Why are my microfiber cloths unravelling?

 
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How do you make sure your microfiber cloth won’t unravel?

China has been the main source of microfiber cloths over the last ten years and as a country has a completely vertical manufacturing process. That being said, the labor rates from 2005 to 2016 have tripled in China and are now higher than most every major Latin country. In addition to increased wages, Blue Sky laws in China enforced by the Ministry of Environmental Protection have implemented greater restrictions on dye houses in China forcing increased pressure on pricing.

As market pressures are pushing pricing higher, manufactures who are selling microfiber on a large scale have automated their highest labor component of microfiber cloths, assembly. Automatic stitching machines like the one seen in this video eliminate the need for sewing operators and help suppress cost increases.

Automated Cutting & Hemming Machine

Here’s the problem, the automated machines cut the hem threads with a cutting tool (essentially a knife) leaving the threads cut short against the cloth (see video on right). The edges are then left exposed and susceptible to fraying. In a household setting this might not be important. In a commercial setting, it’s a “budget buster”. The concept of washing cloths hundreds of times is gone because the hems on these cloths will fall apart rendering the obsolete.

Heat sealing the edges of microfiber cloths has always been done by hand. Essentially a department in a microfiber factory has workers touching the sewn edges to a hot wire which melts the hem starting a stopping point together (see video on right). This creates a seal that locks the stitching together, allowing the cloths to withstand hundreds of washes without falling apart. The process is remedial but critical to create a cloth that doesn’t fall apart!

Heat Sealing Microfiber Edges By Hand

You can easily tell if the microfiber cloths you are about to purchase are sealed correctly by looking at the edges. Side by side you see the difference:

 
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There is a difference in price. Automated machines have helped maintain lower costs on cloths and have been accepted as a common wiping tool in household settings. Automating the sewing of microfiber cloths have certainly aiding in maintaining retail friendly price points for cloths. Commercial users are accustomed to edges that last for up to 500 washes.

If you are using a household grade cloth in a commercial setting, you’ll see cloth edges falling apart after just a couple uses. The additional 4-8% upfront cost for a  heat sealed edge is inconsequential if the the cloths last 20-30 times longer. If you’re not getting the life expectancy out of your cloths, check the stitching first and look for a commercially heat sealed product.


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Author: Hal Kanefsky
Title: President, Monarch Brands
Contact: halk@monarchbrands.com

 

Why is my white barmop grey?

 
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Why are my bar mops grey?

I hear this question in the marketplace and wanted to share the background of the “dingy barmop”. In order to answer this question I think its best to provide a bit of background regarding yarns, their origins and some industry terms. Obviously 100% pure cotton yarns start from cotton balls in a cotton field. The prices of cotton trade on several commodity index floors in various markets globally.

Historically over the last 5 years cotton has traded at between $0.55 per LB and $0.95 per LB. The current price of cotton is approximately $0.80. Once the cotton is procured, it needs to be processed into yarn, woven, bleached, cut into a towel piece, sewn, labeled, baled and shipped from Asia to the US and then distributed.

Total raw costs for all steps (without profit) would be slightly less than $1.00 a LB. So, if using 100% yarn, you should be paying somewhere around the equivalent of $1.80- $2.20 on a per pound basis (e.g. a 28 oz bar mop would be priced at $3.15 per doz to $3.85 per doz) Keep these numbers in mind as we proceed…

Now, as these yarns get woven into a product, there are wastes that are generated in the process. Some yarn waste is generated from the ginning (separating cotton from the seeds and other plant matter) spinning (making the yarn) and weaving (making the textile). Each type of waste has specific value to the waste collector and those values range from $0.00 to $0.35 per LB.

When waste or scrap is collected from the weaving process, typically the yarns being woven are a blend of cotton and polyester. The yarns being used were higher quality yarns typically intended for garments (check your labels on your clothes and most are poly/cotton blended). The yarn is still in its natural state (which is a greige color or looks like a cotton ball shade). During the weaving process little pieces of yarn scrap or leftover lengths of yarn get collected and sold to this aftermarket.

 Cotton Waste Recycling

Cotton Waste Recycling

The next step for these waste yarn scrap is to be reprocessed into usable yarn cones again. Now remember that these yarns were bought for waste prices that are dramatically cheaper than the raw cost of cotton. The issue is that they are not consistently cotton and there are various degrees of polyester that are mixed together in these collected waste yarns (think of the equivalent of stew made out of cotton yarn scraps). The waste processor now needs to put this waste yarn through a pulling process to rip the scrap pieces apart back into fibers and then re-spin the yarn into a functional product again.

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When this happens the fibers are weakened or shortened to short staple fibers and typically some pure cotton and polyester is added into the “stew” to strengthen the yarn. The final product that is produced is a lower quality yarn that has some degree of polyester and various blends of cotton qualities mixed together.

Bleaching Temperature

The process of using recycled yarn scraps to make these towels is a cost saving process to the mill. Typically this is done to me a price point for a product that gets 4-5 turns in a commercial laundry. The mill making the product is focused on using these yarns to afford a competitive price and can do this starting with yarns that are selling for less than the actual price of cotton as a raw commodity.  When using some form of recycled blended yarns in this fashion you’ll find price points that range from $1.60 to $1.85 on a per LB basis. Back to our example, a 28 oz towel would cost $2.80 to $3.25 (approx.)

Here’s the issue. When you bleach cotton from natural form to white it requires a water temperature of about 95 degrees Celsius. Polyester bleaching needs a much higher temperature of about 120-130 degrees. When the mill is looking for price savings, they cannot afford to spend the additional time, energy and equipment cost bleaching recycled yarn on higher temperatures. The towels are bleached AS IF they were 100% cotton but the bleach doesn’t react correctly with the polyester that is blended into the waste yarns. The result is a grey effect. The yarns used on the product just cant react to the bleach correctly and the towel will never look bright white.

 So, a commercial laundry, or consumer, needs to make a decision when choosing a bar towel. Do you want the towel to be bright white and pay a higher price or accept a lower shade of whiteness for a cost savings. It comes down to impressions for a customer, what market you’re servicing and the lifespan of the towel in your setting. At the end of the day, those cheap bar mops wont get any brighter when you bleach them but as always, you pay for what you get.


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Author: Hal Kanefsky
Title: President, Monarch Brands
Contact: halk@monarchbrands.com

 

Why is towel construction important? Which towel is right for me?

 
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Why is towel construction important, and which towel is right for me? If this is your first time purchasing wholesale towels for your business, you will notice most places use phrases such ring spun cotton, open end cotton, single, or double. While choosing from these many options is vital to helping you match with the towel that will work best for you, we understand that many people may not be familiar with this specific terminology at the outset. So we’re here to outline a few towel particulars in the hopes that this makes your buying process easier!

Weight
First and foremost, notice the size of the towel in relation to the weight. The listed weight always pertains to the weight per dozen towels. For example, if someone references 15 lbs., they’re referring to 15 lbs. per dozen towels. If you’re looking at two towels that are each 15 lbs. per dozen but one towel is 24”x48” and one is 27” x 52”, you will notice that the smaller size has a plusher feel than the larger size.

Ring Spun Yarn vs. Open End Yarn
The construction of the yarn is also significant. Most towels are made with either ring spun yarn or open end yarn. Ring spun refers to yarn that’s spun on spindles and twisted uniformly to the core during production. That uniform twist makes ring spun towels softer and optically whiter like our Magellan Collection, and the yarn will have a higher tensile strength than open end yarn. Open end yarn is used to create most institutional towels; while it leads to a harsher feel and lower strength than ring spun yarn, it is a cost-effective option (e.g. our Basic Arctic Collection).

Single vs. Double
Yarn of a higher quality is comprised of long-staple fibers which are spun for additional strength. You may see towels described as 10 single verses 20 double, for example. A 20 double consists of two strands of yarn that are spun together for a higher tensile strength while a 10 single means that the yarn will be thicker and less durable.

Cotton vs. Blend
Another factor to consider is whether you will need 100% cotton or a cotton/poly blend. While 100% cotton towels are more absorbent and softer than blended towels, they’re not as durable. Blended towels such as our Admiral Collection will last for approximately 30 washes more than your traditional 100% cotton towel. However, when shopping for color towels, you’ll need them to be 100% cotton because polyester does not retain dyes evenly.

These are the basics of cotton construction that will affect both the durability and the feel of your towels. Hopefully you’ll be able to use this knowledge to decode the jargon and discover the perfect towel for your needs!

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Author: Lynette Salas
Title: Account Executive
E: lynettes@monarchbrands.com
P: 215 482 6100 x304

 

How to calculate GSM before your next wholesale towel purchase.

 
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How to calculate GSM of Towels

I can see the advertised “GSM” of the towel, now what?

For years I’ve been struggling with the idea or “speak” of GSM as the measure of a wholesale towel’s quality. Our industry is made up of two distinct schools of advertising the thickness of a towel, GSM and Weight per dozen. I thought it would be best to explain clearly the difference and tie the two components together, so there is a clear understanding of how they relate and more importantly, what that means to you, the consumer.

GSM stands for “grams per square meter” which is a measurement of how “thick “ the terry is on your towel. To put it in perspective, a 350 GSM towel is a product you’d find in a prison, hospital or basic gym (our Arctic collection).  A 500 GSM bath towel is a standard thickness found at a mid-level hotel property or a big box store mid-price point bath towel (our Admiral or Pearl towels). A product that is “plush” typically would have a GSM of 650 or higher (think Spa, Four Seasons, our Magellan towel etc...)

How can you tell what the towels GSM actually is? If you have the towel in hand and can measure and weigh it, here’s how it's done. There are a couple of steps involved (listed in the tables below) because this is a metric term and you’ll need to convert the measurements from inches and LBS…. or, you can use our GSM calculator:

Here’s the long form version of the GSM calculation:

STEP DIRECTION EXAMPLE
1 Measure Sizes in Inches 30x60”
2 Multiply both to find Sq.Inch 1800 Sq.Inch
3 Multiply Sq.Inch by 0.00064516 to Find the Sq. M (1 Sq. Inch = 0.00064516 Sq. M) 1800*0.00064516 = 1.16 Sqm.
4 Weigh your towel (one towel) and multiply it by 12 to get the weight per doz 1 towel weighs 1.04 LB, your weight per dozen is 12.5
5 Convert Lbs/Dz to KGs/Dz by dividing given Lbs/Dz by 2.2046 (1 KG = 2.2046 Lbs) Given 12.5 Lbs/Dz = 12.5/2.2046 = 5.66 KG/Dz
6 Multiply derived KGs/Dz by 1000 to Find Gr/Dz 5.66*1000 = 5660 Gr
7 Divide derived Gr/Dz by 12 to get Gr/Pc 5660/12 = 471.66 Gr/Pc
8 Divide derived Gr/Pc by derived Sqm in Step – 3 to find GSM of the product 471.66/1.16 = 406.6 GSM

Conversely, if you have a target GSM, know the size and would like to know the weight per dozen:

STEP DIRECTION EXAMPLE
1 Measure Sizes in Inches 30x60”
2 Multiply both to find Sq.Inch 1800 Sq.Inch
3 Multiply Sq.Inch by 0.00064516 to Find the Sq. M (1 Sq. Inch = 0.00064516 Sq. M) 1800*0.00064516 = 1.16 Sq.M
4 Multiply derived Sq.M with required GSM to find weight/pc in Gr. Required GSM is 400 so total weight per piece is 400*1.16 = 464 Gr/Pc
5 Multiply derived Gr/Pc by 12 to Find Gr/Dz 464*12 = 5568 Gr
6 Divide derived Gr/Dz by 1000 to find KG/Dz 5568/1000 = 5.568 KGS/Dz
7 Multiply derived KGS/Dz by 2.2046 to get Lbs/Dz (1 KG = 2.2046 Lb 5.568*2.2046 = 12.27 Lbs/Dz

Now, does this mean you’re getting a towel you’d like to wrap around your body or fits your specific need? Not necessarily. Towel yarn, softness, construction and quality vary greatly which is another topic to dive into later. However, if you can't touch and feel the towel, you have a starting point to determine what you might expect to find if you see a towel advertised in GSM, and with a simple digital scale, determine if you received the product as advertised.

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Author: Hal Kanefsky
Title: President, Monarch Brands
Contact: halk@monarchbrands.com

 

WHOLESALE TOWEL STOCK LOT REPORT

 
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We carry slightly irregular wholesale towels for savvy customers who value... well, value. These textiles are sourced from high-end mills around the globe. Savings on these will vary from 20-40% of first quality equivalents. We buy irregular towels on an “open order” basis. Which means as soon as irregular towels are generated we get the call to collect. This gives us purchasing power to bring value-driven items directly to our customers.

CURRENT WHOLESALE WHITE TOWEL INVENTORY:

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  • 2,750 doz 12 x 12 1lb Washcloths
  • 10,000 doz 13 x 13 1.5lb Washcloths
  • 2,800 doz 16 x 27 3.5lb Hand Towels
  • 580 doz 16 x 30 4lb Hand Towels
  • 330 doz 16 x 30 4.5lb Hand Towels
  • 750 doz 24 x 50 10lb Bath Towels
  • 3,300 doz 24 x 50 10.5lb Bath Towels
  • 125 x 54 13.5lb Bath Towels (SOLD OUT)
  • 27 x 58 15lb Bath Towels (SOLD OUT)

    Call for Pricing (215) 447-7124

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OVERSIZED IR CABANAS

This irregular cabana towel opportunity is from 1888 Mills made right here in the USA. Call for Pricing (215) 447-7124

  • Oversized: 14lb/doz 30" x 68"
  • Case Pack: 24
  • Current Inventory
    • 142doz Green
    • 134doz Yellow
    • 54doz Peach

CHAISE LOUNGE COVERS

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These chaise lounge covers feature a pocket at the head of the towel so guests can secure your towel without fuss. Call for Pricing (215) 447-7124

  • Size & Weight: 30" x 86" - 27lb 
  • Construction: 100% Cotton
  • Packing Method: Carton
  • UOM: 1 Dozen/Case
  • Current inventory
  • 1600pcs White
  • 360pcs Yellow
  • 636pcs Tan
  • Blue (SOLD OUT)

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BLUE RETAIL IRREGULAR TOWELS

This 16 Single ring-spun Loop towel with brand name recognition will be arriving next month. We must have the order in hand to guarantee your spot.

  • 3,300doz 16x27 3lb Hand Towels
  • 1,500doz 25x50 10.5lb Bath Towels

ON THE WATER: Call for Reservations (215) 447-7124

 

Monarch Brands Washcloth Donation Program

Monarch Brands have partnered with International Aid to help reduce the cost of getting hygiene kits to displaced victims of natural disasters and impoverished regions of the United States. 

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Hygiene kits are one of the most requested items from International Aid's partners in the field. After Hurricane Maria, several cities on the island formulated a needs list of things that organizations could view and put together to help with the disaster response. 

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Being able to get and keep clean in the aftermath of disasters--whether hurricane, flood, earthquake, volcano, tornado-- is significant as a frontline of defense against the spread of illness and disease, and really makes a person feel human again.

International Aid uses our Kit Initiative to engage local communities as people naturally want to "do something" to help in response to disasters. In this way, we can target their efforts into something very useful and effective. The personal care items in the kits can last a family up to a month, and we provide them with this product to maintain better health through their recovery of the disaster and provide them with one less thing to think about as they begin to rebuild their lives from the disasters they've encountered.

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Monarch Brands is proud to donate one washcloth for every washcloth purchased. In 2018, International Aid will pack 100,000 kits for distribution to families in need in the western U.S. that reside on Native American reservations to address poor health that results from rampant poverty. 
 Since January 1st, 2018 over 65,000 hygiene kits have been packed and distributed. 

There are many ways to help. Follow this link to learn more about how you can get engaged.

Is there a difference between wholesale white towels?

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Yes, and picking the right textiles for the right situation will determine how successful your linen program is.

We stock 11 white wholesale towel lines, with multiple weights of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths within each product line. We're not boasting. Every wholesale towel line has been brought into our catalog at our clients' request. No single towel checks every box for every customer and the three most common attributes for towel selection are: 

  • Budget - Pretty straightforward, what is the maximum budget have you assigned towards ongoing textile purchasing?
  • Aesthetics - How vital is softness, brightness, absorbency to you? Are operating a high-end luxury resort, motel, campsite, or a federal facility? 
  • Durability - If you operate in a high linen-loss environment durability may not be a chief concern. However, if you plan to work the textiles harder, you will need a stronger alternative.

Every contributing factor is further complicated by manufacturing considerations. The weight of the towel determines how plush it feels. The yarn construction (ring spun vs. open end) is a factor that helps determine the strength. For example, ring spun cotton yarn is more expensive, made from long staple cotton, and thin enough to be wound like a suspension bridge cable to create strength. The makeup of the towel 100% cotton vs cotton/poly blend is determined by the color of the towel, longevity, and guest perception. Shipping carton vs. bale also contributes to the decision. Carton-packed towels are more expensive. However, they are guest-ready so avoid the initial wash-cycle (alleviating laundry bottlenecks). Bale packed towels will need washing before use as they are compressed for freight efficiency. We sell the same towel lines (Pearl & Apollo) both ways because customers have asked for them both ways.

Visit our Towel FAQ for more details.  Once you understand some of the construction issues, you may:

Pick Two Attributes

We live in a resource-constrained world which means you're going to have to make some decisions. Allow us to demonstrate:

  • Cheap & Soft - Not So Durable. This towel may not be the most durable, made from 100% cheaper open-end cotton which doesn't hold up to as many washes.
  • Durable & Soft - Not So Cheap. The best guest towels are heavy, durable, and soft. Made from 100% premium cotton with fancy borders, double hemmed for durability.
  • Cheap & Durable - Not So Soft. Low-pile lighter towels made with a poly/cotton blend for prisons, and federal facilities, these towels get the job done... but just about all they will do. 

The best way to figure out what you need is to allow us to understand where you're coming from, and make recommendations. We have done it for major institutional catalog companies and small linen rental facilities. Start by picking up the phone and contacting us 215 447-7125.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Advantage of Our Added Value Programs To Help You Sell More.

 
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We win when you win.

When you buy from Monarch Brands take advantage of the tools we've developed to engage with your audience. From trifold brochures for commercial laundry route drivers to full catalogs for JanSan distributor sales reps, our marketing department will develop the tools you need to be successful.


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Branded Catalogs

Our content, your brand, pricing, and item codes. Let us work together to design the perfect trifold, or full product catalog. We will deliver press-ready and digital files for you to you to print, or send electronically.


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Product & Information One Sheets

Educate your customers on the latest industry trends and product offerings. We will work with your brand style to format industry one-sheets to work for your company and customer base.


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Private Label Programs

When low product minimums are met, we will include woven product labels with your brand and contact information, as well as insert labeling with your brand, product information and SKUs.


Getting Started Is Easy

If you're a loyal Monarch Brands customer in good standing, or a first time customer with an order in the works, the marketing team would love to help you get the most out of your Monarch Brands experience. Start by filling out the creative request form, and our team will be in contact shortly.

 

Win $200 Amazon Gift Cards.

 
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Say something nice and win $200

We need your help. As you know we have been busy moving into a new facility. While the move went well, and the outside of the facility looks great, we're reaching out to our customers to provide some inspiration for the interior of our offices.

We're looking for 2-3 quotes to adorn our walls and inspire our people. Let them know what Monarch Brands means to you!

If your quote is chosen, we'll award you with a $200 Amazon gift card, and send you a picture of the quote once it's installed.

Enter as many times as you like, however we will only use one quote per person. One $200 gift card will be awarded for every quote that is chosen for our walls. We look forward to hearing from you!

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