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Valuing Hospitality Linen: Industry Action Needed

Hospitality Linen

A Guide to Valuing Hospitality Linen: Helping Linen Last Longer

A Collaborative Effort by Textile Services Association, UK Housekeepers Association, and UK Hospitality to begin valuing hospitality linen.

Introduction

In a recent survey conducted within the hospitality sector in 2023, 80% of hotel general managers expressed an interest in bolstering sustainability awareness, especially concerning hospitality linen textiles. A working group of hotels, laundries, and representative trade bodies have put together this comprehensive guide, aimed particularly at housekeeping and laundry operator teams, to bridge this gap. By adhering to these guidelines, you can enhance your environmental sustainability while fostering a synergistic relationship with your laundry providers.

Key Insights

  • Only 10% of linen products are rejected because they are worn out.
  • An alarming 50% of products last less than three months.
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen linens contribute to significant financial and environmental costs.

The Life Cycle and Importance of Hospitality Textiles

Hospitality linen textiles, which range from towelling to bed linens, are often undervalued. Losing or damaging these linens imposes unnecessary demands on limited planetary resources and the financial balance of both laundries and hospitality businesses. With 40% of linen items disappearing from the process and only 10% wearing out, there’s a critical need for change.

Environmental Impact

The carbon and water footprint of textiles begin long before they reach a laundry for the first time, making up 50% – 70% of their total environmental impact. Therefore, extending the lifespan of these products can result in significant resource conservation.


Strategies for Helping Linen Last Longer

Prevent Loss or Theft

  • Secure the linen room.
  • Maintain accurate stock levels.
  • Rotate linen room stock regularly.
  • Keep linen out of public spaces.

Minimise Physical Damage

  • Avoid using linen to prop doors open.
  • Be cautious when loading dirty linen into cages.
  • Handle pillows and duvets carefully to prevent ripping.

Address Stains Effectively

Stains like rust, mildew, and lipstick may require specialized treatments that can degrade linen quality. Basic preventive measures include:

  • Not using linen as cleaning cloths.
  • Ensuring a dry and well-ventilated linen room.
  • Advising guests appropriately about linen care.

The Pasha Initiative: A Real-World Example

To make this guide more relatable and engaging, we introduce “Pasha the Pillowcase.” This initiative includes a short video that traverses the life cycle of a pillowcase, emphasizing the importance of proper care. The Textile Service Association has produced two video tailored for the hospitality sector and the commercial laundries themselves. To access both videos click on the links below:


Support Materials and Training

A suite of support materials is available from the Textile Service Associations website to communicate this important message across various departments. These resources are particularly useful for housekeeping induction programs and can be customised to fit your brand.

The challenge of valuing hospitality linen extends beyond simple cost considerations. It encompasses environmental sustainability and operational efficiency. By implementing these best practices, you can make a meaningful difference on multiple fronts.

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Four Housekeeping Tips Every Hotelier Should Follow

Selecting a linen service isn’t something that should be rushed. The linen service you use will be responsible for a significant part of your hotel business. Anything from a boutique bed and breakfast table to bathroom towels and floor mats, linens, and uniforms are very common supplies and hence serve a crucial function in your hotel business settings. If you don’t have clean linen, you cannot offer rooms. It is very simple.

In this article, we will walk through four main housekeeping tips every housekeeper/hotel owner should follow to achieve the best linen hire services for their business.

1.    Good Communication

The first of the housekeeping tips can seem simple. Establishing a decent relationship with your linen hire company is essential, not only to access the highest quality fabric but also to enhance the information you need to make an informed decision. The key to this relation is reliable and consistent communication. It is advisable to hire a supplier in the same city, region, or country so to avoid the challenges of working with a linen supplier located overseas.

Whenever you have a query or concern, you must be able to contact a trusted representative from your linen company. In this way, you can not only ensure a smooth and uninterrupted supply of quality linen services but also build a long-lasting relationship with your supplier.

2.    Quality of Linen

The ultimate goal is to achieve snow-white linen for your hotel to keep your rooms always ready and presentable. The quality of linen plays important role in how frequently you will have to revise and replace the linen considering its service age. Following are the things to consider: 

Lots of people think the higher the thread count, the better the linen. This is not necessarily the truth. This is because different kinds of linen need different thread counts to produce the finished item. The term refers to the number of threads in one square inch; therefore, as a general rule the higher the thread count, the smoother the fabric.

This refers to the weight and density of fabric in grams per square meter (gsm) and is also a signifier of its quality. The thickness of the thread itself varies on the thread count. Thinner threads will be lighter, thicker threads will be heavier. Thus, be aware that a very high thread count indicates the fabric may not wear as well as the individual threads are thinner.

It’s essential to think about what your fabric is made from, this reason being this impacts the handle, durability, and weight, which in turn bears upon its perceived luxuriousness for the guests at your premises.

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3.    Cotton Source

Another thing to think about when selecting a provider is where the origin of the cotton is used in their products. This will give you some peace of mind that the linen on offer has been ethically sourced and made. Cotton of a standard that will be able to withstand the commercial laundry process is vital when looking for value and a quality finish when in situ.

4.     First-Rate Experience

 A good linen hire company will offer you a first-rate experience, from the moment you start collaborating. When choosing a linen hire company, pick one that uses the best quality materials for their exceptional linen, works to build a relationship you can have confidence in, offers customizable options, and will not refuse to give you references of their work. The company should be able to meet its customers’ needs and demands, both quickly and efficiently. They need to also be able to react to the changing requirements of your business. This point is essential out of all housekeeping tips.

Conclusion

By taking time to research housekeeping tips and find out the details about how to pick the best linen hire company, you will be able to set up a long-term relationship with the company that will be able to cope up with all the needs of your company consistently. The best linen companies will offer a quality linen service with ease. For further housekeeping information, take a look at the UK Housekeeping Association.

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