How to Steam Linen Materials

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Things You'll Need

  • Steam iron filled with distilled water (option 1)

  • Clothesline or hanger

  • Fabric steamer (option 2)

Linen is used for many items, including bedsheets, drapes and dress shirts.

Linen is a durable, naturally stain-resistant material that wrinkles easily. The most common way to get wrinkles out of linen is with steam. If the linen has not been preshrunk it will probably shrink when you steam it. In addition to shrinking, linen is prone to permanent creases and becoming shiny if steamed incorrectly.

Steaming Linen With an Iron

Step 1

Place the linen material wrong, or back, side up on the ironing board. Make sure the material is flat, and free of pleats or folds before iron it.

Step 2

Place the steam iron on the material, push down with light pressure. However, do not allow the hot iron to rest in one spot. Immediately press the fabric, move the iron in a slow, continuous side to side motion.

Step 3

Hang up the material while it is still lightly damp from the steam. While the linen is hanging, gently shake out any creased areas, or smooth them with your hands, so new wrinkles don't form.

Using a Steamer on Linen Materials

Step 1

Hang up the linen item with the wrong, or back, side of the fabric facing your body.

Step 2

Hold the nozzle of the hot steamer close to the linen, at the bottom of the item you are steaming. You should see steam rolling against the fabric right in front of the nozzle, and then rising upward.

Step 3

Raise the nozzle of the steamer upward slowly, follow the rising steam, until you reach the top of the item. Wait about three seconds, to avoid burning your hand, then use your hand to quickly smooth out any deep creases.


Folds steamed into linen can become permanent creases.