Bedlinen care with The White Company

vanessa hurley pereraLast week we talked to Vanessa Hurley-Perera, head buyer for bedlinen at The White Company and discovered that she has slightly OCD tendencies when it comes to bedlinen…which only endeared us too her more and of course, makes her a great buyer. So if like us you want to know more about how to look after your bedlinen, then join the gang and read on.

So Vanessa, how do you look after your bedlinen at home?

I’ll wash my linen weekly, and then tumble dry it. Tumble drying your bedlinen is the best way to dry it if you can, but never dry it completely, when it feels hot and damp that’s the best time to take it out. Give it a really good shake and then fold it into four ready to iron.

vanesa folding

You are assuming here that everyone will iron their bedlinen….
Well I HAVE to iron mine! At home I have a big steam iron with a pressurised water tank, the trick is to iron bedlinen when it’s slightly damp because once it’s bone dry the memory is locked and it’ll be really hard to iron out that memory…

I’ll put the folded duvet on the ironing board and go all down one of the folded sides, not getting too close to the edge so I don’t form a sharp crease…(and I know I’m sounding OCD) then I’ll flip it over, iron the back the same way and then turn the fold so I can see the inside and if there were any major lines I’d give that a quick press.

When I put the bedlinen on the bed, I’ll steam out any tiny lines…I know you are laughing at me now….

We’re not laughing at you Vanessa, but we are wondering when you get the time to do this?

I know…I do get teased about it at work but it’s so normal for me! I make the time by being organised about storing my linen. What used to really do my head in was the different sized beds in our house, I was always getting the wrong sized sheets out and it drove me mad. So now I have a system…..

When you’re not going to use the bedlinen right away, fold the duvet and the correct sized sheet and all but one of the pillowcases up together and put everything in the last pillowcase. Then at home I have organised it so my bottom laundry shelf has super king, my middle shelf has king and so on so each shelf has different sizes and a full set is in each pillowcase. Finding everything that goes with it is then easy and it saves me enough time to iron it….

What about washing, do you use a high temperature?

I think the way detergents work nowadays theres no need to boil the hell out of things, if you have small children it might be different. Detergents are so advanced now that if you wash your bedlinen on a weekly basis there’s no need to go above 30 unless its heavily soiled.

if you look after your bedlinen and keep your feet in good condition, then it should last a long time..

What do you mean keep your feet in good condition?

Well we’ve found that customers who don’t look after their feet, who have hard skin or long toenails for example, can wear through their bedlinen more quickly. it’s the same if you have jewellery you don’t take off, or if you are the type of person that is a restless sleeper, you might find it wears the fabric more quickly.

folded bedlinen

So there you have it. If you need me I’ll be reorganising my laundry cupboard for the next few hours…..

Bedlinen being folded here is The White Company Belgian Washed Stripe Linen


  • Joy says:

    I love bedlinen from the White Company – the more it’s laundered the softer it gets.

    I also iron my linen and this article made me smile – one of the nicest things my partner said when I moved in to live with him was that I brought order to the airing cupboard!!

    Now, can Vanessa give us a masterclass in ironing fitted sheets please?!

  • Anna says:

    I think this lovely lady might cry if she were ever to catch a glimpse of my airing cupboard. I do not iron bed linen and am a bit half hearted at folding it, the best description of the cupboard is a place where things are bunged. My next confession is worse, I do not change everyone’s sheets weekly. There it’s out, the shame.

  • Leanne says:

    Think I will stick with all the lovely sunshine here in QLD for drying my sheets! I just love the smell I know it cant be sunshine I can smell but I like to think it is.

  • Amanda says:

    Joy, I’m with you, I can’t sleep on a pillowcase that hasn’t been ironed! Anna, your shame is safe with us, and Leanne we’ve kinda forgotten what constant sunshine feels like in the UK….Ax

  • Ruth says:

    For me it’s a must that bed linens should be ironed, it just feels itchy when not.

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