Linens Buying Guide
Most homes have a linen closet that stores all the family linens. Buying that linen can be an enjoyable experience and as much fun as using it.
There are so many different kinds of linens available today, ranging from your basic white sheets to designer sheets and towels. You need to make your selections wisely and start stocking your own linen closet.
You may want to monogram your linens. Monogramming can be done on almost any linens including towels, bed sheets, pillow cases, napkins, tablecloths, just about anything. Monogramming can be with your name or initials. These days you can choose what ever you would like.
When buying bed sheets, look at the quality of the sheet, the thread count and the type of material. Make sure that you know the size of the bed you are buying for, whether it be king, queen, full or twin. Consider the colors that you have chosen in the room and then start searching for a pattern that you like.
You will need to get flat sheets, fitted sheets, pillowcases and maybe a duvet cover. Consider looking at other matching items like curtains, pillow and bed skirts or dust ruffles. You may purchase these in a set or mix and match colors or patterns to create something different for your liking.
Consider buying a good quality mattress pad as well as high quality pillows for your bed. You may want to purchase extra pillow or throw pillows for your bed, as they add a nice touch and can be used when guests come as well.
For towels, again, choose a pattern or color that will compliment your bathroom colors. Look at various towel brands and check out the quality and the type of materials used. You will need to get bath towels, hand towels and washcloths. Consider purchasing some fingertip towels as well, as guest towels for parties.
Look at the bathroom rugs and other accessories like toilet seat covers to go with your towels. Be sure that the colors and patterns go together.
You should consider your china pattern when picking out tablecloths and cloth napkins. Selecting a tablecloth that compliments your dishes will help make your table look inviting and create a beautiful look. Make sure that you know what size tablecloth you need. You may need to measure your table with all your leaves in it in order to get the proper size tablecloths.
When purchasing your tablecloth, look at the selection of runners as well. A runner can give your table a nice look with out using a full tablecloth. You can also use a runner with a tablecloth to add some color. Also, make sure that you purchase enough cloth napkins. You should have enough for each place setting of your china as well as extras. Sometimes you can use a napkin in the breadbasket to create a consistent look.
You should look at both cotton and linen tablecloths. Linen is usually lighter than cotton and tends to have a sort of crisp feel to it. Linen is absorbent and is lint-free. Cotton is durable and absorbent. Cotton can shrink so you need to check care instructions.
Fine linens are made from high quality materials and are carefully crafted. Look at the seams and the patters to see the workmanship. The design or the pattern in the fabric will be of high quality workmanship with fine linens.
With fine linens, when you hold the tablecloth up in the light all threads will be uniform and there will be no stubs or knots or rough spots. Check to see how the piece was finished off, the seams should be straight and edges turned and sewed with uniform size stitches.
Make sure that you know how to care for your linens. Check the labels and then be careful about mixing colors in the washing machine. Some table clothes require dry cleaning, which can be expensive. You may want to purchase some cotton, less formal tablecloths that you can just throw into the washing machine. Some are wash and use, without ironing required.
Get your linen closet stocked with sheets, towels and tablecloths. Take care when washing your linens and you will have them to use for a long time to come.
Article By Karla Soule, June 2004.