Combining high standards of resistance in the industrial washing process with high yarn quality, is the perfect solution for the companies operating in this specific market segment. A wide and varied range of articles is available, and it is related to the areas of supply. There is, on one side, the supply for hotels, restaurants and catering, and on the other, for the health sector, with completely different ways of supply and treatment. Like an apple split in two, with different, often opposite logistics. Their common thread is the professionalism of supply and maintenance. Table cloth, bed sheets and bathroom linen. The yarns used are making the difference, ranging from linen, cotton, hemp and jute to special latest-generation fibres capable of meeting the requirements of the most demanding customers. As well as bed linen for the industrial laundry to be used in hotels, but also bedsheets, mattress covers and pillowcases for the healthcare sector designed for the needs of healthcare managers, operators and patients. This is the business framework for our analysis, questioning the companies after overpassing a couple of difficult years due to the health and energy crisis, on which are the market perspectives especially beyond the national borders

How is the made in Italy carried out by Gastaldi? “What has always distinguished us, as Gastaldi, is our in-house entire production cycle: dyeing, weaving, finishing, sewing. Our aim is to establish connections with companies in Italy and abroad with an eco-friendly approach. This is the business vision and philosophy of Gastaldi SpA”. We are talking about this with Alessandro Erba, the Export Sales Manager of the company. “We are enjoying a green approach and a great communication relationship with the northern European countries. So, we are encouraging our customers, especially the industrial laundries, to recycle their old products, especially the towels and bed sheets, to produce a new fully recycled product. Like this, we can depend less on the supplies from countries like Pakistan, India and China, the main sources from which most of the cotton imports arrive. It is a benefit not only from an economical point of view, but also a saving for the environment, with less water consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions (with reduced transport).

We have launched this project by making a tablecloth from GRS-certified recycled fabrics – Global recycle standard (an institution that certifies products with at least 50% recycled fibres) with production waste, old collections, second hand: we receive the highest demand for this hybrid product from the Northern Europe. The Italian market is also becoming more aware of this, even if the difficulties are mainly related to the products required, currently not achievable with recycled yarns (e.g., white linen with special finishing, customised cotton). When we will be ready to offer a multi-purpose tablecloth, all these difficulties will be solved also in Italy. An innovative concept for the daily life, lifestyle, business. This will be the future, especially when the technology will allow us to offer a wider range of products.

We do not believe that price and longevity could be considered obstacles in choosing a recycled product. The United States and Asia seem to be the places where we find the most difficulty in the green direction. Our target market is that of the industrial laundries, hospitality, catering but also the shipping and airline industry. The products are similar on these markets, only some dynamics change. Especially for supplying the cruise ships, it requires large production quantities at specific time periods during the year, it is a planned activity with large volumes. It is not an ordinary business. Always for the benefit of the community regarding all the products, we are now experimenting with dyeing and finishing biocompatible products. In case of positive results, chemicals will be gradually replaced”.

Roberto Littamè is the Managing Director of Tessiltorre. The company with its headquarters located in Dairago, just at the outskirts of Milan, produces and sells table cloths, bed sheets and bathroom linen, addressing its business directly to the industrial laundry market. “We are bringing a touch of beautiness to the hotels and restaurants through our products, and we are focusing moreover on the relationship with the industrial laundries. Design, development and manufacturing are the three main process steps of the final product. Our way of working combines creativity and commitment. In these stages, there is often a synergetic work together with the customers as the ideas are often arising from them, and the experimentation, therefore, is directly related to the needs and appreciation expressed. We have displayed our new collection at EXPOdetergo International 2022 few months ago, focusing on aesthetics according to the needs of the industrial laundry, easy cleaning and ironing. The quality of the fabrics used is always the same, as a synthesis of fabric longevity and aesthetic attractiveness. The current market continues to demand cotton, linen and polyester yarns. Depending on contexts and use, there is a preference for one fibre or another. The catering industry requires a product that contains also polyester as it gives a more glossy effect.

Some prefer the irregularity of linen, which gives the fabric an antique and refined feeling. We have made some tests with hemp, but at the moment we are not fully satisfied yet. Our driving force is to customise our product portfolio as much as possible. We have a nationwide presence. We are satisfied for the market recovery, and the excellent results of Easter and the 25 April and 1 May holidays indicate an excellent year. The uncertainty lies in the price fluctuations and inflation, an imminent threat for any business’s perspective. We must pay special attention to recycling, which has taken an impressive step forward in the fashion industry and is also gradually reaching our more specific market. From the issue of microplastics to the use of water in processing, it will be necessary to take action and make a change. For instance, if we think about the waste disposal efficiency, it will be essential to separate the hybrid fibres like cotton from polyester, aligning to a correct and appropriate, even if complex, circuit”.

Which are the novelties regarding the textile products for industrial laundries? We are talking about this with Andrea Rovea, the CEO of Parotex, a company located in Busto Arsizio. “We have designed, developed and presented at EXPOdetergo International 2022 a new table cloth with convenient characteristics regarding the costs-efficiency for the industrial laundries, such as reduced energy consumption for washing and extended lifetime for the table linen”. Which are the features of this new product? “We have called it Helico. It is manufactured from a special patented yarn requiring shorter drying times compared to the traditional products, with a reduced consumption when dried in the tumble dryer, a machine that have always been generating high energy consumption. And not only that: this also reduces the water consumption and the need for using chemicals, promoting like this a more sustainable process.

Another distinctive feature of this patented yarn Helico, is that it has also another notable effect: it is significantly reducing the lint usually formed on the fabric after ironing, like those annoying threads that usually remain on the fabric surface. This feature has several benefits as well: on one hand, it significantly reduces products imperfections, guaranteeing a more long-lasting product, and, on the other hand, it prevents the lint dispersion in the washing and drying machines, reducing machine usury and possible damages. If the features highlighted above play an important role for the environment and for the industrial laundries, then we should not underestimate the impact of Helico on users. The fabric’s density, less fibre loss and fading, are all factors contributing to an increased perception for the product quality, emphasising the cotton hand feel texture. Last but not least, its longevity, above the average, enhances even more the perceived quality. Which are the market perspectives beyond the national borders? We are present on many international markets and we can confirm that the change is more than noticeable in these recent years. There is an increasing demand for sustainability, safety, hygiene, comfort and technological updating. Besides the speed and ingenuity that makes our Made in Italy product, simply outstanding.

The company Cimmino Forniture Tessili has a long background behind it: textile suppliers since 1890 and for four generations producing: table cloths, bedsheets and bath linen. We meet one of the two company directors, Fabio Tramma, who explains the potential of the Neapolitan company. “We are constantly involved on two research frontlines: design combined with performance. On one hand, our laboratory carries out studies and research regarding the design and aesthetic aspects of our products; on the other hand, our technicians are carrying out experiments with our suppliers on new materials and production techniques for offering high-performance products. We have an entirely Italian clientele except for some sporadic orders from outside the borders and mainly from companies that already know us for the work we are doing in Italy. Hotels and catering. This is our core business”.

From your point of view and based on your experience, which market trends can you foresee for the upcoming months? “There is quite a rosy perspective confirmed also by the trend of these first four months of the year, that showed a significant turnover increase compared to the last year, and the forecast for the next months is coming to confirm this growing trend. Our customers are widespread all over the country, so we are working whether with sales agents that are covering the regions located more far away from our company, or with in-house sales personnel closer to our headquarters; in most of the cases, we are looking for a direct relationship with our customers. With the occasion of EXPOdetergo International 2022, we have renewed our offer especially regarding the green aspect as we are designing and producing some items with recycled cotton and polyester, like the bath towels. We are also suppling mainly cargo shipping companies, with customized items, both in terms of design and product specifications, as well as fully branded linen. Today prevails the 100% cotton, and it is the most required fabric now, since the cost of polyester has increased and the cotton blend has lost some terrain. Linen and linen blends show a slight growth despite the 40% costs increase”.

“Specialists in the hospitality sector even though our collection and offer goes beyond: hotel room, banqueting, bathroom, home dècor. This is how Fabio Bosio, the Managing Director and shareholder of Coritex, a company located in Gandino, in the Bergamo textile district, introduces himself. We are active on this market for long time, and there is a long story behind. We have been producing elegant fabrics in the finest Italian style since 1979. And we never stop as the market always demands new and original products. Nowadays our fabrics are stylishly decorating the most prestigious locations and restaurants all over the world, starting from Italy. Originally focused exclusively on the production of bedcovers and flannel linen, in the 1980s the company adapted its business to the needs of the market by including new textile products in its portfolio: piqué, jacquard, printed and grand-foulard fabrics as well as high quality flannel fabrics, all mainly supplied to the Italian market. Over the years, there were new challenges to be faced, reflected in the company’s decision to concentrate its attention on the hotel and catering industry, and therefore on the industrial laundries, still the main target market.

A choice that involved a technological evolution in the production process with the complete line renewal of jacquard weaving, bringing it to the forefront for creating exclusive linen collections for table, bed and bathroom. We are an experienced player nationwide, and a reliable partner for those who are looking for innovative stylistic solutions. In addition to consolidating the industrial activities, our main objective is the internationalization towards new scenarios by launching specific projects to meet the needs of an international market and clientele, that has also different requirements, sharing the know-how of an authentic Italian product and tradition. Every single phase of the production cycle is thoroughly controlled and checked internally for always achieving a high-quality product”.

Passion for textile, is the slogan displayed on the website of the company Royaltex. But meeting the Company Manager, Matteo Bertasa, we immediately realise that we are finding ourselves in front of someone who has always been involved in the production process, and his gained experience is an added value. “We can count on our in-house Design Department where the products are conceived by following the latest trends: each design is an original creation, conceived and developed according to the customer’s needs and the latest innovations. From the first idea to the final packaging, each product is the result of a complex and structured process. With our weaving factory, we guarantee quality standards and execution speed typical of Made in Italy production.

Thanks to an integrated production process, we are able to take care of every stage of the product development, starting from the design phase using textile CAD, to the accurate study of braiding and weaves. We are offering a complete range of products from table cloths to terry towels and bed sheets. Our core business is the Italian market, but we are also enjoying the opportunities offered by the foreign market, and EXPOdetergo International in October last year was the perfect opportunity to establish connections beyond our borders. We will continue on the same wavelength by attending several other European trade fairs. We are starting from Europe but the aim is to go further abroad. On which fibres are you mainly focused? Table cloth, terry towels and bed linen made of 100% cotton, mixed linen or 100% linen. We are able to produce up to 340 cm high single-weave fabrics to guarantee the maximum customisation of the product. Then we move on to polyester-cotton blend, polyester-linen blend, with up to 360 cm height to create tablecloths for the ceremonies, enriched with our scallop, hemstitch and many other solutions.

At EXPOdetergo International 2022, we have attracted new customers precisely thanks to these large sizes of our fabrics. We are organized with a sales network managed directly by us, but we are working also with agents, covering like this the entire national territory. Considering that the textile industry is becoming more and more eco-friendly, which policies and actions are you adopting as a company? We have had many requests from abroad who are looking for always greener products, so we are currently undergoing the certification process, even though it is not easy at all. We are currently buying certified yarns but it will be essential to certify ourselves and we are planning to develop customised collections. All weaving is carried out directly, while finishing and tailoring is done partially in-house and externally depending on the workload. BA by Bertasa is our made in Italy brand for a high and qualified range of products. •

By Marzio Nava
DETERGO Magazine # May 2023