There is a beautiful page in Tessa Kiros‘ latest cook book ‘Limoncello and Linen water’ where it gives a recipe for making linen water:
2 tablespoons of lavender flowers (no stalks) and 1 litre of cold water. Wrap in muslin and soak for 3o minutes in the cold water, removing before it changes colour – use for scenting linen when ironing.
Now it is no secret in our family that I do NOT actually iron unless extreemely necessary, no sir, my lovely husband is the owner of that device … however this simple and easy white cloud linen fragrance caught my imagination and set off a string of spring cleaning consequences. How timeless, beautiful and naturally scented our linen could be! Opening the cupboard showed that more work and organisation was actually required to enable the cotton to be so deserving of this treatment, that in turn set off an investigation into natural and old fashioned ways of freshening and whitening old sheets. Wendyl Nissen came to my rescue with recipes for oxygen bleaching (no chlorine, safe and natural whitening and disinfecting) and blueing powder (baking soda and prussian blue pigment). My mum even remembers her mother using blueing powder bags for her beestings as well as in their weekly wash. I have to say it did make a marked improvement, all I need now is the sunshine to come out to make it even more effective!
I waited (impatiently) for our lavender flowers to start to bloom. When they finally emerged (with a few added from the cafe nearby to make up the numbers!) I soaked them and sprayed the water on the drying sheets….a subtle but surprisingly lovely fragrance. I think the heat of the iron is supposed to infuse it better in to the linen, so you never know – it may just be the inspiration now to get me to the ironing board!
(ok so I forgot the muslin part…)
Finally a well organised linen cupboard – crazy how spring makes these things suddenly VERY important!