Different types of bedding

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There are many different types of pillows, covers, protectors, sheets and other bedding items; and with these comes all the confusion of what exactly each product is, what it’s used for and whether it’s a necessity or not. Here we have a list of all the products you need to create a perfect and complete bed (not all are essential):

Mattress Protector: As the name implies, it’s a protector for your mattress, which means it’ll keep it from getting stained, wet or full of pesky hairs that we shed during our sleep. Some are waterproof/water resistant which can really come in handy.
Bed Skirt: Placed between mattress and box springs, this piece of fabric is only for decorative purposes and it can add color and elegance, all while hiding the box springs since it usually goes all the way to the floor.
Fitted sheet: This sheet goes either directly on over your mattress or over the mattress protector. They have an elastic edge that makes it adjust flawlessly to your mattress.
Flat sheet: This sheet is the next piece of fabric following the fitted sheet. It separates your body from the comforter, quilt and/or blanket. This item isn’t extremely popular in Europe, because of the existence of the duvet cover.
Duvet: A duvet is basically a soft flat bag filled with down, feathers, or another synthetic alternative.
Duvet cover: It’s a removable cover for the duvet. The reason because many people don’t use a flat sheet when they have a duvet cover, is because these can be washed and/or replaced easily, so it’s one less thing to worry about. It’s presented as a sort of envelope which, once you’ve placed the duvet inside, is closed with buttons or a zipper.

 

Bedspread: More commonly used in America, this is a thin covering, which goes over the flat sheet. It doesn’t provide much warmth or comfort at all, it’s just for decoration, it covers the entire bed and usually it’s long enough to reach the floor.
Quilt: Traditionally, it is composed of three layers of fabric: a woven cloth top, a layer of batting and a woven back, which is stitched together with different decorative patterns. Some aren’t even used a bedding, rather as throws, table cloths, runners…
Blanket: Serves to provide warmth, and while it’s sometimes used alone, it’s more often than not put under your duvet/bedspread/quilt.3198810449_b09258952b_o
Pillow protector: Soft and very durable material which helps prevents stains, lice, bed bugs, bacteria and dust mites on the pillow. This can go alone or with a pillow case on top.
Pillow case: It’s purpose is to cover the pillow (and/or pillow protector). Usually used more for decoration as there are many different patterns and designs available. It has one lateral opening through which the pillow is placed, and it is later closed with a zipper, buttons, drawstrings, etc. or it can have an overlap or envelope closure.
Pillow sham: Similar to a pillow case except instead of having a lateral opening, it’s all closed and has a margin of extra cloth. More than anything, it has a decorative purpose.
Throw blanket: It’s very similar to a normal blanket, except it’s more for added decoration or warth at the foot of the bed or to wrap around your shoulder.

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Disposable mattress protectors for hotels, hostels, B & Bs…

Get less complaints and more satisfaction – Helps combat hair that can become embedded in bed sheets or mattress, stains, dust and dirt and to ease the daily care of the rooms in hotel establishments.

“I found pubic hair on the mattress of my room” (from a review on TripAdvisor).

How many times have you seen negative reviews on trip advisor? Too many! And, often they involve only the bed. Travelers from all over the world have had unpleasant experiences in their accommodations, including luxury establishments! Travel blogs offer advice on hygiene and tell their experiences with filth and disorganization.

Our mattress protectors are placed on the mattress and you can put a sheet over them for maximum protection, this forms a layer that protects the mattress. They are also a great help to reduce costs and time, since traditional sheets and mattress protectors are expensive to wash. When using our mattress protectors, you will not risk your guests finding hairs, dust, or stains.

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  • Protects the mattress from signs of wear
  • Mites under control – The use of the mattress protector eliminates the presence of mites in the bed.
  • Lower risk of allergies – Reducing the presence of mites also reduces the risk of an allergic reaction to those who are sensitive to dust.
  • Less risk of receiving customer complaints and negative reviews online.
  • They help reduce the time and costs of cleaning and maintaining the laundry service.
  • They can also be used to deal with incontinence problems of the elderly and the children.
  • Semi-durable. They can last up to six weeks. After its use, you can place it in the plastic recycling container.
  • 100% recyclable
  • Mattress protectors offer excellent customer service while helping to reduce costs and time of room maintenance.

 

TYPES OF MATTRESS PROTECTORS

For hotels and B & B

The basic model – 100% water resistant. A subtle but effective protection.

NUIT TRANQUILLE model – semi-waterproof and breathable.

NUIT Ideal model 100% waterproof, breathable and silent. High technology.

Most economical models:

Plate model with elastic – 100% water resistant – not adjustable to mattress, this item includes two rubber bands that allow you to place it on mattresses or stretchers of different sizes.

Leader in the production and distribution of disposable linen in Europe, Caractere Paris offers a wide variety of models and sizes, having to adapt to the different types of mattresses found in France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

Inspired by our experience with international clients, the next article will be about the different ways of calling bed linen and will be titled: “Linen in Five Languages. Five Different Ways to Sleep” Till next time!

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.

5 ways hotels can reduce the negative impact they have on the environment

In previous years, we were not as aware of the impact we generated on the environment and not many people changed their bad habits regarding this subject; whether it was simply because of laziness or the fact that regrettably, most organic products had a higher price than the non-organic ones (which is something that still happens).
Nowadays, this has changed and it’s become a priority for many people. This has also been reflected in the hotel industry, the reason behind this being: consumer loyalty, economical reasons and the destruction planet we were and still are causing. There are more than 1,000,000 hotels in the world, and if every hotel followed at least one of these suggestions we could start to see a change.

1: Implement alternative energy sources…
Many hotels have already switched their source of energy to an alternative one; Such as air, water … and they’ve seen very good results.

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Hotel Hilton in Fortlauderdaler (FL; USA)

For example, there is a hotel in the United States that is using wind energy, with which they have managed to reduce their consumption by 12%. Hydropower could also be used, if the hotel is located near the sea or even solar energy can be used in places with warm climates. Fortunately, the alternative energy industry is growing more and more every day, which increases its affordability.

 

2: Do not waste water …
Each time we flush the toilet we use about 9 liters of water. A shower of 4 minutes, between 40 and 60 liters and if you leave the faucet open while you brush your teeth in the morning and at night at night, about 50 to 150 a day. Imagine the amount of daily, monthly or even annual water that can be wasted in a hotel … For this reason many products have been put on the market to help this cause such as toilets with reduced water capacity or faucets and showerheads with low flow.

3: Buy wholesale …
Buy wholesale, means fewer boxes to pack your products, less energy consumed and less carbon used to transport the merchandise. And as if that were not enough, this leads to obtaining greater and better discounts. In Character, we offer this option; Which benefits the customer and the environment at the same time.

4: Creating a garden …
Besides being aesthetically pleasing and it’s another service to offer the customers, the garden helps a lot to counteract the carbon footprint that the hotels leave in the environment. This space can be used to create a small park for children or by simply adding a few benches and some flowers, it can become a nice area where guests can relax and/or go for a walk.

5: Recycle …
One of the biggest impacts the hotels have is all the waste products they produce, even though many of the products inside the hotels are recyclable: paper, bottles, batteries …

recycle

It’s necessary to make a habit of recycling and to get all employees and customers to do it aswell. Our company Caractere Paris cares for the environment, and for this reason practically all our products are recyclable: from slippers to mattress protectors! It is very important to implement products like these in hotels, to make recycling even easier, and consequently to decrease the excuses one might have to not do so.

 

 

 

 

 

In short, these are just a few of the many ways hotels could reduce their impact on the environment. Providing a grain of sand, can change the world; contributing to make it a cleaner and more pleasant place to live.

Giving Compassionate Care with Quality Bed Products

Giving Compassionate Care with Quality Bed Products
Sick Woman With A Cup Of Tea by marinDelivering high quality nursing care is fundamental to maintaining dignity, helping recovery, and preventing problems and complications. Care needs to be evidence based, efficient but given with compassion. Having access to effective solutions that give people their dignity are essential in today’s National Health Service. One of the simple solutions to a challenging nursing problem is the waterproof mattress pad cover which is a far more discreet product than those used several years ago.

In today’s NHS the patients being admitted to hospital and nursed in the community are increasingly complex. Many have one or more comorbidities and this sometimes leads to an increase in problems such as incontinence and bladder control.

Some patients choose to spend their final days at home but fear of dealing with continence problems is a barrier. As more and more patients are nursed in community settings, having practical solutions to hand helps the patient and their family be more independent.

A waterproof mattress pad cover is a practical and discreet way of managing problems with potential incontinence. These fit over a standard mattress and are really comfortable. They help deal with that fear of soiling a mattress or having continual sheets on the washing line. A thin layer of plastic helps keep the mattress dry but is not too heavy to be uncomfortable to sleep on. And the old days of noisy uncomfortable rubber sheets have gone with the newer products on the market.

For carers the burden of washing and ironing soiled sheets is eliminated because these are disposed of in waste bags or be recycled. They are easy to change and keep the patient dry which helps prevent chafing and pressure sores. The waterproof mattress pad protector can last for weeks depending on the amount of direct content and whether there is a layer between the patient and the cover.

 

l_drap-housse-nuideal-2There is also a luxurious product that is even cosier for patients called the Nuideal Mattress Cover.

By enabling care to be given in a compassionate and dignified way in the home a patient can be nursed in an environment of their choosing without the fear of smells and spillages. These mattress covers are a very practical solution and for the nursing staff it avoids having to move soiled linen to and from a care setting. This in turn gives more time to spend with patients and is an efficient way of working, especially when staff are challenged by their workloads.

For a dignified solution to an everyday problem the waterproof mattress pad cover can help patients, carers, and nursing staff provide high quality care to people in a very simple and efficient way.

An explosion of Chinese tourists: The potential and expectations of Chinese travellers in the UK and worldwide

Relative newcomers to international tourism market, the Chinese traveler is the new target for a tourism industry that suffered major losses during the crisis. Thanks to a bustling local economy and the government’s relaxation of travel restrictions, in 2013 Chinese tourists took a total of 97 million trips abroad and spent some $102 billion, becoming the “world’s biggest spenders” according to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). A study conducted by the Chinese government predicts those figures will rise to over 100 million overseas voyages by 2015, and 200 million by 2020.

Taken in perspective with the recent past, these numbers represent a spectacular amount of growth, when in 2004 only 29 million went overseas. However, when isolated on a per-country basis, the growth can seem even more shocking. For instance, the number of Chinese tourists who visited Thailand last year more than doubled over the year before.

According to Abagail Haworth of The Guardian, the Chinese tourist represents “a global phenomenon, an unstoppable trend, a lucrative opportunity… Now millions are on the move.” CNN labeled the new found market, “the biggest phenomenon to hit the global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight.” International travel has been growing among the Chinese over the past decade, with rising prosperity at home and the relaxation of Communist government travel restrictions.

So aside from the economic and political explanations, why are so many Chinese flocking abroad? The firm Morgan Stanley predicts that in two years, Chinese tourists could spend $194 billion on vacations abroad, much of it on luxury products. Despite government policy to encourage spending at home, Chinese flock abroad in droves to take advantage of the lower prices on foreign designer products. This is because the government imposes import duties and taxes that can mean an additional 60% added to the price one would find in another country. A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called his compatriots “walking wallets,” due to the amount they’ve become known to spend abroad.

Thus it becomes clear why London, Paris and Hong Kong have become favorite destinations for the Chinese: luxury shopping. To put things into perspective, by 2015 the total amount of spending from Chinese abroad will exceed total sales of luxury goods worldwide, when compared to 2008 when it represented solely one third of that figure. A government crackdown implemented two years ago reinforced this phenomenon, as the growth in the domestic luxury market grew a mere 6%, whereas Chinese luxury spending abroad increased 37% over the preceding year. Some sectors, such as high end liquor and watches even saw a decline in sales.

This potential market has inspired Paris to invest in a manual for the city of light’s business owners to better understand the new wave of boutique-obsessed clientele. French-speaking guides do their best to meander giant tour groups through the crowds at department stores and on high streets. They much watch out for the guests, who have become an easy target for pickpockets and other criminals. New campaigns have begun by tourism officials to raise awareness among tourists of the dangers of dressing conspicuously and showing fancy electronics or jewellery in public. In London, the famous department store Harrod’s has hired 70 Mandarin-speaking employees. An additional one hundred China Unionpay registers permit direct payments by Chinese tourists from their home bank accounts.

The growing presence of Chinese tourists comes along with it a greater exposure and international visibility. However, surveys about the perception of tourists worldwide do not characterize Chinese tourists in a very positive light. One analyst even called them the world’s new “ugly” tourists. While self-organized trips are on the rise, the majority of international travel still occurs in tourist groups. Sociologists believe this “increases their collective visibility and amplifies stereotypes and cultural unfamiliarity on both sides” by limiting individual interactions between the tourists and locals. Media reports flourish about the negative impression left by Chinese tourists, that they “are loud and rude, or that they refuse to queue or give tips…”

Other complaints range from the practical to the surreal. In July, residents of the small Swiss city of Lucerne protested that up to 120 Chinese tour buses a day were paralysing local traffic, as they deposited tourists who wanted to buy luxury watches. Then there were bizarre reports, picked up by the Chinese media, of competing Chinese honeymooners brawling in French lavender fields over the best spot for photos to capture a “Monet moment”. A group travelling to North Korea drew scorn for throwing sweets to children as though they were “feeding ducks”, while a number of Chinese tourists in the Maldives were reportedly caught giving fake marriage papers to upmarket resorts in order to get free dinners offered to newlyweds.”

Beijing has been so bothered by the potentially negative perception of its people in other countries that the government has instituted a new clause that applies to Chinese citizens specifically when they travel abroad. Section 13 of the new bill states, “Tourists shall respect public order and social morality in tourism activities, respect the local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, take care of tourism resources, protect the ecological environment and respect the norms of civilised tourist behaviours.”

In terms of which countries can benefit from the growth in demand of accommodations and travel services, Thailand tops the list. For a mere £500, Chinese tourist can spend a week in the country with an organized tour, with flights included. The combination of historically and architecturally significant temples, pristine beaches and duty-free shopping brings Chinese here for the first time, if not on return trips. In fact, Thailand ranks as number three on a list of the most visited foreign destinations by Chinese, not far behind the “satellite Chinese territories” Hong Kong and Macao. London still leads at the top destination in terms of cities, but faces a threat from Bangkok, quickly gaining steam as a potential replacement.

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Disposable slippers from Caractere

What does this profound change in visitor composition mean for hotel, resort and Bnb operators? First of all, they’ll have to adapt to Chinese cultural standards. Since the ability to travel abroad for a Chinese person already assumes a certain standard of living and income level, one can expect that these travelers will not be the easiest to please. Standards for hygiene vary quite a bit in Eastern Asian from those typical of Europe or on other continents.

How can managers of accommodations adapt? By trying disposable products, of course!

At Caractère, we make a variety of popular disposable slipper and sandal solutions to prevent the spread of infections on the floors of hotels, resorts, salons, saunas, showers, locker rooms, changing areas, baths, pools, hot tubs, spas, etc.

Disposable bath robe

Bathrobe by Caractere

Another favorite product in finer establishments is our popular line of luxurious Bath robes, available in several designs. For perfect hygiene and the ultimate protection of your clientele (not to mention your business investment), try our other disposable, recyclable solutions, and discover the reason why we’re the buzz of the most luxurious hotels of Paris, the world capital of fashion and design. Our products will be sure to meet the standards of even the most difficult to please clients, including Chinese tourists on luxury shopping sprees.

Sources
Haworth, Abigail. “Chinese tourism: ‘Finally, we are seeing the world.’” The Observer, Dec. 22, 2013
http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2013/dec/22/chinese-tourism-changing-the-world
Kuo, Lily. “By 2015, Chinese tourists could spend more than all the world’s luxury shoppers combined.” QZ.com, Nov. 15, 2013.
http://qz.com/147703/by-2015-chinese-tourists-could-spend-more-than-all-the-worlds-luxury-shoppers-combined
M., K. “Chinese tourists: Mind your manners.” The Economist, Nov. 6, 2013.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/11/chinese-tourists
“‘Walking wallets’: Chinese tourists the world’s biggest travellers.” The Sydney Morning Herald, Jan. 10, 2014
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/walking-wallets-chinese-tourists-the-worlds-biggest-travellers-20140110-30lce.html

Caractere’s Disposable Linens Mobilized to Aid Syrian Refugees in Germany

This fall, Germany’s administration broke apart from the position held by its neighbors and other members of the European Union on the subject of a pressing humanitarian aid crisis: Syrian refugees. Germany became the first country on the continent to accept a large contingent of asylum-seekers from the war-torn country.

The pilot program will allow 5,000 Syrians to relocate over the course of one year, thanks to the organisation of 25 private flights by the German government. Counting those who will receive this assistance and other refugees who migrate on their own, estimates place the number of people to flee Syria in recent years for Europe at 17,000+ by the beginning of 2014.

Germany and the UNHCR are lobbying other European members to contribute space for the refugees or other resources to help smooth their resettlement.

The UNHCR, or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,  selected the initial group of refugees according to a number of factors.

Those considered “particularly vulnerable,” such as single mothers, minorities and the chronically ill were atop the list.

For the purposes of integration, German speakers had an advantage over other applicants. Additional consideration was also given to applicants with a connection to Germany, such as time spent in the country studying or family currently located there.

Finally a certain number of spots went to the intellectual, academic and professional elite of Syria, judged the group most important for the reconstruction of the country after the resolution of the current crisis.

The first group landed in Hannover a few weeks ago, sending a message the German government wants its neighbors to notice. The government then transported them to Friedland, a transit camp where the refugees spend two weeks.

Germany is no stranger to waves of refugees, as it decided to welcome 300,000 during the wars in the Balkans of the early 1990s. Nearly a million refugees have passed through Friedland over its history.

Given the basics of shelter and food, the newcomers attend German language and culture classes every day. Administratively a step ahead of other asylum-seekers, the Syrians are granted instant refugee status, which means they can start working whenever they want.

After the two week integration and orientation period, the different states of Germany each accept a number of refugees for permanent placement.

Certainly Germany’s actions represent a noble gesture, but this recent decision risks being seen as merely “a drop in the bucket.” This is because some two million Syrians seek asylum abroad, in addition to the four million already internally displaced, according to figures released by the United Nations.

This represents one third of the country’s population, a figure the UN estimates could reach as high as one half by the end of the year. More than 700,000 Syrians have officially registered as refugees in Lebanon. This has overwhelmed Syria’s neighbor, a country normally with a population of 4.5 million.

Unfortunate for the refugees, airline regulations impose a 44 pound limit per person for luggage. Within this limit, refugees must pack all the personal items and effects intended to prepare them for a stay of two years in Germany. Many left their homes in a rush, fleeing violence or destruction, without the time to pack up properly.

Often because of these constraints, refugees come to airport with little more than the clothes on their backs. For these reasons, it’s essential for countries planning to welcome refugees must prepare adequate infrastructure and supplies in advance.

While the core of our activities stem from the hotel industry or public institutions like hospitals and schools, Caractere already has experience in the field of humanitarian aid. Thus, it was with great honor that Caractere recently received a substantial order from Germany to help welcome Syrian refugees in their transition to life in Europe.

Some of our most popular items to deal with natural disasters and large population migrations include those from our hotel supply unit, including warm blanketssleeping bags and children’s linens. Caractere also manufactures a variety of uniforms and work outfits to properly equip the staff and volunteers associated with the reception of refugees.

baby sleepingbag by caractere

Caractere’s Baby Sleeping Bag

To learn more about the different types of products that can help with the reception of refugees,  check out the English language version of the website for Caractere Paris, Disposable Linen!

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CaractereUK

Caractere UK’s Disposable Linen on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/CaractereUK

Sources
Amos, Deborah. “For Some Syrian Refugees, A New Home In Germany.” NPR, Sept. 12, 2013.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/09/12/221764124/for-some-syrian-refugees-a-new-home-in-germany
Heine, Friederike. “Gateway to Freedom: Camp Preps Syrian Refugees for German Life.” Der Spiegel, Oct. 11, 2013.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/second-syrian-refugee-group-arrives-at-friedland-transit-camp-a-927372.html