Universal Care Instructions

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Acrylic:   Never use window or glass cleaner, ammonia products, or other chemical sprays on acrylic. Wipe with a clean, damp, non-abrasive cloth.

Glass:  Apply a simple glass cleaner and a soft, lint-free cloth as needed. Avoid getting chemicals on surrounding materials.

Wood:   Use non-absorbent coasters to protect surface. Dust often with a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid saturating wood. Wipe with a slightly damp cloth to remove loose particles and dust. When necessary, use a mild soap and water to clean surfaces and finish with a dry cloth immediately.

Metal:    Use non-absorbent coasters to protect surface. Wipe occasionally with a soft, damp, lint-free  cloth. Finish with a dry cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive fabrics.

Marble:  Use non-absorbent coasters to protect surface. Wipe occasionally with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth. Finish with a dry cloth. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners.

Bone:  Use non-absorbent coasters to protect surface. Wipe occasionally with a soft, lightly damp, lint free cloth. Finish with a dry cloth. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners.

Resin: Wipe with a solution of warm water and dish soap using a soft, lint-free cloth. Rinse with water and dry completely to avoid water stains.

Linen: We recommend dry-cleaning this item to help retain its color and integrity. Spot-clean with a saltwater solution when necessary, though avoid using harsh chemicals. Iron on linen setting or when slightly damp.

Cotton/Canvas: Spot-clean with a soft-bristled toothbrush to preserve color. Machine-wash warm when necessary.

Hide: Dust off regularly. Spot-clean only when necessary with a mild, non-alkaline soapy solution. Do not leave it in exposed sunlight as it can cause the edges to roll up.

Natural Fibers: (jute, rattan, stick wicker, etc.): Wipe with a lightly soft, damp, lint-free cloth only. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners.

Doormats:  To care for your doormat, simply shake, brush, or vacuum it clean. To extend the life of your doormat, it should not be exposed to rain, snow, or sun for long periods of time.

Antiqued Glass: Wipe delicately with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth as needed.

Teak: Clean regularly with a simple solution of water, mild soap, and vinegar to avoid mildew formation. Clean with a gentle brush. For concentrated stains, use a teak wood cleaner. To help retain it’s original color longer, use a tung oil or linseed oil.

Down:  Down products can be home cleaned, however this is a difficult and time consuming job as the drying process can take several hours. We recommend taking it to a professional cleaner who specializes in down. It is important to wash your items with a down specific soap. Never use liquid detergents or fabric softeners, as detergents may leave residues that will not rinse out and may wash away the natural oils of the down.

Sheets:  Do not use bluing agents or fabric softeners. Instead wash with LESS soap and pull from the dryer when still damp. Let air dry at end and fold properly for the longest life and softest feel.

Getting Table Linens Ready for the Holidays

We can never publish this enough. But here we go again.

WHEN LAUNDERING LINEN NAPKINS and TABLECLOTHS

  • – All  linens can be machine-washed.
  • Wash your linens separately.
  • Use less detergent than recommended.
  • We recommend using the extra rinse option to ensure all detergent is removed, which will prolong their life.
  • – For stubborn spills, soak the linens overnight in a tub of water and one cup of stain remover.
  • – Never use chlorine bleach or any “bluing” agent which may damage the fibers.
  • – Popular detergents for linen products include Le Blanc Linen Wash and Biz Stain Fighter.
  • – We recommend line drying, however if you tumble dry, use a low heat and take them out before completely dry and lay flat.   Iron while slightly damp.
  • – We do not recommend dry-cleaning our linens (even though I do my tablecloths)
  • They are much nicer and smell much better if you don’t.
  • TO CLEAN YELLOW LINENS OR STAINED LINENS
  • PRESOAK
  • Use a large plastic tub and allow the linens to swim for a day. This will loosen up old stains, soap and starch.
  • PRETREAT
  • Use a stain stick and treat any stubborn stains
  • NOTE: If there are rust stains from pins or staples left in linens over time – spot treat with a q-tip using a rust remover.
  • RINSE  RINSE  RINSE
  • WASH
  • Wash by hand or on a gentle cycle. Use 1/2 the recommended detergent. No bluing detergents. If the stains have not been removed- repeat with the full recommended amount of detergent and a powdered oxygenated bleach. Use distilled water if possible.for very bad stains- allow to sit overnight.

RINSE  RINSE RINSE

  • DRY

    Air-dry vintage linens. More contemporary linens should be dried either on a rack or on a gentle cycle. Remember to take out before completely dry.

    IRON
    Use the cotton/linen setting. With antique and embroidered, delicate items, first place a pressing cloth or a towel on top to protect the fabric from direct heat. You can use distilled water and sizing when ironing to keep linens damp.  Be careful using tap water as it may have minerals that leave a stain.

    STORE LINENS PROPERLY
    Place Linens in a dry, dark cupboard. drawer or box lined with acid free paper.  This will keep the fabric from yellowing. You can roll them lie them flat or fold them.

Caring for Belgian Linen

Caring for your  Linen is easier than you think. – All 100% linens can be machine washed or dry cleaned. – We recommend you to wash your linen at 60° C/140 °F (Hot). – For tough stains, boil the fabric (pre-wash or pre-soak if needed). – Linens must be completely unfolded before washing. – Do not overload the machine. – Ironing should be done on slightly damp linen. – Also, please check specific care details included with the products.

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Happy Thanksgiving from Anichini.

This is Mark Twain's Monogram

 

I have been waiting to communicate these thoughts for a very long time. Before House and Garden shut its lovely doors, Dominique Browning and I conversed together about  publishing this piece. But now is the age of the blog. So rather than using a print magazine, I will push this forward for all to read and contemplate.

The discussion of thread count in the bedding world is largely specious. The term “thread count” was originally developed in the USA to differentiate percale from muslin. A thread count is the measurement of threads per square inch. A thread count& that was 200 and over was considered to be a percale. Anything under 200 was considered to be muslin. This nomenclature was never meant to apply to sateens, jaquards and other European manufactured sheeting which are not constructed using the simple “over and under” weave of a percale. For example, to achieve a sateen, threads are “floated” on the surface.

When European sheeting made a serious entrance into the marketplace 25 years ago, Americans continued to ask this question because the packaging was not marked with thread counts, as this standard  of measurement had no meaning in Europe. Europeans measured some qualities by grams per square centimeters. Lest I state the obvious, they do not use inches in Europe.

Within a short time, the meme had been created. “What is the thread count? What is the thread count?” chanted the eager luxury consumers. It was meant to project an intelligent question; a question that reflected the knowledge of the consumer. After all, European sheeting was far more expensive than American percale.  And if American percale listed thread counts, then so should the rest of the world.

It snowballed. European manufacturers were forced into declaring thread counts. Anichini was included in this charade, which I refer to as “The Emperor with No Threads” Companies were afraid NOT to give the consumer a response, so they loosely created an answer to a question that should never have been asked in the first place.

We at Anichini resisted for a very long time; attempting to educate the public. But eventually, even we caved in. Every time I had to answer this question and neglected to give this full explanation, I would experience an internal cringe.  However, in all these years, we never marked thread counts on any packaging other than percales.

Once that started, the race for higher and higher thread counts took off. Because, after all, higher had to be better! Higher thread counts on packaging became a marketing tool. For the record, in weaving typical long staple cotton yarns, you cannot achieve much over 500 thread counts.  However, if you use twisted yarns or double yarns, you simply multiply times 2 and you get 600, 800, etc. In my opinion, if you have a sheet with a 1000 thread count, you may as well wear a raincoat to bed.  The weaving is so dense, it does not breathe. VERY recently, I have seen super high thread count sheets created with yarns meant for clothing.  They are beautiful and very pricey. But this is an exception to the rule.

A textile lover should be able to touch the fabric and feel it’s “hand”. How does it feel to you?  In reality, the quality of the yarn or threads is more important than any superficially applied description.

You may prefer one hand and not another. For instance, you may like linen sheets in the summer and cotton in winter. Linen has a natural coolness to the hand. You may prefer silk sheets or mist lino sheets (50 cotton/50 linen). None of this personal attraction to a specific hand has anything to do with thread count.

There are fabulous sheets produced with low thread counts. Cotton voile is a perfect example; linen is another.

A loose analogy could be purchasing wine.  Do you buy a bottle of wine because it has a higher alcohol content?  No! You know that a Riesling has a different alcohol content than a Pinot Noir, but you purchase the wine because you like the taste.  In the same way that different seasons suggest a different wine, the same is true with sheeting.

Bottom line: Have faith in your sensibilities. Open the package.  Remove the sheet and feel it.  Look at your hand through it.  Is it sheer enough to your liking?  Is it heavy enough to your liking? Is it smooth enough? Is it crisp enough?  Is the sewing perfect.  Are the stitches small and even? Are the hems even? There should be no puckering. Think of it in the way you would buy good clothing!

Susan Dollenmaier

CEO, Anichini

Once you go Bamboo….

  

Bamboo Blankets come in White, Ivory, Sky and Hemp
Bamboo Blankets come in White, Ivory, Sky and Hemp

OK !   Here’s the cheat sheet on bamboo bedding.    Bottom Line: you are going to love these sheets and blankets!

                                                                          Bamboo Bedding

  • Naturally silky soft and exceptionally comfortable – Feels like silk
  • Superior to cotton in moisture management & ventilation control – has a cool feel and prevents stickiness in warm conditions – It wicks away water 3 to 4 times better than cotton
  • 100% bamboo fiber sheets will naturally help keep you 2 to 3 degrees cooler when you’re hot
  • Molecular structure of bamboo has small pockets that will trap body heat if you are cold to help keep you warm –
  • 100% bamboo fiber sheets are the perfect sheets for couples and menopausal women
  • The 250 count twill weave construction gives these bamboo sheets unique high comfort and performance characteristics not found in high count sheets
  • Bamboo is naturally antibacterial which helps keep the sheets fresh and clean smelling between washes – roughly 25 times more effective at killing bacteria than fabrics treated with chemicals to kill bacteria
  • Bamboo is an Environmentally Friendly ‘Green’ product – no chemicals are use to grow it and it is highly sustainable crop – grows/regrows 3+ feet per day
  • Our bamboo sheets use 2 and 3 year old stalks for superior strength
  • Bamboo is extremely strong and these sheets will last for many years with normal use and care
  • Easy care, Machine washable – no ironing is needed when the sheets are removed from the drier at the end of the cycle and smoothed as folded.  If not able to remove at the end of the drying cycle, simple run the drier for a couple of minutes at a low temperature and then remove and smooth as folding
  • No pilling – outstanding drape – excellent color retention
  • Unlike other wood fiber sheets on the market, our bamboo sheets have very little residual shrinkage, about 2% in either direction after multiple washings
  • Will fit mattresses up to 20” thick after multiple washings
  • Fitted sheets have elastic all around for better fit on your mattress.  (We recommend that the fitted sheet be pulled tightly under your mattress to keep any excess fabric from bunching-up on the bed when sleeping
  • Flat sheets are oversized
  • Quilted coverlets are easy care and machine washable and have a light, 2 ounce polyester fill.
  • Simply – we believe that our bamboo sheets will be your favorite sheets, period.

BAMBOOQUILTING

The Truth About Laundering Sheets and Towels

 

sheet

 

THIS WILL SAVE YOU MONEY:

Most of us are ruining our sheets and towels.  Our basic instinct is wash them often and use extra detergent and lots of other things we buy because the promise of Fresh, Clean, White and Soft are all irresistable.  We also try and avoid mustiness by over drying. 

Natural cotton sheets, linen, bamboo and some blends are all waaaaay easier to care for than that.  So here is the skinny on sheets and towels.

towel

♦ Always read the care instructions – just in case you have bought the rare exception to these rules.

Cold and warm water in the wash cycle.

Cold water in the rinse cycle.

Do a second rinse if you have that option.    This gets rid of any excess soap and allergens.  It is excess soap usually that makes, sheets,    towels and clothing feel scratchy. 

Use a detergent that does NOT contain a fabric softener or bluing agent.  Fabric softeners are a no no.  They artificially “soften” by breaking down the fibers of the textile – shortening the life of the fabric.  They also coat the fibers which make them less absorbent and after awhile prohibits them from “breathing” which is the purpose of cotton, linen and bamboo.

Use 1/4 to 1/3 the recommended amount of detergent !!!

Do not use Chlorine Bleach.  Chlorine bleach has a devastating effect on sheets and towels. You may use a chlorine bleach which is marked as “Safe on Colors”.  You may use SHOUT or Gonzo.

Tumble Dry on the Low setting or Perma Press.  Over drying is the leading cause of rough towels and shrinking sheets.

Do not use drier sheets.  They have the same effect as fabric softeners and the same chemicals.

Remove sheets and towels immediately from the drier.  Smooth and Fold to avoid ironing.  If  linen sheets are very wrinkled, remove before the end of the cycle and let dry on top of a flat surface (like the bed).

 

♥ Hint:  If you have a monogram, iron it from the reverse side on to a terry cloth so that it stays three dimensional and does not flatten out over time.

♥Hint:  Always store linens in an open and airy place or in tissue – Never in plastic.

♥ Hint: Ladies, some lotions and soaps can act as bleach.  If you are using Retin A, clearasil or any lotion with benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxide; you should use only white towels and sheets.

♥Hint:  Sheets that have been put away for the winter can be refreshed with a quick cold rinse with a bit of white vinegar.

♥Hint:  If you suffer from allergies, try Bamboo sheeting  or Purity Organic sheeting   (www.goredean.com).

Laundering Fine Linen

 There has been a lot written in the last few years about “thread count” in sheets and the quality that it represents. You seldom read that thread counts differ country to country or that the type of thread used is more important than the number. So we will dispense with the subject and concentrate on how to care for linens that are an ” investment”. Everyone’s pocket book is defferent, but everyone knows the difference between linens that are worth taking care of and the ones you know will not be in your closet two years from now.

Good linens can last for thirty years with the proper handling. Thay can withstand childern, dogs and champagne in bed if they are cared for. However it is important to realize first how they are constructed and to know the difference between what should be expected to withstand wear and what will never be able to last beyond summer camp or a year in a college dorm.

Linens are constructed on a grid; horizontal threads and vertical threads. If the threads are pure cotton and not cotton peices, they should be able to withstand a great deal of wear.  If however, you cut into the grid to make a fitted bottom sheet, you cut dramatically the strength of the weave and the sheet will tear. So the first rule of sheeting: ALWAYS USE A FLAT BOTTOM SHEET.  And because stains and wear are usually sustained by the bottom sheet, I always recommend purchasing a second bottom sheet.  In a set that can cost into the hundreds and thousands of dollars, this is a good investment. If you can use sheets nicely for 30 years or pass them on to your children as an heirloom; you have actually saved yourself money.

The care of sheeting, however, is a bigger challenge than the expense. Though lesser quality sheets give us the freedom to go from dryer to bed, beautiful sheets from Leron, Anichini, Frette, and Gayle Warwick look their best when ironed. I have been called in to replace lovely sheets that the owner thought were dowdy, when all that was required was an iron for them to look as they did the day they came home.  Ironing sheets is a chore,  but for this excercise, let’s say it’s worth it.

TO LAUNDER SHEETING:

1.  Machine was in warm water, not hot.

2.  Wash in the gentle cycle.

3.  Use a mild detergent Do not use bleach, stain removers or detergents with a “bluing” agent or lightener. Always dilute your detergent or pour it into the automatic dispenser, never directly on the sheets.

4.   Fabric softeners are not necessary. Save the money.

5.  If you cannot air dry ( does anybody do that anymore?). Put your sheets on the lowest possible setting of the dryer. It is the dryer that causes the most damage to good linens. Remove the linens while they are still slightly damp and place them on a bed or rod. It is very damaging to repeatedly dry them in a dryer.  It breaks down the cotton and the fabric becomes dull and brittle.

6.  Try and leave the linens somewhere flat before pressing. It makes it so much easier to iron. Try and iron when the linens are slightly damp, if possible. And pressing from the underside of a pattern is better, just like clothing.

7. Store your linens in an airy place. Don’t place in plastic. Fold them simply and store.

8. If your sheeting has a monogram, iron it from the underside onto a terry cloth towel so that the monogram stays three dimensional and doesn’t flatten out over time.

Good luck! And remember that a cup of white vinegar in the rinse water will remove all soapy residue and leave your fabrics smelling better than any product on the market.

If you own expensive sheets and don’t want to launder them yourself, Anichini Fine Linens recommends BlancPlume 1-800-307-0229 for a professional water cleaning.  If you use a professional laundry service, copy these instructions and ask them to follow these guidelines. For any further help, feel free to comment on this site or contact us through www.goredean.com

 

 

How to care for Pewter

Pewter has been used since 3000 BC for useful and decorative objects and utensils for the table. Pewter gives an old world feel to a table. To me, nothing is so perfect for Autumnal gatherings or summer dinners al fresco in the garden.  Most pewter comes from Italy now and there is a casual Tuscan feeling to a lovely dinner on pewter, ending with a simple bowl of fruit and European style fruit knives placed on thick napkins and followed by a long after dinner conversation.

At GOREDEAN we carry several pewter lines that are known for their durability and quality. Match Pewter and Vagabond Pewter  being two of the best.

A common complaint about pewter from other sources is that it tarnishes quickly in the dishwaher. And truthfully, no pewter should go in a dishwasher set on high. Lower temperature settings  are better for almost all table articles. If handwashing can be done, it is always safer but Match and vagabond CAN go in the dishwasher.

Pewter tarnishes very slowly and it requires virtually no maintenance. To clean flatware, place in a low temperature dishwasher and use a liquid soap to avoid the spots and pitting that can form when powder soaps are used. Plates with a pewter rim or glassware with a pewter rim should always be hand washed. The metal and the pottery/glass heat at different levels and there will be higher breakage.

TO POLISH:

If you want to polish your pewter, almost any metal polish will do. Check the box to make certain that it is appropriate for pewter and rub in a circular pattern with a cloth or 0000 steel wool.

PLEASE DO NOT POLISH ANTIQUE PEWTER, especially pewter of a collectable nature. Use 0000 steel wool to remove old stains and to put it in usable condition. remember that antique pewter has some lead and should not be used for food consumption. Today’s pewter is made with a lead free alloy of tin, copper and antimony that is FDA approved and food safe.

Of Note:  We reproduced a wonderful pair of bulbous pewter candlesticks in Italy for the new Clyde’s Restaurant in Broadlands, Virginia. They are now available from us at www.goredean.com along with  a great selection of pewter from the companies that I consider the best!

Pewter Jam Pot by MATCH $190

Cheeseboard by VAGABOND $250

Pewter candlesticks by GOREDEAN $375

Polishing Silver

The best kept secret of people who deal in and care for silver is: that its really not hard to do.  The natural color of silver is white. It”s the tarnish that, if highly polished, gives something that “silver shine” that we value.  This is why products like TarnX and other chemical reactives do not work. They will never allow you to get the shine that we covet. But we don’t want too much tarnish either. So keeping silver clean is the first step to keeping it polished as well. Silver does not need to be polished every time. A warm water,  soapy cleaning will usually last with a polish every year.

We recommend using Town Talk anti-tarnish silver polishing cloths or NeverDull, both available through www.goredean.com.  Goddard’s makes a good silver polish available in most grocery and hardware stores, though the polishing part will be a bit harder to do. Always use a smooth cloth, not a terry towel.

NeverDull is used by the military for brass buttons and it really shines up well. It works on heavily tarnished silver as well.

Town Talk is the easiest to use for everyday maintenance. It is made of high quality cotton impregnated with a sliver cleaner and antitarnish agent.  These cloths also work well on silver plate.

For very dirty silver, soak in warm soapy water.  Then either apply NeverDull and let sit or use ultrafine OOOO steel wool.  Please do not use any other steel wool or scrubber as it will destroy the silver.  If streaks or scratches are a problem, a professional metal polisher will be able to buff them out.

Candlesticks and tazzas require extra care when polishing. Anything with a stem must be polished very carefully, especially if it has been weighted in the base. During polishing, many people twist the stem and it collapses or bends irretrievably. Always polish the stem up and down and not with a twisting motion. Delicate arms on candlesticks are the same.

If, like me, you have the occassional silver spoon in the dishwaher – take it to a professional metal art person who can usually restore it for you in short order.

please comment on our comment page if you have further questions.