We at Pandora de Balthazár know a thing or two about maintaining the prettiness of linens so we thought we’d share our expertise when it comes to fine bedding care. We’ve become aces at extending the life of our goose-down pillows and goose-down duvets, Italian sheeting and shams, and even our antique linens and pillows so we’ll break it down for you, product-by-product, to make it easy for you to find the information that is apropos to your needs. We’re illustrating this information with lovely examples of our vintage and antique linens and fine bedding; let’s call it a bit of eye candy for your visceral pleasure!
Fine Bedding Care
Caring for the goose-down products we sell will keep you in comfort for years to come. With a bit of effort, these European Sleep System building blocks with make your dreamtime seriously dreamy.
Caring for Goose Down Pillows
Be sure to fluff your pillows every morning, and take them outside as often as possible but no less than every two-to-three-months to let the sun penetrate them, as the ultraviolet light in sunlight kills the dust mites and helps to keep each pillow fresh until it is time to launder them. This also helps to infuse the pillows with air, which needs to flow between the down and feathers inside the pillows to free them from body moisture that penetrates them while you are sleeping.
Though it’s a great help, taking the pillow outside to bask in the sunshine won’t kill all the allergens; you have to wash your pillows at least once or twice a year, depending upon your sleep habits. Sleepers who perspire heavily or anyone on medications that come out through the pores of the skin should wash them once a month. Of course, you can wash them more often if you prefer. You’ll know when it’s time because the pillows won’t fluff as fully as they did in the beginning. This is the case because dust mites and allergens increase the weight of the feathers and down, making them less fleecy.
Caring for Goose Down Duvets
This is equally true for all of our down products, including duvets and blankets, and our baby bedding. If you’d rather leave it to the pros, we offer laundry service for all of our down and feather products you purchase from us. Typically washing the pillows and duvets will bring them back to their original condition, however the feathers and down may break down from wear-and-tear over time so we also offer a service to add more content to the pillows, duvets and blankets as is needed.
Several ways to lengthen the lifetime of your down/feather products include changing your linens often: we recommend every third night and immediately following an illness. If you tend to use heavy body oils or lotions, find that you perspire heavily, have certain medical conditions or use an abundance of hair products, these can stain your linens and pillows so we recommend you use a pillow protector, or that you change your linens every two days. The higher the tread-count with linens the better performance you will glean from them, but adequate care is always at the heart of longevity.
Our pillow protectors are hypoallergenic and will keep dust mites and allergens from building up in the pillows as quickly. Always rinse twice, especially the down-filled items, and put fragile fabrics or laces in laundry bags meant for machine-washing delicate items. With the level of care we’re sharing here, except in severe cases, Pandora de Balthazár’s products will last for a very long time.
Steps for Laundering Down Bedding
And now for the step-by-step details!
Down Processing: Our careful hand gathering allows us to select the finest down, separating it from inferior material from the start. Such high quality gathering is found in only a few places around the world, and in Hungary, it is guaranteed. After gathering, our down is washed and rinsed in the purest water available, not just once but six-to-seven times. After it is sterilized, it is sorted, tested and graded to ensure that it is the highest quality product as is possible in the allergy-free category.
Given the care we take selecting our down and encasing it in the most luxurious materials available, we ask that you give them the love they deserve once you receive them. Your first order of business when your down products arrive is to allow them to air out for a couple days to freshen them before using them.
- Use a large washing machine, front loader or top loader without center agitator
- Use warm water, set to delicate cycle and soak thoroughly, rinsing at least twice
- Use mild detergent and be sure it is properly diluted.
- Air dry outside if possible or use low or medium heat in a large dryer
- Use dryer ball or clean tennis ball to help fluff the down, or it is ideal to remove and shake every 60 minutes
- Be sure it is completely dry inside and out – especially important for pillows
- Be prepared for an estimated drying time of 2 to 6 hours, depending upon the capacity of the dryer.
Caring for Our Italian Sheeting
Our Italian 600- and 1000-threadcount sheets and shams are among our most popular products and, though they likely have the most luxurious hand you will feel in bedding, they are easy to maintain. Simply machine wash and dry them on a delicate setting in warm water. Dry in dryer on low heat, or, if you want to keep them viable for a lifetime, line-dry them—shake them and smooth them, then iron them for that crisp feel you’ll love.
Store linens on hangers, never in plastic bags or on wooden shelves. Roll them in old linen if storing in a chest or cedar cabinet to keep the oil from penetrating them. This will keep all your linens supple. We highly recommend our linen soak about every other month; it is a conditioning treatment for the linens that will keep them from yellowing and help them to stay that crisp white we all love.
Caring for Antique Linens and Laces
Wash your laces, window treatments, antique shams and tablecloths—any of your linens, in fact—at least once a year, even if you have not used them in the interim. We can’t overstate this: do not let them remain in the closet for over a year without washing them! If you don’t follow our advice, dry rot could set in over time. We recommend that you wash, dry and store them without ironing if you will be putting them away for a long period of time. If you notice any damage to your linens, repair them right away so that the damage doesn’t become worse because they will become increasingly harder to repair if left un-mended.
It’s important to remember that linens need handling, as natural oils keep them flexible. Much like your skin, without care, they can become brittle, spotted and aged. If you are squeamish about cleaning them yourself, we offer hand-wash laundering services and repair/restoration services for all linens purchased from us. We can examine linens that were not purchased from us as well, in order to advise you as to whether they can repaired, or how they should be laundered.
When we see items that are in such fragile or damaged conditions that repair to their original purpose is impossible, we recommend recycling them by turning them into different items, using the areas of an antique sheet that are not damaged, for instance, to make a tablecloth. We do realize, of course, that some pieces must be considered beyond usability, as a price tag cannot be put on sentimental value.
In closing, we would like to stress that ignoring fine linens comes with this caveat: use them or lose them. If you find time and again that are not using them, recycle or gift them to someone who will love them. If you don’t know anyone, send them to us and we’ll find a great home for them. Linens are legacy products and should be passed along for future generations to enjoy. They are witnesses to our histories; portraits in thread; the gold of our foremothers and even many of our forefathers. Given our passion for them, we beg that you treat them with respect and enjoy their heritage. Linen has been with us for centuries, you know, and they will remain a part of our lives for centuries to come.