This is where the best high-end guest houses and boutique hotels go that extra mile, first impressions are paramount to getting good customer feedback and making sure you not only get a good review but you also get a repeat and loyal customer. In a recent survey by a well-known travel review website over 80% said a comfortable bed was the most important thing, so this has got to be one of your top priorities if you have visitors staying with you.
This can be a daunting prospect, even if you are a seasoned professional or are new to the industry, fabrics and qualities change and there is a mine field of information out there. It is hard to know what will suit your requirements all year round. The two main fabrics that spring to mind are cotton and polycotton but once again there are lots of different thread counts, weaves and colours to choose from, so where do you start?
Well let us start with thread count. In polycotton fabrics, the best and probably the highest thread count offered in the UK would be a 200 count percale fabric. This is an extremely hard wearing weave that is designed to last for a longer period of time. It can be constantly washed and dried time and time again and some of the better quality fabrics will have easy care to help with the creases, so you do not have to iron the bedding as much as you would a cotton fabric. Thread count measures the number of threads on the warp and the weft, a percale fabric is equal with 100 threads on the wefts and 100 threads on the warp that are woven together in a crisscross pattern to give a 200 thread count fabric. Now, cotton fabrics here in the UK start at a 200TC weave and go up to an astonishing high thread count of 1200, these fabrics are a technical masterpiece of how far we have come in the pursuit of luxury and quality. These fabrics would be woven to a sateen weave, which generally has more yarns on the warp and less on the weft. Many see this as an inferior weave to percale but it would not be possible for most looms to produce a high thread count true weave, it would just cost too much to make.
Our most popular range for Guest Houses and Small Boutique Hotels is the 400 thread count cotton range. This is a stunning looking fabric which just completes the bedroom and the Egyptian cotton yarns feel soft and silky to the touch. This range is the one that gets the most amount of good quality reviews, we have even had some of our customers coming to us directly from their getaway weekend in a hotel so they can experience the same quality at home.
This has a sateen effect which is produced with high thread count cotton sateen weaves, the way that the cotton is produced with the calendaring and sanforising of the yarns give the fabric that special lustrous look.
Cotton is the preferred choice as it is super soft and like we have said above, you can get it in higher quality fabrics which give a much better perception of luxury, but there are down sides. It needs much more looking after, ironing is the main issue, to make it look pristine some ironing will be required so it is essential to have a good stock of linen at change over times to make sure you are not ironing at this busy time. One big issue holiday makers complain about is check in times, if this is delayed due to the room not being ready it will already have them feeling annoyed and if you rush things this will only make the experience you are trying to achieve that much harder. Also most modern cotton fabrics cannot be washed at higher temperatures, this is not always good for you as it is hard to remove excessive soiling like make up and sun tan creams at lower temperatures, but if you do not adhere to the wash care instructions you will run the risk of damaging the fabric. Skewing and shrinkage is all down to the temperature being too high, if you have an external laundrette doing your laundry for you this is the main issue you will get.
Polycotton fabrics are deemed to be less comfortable and not as luxurious but much easier to look after. Polyester is ideal for non-iron fabrics, it can be washed at lower temperatures and excessive soiling is washed away much easier. One of the items you will need to replace the most are pillowcases as they take the most wear and tear from face creams and make up etc. So cost can be a factor when looking at replacing your bedding. Our polycotton percale bedding comes in over 20 colours and with most sizes and options we have you covered, the cost price is also much lower so if you have a guest house or hotel that has lots of younger clientele this fabric will no doubt be the fabric of choice. This fabric is not as soft as cotton but it still feels soft and smooth to the touch and comes with easy care, we would recommend this fabric if you have a high turn over of customers and you do not want a lot of wasted time spent ironing.
This is a good question, this depends on what type of experience you are trying to achieve. If you have a quaint country cottage in the Cotswolds like some of customers do, then you could try the Toile De Jouy Cotton Bedding.
This really does make a statement and fits right into the countryside surroundings. Equally if you have a high-end hotel in the city and you want to achieve that pristine white look, we have you covered. Plain white cotton is the most popular choice as it looks cool and crisp and you can match up damaged and soiled pillowcases much more easily than you would with a pattern fabric, most of our ranges sell the pillowcases separately so you can order more of them.
If you buy sets and one of the items gets damaged you may have to throw away the complete set as it no longer matches anything, this can be quite costly. The same can be said of deeper colours, one thing to bear into mind is that when manufacturers make batches of bedding, they use one dye, when they make another dye with deeper colours it is near impossible to make it the exact same shade, variations can be quite stark when the pillowcases do not match the duvet covers. Colours like white and ivory and even the latest trend of platinum silver are much easier to produce and more importantly match up.
One of most popular cotton bedding ranges we sell is the satin stripe range, this stunning quality fabric is woven to a 540 thread count and the fabric feels so soft and silky your guests will not want to get out of bed. This is the ultimate in hotel quality and appeal, the elegant stripe weave shimmers in both a satin and matt effect and comes with all the sizes and options you will require to make the perfect bedroom setting. This is where we now come to sizes, we know that not all of your bedrooms will have the same beds so our hotel quality ranges come with all the sizes you need and more importantly they are sold as separate items so you can order what you need without any wastage.
Getting this right is essential for the longevity of your investment, not following the wash care labels can be very costly so if you use an outside washing facility be sure to get some references or at least visit their premises to make sure that they look after the bedding properly. We hear lot of stories where the laundry service blame the fabric when they shrink or skew out of shape due to washing them too high or dying them on a steam press. This only damages the cotton yarns and is only beneficial to the company so they can process the linen quicker, this is not good for you as it will shorten the length of the bedding and void any guarantee that you may get with the products. If this is the preferred method, maybe go with a polycotton fabric as it will stand up more against commercial laundry processes. They may also damage the buttons or poppers depending on the duvet covers you buy, so please bear this into mind when selecting your next set of linen.
If you can wash and dry your bedding at home, this is preferred, as you can make sure you select the correct temperature. Do not over fill the machine and go for a good quality washing detergent that is both gentle to the fabrics and kind to the environment. Remember cotton is an organic natural product, treat it well and it will give you years of lasting quality and comfort. See below for a few pointers that will help you keep the sheets looking like new: