A linen cupboard should be in an airy dry situation to prevent mildew, not against an outside wall. If on the ground floor it is easy of access, and if the hot-water pipes run through it the linen is kept aired. The shelves should be from one to one and a half feet apart, taking care that the top one is not so lofty as to escape attention. Underneath each shelf against the wall there should be a line of hooks; from these by rings should be suspended a piece of white muslin, calico, or preferably glazed holland, the length of the shelf, and sufficiently large to cover the wall space, lie on the shelf and be turned up over the linen on the shelf, thus securing it from all dust. One shelf should be set apart for table linen, another for bed linen, a third for bedroom and bath towels, others for dusters, tea-cloths, oven-cloths, etc. In order that each article may have its fair share of wear, everything as it comes back from the wash should be laid at the bottom of its own respective pile and the clean supply be given only from the top. Regular use is the best way of preventing mildew, and linen wears much longer if it has a rest between use. A memorandum-book should be kept in the linen cupboard, in which is entered the list of contents, the price and date of purchase, also any alteration, addition or diminution. The stock should be counted over regularly, and mended when necessary.
These are made with drawers underneath, which are useful for storing linen; they are, however, cheaper without the drawers. Table-cloths and serviettes, if neatly folded in their original creases and put in the press between meals, look quite smooth and fresh. In the absence of a table press, a cloth may be folded into the three creases lengthwise, and carefully and slowly mangled.
Double damask, although expensive in the first place, wears so well and always looks so good, that it is the truest economy to purchase it in preference to inferior damask, which soils quickly and loses its beauty after washing.
Large central designs are always more expensive; spots, hailstones, sprigs, and small running patterns always look well and are cheaper. Designs which have been for some time in vogue are less expensive than the most recent ones. Material for table-cloths may be bought by the yard : this has a border on both sides, the ends simply requiring hemming. Strong unbleached damask, which soon becomes white in washing, is the most suitable for kitchen use. In order to avoid a poor appearance, a cloth should be long enough to hang down half a yard at each end. Serviettes should match the table-cloth. For a small household it is wise to buy two table-cloths of the same pattern, in order that the cloth and serviettes may correspond. The price of table-cloths of course varies greatly with the size and quality: very good-looking cloths for ordinary use on a medium-sized table may be bought from 5/9 to 9/-. Strong kitchen table-cloths cost from 3/9. Large extra quality, double damask cloths may be had from 25/- to 30/-, thoroughly good quality 3 1/2 yards long from £2; very large cloths for special occasions, measuring 7 yards in length, cost about £4.