I need to buy some new bed linen for my household (you might remember there are four men and me) which is always a challenge if I’m to keep everyone happy. It was fine when all three sons had Thomas the Tank Engine single duvet sets (used until embarrassingly late) and Designer’s Guild appliqued zoo animals (still my favourite). Now however, they are older and have opinions.
I had treated middleagedad and I last summer to some lovely (expensive) washed linen bedlinen for our bed. JUST our bed. The linen is softly wrinkled rather than crisply ironed which makes the bedding like a posh version of non-iron sheets. Unfortunately, youngestson got a taste for the luxurious feel of the washed linen -it does feel soft and cosy against your skin- and has suggested I might like to buy into this washed linen idea for the whole family.
Now washed linen seems to be in a number of bedlinen collections, including Toast whose new range comes in gorgeously tasteful colours that remind me of pebbles on a beach. It’s not cheap but I’ve had the brand’s brushed cotton sheets and they’ve been very good, might the washed linen keep everybody happy?
To find out a bit more about it, I questioned Tamsin Leech, senior designer at Toast to see what she had to say about the range.
What’s the difference between washed linen and the normal linen? Is one better quality than the other? Or is ‘washed’ a new trend?…
Linen bedclothes are traditionally pure, crisp and white. While these are wonderful qualities, we wanted to introduce some softness, colour and warmth to our linen bedding range. The result is our Washed Linen Bedlinen – made of the same quality fabric as our Linen Bedlinen, but each individual piece of the Washed Linen range is dyed and washed whole, ensuring a subtle colour and a softness that is usually only achieved after several repeat rounds of use and washing in your own home.
What’s the most important thing to think about if you’re going to invest in a quality linen range do you think? Are there any disadvantages to buying linen?
The very great thing about linen is how much it improves with age and wear – becoming softer and warmer the more you use it. It feels cool in summer and warm in winter, and is machine washable at high temperatures if needed. Though the initial outlay can seem large, it has a long life – a set of linen bedlinen given as a wedding present will last years. It’s also a bit of a myth that linen requires ironing after each wash – a good shake after washing will do, so long as you don’t mind your sheets a little crumpled.
Does thread count matter in linen? Is that just cotton?
People do seem to place an emphasis on thread count, but at Toast we pay closer attention to the way sheets feel to touch, and how durable the fabric is. We also prefer our bedlinen to have a bit of life – the texture of the fabric is all important.
I’m still researching bedlinen, but I’m thinking I might try this range, the colours are so lovely and Tamsin said they all mix and match together, which alleviates any annoying colour matching of bedding when it comes out of the cupboard (because I am the sort of person who has to have all bedding matching, it’s just how it is). And the idea that the wrinkles are trendy does appeal.
Anyone else bought any washed linen worth talking about? How important is quality bedlinen to you?