Ever wonder what those laundry symbols mean?

Wait! Do you dry that sweater? Hand wash that shirt?

Here is a quick cheat sheet to help you decipher that gibberish on your clothing labels.

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Not just restaurants, we handle healthcare textiles too!

Scrubs, uniforms, gowns and freshly laundered linen play a critical role in the patient experience at all medical facilities.

New System provides completely sanitary laundering services and linen products for healthcare facilities following the strictest standards for handling, processing and transporting textile. New System Laundry takes great care in processing healthcare textiles making sure their healthcare customer’s are always looking their best. New System offers scrubs, uniforms and linen programs that enhance the professionalism of your staff, which in turn, puts your patients at ease.

From doctors and dentists, chiropractors to pharmacists, a distinct uniform package will create a professional first impression, express trust and credibility, and help make employees easily recognizable to patients. Give us a call and we can help you make an impactful first impression for your medical facility, large or small.

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Did you know we recycle 98% of our water?

New System’s high-tech Milnor wash capsules improve the efficiency of New System’s laundering in many ways: lower water consumption, better chemical performance and lower energy usage. All of those benefits lead to happy New System customers from both the healthcare and hospitality industries.

Let’s take just a quick look at water consumption. New System strives to improve their overall impact on the environment by using only quality machines proven to use less water and energy.

Each day, New System processes about 28 tons of laundry and uses approximately 85,000 gallons of water. While that number may seem high, what is interesting is that they are able to recycle about 98% of their water because of their Milnor wash capsules high-tech design.

FACT: The average American family washes almost 400 loads of laundry each year and the average machines uses about 41 gallons of water each load. That means in ONE YEAR the average family uses less than 20% of the water that New System uses in ONE DAY. That is why we at New System take our water usage so seriously. 

The Milnor capsules use a counter-flow method, which ensures progressively cleaner water throughout the wash process and saves water through reuse. It also means less energy is needed to heat the water for washing and results in less sewer use. Basically, they are able to reuse portions of each loads water in the next, saving only fresh water for the final rinse cycle. The Milnor capsules also make it possible for the washing chemicals to be used more effectively so that less needs to be used in order to achieve the same fresh, clean results.

Because the washing capsules are able to extract much of water in the linens, that means that the overall dry time for each piece is decreased, meaning improved energy use all the way down the laundry line because less heat energy is required in dryers and flatwork ironers. Less water to heat and the ability to wash at lower temperatures because of the efficient wash capsule design means further energy savings.

There you have it! Just one more way technology is helping us improve our service for our customers. For more ways you can help conserve water at home, check out these tips from Water Use It Wisely.

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Better Laundry Through Technology

Chances are you have no idea just how much technology is involved in laundry. We pride ourselves on innovation in laundry and that is just one of many reasons why we use Radio Frequency ID tags (RFID tags) in our linens and other items.

Many of our clients have hundreds of textiles, which means we handle hundreds of thousands (and that’s a lot!). RFID tags are mini computer chips embedded in the majority of our linens and other items and they make us much more efficient. From streamlining inventory to tracking pieces as they move through our shop, RFID make things more efficient and cost effective for everyone.

When we receive items in they are sorted by type and then moved to our scanning line. Each piece is individually scanned into a computer by our skilled workers.

Step 1: Receiving


Step 2: RFID chip on linen

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Step 3: Scanning machine

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They are then washed, pressed and moved through the rest of the line and re-distributed to our clients. If we notice that a piece is past the “age” it should be we are able to pull it from the order and replace with a fresh new piece. Voila! Expertly laundered linens, every time.


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Equipment Focus: Part 2

As part of plant renovations, New System selected ironers from top of the line equipment manufacturer, Kannegiesser – the gold standard in flatwork equipment. Kannegiesser, out of Germany, marked its 65th anniversary this year; the company has five factories, close to 1,600 employees and sells/services machinery and related products in 49 countries.

At New System, items such as napkins and table linens are processed through the washing and drying process and then through ironer lines (flatwork feeding machines, ironers, folding machines). Dry work such as blankets towels and gowns are fully dried and then folded and stacked using special folding machines.


Each of these top-of-the-line pieces of equipment is carefully maintained by New System’s engineers who adhere to regular maintenance schedules that keep the machines running in tip-top shape for the longevity of the equipment and the safety of all employees.

However, none of the work could be done without the plant employees, who separate, clean, finish, package and build the orders. They are on the front lines when it comes to producing the quality products that New System customers receive.


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Equipment Focus: Part 1

Around 2002, New System undertook the daunting challenge of plant wide renovations at our Portland headquarters.

On the plant floor we have seven American-made, Milnor washers; four 450-pound open-pocket washer extractors and three 600-pound washer-extractors were brought in during renovations to help handle the increase in wash volume for the plant. New System also has a pair of 60-pound Pony washers to handle odd lots like floor mats.

About Milnor: Milnor, which was established in Louisiana in 1947 by the Pellerin family along with A.W. Walsdorf, now employees more than 500 people and is run by a 3rd generation Pellerin. It was an easy choice for New System to select the Milnor equipment because of their excellent reputation in the industry.


As part of the automation of the plant, the new washers are loaded by a Bobco overhead monorail system and uploaded into a Milnor automated shuttle prior to being sent to two 550-pound Milnor pass-through dryers. New System also uses the Mildata computer management system to generate detailed reports on a variety of washroom functions. The flatwork department features Kannegiesser feeder, ironing and folding equipment.

New System currently processes about 28 tons of laundry each day. Items processed range from light soil goods, tablecloths, napkins, towels and healthcare linen, to more heavily soiled items such as bar towels, industrial uniforms, mats and mops. Many of these items also require ironing, which we will cover in a later post.




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Pre-WWII Innovations in Laundry

As far back as the 30’s the Rawlinson family has been pushing the innovation envelope.

George H. Rawlinson filed a series of patents for garment pressing machines during the pre-WWII era. The nitty gritty details can be seen herehere, here and here (now that’s a LOT of detail), but what is really fantastic are the detailed drawings that accompanied the filed patents.

Check out some of these “snapshots” into New System’s history.

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Part 2: Q&A with Mark Rawlinson

Continued Q&A with New System President Mark Rawlinson.

Q: What challenges face the industry? What is next in industry innovations?

A: Some of the biggest challenges that face the textile and laundry industries are resource usage related, i.e. rising water and sewer rates as well as governmental influences in the form of environmental regulations and rate control. We carefully monitor legislation related to our industry so we can stay ahead of it as well as trends. Our industry is the leading consumer of water, so we have a lot of stake in keeping our natural resources healthy and developing new technologies that maximize efficiency as not to cause waste or extraneous pollution.

Q: What’s next for New System?

A: Much of what is driving our business and process improvements is based on the challenges that face us. We are constantly finding more ways to use water more efficiently, and plan to expand the use of RFID technology in our process. The chemicals we use each day are also being improved to not only become more effective but environmentally friendly as well.

Another near-term goal for New System is to improve the efficiency of our sales and delivery fleets through the use of GPS tracking and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Safe and efficient drivers also mean that we are able to keep insurance costs low and are able to increase our output.


Our fleet of Prii! Just one example of our effort to be more environmentally conscious.

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Part 1: Q&A with New System President Mark Rawlinson


Mark Rawlinson

George H. Rawlinson got the first rinse cycle started in 1917. Today, New System is lead by Mark Rawlinson, President of New System.

Q: What are your earliest memories of the family business?

A: My earliest memories are sitting around the dinner table and my father and grandfather talking about the business. From there, I have fond memories of sorting hangers as a middle-schooler and working on summer breaks and holidays. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I’ve done every job along the way to becoming President of New System.

Q: Your great-grandfather was quite the innovator having developed the first garment press back in the mid-1930s. How does his legacy continue today?

A: Developing innovative ways to deliver top-notch service to our customers continues on today through our use of the latest technology and constantly improving the efficiency of our systems with the latest equipment, from cutting edge computer systems to our use of RFID technology for tracking individual items. Our guys on the road even use specialized handhelds that provide the most-up-to date information on their customer orders.

Q: A 4th generation family owned business is no small feat. What has made New System so successful and long lasting?

A: First and foremost is our family’s commitment to keeping the business running and continuing great service to our customers, new and old. Secondly are the people that make up the extended New System family. Each and every person contributes to the overall success and longevity of the company.

Q: What advice do you have for other family-owned businesses?

A: Many challenges face family businesses, from delegating and tough decisions to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and a key to keeping the ship running smoothly is to be sure that ownership is kept with those that truly want to work in the business. It is all right to do something else if you are not fully engaged in it; don’t let feelings of guilt and obligation keep you from pursuing your dream career. Family will always be there for you to support you through whatever decisions you make.

Q: Do you see your own children going into the family business?

A: They are still a bit too young for that, ages 10, 8 and 3, but my wife and I feel very strongly that no matter what direction they decide to take their lives we will support them 110%. If that means carrying on the tradition, that’s great, but if their dreams take them onto other ventures, as I mentioned before, they will have full support of their family.

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Happy 100th Birthday to the T-shirt!

This article featured on mnn.com does a great job outlining the 13 most iconic moments in the history of the T-shirt.

From its launch in 1913 when they were issued to U.S. Navy submariners through the 60’s when rock t’s and tie-dye t-shirts were common place, the T-shirt is a true piece of Americana.

Have you liked our New System Image Services page on Facebook? In honor of the 100th birthday of the T-shirt, we are running a fun little promo on our page. Check it out and let us know what ‘era’ of the t-shirt or specific shirt is most memorable to you!


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