August 26, 2020
On the face of it (or, of course, the hand of it) a hotel’s towels are a significant part of the guest experience. Who doesn’t love a plush towel?
A recent study by the TRSA confirmed the conventional wisdom that guests do indeed notice and have opinions about the linens in their hotel rooms, and they believe that a higher priced property needs a better grade of linen. But for hoteliers, selecting that towel experience requires careful consideration of a number of behind-the-scenes factors.
As a quick refresher: a towel’s weight is measured in pounds (lbs.) per dozen. Typically, the more luxurious the feel, the higher the towel’s weight. However, that extra poundage also increases laundry processing costs—and the added spend can be significant.
It’s the game-changing question for hoteliers: how can we provide guests a product that is soft and enjoyable, but also offers cost-optimization? And, bonus question: how can we keep those towels looking and feeling sensational longer in their product lifecycle?
The answer: innovative R&D.
The expert researchers in our CORE laboratory lead their work with data-backed analysis and an insatiable curiosity on behalf of our customers. The team was exploring how to reduce towel weight without sacrificing performance when they made an insightful discovery.
The center of the towel is used much more often than the ends of the towel. By eliminating unneeded weight at the ends of the towel, we found we could reduce the overall weight of the towel without impacting its performance. That means hoteliers get a lower weight towel that costs less to process, and guests get the soft, comfortable, and absorbent drying experience they love and expect.
The innovative, proprietary weaving techniques the engineers at Standard Textile designed and developed allow us to focus the loft and absorbency in the center of the towel. We call this the Comfort Experience Zone™.
Currently, three of our towel collections, the new Gradient™, Transitions®, and Elevations™ use this unique Parabolic or “bell curve” construction.
Working closely with our partners in the hospitality industry, we learned that there was a strong desire for heavier weight towels that don’t have high laundry processing costs.
For example, an upscale hotel might typically choose a towel weight of 15 lbs. per dozen. Because of our exclusive manufacturing process, the center of a Gradient™ 15 lb. towel actually feels and performs like a 17 lb. towel. The experience would be like a towel that is even heavier than what that hotel typically purchases, yet the laundry cost would be equal to a traditional 15 lb. towel.
We achieve this solution for our customers by strategically balancing and redistributing the weight of the pile to the middle portion of the towel, where it matters most. (Remember: the pile is all those absorbent little loops all over your towels.) Our patented, advanced weaving technology controls the parabolic distribution of pile height, and the targeted weight distribution focuses loft and absorbency in the center of the towel.
This differential distribution of pile weight enables optimized performance at minimized unit weight. Pretty neat, right? Check it out:
As our own Greg Eubanks shared with Lodging magazine: “Engineering products to reduce waste, but yet maintaining the absorbency and tactile feel of the textile, is of critical importance to a hotel.”
Both of these products focus on the Comfort Experience Zone™ at the center of each towel, and both Gradient™ and Elevations™ towels are engineered to provide an exceptional guest experience at lower product weights. The weight redistribution in Gradient terry is invisible to the eye, while the Elevations collection incorporates woven Jacquard and dobby designs accenting each end of the towel for a different design aesthetic.
Both collections arrive Room Ready for You® Laundered with Tide®—pre-laundered and ready to use right out of the box—and feature our exclusive Centium Core Technology® for enhanced durability. Utilizing this microfilament technology means you’ll get significantly more life out of the product—avoiding the landfill and subsequent replacement costs.
In addition to the attributes we’ve already covered here, another way hotel costs can be optimized while the guest experience improves is to deploy the most efficient laundry practices. Over our 80 years of experience we’ve invested a lot of time and resources into discovering just what those are. We’ve assembled our recommendations a Laundering Best Practices article to help you out.
As always, our consultants are available to answer any additional questions you may have.
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