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The History of Hotel Bed Linen

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Hotel accommodation and the provision of bed linen and bedding goes back to the dawn of time. People have always travelled for commerce, religion, family, immigration, education and recreation and have needed a room to sleep in when journeying.

From the small Country Inn to the most exclusive City Centre Hotel, the quality of the bedding and the bed linen has always been recognised as key to a positive and enjoyable experience.

How it was then…

In the early centuries bedding was usually a mixture of cotton flat sheets, furs from deer/bears and other such wild animals and heavy woven fabrics. Detailed embroidery on sheets followed, especially for the upper classes.

As accommodation needs and expectations increased so did the need to provide hotel bed linen on a commercial scale. With the Industrial Revolution and the advent of the Spinning Jenny, cotton sheets became the norm and it is still the case in modern hotels today.

The development of new factory looms in the Industrial Revolution enabled bulk production and uniform quality. In fact the looms became increasingly sophisticated allowing the weaving of much finer threads and the creation of higher Percale cotton thread counts and ring spun yarns, now as high as 800/1000 per square inch thanks to air jet looms.

And how it is now…

Today bed linen is a key part of the hotel experience and with significant advances in technology high quality and comfort is expected as a matter of course. From the use of long staple yarns from Egypt, Supima yarns and bamboo to the innovation of acorn technology (acorns close when wet and expand when dry allowing for improved absorption of perspiration and permeating of it away from the fabric) the bed linen production process has never been better or more varied! Thomas Kneale & Co Limited offers a full range of bed linen choices.

So what makes the perfect hotel bed experience?

A good night’s sleep for the customer is probably the most important a competitive advantage a hotel can offer. That is what the guest experiences at first hand and crucially remembers above everything else.

  • Contract quality mattress toppers with good filling can add that little extra comfort
  • The bed must breathe during the day and housekeeping must facilitate fresh air circulation
  • Mattresses do not last for ever they need turning and replacing
  • Watch out for bumps and whether the mattress is too hard or soft
  • Hotel beds have to withstand hard use, they have to look good and feel good