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Out of Africa - Crisp & Cool Percale

I know the title sounds like a stretch; what does Africa have to do with sheets. Well, through a common family connection, we sent our sheets out to Kenya!
The client’s criteria was crisp and cool with contemporary detailing on the duvet and shams.
For the duvet cover & shams we sold them our private label sateen with its bold charcoal taping. And for the flat and fitted, a 400 TC cotton percale was chosen for its crispness and tone on tone stitching detail.
The client loves the bedding except for one issue;
The flat and fitted are VERY crisp.
So the question is; how do we soften them?
To begin with, most sheets that arrive on the market have been treated with a coating to stiffen the sheets. Often chemicals are embedded in the material during manufacturing. So an initial wash before putting them on the bed is recommended. Try using:
1/2 cup of baking soda to the water in your washing machine and let it dissolve prior to adding your sheets. This baking soda acts as a water softener and helps make the linens super soft.
Another step if you are so inclined
Add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle and set the temperature to cold
Vinegar is cheap and nontoxic, effective and antimicrobial. It naturally softens and as a bonus, it helps to remove soap residue.
If the baking soda method seems like too many steps, wash the new sheets with half the normal laundry detergent, using cold water and a gentle cycle to avoid shrinkage. An extra-rinse cycle removes excess detergent
The second question was: Can you use Fabric softeners?
Ideally, NO! Fabric softeners are not recommended on these great sheets as they have harmful chemicals which wear out the fibers in the long run, not to mention the toxins that they contain which are harmful to our health.
Natural ingredients will do the trick to get those stiff sheets soft while still crisp

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