Towels are one of the most essential items in our households and are often quite undervalued. You don’t spare much thought to choosing towels, but choosing the right fabric of towel of high quality can turn your showers into a luxurious experience.
Of course, you would want to look for a fluffy and soft towel but the fabric it’s made out of also plays a huge role in its efficacy. But choosing the right fabric is not a simple task. Bamboo, linen, Turkish cotton, Egyptian cotton — there are so many options that you will be perplexed and spoilt for choice. And every fabric comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
This article is coming to your rescue as we attempt to clarify all your towel fabric-related queries and concerns. Let’s explore the different types of towel fabrics, which fabric you should put your stakes on, the towels to use for specific purposes, and so much more.
- What is the Best Fabric For Towels?
- Best Fabric for Bath Towels
- Best Fabric for Kitchen Towels
- What Towel Fabric Is Most Absorbent?
- What Material Makes The Softest Bath Towels?
- Best Towel Material for Skin
- How to Choose the Right Towel Fabric
- Towel Fabric by the Yard
What is the Best Fabric For Towels?
Towels are available in various shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and fabrics — the last factor being the most important. If you’re on the hunt for high-quality, soft, and durable towel fabrics, here’s a look at the most popular fabrics used to make towels and their unique characteristics.
1. 100% Organic Cotton100% organic cotton is one of the purest forms of cotton. It is typically free from toxins and cultivated without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other harmful agricultural chemicals. It is an environmentally-friendly fabric made using straightforward farming techniques like crop farming.
Besides being a relatively costly fabric compared to regular cotton, there is no other drawback of organic cotton. Once you start using a 100% organic cotton towel, you will struggle to go back to using regular cotton. Towels made out of organic cotton are incredibly soft and gentle on the skin, which is a major reason this fabric is used for cleaning babies or is the top choice for people with skin sensitivities.
If you are looking for bath towels, 100% organic cotton towels should be one of your first choices. This fabric is entirely devoid of any harsh dyes, colors, pollutants, or toxins, and it will not trigger any allergic reactions on your skin. It is also a much safer option considering the environment and is a highly durable fabric.
2. Egyptian CottonEgyptian cotton has grabbed quite a few eyeballs, largely because of how unique its quality is. The fibers of Egyptian cotton are much more refined, longer, and sturdier than any other form of cotton. Because of this, the woven fibers metamorphose themselves into gentle and soft fabrics, and you get the much sought-after beautiful Egyptian cotton.
As the name suggests, Egyptian cotton refers to the weather of Egypt, which is perfect for growing cotton and contributes to the fabric’s unique and soft texture. One fascinating difference between regular and Egyptian cotton is that Egyptian cotton is handpicked, whereas standard cotton is machine-picked.
If you want a touch of luxury in your towels, choose towels made out of Egyptian cotton. Apart from their luxury element, they also wick away moisture quickly and are more absorbent than other towel fabrics. On the other hand, the two major flaws with Egyptian cotton towels are that they are expensive and can take a long time to dry completely.
3. Turkish CottonTurkish cotton comes from Turkey’s “land of the four seasons”. This type of cotton has longer fibers than Egyptian cotton or regular cotton. The long fibers ensure fewer joins in the threads, and the final result is material that is smooth and sturdy.
The texture of Turkish cotton is indicative of how luxurious, light-weight, smooth, and gentle it is. You don’t have to worry about long-term wear and tear as Turkish cotton only gets softer with time. The fabric is also compact, so a Turkish cotton towel can be easily stored without taking up a lot of space.
If you are looking for an easy way to rejuvenate your bathroom, consider investing in hand, body, and bath towels made of Turkish cotton. Interestingly, towels made out of Turkish cotton are known as “Hammam” or “Peshtemal.” These towels become more absorbent with every wash, are fluffy, light, and unbelievably smooth on the skin.
4. Pima / Supima CottonPima or Supima, the trademark for Pima cotton, is a great fabric choice for towels. Towels made out of Supima cotton have high absorbing power, and it has a high GSM, grams per square meter, because of which it absorbs moisture quicker.
Grown in Southwest America, Supima is the epitome of luxury, superiority, and grandeur. You are likely to come across towels made out of Supima cotton in very high-end resorts and retreats because of how consistent, rich, and smooth its quality is. Supima cotton towel is an excellent choice for a towel that is not harsh, is easy to maintain, and has a smooth texture.
The only drawback to Supima cotton towels is that they are more expensive than other high-end fabrics like Egyptian cotton. But, the durability and the experience of using a Supima cotton towel make it worth it.
5. BambooIn the past few years, bamboo fibers have been increasingly used to produce fabrics and yarns. This is because of the vast benefits that bamboo offers, making it one of the most popular fabrics being used today. The fibers are extracted from bamboo pulp and spun into thread and eventually into beautiful fabric pieces.
Bamboo fabric is a fantastic choice for towels. Not only is it durable and soft to the touch, but bamboo is also naturally antibacterial. So when you use a towel made out of bamboo material, you can be assured that the fabric will always be fresh and keep any foul odor at bay. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic, so there is no risk of triggering any skin sensitivities, making it the perfect choice for those dealing with severe skin allergies.
It is also a highly absorbent material, so a bamboo towel will absorb moisture from your body with just a single swipe. Apart from its many skin benefits and high quality, bamboo is one of the most sustainable and environment-friendly fabrics in the world and is 100% biodegradable.
6. LinenMade from the stem of the flax plant, linen fabric has a texture and consistency similar to cotton. It is an ideal fabric for producing non-allergenic towels because of its high absorption power and strong resistance to bacteria and germs.
Compared to cotton, linen fabric is heavier because of its more robust texture and appearance. Linen is also a great sustainable fabric option, so you are not contributing to environmental degradation when purchasing a linen product.
You can even use linen towels as guest towels with premium quality and appeal. If properly taken care of, linen towels can last for a good 30 to 40 years. That’s because it has a very high thread count, so its durability can easily stand the test of time.
7. MicrofiberMicrofiber is a synthetic fiber made out of a blend of two or more threads. A polyester-nylon blend is the most commonly found microfiber fabric used to create various clothing products.
One of the most valuable qualities for which microfiber is widely known is its capability to pick up dirt. This is also why microfiber cloth is commonly used in commercial industries as a cleaning tool. This fabric also has a very high absorbing power, making it a suitable material to clean surfaces and collect any stubborn residue.
The major drawback to microfiber, however, and why it isn’t recommended as a top-choice towel fabric is that it can pollute the environment. The polyester part of this fabric is plastic. So when dirty microfiber towels are cleaned in washing machines or under running water, it releases microplastics into the water, which can eventually pollute larger water bodies.
Best Fabric for Bath Towels
Bath towels can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. You use a bath towel to absorb the moisture from your body, so the towel will probably stay wet for a long time compared to smaller-sized hand or face towels.
This is why you need to consider various factors and make a smart choice when selecting the best fabric for bath towels.
Ideally, a fabric with higher absorbing power is better suited as a towel. Fabrics with a higher GSM, thicker in width, and high pile, i.e., have longer and flexible fibers, are also good contenders for bath towels compared to fabrics with low GSM.
Egyptian cotton or Turkey cotton, which are on the higher-end, have plush yarn loops, are very soft, and highly absorbent than any other fabric. Although you may hesitate with these fabrics given their cost, they last you a long time and are worth every penny.
Best Fabric for Kitchen Towels
Kitchen towels or dish towels are the most regularly used cloth fabrics. They get dirty easily compared to other towels and thus require regular washes. Considering how much they are used, it is essential to go for a fabric that can satisfy two purposes. First, it should have high absorbency and be able to clean and absorb dirt and grime. Second, it should not lose its durability even after multiple washing and drying cycles.
Cotton is the most suitable fabric for kitchen towels. Not only does it fulfill the two very essential requirements of a kitchen towel, but it is also affordable. So you would not mind replacing the old, weary towels frequently if needed.
Make sure the fabric is 100% cotton, preferably organic, so that you are ensured of its stretch and consistent quality.
What Towel Fabric Is Most Absorbent?
The absorbency power of a towel fabric is one of the most crucial factors to consider. For any towel, its predominant function is to absorb moisture without leaving any dampness behind.
This means the towels should have a high absorbency power to fulfill their most standard function. Cotton is the most absorbent fabric compared to different fibers like linen and bamboo. It is also hydrophilic and can easily attract water molecules.
As for the different types of cotton available, Turkish or Supima cotton would be our top picks as they are dense, thick, and highly absorbent.
What Material Makes The Softest Bath Towels?
Apart from the essential function of drying our skin, you’d also want your bath towel to be soft, fluffy, and comfortable on your skin. No one likes the texture of harsh fabric scratching over our skin. Not only is it incredibly uncomfortable, but rough fabrics can also trigger allergic reactions, rashes, inflammation, and other skin sensitivities.
High-quality, premium, organic cotton with long fibers is arguably the softest material for bath towels. Depending on your budget and requirements, you can either opt for Egyptian cotton, Turkish cotton, or Supima cotton.
Cotton fabric is made from long fibers that are flexible and are tightly spun into yards. Because of this, they are soft to touch and feel gentle and supple on the skin.
Best Towel Material for Skin
Skin health is not something we would think of when choosing a towel fabric. But the right towel fabric can maintain or even improve your skin. When choosing the best towel material for your skin, consider the following factors:
- Your skin should not be sensitive to the fabric. The fabric should be organic, soft, and well woven.
- Have a separate towel for your face and a separate one for your body.
- Choose a material with antibacterial properties, such as bamboo, so germs and bacteria do not thrive on damp towels.
- The material should be soft and supple to protect your skin from feeling itchy and irritable.
Bamboo, Turkish cotton, and microfiber are the best towel fabrics to use on your skin. They are durable, worth the investment, and will not harm your skin in any way.
How to Choose the Right Towel Fabric
Before you pick out a new towel, there are a few essential factors that you must be aware of. These are some characteristics of a fabric that can directly influence the longevity of the towels and impact your bathroom experience.
Towel fabrics like Supima cotton and Egyptian cotton are thick in width and have a high GSM (grams per square meter). They are also more absorbent than towels fabrics that are thinner like traditional cotton.
Brand new towels typically come with a coating of fabric softeners, which reduces their ability to absorb moisture. However, with every wash, this coating is further diminished and the absorbency power of the fabric increases. The only hitch is that the more absorbent the material is, the longer it will take to dry.
Make sure to use gentle detergents for your towels to avoid any buildup that can reduce the fabric’s ability to absorb.
The fabric’s durability is crucial when choosing the material for the towel. If the material is not sturdy and is made out of short, loosely woven fibers, the towel’s durability will be affected.
Cotton and microfiber towels are pretty durable in the long run. They are also used for commercial purposes in hotels, gyms, and restaurants because they are resilient.
If the fibers are weaved in small loops, they will come loose quickly after a few uses and washes. One such example is rayon. This is not suitable for towels as rayon does not have a sturdy weave.
The softer your towel fabric is, the better. When using the towel to dry your body and face, you want to use a fabric that feels supple and comfortable and does not irritate your skin.
The fabric fibers should not be prone to fuzziness and should have a plush and luxurious texture. Pima cotton, bamboo, and Egyptian cotton are the softest materials to opt for.
The fabric weight is determined by calculating the towel fabric’s GSM, which is the standard measurement for finding the fabric weight.
Towel fabrics with a high GSM are better than fabrics with lower GSM. The higher the GSM is, the thicker, denser, softer, and better the fabric quality.
Any fabric with GSM above 400 is considered good quality, whereas fabric weights below 400 GSM indicate lighter, coarser, thinner, and poorer quality.
You may have noticed the obvious difference in the quality of towels used in hotels and those used in gyms. Thick cotton towels used in hotels have a high GSM, whereas gym towels that are thinner and easier to store have low GSM.
Depending on the drying method, different fabrics require varying amounts of time to dry completely.
Towel fabrics with high absorbency will take longer to dry, and thicker fabrics will take longer than thinner ones. Moreover, drying a towel in the tumble dryer will be quicker than air drying it.
While this may not be a major factor if you’re looking for towels for home use, dry time can be a major factor when you’re traveling, for example. In such cases, when you need your towels to dry quickly to avoid storing them damp, fabrics such as microfiber can be very handy.
Various factors determine the cost of the fabric. High-end options like Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, Turkish cotton, and Bamboo will cost more than ordinary cotton or cotton blends.
The size, thickness, and purpose of the towel will also determine the cost of the fabric. Fabrics treated with dyes, prints, or designs will always cost more than standard, plain towels.
Towel Fabric by the Yard
The price of towel fabric by the yard is variable and will depend on factors like the quality and consistency of the fabric, how absorbent and soft it is, if the fabric has been treated with dyes or other substances, etc.
Egyptian cotton is probably the most expensive fabric option out there. Because this fabric is created through tightly twisted yarn loops, they perform significantly better in all factors than other fabrics. Turkish cotton comes a close second, followed by linen and bamboo.
Pure and authentic Egyptian cotton fabric can cost anywhere between $17 to $20 by the yard.
Who knew picking the right fabric for a towel could make such a difference? Remember, different fabrics can serve different purposes, so be smart about your towel fabric choices.
We hope this article has provided you with all the necessary towel fabric-related information to help make your home supplies shopping seamless and hassle-free.
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