Don’t put your 18th century clothes in the dryer. If you’re not comfortable spreading them in the grass to dry (which is great for whiter whites, BTW), hang them on the clothesline, or let them drip dry on hangers. Fluffy, softened linen is just one of those anachronisms that’s easy to avoid. And dryers eat inexpensive linen. If you can tear your $6 a yard linen, there’s a good chance it’s not going to stand up to even moderate use, even if you wash it on “gentle” and hang it to dry. Ask me how I know. If you’re going to spend all that time hand sewing, or even hand-finishing a linen garment, spend a little extra money and buy from a reputable merchant.
And for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t wash your 18th century clothes with scented detergent or use fabric softener. If I can smell your “Blackberry and Hydrangea” self from 15 feet away, you’d better be bringing me fruit and flowers.