Concluding our month of putting Fabrics in the spotlight, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn sat down with the general manager of Mitre Linen, Kate Gough, to explore more around trends and how the company is moving with modern times…
Personally, I’m a soft pillow kind of man – take from that what you will. My colleague to the left of me on the other hand disagrees entirely and insists that without a hard pillow in a hotel he will not sleep a wink. A hotel that claims to be luxury that does not offer a good night’s sleep is not somewhere guests will rush back to check in to after they’ve checked out. Therefore, keeping the pillow options open to all and investing in good linen will go far to ensuring your guests have a comfortable stay.
As technology continues to evolve, and while interior trends flow into the duvet, I sat down with linen experts Mitre Linen to put the topic into perspective.
Hamish Kilburn: How has the company evolved with technology moving forwards?
Kate Gough: Over the years, we have built a reputation for quality and reliability that has earned us the honour of HM The Queen’s Royal Warrant, which we have proudly held since 1955. Over the past 70 years, we have seen many changes within the industry, including major technological advances which have had a significant impact on many areas of our business, however, our key focus remains the same – offering exceptional customer service.
We work as hard as ever to ensure that anyone who contacts the Mitre team is left feeling delighted. Our friendly team, based in Merthyr Tydfil, in the heart of the Welsh valleys, has always been at the end of the phone to take orders, or offer advice and support to our customers. For those who prefer to, online orders can be placed quickly and easily via our new website, with a convenient Fast Order option available for those in a hurry, while those seeking advice or with product queries can take advantage of our new online LiveChat feature, which is available Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm.
We have created a selection of handy online Mitre Guides which is easily accessed via our website, helping our customers to make the right product choices for their needs. We also give online insight into the latest industry trends with our regularly updated Mitre Articles, which offer valuable advice from our experts, on topics such as the effective use of colour in hotel rooms, and tips on how to create a hygienic sleep environment.
The average person produces one to two pints of sweat every night
HK: What are your thoughts on the pillow menu?
KG: The right pillow is essential to a comfortable night’s sleep – pillow menus are easy to create and can be as simple as offering the option of either a hard and soft pillow, depending on a guest’s personal preference. Mitre Linen offers a wide variety of pillow styles and constructions available to suit the desires of any sleeper, and we are happy to guide you in your choices, making it easy for your business to provide the perfect pillow menu.
Our best-selling Comfort Palace Pillow features Quallofil extra life fibre which keeps it thick and plump, whilst ensuring a longer lifespan. The flame-retardant pillow is highly resistant to flattening, maintaining its shape after every use whilst retaining its soft profile, ensuring it’s quick and easy to achieve a welcoming bed. The Comfort Palace Pillow makes a great soft option for a pillow menu.
The Comfort Ultraloft Pillow would be ideal as a firm option for a pillow menu. With a Hollowfibre fill, its thick, plump design has a weight of 850g. Covered in durable polycotton, it’s designed to last through regular heavy-duty use, and is flame retardant.
We would also recommend that a pillow menu include at least one microfibre option, in order to offer the comfortable feel of feather and down without the risk of allergy. Mitre Linen’s Luxury Microfibre pillows are available in soft and firm variants, have 100% cotton covers with a 233 thread count, and conform perfectly to the head and neck to offer soft and comfortable support.
For further information, see our detailed pillow guide.
HK: How often should hotels replace bed linen?
KG: Bed linen such as duvet covers and sheets should be replaced at the first sign of wear and tear. Within two years, one third of a pillow’s weight is made up of dead skin, dust mites, oil and dirt and considering that the average person produces one to two pints of sweat every night, then pillows and duvets should be regularly replaced. Protectors are invaluable to prolong the life of mattresses, duvets and pillows. Not only do they provide a more hygienic sleeping environment for your guests as they can be regularly washed, but they also extend the life of bedding which is a significant investment for a business.
HK: What are your thoughts on colourful bed sheets in the hotel guestroom?
KG: Our white satin polycotton range is our biggest seller, and whilst recent Mitre Connects* hotelier feedback confirmed that white bedlinen is perennially popular, we did note quite a few comments requesting a larger range of good quality colourful bed linen. In response to this valuable feedback we have added colour options into our Egyptian Cotton Range – our gorgeous 100% cotton percale bedlinen is now also available in ruby red, raisin, blush pink, lead grey and saffron yellow, as well as our ever popular white.
HK: What advice would you give to hotels when it comes to caring for bed linen?
KG: Freshly laundered, pristine, smooth and crease free bedlinen always rates highly for guests when they stay at a hotel so for those who launder on site, here are some care tips:
Always wash cotton bedlinen before use, at 50°C or 60°C. Expect 4-8 per cent shrinkage (Mitre Linen sizing allows for this). Hot iron when slightly damp to give a crisp finish. Don’t bleach, as this will reduce the life of the product. Soak stained bedding in water if immediate laundering is not possible.
Wash polycotton bedlinen at 50°C. Use a detergent intended for colours (to avoid colour fade due to OBA build up). A light iron is suggested.
For further advice on laundry care, please refer to our Linen Care Guide at www.mitrelinen.co.uk/care-guide.
*MITRE CONNECTS SURVEY 2018 – The Mitre Connects Survey presents survey data from nearly 300 hospitality industry professionals. The answers provided offer a vital insight into the industry’s concerns on topics that affect day-to-day business and future planning for the hospitality industry.