To help you understand the different types of linens available and what you'll need for your bedroom, kitchen and bathroom
AsktheDecorator.com host Meghan Carter brings in an expert.
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Meghan Carter: Linens are an essential part of our everyday home. We use them on eating, sleeping and grooming. And to learn the best linen line up for any home, I’m here to speak with Allan Jesseman, the creative director at Anichini.
I’m hitting the road searching for answers and finding great design. It’s a quest for beauty, function and of course inspiration.
Let’s start from basics, what are linens?
Allan Jesseman: Linens are kind of the generic term that we used to describe home furnishings that are made up of fabric. And we probably call them linens because at one point the most common fabric for all of these things was a hundred percent linen. Now, most of what we use is cotton but we still use the term linens. So, you would have bed linens, table linens and bath linens would be your three major categories.
Meghan Carter: And what are the essential linens that people would need in their home?
Allan Jesseman: For bed linens, you would probably always want to have two sets of sheets that you rotate so that you get a longer wear from them.
Meghan Carter: You get a longer ear from rotating your sheets?
Allan Jesseman: Yes, it’s kind of the same principle as winter and summer tires. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of them if you change them. So that you are washing one set and then putting it in your linen closet and you have the other set on the bed and you rotate back and forth between those two.
Meghan Carter: Why is that?
Allan Jesseman: It gives the fibers a chance to rest and they retain more strength that way and last longer. And you can also have seasonal sheets which might be—they could be very similar weights but maybe the colors were different because you like cooler colors in the summer time and warmer colors in the winter time.
Meghan Carter: That’s a good point.
Allan Jesseman: Or it could be actually the weights of them. You might have and do they cover for the winter if it’s made up of a heavier warmer fabric than the lighter weight one that you use for summer. The biggest category in sheeting is of course cotton sheets. There are linen sheets which are wonderful for warm climates because linen breathes the best of any fiber. It breathes better than—and weeks away moisture better than cotton.
Meghan Carter: Which will keep you cool.
Allan Jesseman: Which will keep you cool. There is little more high maintenance and they’re a little bit more expensive. And then at the opposite end from line would be silk sheets which are wonderful in winter because they insulate better than linen or cotton.
Meghan Carter: I wasn’t expecting that.
Allan Jesseman: Yes. And so, those are two things that some people would say to have a truly complete sheeting wardrobe. You need linen for hot weather in the summer time. You need silk for winter and then you need cotton for your everyday kind of wardrobe. But you can certainly within cotton, there are enough choices that anybody—you can suit anybody’s taste within a range of cottons.
Meghan Carter: All right so we have our bedroom all set up. We got our two pairs of sheets. We have got our seasonal. I guess comforters versus the other stuff. What are you needed in the bathroom?
Allan Jesseman: In the bathroom, you probably want at least two or three sets of towels and which would include your washcloth, a hand towel, a bath towel, a bath sheet.
Meghan Carter: What’s a bath sheet?
Allan Jesseman: A bath sheet is an extra large that towel but you can really wrap around you after getting out of a shower. It’s just really big and generous and wonderful.
Meghan Carter: That comes in handy when it’s cold.
Allan Jesseman: Yes, yes. And those generally what we use in America for toweling is all terry toweling. And a lot of the best terry toweling is Turkish terry made in turkey in they’re famous for it. But another alternative which is really great especially in the summer time or in warm climates or human climates, Italians and Europeans make wonderful linen towels which when we see them we tend to think of it as kitchen towel or dish towel. But the reason that a lot o