A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
With the reputation for being the ones in the know when it comes to linen, we quized the team at Tradelinens on their hospitality expertise…
What does good linen mean in the hospitality industry?
Good quality linen occupies a unique position in the customer experience within the hospitality industry – the bed linen is seen, felt and lived-in for the ‘sleeping part’ of a hotel stay, which in most cases will be a third of any 24 hour stay.
Irrespective of whether a guest mentions it or not, you can be sure that the pleasure of slipping into a set of high quality, freshly laundered, 100% cotton bed linen, will always rate as one of the top guest experiences. Equally, you can be sure that using low quality linen won’t be quite the same for the guest, nor does it last as long in the laundering process.
Do different brands vary vastly in their requirements for linen, or is there a particular range or trend that’s popular across the board?
One of the joys and challenges of this business is to match a client’s expectations, aspirations and, most importantly, their budgets, to a quality of linen that best supports, promotes and enhances their brand experience. The one thing that will always be consistent, however, is the look, feel and allure of cool, crisp 100% cotton bed linen.
How do you think linen trends have changed in the last five years?
At the more ‘cost-conscious’ end of the hospitality market, there has been a shift from using 100% cotton bed linen offered by the laundries, who rent their bed linen, to a polyester / cotton mix. The trend has been prompted by the perception that a mixed blend of natural and manmade fibres will last longer. The trade-off is the likelihood that the linen with a mix will turn from a brilliant white to a greyer, duller white over the lifespan of the product. Everything has its price to pay!
What is the most important aspect for you when providing linen to big hospitality brands?
Linen has a role to play in supporting a hospitality provider’s brand image. The provision of the right quality to “tick all the boxes” is undoubtedly the most important aspect in the final choice.
Are there any new trends emerging in linen design or production for hospitality?
Trends in bed linen design, just like trends in clothing, may come and go, but one aspect that will never go out of fashion is the look and feel of a good quality sheet made from the finest quality 100% cotton yarns. It should be finished to the highest standards and stitched by a team of highly skilled and experienced individuals who know how to deliver an expertly made product.
What influences the change in linen/fabric trends?
While luxury remains the key driving element, the commercial reality must always be considered in conjunction with it. We need to deliver an aspirational level of quality that is commercially viable for our clients. Equally, the product must have the ability to launder on an often-daily basis over the period of two to three years. The items we sell must be made to endure in just one month, what would be the equivalent of several years of domestic use.
Are there any new products, projects, or trends you’ve got pencilled in the diary for 2019?
We are always being tasked with making the seemingly impossible, possible! A good example is an interesting trend (or challenge) to break down the individual elements of a what the five-star hospitality experience is, and then build it up again at a three-star price. In this case, it’s the art of knowing where to spend the money and where to save. Irrespective of what you pay, everyone has a right to feel they are getting value for their money.