Textile Mill President Concerned About Imports Trend

There has been a trend occurring that laundry operators and hotel owners should be aware of concerning their bed linens.
Many of the large textile mills have been, in effect, forcing properties that had been using domestic bedding to use imports instead. Due to their inability to compete using the higher quality, domestically made products that have always been the hallmark of a well-adorned hotel room, they are now closing many of their domestic production facilities and are becoming importers of sheets and pillowcases from countries all over the world.
Our experience has told us that quality is still an important feature to the properties. Hotel owners and operators should not be lured into thinking that import bed linens will perform as well as their domestic counterparts. The repeated experiences of those who have tried imports have shown that they will not.
It has been said that since the retail consumer market has begun to accept imports, it is likely that the same path will be followed in the institutional market.
Although it is true that imports have become acceptable in the retail sector, very few white bed linens are sold to this market. Rather, mostly prints and colors are sold into that market.
In fact, import bed sheets as a whole have been proven to demonstrate a lack of consistency in both color and hand (feel). This becomes even more apparent in white, which is the predominant color in the institutional market and which reveals the most when it comes to color problems.
Unlike dark colors or prints, white is very unforgiving and hides very little. Whereas most domestic sheets tend to have a bright white color using optical brighteners, imports tend to come in either on the yellow side of the white spectrum or tend to have a grayish, dingy cast. Only commitment of additional chemicals, heat and time in the laundering process can attempt to remedy these problems.
When one factors in the small savings, if any, in the initial acquisition cost of imports vis-à-vis domestic bed linen, in the long run the true savings are questionable. In fact, with higher rag-out rates than domestics due to the inferior appearance and poorer weave quality, imports may prove to be more expensive in the long run.
You do have a choice. You do not need to have the imports forced on you if that is not the quality you desire for your customers.Robert ZaslowPresidentThomaston MillsThomaston, Ga.


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