Photo: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
You love the crisp, fresh look of linen clothes, and you just can't beat how cool the fabric feels in the summer weather. But the crisp appearance can also make for a stiff-feeling shirt or pair of pants, which isn't so comfy. Soften your linen to get that broken-in feeling every time you put it on.
Wash your linen clothing and wash some more. The key to softening linen is aging the fabric, which you can do through wearing and washing. Pay strict attention to the care tag regarding water temperature and drying preferences to avoid shrinking your favorite top. You can also prevent shrinkage by washing in water a few times to soften the fabric, and then sending your linen clothes out to the dry cleaners.
Make friends with the fabric softener aisle. Choose a liquid softener and add a capful to the rinse cycle of the wash load. The chemicals in the softener relax the fibers of the linen, giving you that soft feel.
Air dry linen clothes if the care tag tells you to do so, but use a little softening trick to un-crisp the stiff, crunchy garments. Pop the air-dried linen into a heat-free air cycle in your dryer. Just long enough to soften up the clothes before you wear them again. Five to 10 minutes should be plenty of time.
Avoid bleaching your linen clothes at all costs. The potent chemicals can cause the natural fibers to weaken, making your wardrobe more likely to tear or wear out. This isn't the same thing as softening at all.