Damask fabric is a double damask made from 100% cotton. It can keep its lustrous appearance even after a long life though really does require commercial ironing. You can iron it yourself but it will be a lot of work and to be honest you would be unlikely to achieve what a laundry can. If you need cotton we advise you to hire it. If you can't hire it you should use polyester.
If you go ahead anyway here are some hints:
- Higher temperatures will give better results.
- Starching will help prevent stains setting in the fabric.
- Always wash alone and never allow tea towels etc. to be washed at same time.
- Optical brightening agents will help keep whiteness.
Polyester table linen does not require much ironing, and can be tumble dried. If you are very careful, and not too fussy, you can get away with no ironing. Alternatively you can give it a light iron on the table to finish it off.
It must not be overheated in drier otherwise excess shrinkage and creases can be set into the fabric. Remember it is a plastic and if overheated it will shrink and will not bounce back like cotton will.
- Creases can be removed by commercial ironing.
- Load into washing / drying equipment to about 80% capacity.
- Move through the wash / dry process without extended delays at any point.
- Fold and stack immediately after drying.
- Polyester attracts oils so never allow oil/grease into wash.
Modern soft touch polyesters like Milliken's Signature and Passport have a rough surface so as to feel soft - but this will cling onto small pieces of fluff, cotton, paper etc. so do not allow tissues, cotton, ANYTHING else in wash. It will look like pilling but is not - it is debris.
If using Milliken polyester from us these are their PDF wash instructions for Laundries.
Milliken's troubleshooting guide for wash of Polyester table linen.