Care Guidelines - 100% Cotton New cotton items should be washed before use to remove and loose fibres and remove any residual chemicals from manufacture. Shake out table linen to remove and cutlery, solid food residues and other foreign objects before loading into the washing machine. Items such as knives and pens can damage or permanently stain the fabric. Always wash white goods on their own to prevent dye contamination from other colours Do not mix colours on the first wash. Residual dye/chemicals may be present from manufacture which may cause cross contamination. Classify wash loads according to similar colours for subsequent washes. Wash loads should also be classified according to the degree of soiling. Detergents containing optical brightening agents will improve the visual brightness of white cotton goods. For coloured goods, use a detergent that does not contain any optical brightening agents as this will mask the true shade and diminish the colour, particularly on 100% cotton items. Residual staining can be removed using oxygen based bleaching agents but these should not be substituted for a good wash process with adequate detergency. Care and attention should be given to the conditions of use. Stain removal using Chlorine bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) will chemically damage and accelerate the weakening of cotton fibres. Over/repeated use will cause sufficient damage to easily tear the cotton. On coloured items, Chlorine bleach will cause permanent colour loss/shade change and should be avoided. Cotton is more resistant to heat damage and white goods can be washed at temperatures up to 90C to remove heavy staining. Coloured items should not be washed at lower temperatures not exceeding 50C to minimise colour loss. Natural starches can be applied to cotton table linen to impart polish and stiffness where required. Starching should take place on the final water based stage of the wash process after the fabric has been cleaned and all wash chemicals neutralised. Ironing of cotton should be done whilst damp and is essential to complete the drying process, remove creasing and improve its aesthetic appeal.