Wonder how to pack linen clothes for travel? Everyone knows that linen is a great choice on any summer packing list. But it also the fabric that is likely to crease and wrinkle most in the suitcase. In this guide we tell you how best to pack linen trousers, shirts, jackets, dresses and more for travel alongside tips for what to do on arrival.
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Linen is one of the those love hate travel fabrics. We love it because it copes well in the heat, is breathable and always looks stylish.
However it is prone to creasing and wrinkling in your suitcase. So should or shouldn’t include it on your summer capsule wardrobes?
For me you should absolutely include it. And we do on all our Italy, Spain and Greece Summer Capsule Wardrobes. However no one wants to have to travel with a travel steamer in order for their clothes to look great at the destination.
Therefore it is really important to pack linen items well for travel as well as know what to do with it when you arrive at your destination.
For this reason we have split this how to pack linen guide into two parts. The first shall look directly at how to pack different types of linen items for travel, followed by what you should do when you unpack.
How to pack linen clothes for travel tips and tricks
No matter the item there are a few things we recommend doing prior to packing
Steam / press linen before packing
As linen wrinkles easily, it is really important to pack your linen while it looks its best. The best way to do this is by fully ironing / pressing or steaming your linen before you pack it.
However be sure to let your linen cool from steaming or pressing before you put it into the suitcase.
The reason for this is that linen wrinkles more when it is warm. Therefore let it fully cool before starting the next step
Should you fold or roll linen for travel?
When packing linen there are definitely two camps when it comes to packing technique. There are those that think you should fold linen with tissue and those that think you should roll linen for travel.
I have tried both and think that both are valid methods depending on the item of clothing you are backing – but more on individual items later.
So what is the best way to do each method?
If you are folding linen then you should definitely use tissue squares inside your garments.
If you are rolling linen there are a couple of things you need to know.
Firstly this method is best for larger items such as trousers. Lie the garments down flat on the floor. You can either roll items individually or in groups of similar items i.e. linen trousers with other linen trousers and linen dresses with other linen dresses of similar length.
Fold the items in half (side to side so seams are pressed together). With each item stacked on top of each other just below waistband.
Then roll. Be sure to smooth out any lumps and bumps as you roll. Then add into your suitcase as a roll protecting it from other items in the suitcase which may press against and crease.
The idea behind this method is that by rolling instead of folding clothes you reduce pressure on the garment and therefore reduce wrinkles.
Whenever I pack I like to use packing cubes but they are particularly essential for packing linen items.
If you are using the fold rather than roll method then tissue can come in very handy. Put a square of tissue onto the back of your garment and then fold the garment into the tissue.
Use a garment bag
If you have room in your hand luggage, then you could consider using a garment bag for suits. This is especially good if you are traveling in business class where they will hang garment bags rather than place them into an overhead locker. Click here to shop garment bags for travel.
Use a hard sided suitcase
Although I like to use a soft sided suitcase when I am traveling to somewhere where I need to condense my suitcase when empty, for linen I prefer to use a hard sided suitcase.
A hard sided suitcase will reduce the pressure on your linen items when in a hold where lots of other suitcases will be pressing against yours.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing Cubes are great for organising your suitcase however for linen they will also provide an extra layer of protection in the case.
How to Pack Specific Linen Items
So now you know our general tips for packing linen we will now turn our attention to specific linen items.
How to pack linen trousers for travel
Personally when I pack linen trousers my preferred method is to roll them. Fold the trousers in half across so the side seems meet and then roll from waist down.
Smooth the bubbles and bumps as you roll and then add to packing cube and place carefully in a suitcase.
If you have several pairs of linen trousers of similar shapes you can roll them into one large roll. Alternatively several small rolls works too.
How to pack linen suits for travel
The number one choice for packing linen suits, especially if you are planning to wear them at a destination wedding for instance, you should use a garment bag if you can and have this hung rather than put in an overhead locker when on a plan.
If you can’t use a garment bag roll each item individually or with other linen items of the same type (jackets with jackets, trousers with trousers).
How to pack a linen dress for travel
The number one way to pack a linen dress for travel is to roll them. If you have several dresses of a similar length and cut they can be rolled in one roll. However if the styles are very different it will reduce creases to roll each piece separately.
How to pack linen shirt for travel
Shirts can be rolled or folded for packing. If you decide to fold a shirt be sure to place a piece of tissue on the back and fold into it.
If you roll, roll similar shape and size shirts together otherwise roll individually.
Tips for Getting Wrinkles out of Linen When Traveling
So now you know the best way to pack the linen, what should you do when you arrive at your destination.
Unpack straight away
Although you will have done a good job at packing to reduce wrinkles it is important to unpack straight away.
We recommend you hang items where possible. But if you don’t have hangers we recommend draping items over the pack of chairs to reduce pressure.
If for some reason you can not hang the items you are best to take them out of the suitcase and drape over a chair carefully to help remove wrinkles.
Use Wrinkle Release Spray
This can help get the worst of the wrinkles out. Click here to shop linen wrinkle release spray.
Hang in Bathroom
After using wrinkle release spray I hang linen items in the bathroom while showering as the steam and humidity of shower rooms can help the wrinkles drop out.
Request an Iron
Although no one wants to iron on vacation if there is a piece which has wrinkled badly you could request an iron at your accommodation. Or you could take a small travel iron or travel steamer with.
Please note travel steamers are not permitted aboard cruise ships if your vacation involves cruising.
And there you have it – our ULTIMATE guide to how to pack linen for travel. Do you have any tips we have missed? If so we would love to hear them in the comments below!