Products for spas, massage centers, spas. Disposable vs reusable.

Caractére Paris produces and distributes a wide range of products dedicated to the needs of health centers, spas, hairdressers…
Mainly, there are two kinds of products, disposable / semi-resistant and reusable. Disposable products are made of non-woven fabric, and those that are durable are made from microfiber, both made with the best technology available on the market.

 

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Disposable linen for massages: Ideal for massages that use oil or mud, and situations where it is often necessary to use disposable products, since these types of products are very difficult to eliminate. For this reason, Caractere proposes an economic fabric, ultra soft and absorbent, with a mixed composition. Particularly adapted for Ayurvedic massages, in which large quantities of oils are used.

 

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Microfiber Towels: The microfiber absorbs up to 4 times more than cotton, is softer than it, and it takes up less space. It requires a simple washing (without bleach or softeners), it dries faster than cotton. Available in different sizes.

 

 

Disposable Towel vs. Durable Microfiber Towel Caractere Paris
The first and most important difference between these two products is that one does not need to be washed and ironed and the other requires thorough washing. While in some cases the disposable towel is necessary, in others it is possible to choose between the two types of product. The main advantage of the disposable towel is that you’ll be able to ensure that the product will only be used by an individual, while for the latter the advantage is in the immediate savings, since you do not have to repurchase. Another advantage that the durable microfiber towel is the feeling of softness.
We offer both possibilities, but also a mid-point: absorbtex bathrobe, semi-durable, honeycomb fabric, elegant and highly absorbent.

 

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Absortex- A unique and original fabric found only in Caractere: Absortex fabric is completely natural, 100% degradable. Caractere produces this fabric with a honeycomb texture, also known as “waffle”. Our bathrobes are durable and elegant. They stay well for the period of one week.

 

 

 

We offer samples and free quotations, so if you’re interested don’t hesitate to call (+44 (0) 20 3608 1542) and/or e-mail us (info@caractere-paris.com) and we’ll get back to you asap!

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2 important reasons why…

There are many, many reasons why hotels, spas and other establishments should decide to use disposable linen over resuable ones. In the following blog post, we’ll see 2 very important reasons:

Safety Reason:

bc21I recently came across an article online, in which they explained how the fire service was giving a warning amid a spate of fires caused by putting several items such as towels and robes inside a tumble dryer. These items had traces of oils on them, from using the them on clients or employees, which combined with the heat, set them on fire.

This is happening in dry cleaning businesses, spas, hotels,etc.

One of the most recent cases was in a restaurant where employees were washing their aprons and other linens that had traces of cooking oil on them. Once they were placed in the dryer, the fire erupted.

There´s almost no safe way around this problem, seeing as how if you choose to wash them with low heat the oil stays on the linen, and if you dry them in high temperatures, they catch on fire.

This is a great example of why it’s safer, easier and not to mention more hygienic to use disposable linen; with them, once used you can just throw them out and avoid any problems with the cleaning.

Hygienic Reason:

“What DOESN’T get cleaned often, and are usually recycled from guest to guest, are bedsheets; pillows; blankets; and, of course, window curtains. Also, most housekeepers won’tclean change out a linen that wasn’t used. So that bathroom towel could have been there for weeks.”

This is a direct quote found online by an ex-housekeeper that wishses to remain anonymous.

Yes, you read correctly. The linen in certain hotel rooms don´t necessarily get cleaned and/or changed as often as one would think. Granted, the hotel where this housekeeper worked was relatively small, but, there’s really no valid excuse.

Imagine one day a health inspector decides to pop-up in a hotel and checks on a random room, where unfortunately the bedsheets haven´t been washed or changed. This would be terrible for the hotel and it’s something that can be easily avoided. The solution to this being disposable bed linen; once it´s been used you can easily recycle it.

In caractere, we have a product called Disposable mattress protectors, which if you put a bed sheet on top, doesn´t have to be changed in a few months. This is thanks to the material it’s made out of, making it waterproof and doesn´t allow any hairs or stains to get stuck on it.

Legionellosis or Legionnaire’s Disease in Spa and wellness centre

Are you the owner or manager of a spa, hot tub or pool, or do you provide showers and air conditioning for your clients? Make sure you are fully aware of the dangers of legionnaire’s disease and the risks to your clients, and understand what your legal obligations are.

What exactly is Legionnaire’s Disease?

legionella

Legionnaire’s disease is a serious disease caused by a tiny aquatic organism which thrives in warm, damp environments. It can be inhaled in fine droplets, leading to pneumonia and a high fever. As the disease takes up to 10 days to develop many other people may be infected before it is realised that anything is amiss. Air conditioning systems, humidifiers, nebulisers, ornamental fountains and many other types of equipment containing water may also be sources of legionnaire’s disease.

How can it be prevented?

 

A spare swimsuit for pool to keep the pool clean.

Because of its long incubation period an outbreak is easier to prevent than to control and there are strict regulations in place to safeguard public health. The essential feature is a controlled system of regular testing and keeping water systems clean. Although legionella bacteria can be found in many sources, including fresh water, it becomes dangerous when slime is allowed to develop and when the temperature reaches 35-45 degrees centigrade.

What are my legal obligations?

According to www.hse.gov.uk, under general Health and Safety law you are obliged to maintain your water systems in good condition and assess the risk of a problem developing. This means drawing up a risk assessment, identifying potential sources of legionnaire’s disease and preparing a course of action to monitor that risk. You must keep accurate records and be able to prove you are taking your responsibilities seriously.

The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations state that if you have a cooling tower or evaporative condenser on site you must notify the local authority in writing. Contact your local Environmental Health department.

 

What should I do on a daily basis?

disposable flip flop for pool and spa

If you employ five people or more, you must have a written risk assessment and keep careful records of your monitoring of the water system. Make sure you have a responsible person do this and that all your staff know the correct way to use equipment.

Keep the system and the water clean, and avoid a situation where an outbreak could develop. Keep the water too hot for the bacteria to survive or add an antibacterial solution to prevent growth.

Consider employing a firm of consultants to check your supply.

Caractère’s Spring Newsletter: Swimwear, Bedding and Sandals

Disposable Swimsuits – Welcome Slippers – Hotel Mattress Pad Protectors

n°02 – 23/03/2011
Emergency disposable Swim Wear
Emergency Swim Wear

– Better than disposable bathing suits,

these simple and elegant swimsuits are for customers of all sizes who forget their own at home.

You can offer them for free or sell them.

The unit price of less than £5 makes these suits a great deal.

An important service for guests who value comfort and convenience.

To learn more, please click here.

Slippers for all Sizes and Sensibilities

-Welcome slippers have become an essential amenity for accommodations that provide all the comforts of home.

-In addition to custom orders (starting with 20 pairs), we offer a wide range of slipper sizes, in white, black, standard, deluxe and logo-personalised models.


For more details, please click here

Slippers for all Sizes and Sensibilities
Tranquil Nights with Inexpensive Mattress Pads Mattress protectors
Tranquil Nights with Inexpensive Mattress Pads Mattress protectors

Tranquil Nights with Inexpensive Mattress Pads Mattress protectors are a real hygiene problem for hotels.

– Fortunately, economical and practical solutions exist.

– An end to stains, hair or other cleaning issues, these pads can be used for over a month without a change.

– Disposable, meaning time and money saved by removing the chore of washing.

Sold in sets starting at 25 units

– for more information, please click here

For our full range of products or a free estimate, please visit disposable-linen.co.uk , or call020 7193 0887.
Copyright © www.caractere-paris.com

Vakker og Fredelig, Fjorder i Norge: Hiking Norway’s Fjords in Comfort and Style

from Caractère Paris

A Cruiseship in Molde, Romsdal

The coasts of the Scandinavian countries, and those of Norway in particular, are world renown for their spectacular fjords and incomparable views. More often than not, visitors opt to experience their magnificence from below, either on coastline cruise boats or in small canoes. However, as experienced hiker Bill Russell points out, taking “hikes into the surrounding mountains… really provides the visitor the fullest opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of the area in a special way not available by boats alone… it’s a glorious experience viewing the fjords from above.” In fact, he goes as far as to say, “Fjord hiking is the experience of a lifetime.” With over 15,000 miles of coastline and thousands of fjords, fortunately one could never run out of new sites to explore.

from Caractère Paris

Meloyfjord Sunset from Amnes

Sounds intriguing, no? If unfamiliar, you might be wondering what a fjord is exactly and about the origin of their funny name. The word “fjord” comes from Indo-European origins, with fara meaning travelling or ferrying. The Old Norse adaptation of this verb, fjǫrðr (or fjord) indicates a body of water that resembles a lake, often used for cruise and ferry ship transit. In geological terms, the name defines a lengthy, thin inlet surrounded by cliffs of steep hills or mountains. Fjords were created thanks to thousands of years of glacial melting since the last ice age. In fact, as the glaciers melted, through the abrasive pressure exerted by their weight on the land below the ice, the glaciers carved out deep tunnels. After they melted, these tunnels eventually became submerged by the sea. At the same time, this intense pressure pushed the surrounding land upward, creating the picturesque views that enthuse many a traveller to visit Norway today.

from Caractère Paris

Bergen from the Fløibanen Funicular

Often, hikers begin their voyages in Bergen, considered by many one of the world’s most beautiful cities and the “gateway to the fjord country.” Rich in an elegant mix of classic Norwegian style and the new minimalist Scan school of architecture, with plenty of cultural institutions, Norway’s second largest city has enough to offer on its own to be worth a visit. However, it’s the city’s proximity to the fjords that interests most tourists.

from Caractère Paris

Sognefjord, Norway, just outside of Bergen

Given the mountainous terrain, one can expect to travel an average of five to eight miles (11-18 km) per day. Waterfalls, rolling streams and quaint cabins line the journey. From Bergen, one can reach Sognefjord in a day, the world’s third longest fjord (the longest in Norway) at 203 km (136 mi) and the second deepest (again, the record holder for Norway) at 1,308 m (4,291 ft). The surrounding  mountains rise another 1,000 metres (3,281 miles), providing unrivalled views of the coast from every perspective. However, don’t let what sounds like a steep incline intimidate you — there are hiking paths available for every fitness level, from the professional to the amateur.

from Caractère Paris

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Further north along the coast, the Atlantic road continues along some of the country’s most beautiful and lesser known fjords. The Troll’s Road, Trollstigen, was a feat of modern engineering when constructed. It cuts directly into the Andalsnes mountain with hairpin turns, surrounded by waterfalls that have been described as “simply breathtaking.” Trollstigen leads to Geiranger, where many view the remarkable Geirangfjord from boat. Experienced travellers boast that the best vistas are from the trails north of Hellyslt. While in the area, the neighbouring Strynevatnet Lake contains gorgeous waters of a unique turquoise colour that cannot be found elsewhere. Also, the peaceful rural town of Hjelle serves as a perfect point to stop and rest.

from Caractère Paris

Sørfjord and Lofthus in Hardanger

One cannot go wrong by continuing along the Panorama Road, which wraps around the Gamle Strynefellsvegen fjord a third of a mile above sea level with stunningly picturesque views. Not to miss: the Kjenndal, Loen, Olden and Briksdal Glaciers. The nearby Saebo and Hjorundfjord sport some of the most remarkable views in all of Norway. With an extremely steep incline (nearly vertical), one is left with the feeling of floating on top of the world. The Highway 60 that passes by Geirangerfjord and Sunnylvsfjord sports what has the reputation of “one of the best vista spots in Norway.” Vinnufossen, in the neighbouring region of Sunndalsora, is the sixth tallest waterfall in the world. The gorgeous, protected Amotan Park will help visitors reconnect with nature, in addition to offering more scenic valleys with impressive waterfalls and a highly recommended hiking trail, the Trodalen.

from Caractère Paris

Stigen Farm, Aurlandsfjord

If you have yet to book the next flight to Oslo, listen to a short excerpt of one hiker’s experience of the fjords: “We hike past mountain farms, similar to the one situated 600 meters above Simadalsfjorden and only reachable by foot until the beginning of the 1970’s. We glimpse these old farm houses, where you can see how your ancestors used to live, and where it is still possible to meet people who protect the local song heritage by singing the old tunes, and by playing the Hardangerfiddle.

from Caractère Paris

Mountain pasture on the Geiranger Fjord

“As we hike along the heritage trails in Ulvik, in the hills and mountains that surround the village, you get to know more about life in the area in the days gone by. The trails beckon and the high pastures where flocks of sheep graze, clear streams, blue lakes, and striking mountains provide hikers with plenty of off-the-beaten track adventures.”

Sounds delightful! At Caractère, we offer a variety of items to make your fjord hiking experience easier and more comfortable. Our products include supplies designed for rural guest houses and camp sites, which range from disposable sheets and blankets to towels and baby hygiene products. For those who plan to take advantage of Scandinavia’s world renown saunas and spas, we also provide massage wear, slippers, sandals, bathrobes and towels. Comfortable, recyclable and easy to use, you cannot go wrong with disposable supplies from Caractère. Best of all, we ship anywhere in Europe, including the UK and Norway. If you choose to go, have a wonderful trip and please write to us about your travels.
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Finally, some links to help you plan. For hiking route ideas and itineraries, see the hiking and itinerary pages of Norway Fjords, Fjords.com, REI, FjordNorway, Russell Tours and Web Walking. For guided hiking tours, visit The Norwegian Trekking Association’s official website. For more fantastic pictures of fjords, see The Norway Fjords and Fjords.com.

Finally, a short video about hiking in the fjords from Visit Kristiansund:

From the Involucrum to the Kimono Gown and Cape: A History of the Barber Shop and Hair Styling Professions

from Caractère Paris

Ancient Roman Ornatrix

In ancient Rome, just as in the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, baths and bodycare were an essential component of daily life. Sanitation was important enough for rulers to install public toilets and sewers, in order to avoid dirtiness in the streets and the spread of disease. Both the number and variety of beauty and hygiene-related professions flourished, predecessors to today’s hair stylists and make up artists in salons and spas. Rich, noble families and Senators had the means to hire personal barbers who lived with them in the decadent private villas of Rome and worked directly with their clients on a daily basis, or as often as required. Female stylists were kept busy, with the sole purpose of caring for the lady of the household, without any break or time to care for themselves. These domestic beauticians, called Ornatrix in Latin, also took care of the household and bathrooms, and created hair arrangements with the help of copper-based mirrors, primitive combs and fibulae brooches.

from Caractère Paris

Ornatrix statue in the Carthage Museum, Tunisia

Far from being a privilege reserved for the few wealthy classes, many more Romans sought their grooming in public barbershops, either inside a dedicated building or out on the street corner. These workers distinguished themselves with specially designed haircut gowns. They were mostly preoccupied by the care of men, whose beards required weekly attention. Aside from the basic format of the service, the functional aspects of aesthetic care were important. Often, only a single seat was available in the neighbourhood Botteca Tonsor, or barber shop. This gave the client the hair dresser’s full, undivided attention during sessions. Early versions of mirrors, different sizes of scissors, statues and paintings on the walls provided the client with ideas of styles from which to choose. For the customer’s comfort, more luxurious shops provided towels or protective cape-like covers, called Involucrum, but this was a relatively uncommon practice.

from Caractère Paris

Ornatrix from Pompei

In addition to the simple purpose of hair salon, the Tonsor also operated as it still does today in many countries of the Middle East and Asia, as a sort of general physician/practician, herbalist, nutritionist, psychologist and private consultant. Even today, as in ancient Rome, the barber was responsible for taking care of a variety of important rituals that marked the milestones of a person’s life. These ranged from “shaving the first offering to the gods” (circumcision), to the application of disinfecting creams and lotions to kill fleas and ticks, to treating the client with leeches for bloodletting, considered for centuries the best remedy to every illness. Above all, the barber shop was (and remains in some capacity today) a social place where the latest news and gossip were shared, where people shared their personal problems and where important decisions were made. What’s more, they served as a host for vibrant political discussions and helped people come to agreements.

Culturally, there is an abundance of well-known examples (that is, of course aside from the Barber of Seville), such as the classic novel ‘Moustache‘ by Tahsin Yucel, considered one of the greatest Turkish writers of the Twentieth Century. It describes the changes in society from the perspective of a barber shop in a small village of Anatolia. On the other hand, the hair stylist’s role in literature has remained a central part of Italian culture. Toward the end of the Roman empire, the satirical story Martial and Juvenal (Marziale e Giovenale in the original language), focused on those obsessed with hair styles, those lazy ones stuck “between the mirror and comb” (Martial).

from Caractère Paris

Frontispiece Depicting Juvenal and Persius

The stories are numerous enough to give specific information on the trends and styles instituted under the emperor. Dyed hair wigs imported from the Indian provinces became a popular style. Although hair styling tools from the Roman period have been impossible to preserve until today because they were usually made of iron and subsequently destroyed by rust, there are many directions for the beard cutting process and style left by Etruscan, still well preserved to this day in bronze reliefs. During the Middle Ages, the barber’s shop became a learning place for surgery, according to the teachings of Hippocrates, Galen (Galeno) and Avicenna.

Today, the single sex, community barber has virtually disappeared, replaced over the last century by commercial, unisex hair salons and spas. At the same time, in recent years there seems to be a recovery of some neighbourhood community barber shops. While the size, health standards and hygiene have evolved rapidly, and new services are offered such as massage sessions, facials, manicures and pedicures; today’s beauty salons have reincorporated many of the same wellness and health services that were common two thousand years ago.

Caractère offers a variety of products, some even inspired by the early concept of the Involucrum, including protective gowns, kimonos, capes, supplies for hairdressers, massage wear, sauna products and much more…

The Fountain of Eternal Youth: A History of Roman Thermal Baths

by the German painter L. Alma Tadema

Baths of Caracalla

Yet again, the origin lies in the name. Thermos, the Greek word for “heat,” situates itself among many concepts recovered and recycled from ancient Greece by the Romans, who popularised the communal bath system during the fifth century BC. Initially, the Romans privatised the baths’ use for the elites, such as Senators and merchants. Ahead of their time in terms of hygiene, as with most things, the Romans discovered the basic health benefits of thermal baths by the first century. However, the use of spas on a mass scale took until the Empire of Augustus, who was advised by Agrippa to make his generals frequently take cold baths. With the trust of the Emperor won, the ‘public bath’ concept was born.

by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

The Baths at Caracalla

The first spas spread rapidly throughout the Empire, transforming into a popular site of congregation and socialisation for members of every profession, social class and milieu. While originally known for its health and hygiene functions, the spa soon became an indispensable component for a healthy society — a sort of community centre and meeting place all-in-one, where all types of relationships and business intermingled. The sense of relaxation and intimacy provided by this place, designed with attention to architectural detail unimaginable today, was elaborated by an entranceway with restrooms, exercise areas, a primitive version of a locker room, saunas and steam rooms, and three deep basin pools filled with water of different temperatures: one hot, one warm to tepid and one cold. Through the various rooms, guests could benefit from Roman thermal baths in nearly identical ways to how visitors to the modern version of the spa do today.

Today a church

Roman Baths of Diocletian

In continuous use until roughly the sixth century, which depended on their location, many of the Roman baths were destroyed or neglected during the disintegration of the empire. Over the Medieval period, given the mounting support for Christian morality, modesty, and the intolerance for promiscuity, the baths were often transformed into monasteries. One such example is the Baths of Diocletian, the largest of any baths built in Rome, which could at one time accommodate up to 3,000 bathers, was transformed into a series of religious buildings during the sixteenth century.

During the twelfth century, the repair of many older spas and the opening of new ones were undertaken, mainly in the Tuscan and Emilia-Romagna regions, which to this day remain the regions of Italy with the highest concentration of spas. The Baths of Casciana and those of di Lucca, originally property of the Countess Matilde, count among the many examples. Their use was once private, with a four week long treatment that consisted of various baths between 30 minutes to two hours, with the time gradually decreased over the period of treatment. The principle behind this very exact regimen remains a mystery, but it is believed to date back to Hippocrates’ Theory of Humours, which attempted to treat symptoms of disease with their exact opposite. For example, sulphur-rich water was used to treat skin infections, and waters rich with minerals were intended to cure infertility. The steam rooms were also a very popular cure for body odour linked to sweat.

at Hotel Helvetica

Contemprary Spa in Porretta

Renaissance thinkers and artisans rediscovered the classical charm and advanced theories (for their time) of Greco-Roman cultures, which put considerable pressure on local leaders, such as princes and lords, to ameliorate the former spas in terms of structural features and artistic design, but their use remained essentially non-medical, for example at the Porretta spa in Emilia. Later, during the age of imperialism, and especially after the remains of Pompeii coincidentally surfaced in 1779, a romantic vision of Roman culture led many elites of the era to want to reinterpret their lifestyle and customs. Numerous paintings on display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris exhibit this viewpoint, where the term, “a century of the baths,” denotes the formation of a well-defined civil society.

England's most famous bath

Roman Baths in Bath, England

Since the late nineteenth century, due to medical progress and experimentation, along with the gradual gentrification of society, leaders regained a sense of social obligation for hygiene, even if this obligation remained limited to the privileged classes. Not only did the nobles of Europe rediscover the therapeutic sense of a day at the spa, but also a dimension of overall well-being, which included body, mind and spirit. In the modern era, scientific progress proved the advantages of combined therapies, exemplified by the importance and variety of today’s wellness centres and spas. For example, those suffering from chronic illness in Northern Italy have deemed the Baths of Casciana in Pisa an indispensable part of rehabilitation. Other well-preserved spas from the Roman era preserved a fun and relaxing attitude, such as the hot springs of Saturnia or Petriolo, openly accessible by all ages and social classes for recreational as well as therapeutic use. (Baths of Caracalla by the German painter L. Alma Tadema)

An interesting phenomenon over the past few years has been the rise of specialty spas

England's most famous bath

Bath, England at night

flanked by villas and boutique hotels that offer a mix of public baths and private therapeutic services, often catered by a specialized team with experience in medical treatments, physical therapy, massages and other services. While non-clinical in nature, these specialised spas advertise custom treatments and wellness programs in targeted sessions of a few days to weeks, in a naturally pleasant environment to rejuvenate both body and spirit.

Some other locations where original Roman spas can be found in abundance include France, England, Germany, Spain and Turkey. Here is a list of some such locations, many still functioning in their original capacities today and others renovated or redesigned for other uses, as provided by Wikipedia:

  • United Kingdom: Bath – Roman Baths; Exeter, Devon; Leicester – Jewry Wall; Ribchester, in Lancashire; Tripontium, near today’s Rugby, Warwickshire; Welwyn, in Hertfordshire; Chedworth; Fishbourne Roman Palace; and York.
  • France: Arles – Thermes de Constantin; Glanum, near today’s Saint-Rémy-de-Provence; and Paris – Thermes de Cluny.
  • Germany: Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg; Trier; and Weißenburg.
  • Italy: Baths of Agrippa, Baths of Caracalla, Baths of Diocletian, Baths of Titus, Baths of Trajan,  Pompeii (ruins), and Herculaneum.
  • Spain: Caldes de Malavella, Gerona; Caldes de Montbui, Barcelona; Clunia, Burgos; and Lucus Augusti, Lugo.

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For a list of spas in Italy, please see http://www.termeitalia.info/
For a wide variety of products ideal for spas, such as soft and durable bathrobes, slippers, sandals, bathing suits, Asorbtex and microfibre towels, please visit Caractère’s spa page at http://disposable-linen.co.uk/bed-sheet-towelling-bedding/contents/en-uk/d115_spa-wellness.html
For all other Caractère products, see http://disposable-linen.co.uk/bed-sheet-towelling-bedding/