AIKEN, SC—Riegel Linen Co. recently introduced its new Craft Collection of aprons and coordinating napkins, both with the company’s ColorGuard technology, which it reports keeps colors from fading under the toughest of commercial circumstances.
“We took a look at upscale, heavily hardwared aprons that are in the market right now, and made an institutional version of them,” said Theresa Thornburg, Riegel’s merchandise manager, consumer products division. “As a lot of them have buckles, belts, and metal and leather accents, and sell for $80 each, we were able to scale it down and make a product that is very similar and that performs great in on-premise laundry or institutional laundry situations.”
The line is available in four stock colors—Amber, TruBlu, Smoky Bleu and Peppercorn. “We will be introducing a new color shortly,” said Thornburg. “Most of the colors right now are a blend of three colors, so it gives it a real depth of color when you look at them, which makes it look more like the heavyweight twill or denim products that are out there in the heavier canvas-type aprons, without all of that weight. It is all yarn-died, so they blend beautifully. It gives it that same look and appeal as those heavier, more expensive aprons.”
They are designed for the commercial environment. “The linens can hold up to the commercial kitchen, but also the commercial laundering environment, which is what we really gear our products to perform for,” she explained. “It is easy for the hotel or linen supply market to process our products.”
The aprons and napkins are made using ColorGuard technology. In 2018, the company’s textile service team tested and analyzed its fabrics in its own government-certified lab to identify the root cause of textile degradation.
“ColorGuard is the family of solutions we use in all of our products to extend life,” said Thornburg. “For instance, what you would use for a white may not be what you use for a red. That ColorGuard solution may be different for two different products. A white polyester napkin is going to be very different than a burgundy cotton blend. ColorGuard encompasses all of the solutions we use to extend that life of the color and the fabric as long as possible.”
She continued, “For instance, we have some products that we are working on now. Traditionally, white, black, ivory and sandalwood are the biggest colors in our Premier polyester line. We have engineered them in such a way that they can stand up to all of the abuse they can be given in a commercial environment and still retain their colors much longer than they ever have before.”
Riegel Linen Co. is also the manufacturer of RieNu by Riegel table linens made from recycled plastic water bottles. One napkin eliminates three plastic bottles from ending up in landfills, according to the company.
To make the product, Riegel receives bales of plastic bottles that are collected, sorted and inspected to eliminate foreign materials. The PET bottles are sterilized, dried and crushed into small chips. The plastic chips are melted down and then extruded into a new fiber. The finished fiber is spun, woven, dyed and sewn into napkins and tablecloths in one of six colors: Seascape (blue), Bamboo (tan), Stone (gray), Moss (green), Bark (brown), and Ebony (black). A small recycling seal is embossed into every napkin. HB