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Monograms and embroidery look best when they pop up crisply from the polished linen around them. Martha demonstrates a few of her favorite techniques to properly iron flat linen items, such as pillowcases and tablecloths. For best results, use a heavy iron with steam and steam-surge functions and a sturdy ironing board.

Lightly spritz the linen until damp, and set it in a laundry basket lined with towels. To keep embroidery looking sharp and distinct, put the monogram face-down on a towel, and iron it from behind; if the embroidery is particularly elaborate, iron it on a double layer of towels.

Then, turn the linen over, and iron the area around the monogram from the front of the embroidered design. If your linen has a delicate fringe, comb through it with a natural-bristle vegetable brush to untangle any knots. Fold into thirds, making sure the monogram is in the center fold.

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