At Last: Supple, Beautiful, Stain-Resistant Cotton Tablecloths

Have you ever worried about serving your favorite wines with dinner because they could stain your tablecloths?  Or inviting your best friends’ children over for a sit-down meal because Joey is (ahem) a little messy?

Well, believe it or not, some genius scientists in Switzerland were listening, and they came up with a solution that did not involve vinyl.  And not a moment too soon.  Finally, we’ll have driverless cars on the road, so it’s high time we found a way to entertain well without worrying about stains.

What’s the big idea?  These scientists went outdoors, studied why certain plants are naturally water-repellent, and developed an invisible treatment that when applied to fabrics, made them stain-resistant but still kept them feeling exactly the same.

Courtesy Aatish Bhatia

This is a game-changer.  Because now it means that you can have friends over for lunch, family over for dinner, and all you’ll have to do is call uberEats twice.

Initially, this technology was applied to outdoor fabrics.  Then, in 2010, Garnier-Thiebaut, one of the best-known manufacturers of French linens (they supply Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, and Alain Ducasse with linens), became the first company to apply the treatment (which they call Green Sweet) to home linens, and now they offer the most extensive collection available.

If you’d like to learn more about Green Sweet, here are the ten most frequently asked questions:

1) Can you feel the difference between Garnier-Thiebaut’s regular linens and their Green Sweet tablecloths?

No, you can’t tell the difference.  The Green Sweet treatment does not affect either the look or the feel of the cloths.

Eugenie Candy Stain-Resistant Table Linens

2) What does Green Sweet mean?

In developing the treatment, Swiss scientists looked to nature to replicate the way some plants always stay clean by ingeniously repelling water and dirt.  Once they were able to come up with a solution, they called it “Green” as it was derived from their studies of these plants.

“Sweet” is an acronym that refers to several important benefits of this treatment:

  • S – Simple to clean
  • W – Waterproof
  • E – Economic: stain-free cloths mean fewer washes, so the cloths last longer
  • E – Environmentally friendly: less frequent washing means you’ll consume less water, energy, and detergent to keep the cloths clean
  • T – Textile Touch: the treatment does not affect the look and feel of the cloths, so they stay supple and breathable

3) How does Green Sweet work?

When water is applied to fabric, it generally penetrates the surface very quickly.  But scientists had noticed that there were plants whose leaves repelled water, so they replicated a treatment that did the same thing.

Water-repellent leaves may look smooth, but they are actually composed of numerous minute rough surfaces.  These keep water from breaking down into smaller drops and penetrating the surface.

Similarly, during the finishing process, fibers are coated with nanoparticles of the Green Sweet treatment which creates a hilly surface that prevents liquids and soils from penetrating the surface.  Instead, they remain on top, so they can be easily wiped off.

Red wine on Green Sweet stain-resistant tablecloths? No worries.

4) Can you show me what happens when there are spills?

Take a look at how these linens react to jam, fruit juice, water, and even red wine!

Marmalade, salt, wine, and water wipe right off Green-Sweet tablecloths

5) How is the Green Sweet treatment applied?

Each cotton fiber is individually coated with the Green Sweet treatment, so it is deeply embedded into the cloth.  The Green Sweet treatment is applied by Garnier-Thiebaut at their production facilities in Les Vosges, France.  This allows the company to tightly control the quality of the treatment and the finished cloths.

6) How do I clean spills on Green Sweet cloths?

After removing any solid particles on your cloths, simply wipe them with a damp sponge.  The rest of your cloth should remain clean and dry.

7) How do I wash Green Sweet linens?

Green Sweet linens can be laundered as usual in the washing machine, and they will maintain their protective qualities even after numerous washes.  Avoid using fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or abrasive sponges.

Mille Rubans Blanc Stain-Resistant Table Linens

8) Can I iron Green Sweet linens?

Yes!  Although you normally would not need to, you can certainly iron Green Sweet linens.  One benefit of ironing cloths is that ironing reactivates the functionality of the treatment.

9) Why don’t you offer Green Sweet napkins?

We want your napkins to be absorbent, so Garnier-Thiebaut only applies the Green Sweet treatment to their cloths, runners, and placemats.

10) Who invented Green Sweet?

The nanotechnology was developed by Clariant, one of world’s leading specialty chemical companies.  This technology had already been in use by manufacturers of outdoor products; Garnier-Thiebaut was the first manufacturer to use it on linens for the home.  Every Garnier-Thiebaut collection that is treated with Green Sweet has been tested and certified by Clariant and is packaged with a Green Sweet label.

Green Sweet logo

So happy that in between all these modern-day technological advances, something came along that truly made life easier for us.  To see all of Garnier-Thiebaut’s Green Sweet stain-resistant collections, click here.

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