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How to Care for Your Luxury Table Linen | Gilly Nicolson


Caring for Your Luxury Table Linen

Through the years of spills, slips and stains, your table linen has seen decadent dinner parties thrown with close friends, celebratory family lunches and festive meals with all your loved ones in tow. So, at Gilly Nicolson, we believe it’s time to show the hardest-working pieces in your home some undivided love and attention.

Following our recent blog on caring for your luxury bed linen, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to keep your table linen beautifully laundered, spotlessly clean, wrinkle-free and, most importantly, stainless — no matter what mealtimes throw at it.

Read on to learn more.

Our Table Linen Collections

Our luxury table linen collections are available in two heavenly fabrics, each with its own distinct texture and colour options:

  • Our Panama cotton table linen is thick and elegant, made from 100% pure white and deliciously crisp cotton. Elevate your dining experience with this Michelin Star quality collection, available in tablecloths, napkins and placemats. Add individuality to every meal with Scallop edging, monogramming or beautiful lines of Corded Stitch in over 400 colours. For velvety luxury, opt for our Grosgrain Ribbon trim, available in 60 sumptuous shades.
  • Our pure linen napkin collection was created to provide a more relaxed, laidback dining affair without compromising quality. Gloriously soft and impressively durable, linen’s natural absorbency makes it ideal for mopping up spills — the perfect dinner companion for life’s little accidents. Choose from three versatile neutral shades: white, grey and taupe, and let your personality shine through with 1, 2 or 3 rows of linen Corded Stitch in your favourite colour. Why not view our cord colour library for inspiration?

Don’t forget to add the finishing touches to your table setting with our handcrafted, clay beaded napkin rings. The perfect addition to both our Panama cotton and pure linen collections, each napkin ring is unique, hand painted and made to order. Available in gold, white and grey.

Now, without further ado, let’s get cleaning.

How to Wash Your Table Linen

When it comes to washing your luxury cotton table linen, less is more.

If using your linens daily, we recommend spot cleaning as and when stains appear and reserving a deep clean for once a month. But life’s messy, we get it, and if you’re sharing your meals with children, you may need to launder your cotton fabric more frequently. 

We recommend washing your table linen at 40˚C on a medium spin for best results. To remove food stains, especially tomato-based or oily ones, opt for a heavy-duty detergent to help lift marks more easily. Many laundry detergents contain bleaching agents, or ‘optical brighteners’, which can eventually lead to colour fade for non-white fabrics like our pure linen napkins. To avoid, choose natural cleaning products where possible.

How to Dry Your Table Linen

Give your table linen a good shake straight out of the washing machine to help stop wrinkles from forming. If you’re happy the detergent has done its job, and the stains are gone, you can pop your linens in the dryer. However, heat will make stain removal more difficult, so if any pesky stains persist, treat them again before drying.

Tumble dry your table linen on medium-high heat or hang up to be air dried inside. If possible, resist hanging your linen outside — while we all adore that freshly dried, outdoor smell, the sun’s rays can ‘yellow’ white cotton, resulting in discolouration.

How to Iron Your Table Linen

For beautifully smooth table linen without a wrinkle in sight, remove from the dryer or line when still slightly damp and iron on the reverse using low-medium heat. This will help protect the cotton’s integrity and your gorgeously customised Corded Stitch or Grosgrain Ribbon trim. Both our Panama cotton and pure table linen collections iron effortlessly, giving crisp, neat and silky soft results every time.


Table Linen Stain Removal Guide

No matter how luxurious, fancy or rarely used your white cotton table linen is, stains remain an occupational hazard. But don’t panic — armed with a few essential tips (and some heavy-duty cleaning products), vexing imperfections will be a thing of the past. You’ll need:

    • Salt — an effective pre-treatment, salt can be sprinkled on problem areas to help stop stains from penetrating deeper into linen fibres. Simply cover problem stains in this everyday essential and leave to get to work for 10 minutes before soaking and/or washing your table linen as soon as you can. Remember, the longer you leave a stain unrated, the more difficult it becomes to remove!

    • Vinegar — to remove stubborn coffee or red wine stains from your table linen, vinegar is indispensable for gentle yet effective cleaning. Simply fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar, douse the affected area and gently rub to help lift the stain before laundering as usual. Repeat as necessary.


    • Baking Soda — another store cupboard staple to help gently remove stains is baking soda. Sprinkle some onto a damp sponge and gently rub the affected area before rinsing with cold water. If the stain persists, repeat as necessary before popping in your machine with your usual detergent.

Prevention may be better than cure, but when it comes to mealtimes, we believe being present with loved ones and fully indulging in a glorious meal are far more important than anxiously following the journey of a too-full gravy boat. So, stock your cupboard with the above care essentials and get on with tempting those taste buds at every breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Make Memories at Every Meal, with Luxury Dining Pieces from Gilly Nicolson

For many families, the dining room is the heart of the home. Adorn your dinner table with our bespoke table linen collections, customised to your exact colour and trim specifications. And for extra luxury, explore our tableware pieces — from our nature-inspired Portuguese crockery handcrafted by artisans to our 24K gold-plated cutlery, complete with a gorgeous sea-blue resin handle. 

Upgrade your dining experience today and discover the essence of the individual at Gilly Nicolson.

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