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The History of Hotel Bed Linen

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

Latest Posts:

News Release – Action Ukraine Now!

Faced with the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine, here at Thomas Kneale we wanted to provide immediate and concrete support to the Ukrainian people. We therefore joined forces with the Re-use Network, John Lewis & Partners and Nectar Bedding to donate bed and bath linens, duvets, pillows, clothing and sleeping bags. ‘Stella’s Voice’ ( provides […]

Covid-19 & an Increasing Focus on Hygienic Bedding Choices

As the Covid-19 Pandemic has developed and spread, increasing hygiene protocols is now the new ‘normal’. Returning to everyday activities has seen a clear focus on preventing the spread of the disease – hand sanitiser and facemasks have become the most obvious and regular symbols of the care and attention being taken. As the hospitality […]

Thomas Kneale & Co Ltd Sustains Success at Inaugural University of Manchester Awards Event

Socially responsible textile manufacturer Thomas Kneale & Co Ltd (TK) has been selected for recognition from over 8,000 suppliers to the University of Manchester. TK provide Bedding and Bathroom Textiles, Student Kitchen Starter Packs and Window Coverings to the HE Sector across the UK, and also supply (including but not limited to) custodial, immigration, emergency […]

Linen Hire OR Linen Ownership

Commercial Laundries have been washing and distributing TK linen for many years and then hiring it out. On the linen hire model, the laundry calculates its costs on approximately 150 washes representing the life of the linen item before replacement. However, we know the linen item can be washed closer to 250/270 washes before replacement […]

Rarely beaten on price, never beaten on service

With logistic operations beginning in advance of 3am each day, we achieve service levels which are hard to beat.

We ensure our delivery vehicles are on the road in the early hours; arriving to at time that makes a difference to our customers. This is key to many sectors where goods are required with specific instruction regarding delivery times, vehicle type and often 'just in time' stock approach.

Talk to our Customer Service Team who will be happy to help you.

Contact Our Product Experts

We are open from 3am for early birds and throughout the day, please call us on +44 (0)161 274 4464 or click below to send us an email- we will be right on to it!

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