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September 22, 2020

Never Iron a Top Cover Again: The Beauty of Wash-Activated Patterning

White Cumulus Top Cover on Bed

Let’s talk ironing, or rather, how to avoid ironing. A few years ago, a large customer of ours had a wrinkling problem. Not all of their hotel properties had access to ironing tools to smooth out their wrinkled top covers. Top covers would appear rumpled and unkempt, even after laundering. Our client didn’t have the ability, space, or budget to invest in commercial ironing equipment at each of their properties.

With guest experience always top of mind, our service-oriented customer knew that a wrinkled bed would not sit well with guests. When the customer approached us with their wrinkling problem, we considered it from the vantage point of the overall hotel operations, housekeeping, manufacturing, and the guest experience.

After several months of collaboration, our R&D team developed the Cumulus® Top Cover. Like nothing else in the market, Cumulus® retains its fluffy, cloud-like appearance from the beginning of its lifecycle to the end by incorporating wash-activated patterning. The top cover’s waffle design appears as ripples–rather than wrinkles–when washed and dried, completely eliminating the need to iron.

We also utilized Centium Core Technology® to extend product life and enhance performance. As with all products manufactured with Centium Core Technology®, the reduced overall product weight translates into significant processing, energy, and water savings.

Cumulus® proved so popular with hotel guests, we made Cumulus® available for retail purchase through Standard Textile Home.

Basic Benefits of Cumulus® Top Covers for Hotels

1. Wash-Activated Texture

Cumulus top covers incorporate wash-activated texture and do not require ironing.

2. Lasting Performance & Softness

A blend of polyester and cotton assures lasting performance and softness.

3. Extended Service Life

Patented Centium Core Technology® dramatically extends service life and enhances performance.

4. Cost Savings

A reduced overall product weight means decreased drying time, plus no need for ironing reduces processing and labor costs.

No Visually-Comparable Product on the Market Holds Up to Industrial Laundering

We’ll get into the particulars in the next section, but the wash-activated patterning of Cumulus® Top Cover is a patented process. As with many innovations, there are ways to mimic the look, but they may not perform well in industrial applications.

We’ve seen two other ways to create the cloud effect:

  1. Seersucker: In the past, most fabrics featuring a “puckering” effect were created utilizing a caustic bath that essentially chemically induces irregular shrinkage in the fabric. The chemicals used in this process degrade fabric integrity and strength. This was traditionally known as “seersucker” and has been around for many years.
  2. High-Temperature Pressure Application: Applying very high temperature to specific portions of the fabric by means of heated, rectangular metal bars which are pressed down on the fabric to induce a patterned shrinkage is another way to create the “puckering” effect. This method causes mechanical damage to the product by degrading the tensile strength of the yarns and fabric. It is also notable that patterning created in this way tends to release or relax with repeated laundering, thus diminishing the visual effect.

Based on the issues of chemical immersion and diminishing visual effects, both the seersucker technique and high-temperature pressure applications are not optimal when used in a hospitality commercial laundering setting.

So, How Does Cumulus® Work?

Detail photo of Cumulus Top Cover

The rippled, cloud-like texture of Cumulus® eliminates the need to iron top covers

The Standard Textile engineering team developed the technology to create Cumulus® Dual-performing microfilament yarns by inserting the yarns in the weft direction . These yarns permanently shrink during the wash/dry process at the hotel or laundry and the yarns never return to their original shape. This is called “wash-activated patterning” and does not degrade the yarn or cause the fabric to weaken. Next, our weaving technology with Centium Core® microfilament yarns offers greater strength to the product for long-term durability.

Cumulus® is covered by dual patents that were awarded to Standard Textile for wash-activated patterning as well as the creation of a microfilament insertion technology that imparts unparalleled strength in the product.

Traditional Cumulus® Patterning or Custom Pattern

Since launching Cumulus®, it has served as a platform for product development. We offer the traditional look of Cumulus® or we can develop a custom style or pattern to fit the unique needs of individual brands.

To learn more about Cumulus®, don’t hesitate to contact our team.