Sandra Betzina's Linen Pre-Treat Method

Sandra Betzina's Linen Pre-Treat Method

Sep 14, 2023Ann Steeves
Linen has transformed from a summer-only staple to a year-round fabric in most fashion collections. You see it in the Autumn/Winter shows going on in New York and elsewhere. For good reason: it's comfortable, it's sustainable, it breathes beautifully, and it gets softer and more lovely with age and wearing.

Many people avoid linen because they believe it to be prone to wrinkles. Yes, it is, but several years back, the wonderful sewing teacher, Sandra Betzina recommended this method for reducing wrinkles. I've used it on all my linen garments, and it really works. While it won't make your linen completely wrinkle free (and let's face it, what natural fabric is?), it softens them significantly. Here's what she recommends, with some hints from me. 

  1. Iron your linen with the hottest dry iron possible, to set a wrinkle-less finish, which is already on the fabric. (Ann's note: do this in a well ventilated area, in case there's a lot of sizing in your fabric.)
  2. Using gentle detergent, machine wash on the hottest water setting.
  3. Dry on the highest heat setting on your dryer. (Ann's note: do not use dryer sheets or dryer balls.)
  4. Remove from the dryer when bone dry. (Ann's note, remove as soon as the dryer cycle finishes.) You will notice that smaller softer wrinkles have replaced the hard crease usually associated with the fabric.

I use this method, and my linens turn out beautifully, without the hard-set creases that used to plague me. Try it, and see how you like it. And thank you, Sandra Betzina!

 Happy sewing,

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