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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Massage must be an invigorating and relaxing experience. No one is relaxed when laying on irritating sheets or liners that resembles butcher's paper. When setting up for a massage session the key words to remember for massage table linens are hygiene, comfort and longevity.

Plain white cotton is a fail safe regarding hygiene as it can be bleached repeatedly for crisp whiteness and sanitation. It also reduces time spent sorting your linens by color and material. The downside is any staining from oils, lotions or clients themselves is going to be easily visible. Testing to see which oils can leave stubborn stains is a very good idea. White for some is not a comforting color but it is still a good choice for cleanliness. If white isn’t your choice, try true colors in colorfast dyes. Colors like blue or sage green are generally relaxing. 

What is more important is the texture of the massage table linens. Cotton and cotton blend are still favorites as they can accommodate various weaves and thicknesses. Cotton terrycloth is popular for it's absorbency and thickness. Many are familiar with terrycloth bath towels. Because it can be rough on the skin when dry, it is not recommended for the top sheet of the massage table.

Cotton flannel is one of the softest materials but also very thin. It can be used for top sheets but will need to be replaced one or two times a year due to wear. Muslin comes in thin nainsook weave and thick organdy. It is traditionally used in linens for its resistance to wear despite its extreme thinness. It is inexpensive so can be replaced as often as needed.

Maybe the best option is a newer product on the market, Soft Touch Luxury Microfiber flat sheets.  They feel like a 400 thread count cotton sheet, due to their brushed surface and the high quality ultra fine yarn (1/20th the diameter of a strand of silk), but at a fraction of the cost.  They launder extremely well and with the use of a dryer sheet, they dry 30% faster than cotton or cotton blend sheets, which saves you time and money.  These ultra breathable sheets come sized for a massage or spa table, measuring 66” wide x 96” long.

As for the actual use of your massage table linens, once you have chosen the right material, color and texture, its time to choose the right sizes. Fitted sheets are needed for the first sheet. The top sheet, which will come into contact with your client, should be a flat sheet preferably with no labels or decorations. I have seen sheets with the massage center's name embroidered for example. Use fitted covers for the face cradle.

Some centers use pillows but this off sets the alignment of the back while the therapists is working. I'd recommend having one soft and one firm pillow available but let it be up to the client to request a pillow. Always use a new set of linen for each client and inspect your linen before each use. It is recommended to use hypoallergenic detergents and fabric softeners. Use unscented laundry agents to avoid unsettling your clients with sensitive noses

by: Palmetto Linen