Table linen can undergo the most wear and tear when compared to other linen uses such as bed linen and towels. A single table cloth could be used all day, be subject to very hot objects being placed on it, and come under a barrage of spills and stains. Then it gets washed and it starts all over again the next day.
So when you are deciding what kind of table linen to buy for your business, its best to assess the nature of your restaurant. Is it fine dining, or family friendly? Do you specialise in quick, light bites or 4 course dinners?
These factors will affect your choice of linen in two ways. Firstly, you want your linen to be tough enough to withstand its use. Secondly, the quality and style of the fabric must reflect the ambience of your establishment.
The classic choice for many restaurants is white or cream. It has a sense of elegance, and so would be most suited to fine dining restaurants. Its also beneficial for restaurants with quite dark décor as the white from the linen helps to brighten up the room. In addition, many customers prefer to eat on a clean looking surface, and its difficult to hide dirt and stains when using a white cloth. This leaves the customer feeling at ease when dining.
However, family friendly restaurants will perhaps prefer more colourful options. Furthermore, with children creating more mess, the table may look unsightly with white tablecloths full of stains.
Look at your current décor, and use this as a starting point to decide what colours will complement it best.
Unlike most other linen, a higher thread count may not be the optimum choice for your restaurant. Table linen with a high thread count will require a finer thread. Whilst this may provide a more soft feeling material, ultimately the thread is weaker and so the cloth may not last very long. Table linen should be durable and long-lasting, so a lower thread count (approximately 400) will provide a stronger table cloth.
The next decision is whether to choose cotton or polyester. If you want to retain some softness with a durable cloth, cotton is the best option, and it can also withstand heat better than polyester. If your budget wont stretch however, using a polycotton blend material allows you to retain some of the softness of cotton, but the polyester fibres adding additional strength and durability. This is a popular option amongst caterers and restaurant owners.
Polyester table linen will provide the most strength and durability, and some ranges ensure the material emulates the softness of cotton as well.
Ensure you read the laundry instruction carefully in order to ensure your cloths retain their strength and colour.