Upscale linens come in many permutations, but the ultimate test of their quality is in the laundry room. In the average hotel there is only one laundry system, and linens should be designed to withstand the stress of multiple washes regardless of their price point.
“The luxury client lives a luxury lifestyle,” said Stacy Garcia, CEO of Stacy Garcia Inc. According to Garcia, guests with a greater expectation for high-quality linens will expect the linens to hold their shape, regardless of the washes they have gone through.
Laundry services have been using more environmentally friendly chemicals in the washing process to help sheets last longer, resulting in an opportunity for hotels to purchase higher quality sheets. “It can get a bit mathematical,” said Jason Needleman, CEO of Peacock Alley. “Better yarns of cotton last longer and shrink less. With less shrinking there is less usage per square inch applied in the day-to-day service of the linens. This all goes toward minimizing expenses while maximizing potential quality.”
Small amounts of shrinkage may appear unimportant, but on high-quality linens it can be a drain on resources. The majority of hotels have only one laundry system for linens that doesn’t discriminate between textiles for average guestrooms and high quality sheets in suites. If high-quality textiles are treated the same as those at a lower quality, the losses can be much greater when shrinking and fading begin to occur.
Higher quality yarn is more resistant to shrinking, allowing these linens to last longer.
Needleman says that hotels are doing themselves a disservice by not involving themselves further into the investigation of their linens. “Textiles are the number one ongoing expense for hotels,” Needleman said. “Most GMs don’t want to manage them because textiles are a tedious thing to watch, and it gets delegated to other departments such as the cleaning services. It leads to it being overlooked.”