach its full shrinkage potential. Trust the process!

TIP: the fitted sheet is usually the most noticeably oversized out of the package. Tightly tuck extra fabric under the mattress all around for a more snug fit.

How to Care for Linens

Proper care is key to ensuring your bed linens feel amazing and stand the test of time. Au Lit Fine Linens owner & bedding expert, Joanna Goodman, discusses the ease of laundering your linens and how to keep them looking beautiful for years to come.

Watch Video

FAQs

How can I expect my bedding to shrink if I'm not using the dryer?

Even in the absence of high heat, natural fibres will shrink. Through production and use, the fabric experiences a natural degree of stretching and will revert back to its natural state when wet. Heat exacerbates shrinkage and can lead to excessive shrinkage, though natural fabrics will shrink even if not exposed to high heat.

Why is my new linen bedding shedding so much lint?

Why do my new sheets feel different from the same ones I bought a few years ago?

New sheeting will never feel quite as soft and supple as its well-loved counterparts, even if the exact same material, weave, and thread count. This is because natural fabrics "break in" over time with use and washing (think how a new pair of jeans takes time to break in for a flawless fit). Your new sheeting will absolutely come to feel the same as your older sets as time goes on and those fibres relax .

Prevent Pilling

Dreaded pilling happens when those tiny natural fibres break and ball up on the ends, but it can be prevented! Here are our top tips:

  • Wash all Cotton Satin linens in cold water before use to set the fibres.
  • Do not use caustic soaps, bleaches, Persil, or Woolite detergents, which can be very harsh on fabric. We recommend gentle detergents like Sunlight, Ivory, and Le Blanc.
  • Sleep in nightwear made with natural fabrics, as synthetic PJs are one of the biggest causes of pilling.
  • Do not wash with any articles that are heavy or coarse - such as bathmats, towels, or denim - as they can scour the fabric.
  • Acne medications and whitening toothpastes contain chemicals that will bleach almost everything.

Other Factors

Type of Fabric

Cotton percales and cotton/linen blends have heartier fibres and weaves, while cotton sateen is a more delicate fabric and will wear a bit more quickly. Cotton sateens should always be washed on cold first to help set the fibres and extend the life of the linens, but a finer, silkier sheet will typically have a shorter lifespan than a more durable fabric.

Sheet Rotation

The rotation or cycling of your sheeting will have a direct impact on their lifespan. If you’re using the same set continuously, it will wear more quickly than if it is being rotated with another sheet set or sets. We always recommend rotating at least 2 sets of sheets to prevent premature wear and to keep your bedding fresh.

Type of Sheet

Sheeting that experiences more friction will wear faster, so it is often the case that fitted sheets and pillowcases will wear more quickly and be the first to need replacing.