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Choosing Towels
Towels - how do you choose the right towel for you????

Towels - how do you choose the right towel for you????

1. Type of Cotton Fiber
Most towels today are made from cotton or cotton blends, but the type of cotton fiber used has a huge impact on the towel's durability, feel and color-fastness.

  • Pima (or trademarked Supima) Cotton
    Often grown in the warm, dry climate of the southwestern United States, Pima cotton is made from the same plant as Egyptian cotton. Known for producing rich, extra-long staple fibers prized for their strength and absorbency, Pima is considered to be a superior blends of cotton. 
  • Eqyptian Cotton
    The "king" of cottons. Favored in luxury markets, Egyptian cotton is grown in Egypt's warm climate and prized for its extra-long, fibrous threads. This density produces a highly absorbent cotton that is strong yet breathable. Exceptionally durable, Egyptian cotton towels can last for years with proper care.
  • Turkish Cotton
    The most exceptional  Cotton of all.  Definitely produces a high-quality luxury towel.  Cotton is grown in Turkey’s warm/dry climate and has a longer fibrous thread than the Egyptian. This density produces a highly absorbent cotton that is strong yet breathable. Most product of Turkish Cotton, are manufactured in Turkey.
  • MicroCotton® (aka Zero-Twist)
    A trademark for a high-quality, long-staple cotton fiber developed in India. Its soft and plush fibers create a fluffy towel with a suede-like texture and excellent absorbency.
  • Organic Cotton
    Certified organic cotton is grown under highly controlled conditions without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and specially harvested to ensure sustainability and little environmental impact. Eco-friendly dyes are often used in conjunction with organic cotton to create a truly environmentally friendly towel.

2. Construction
Almost as important as a towel's fiber is the yarn's construction – how the yarn is actually made. The three common construction techniques below are used to produce diverse yarns with unique properties.

  • Combed
    As the name implies, combed cotton has literally been "combed" to remove short, uneven fibers and debris resulting in longer, stronger and more lustrous cotton perfect for weaving.
  • Ringspun
    Unlike low-twist cotton, ringspun cotton is constructed from a combination of long and short staple yarn. Ringspun fibers are tightly twisted together to create a stronger, smoother and finer yarn. This method produces a more refined feel than that of a basic combed cotton yarn.
  • Twist
    Twist refers to the number of twists per inch of yarn. The lower the amount of twist in a yarn, the more plush the towel will be. A higher twist adds strength and uniformity to a yarn, resulting in a more durable, substantial feeling towel. Low- or zero-twist fabric can only be constructed from longer staple cotton yarn.

3. Feel
Let's face it – when you forget about the color choices, decorative details, technical terms and the varieties of cotton, the perfect towel is the one you think feels best. So before you buy, you should consider your "towel type": light and fluffy or substantial and dense. There's no right answer, but understanding the difference will help you make the right choice.

  • Light & fluffy towels
    Typically woven with zero or low-twist yarn, these towels have longer loops, also called pile, that add a fluffiness you can run your fingers through and an almost airy feel. Absorbent without feeling "thirsty", they efficiently wick water away rather than soaking it up and feel light against the skin.
  • Heavy & substantial towels
    Most often crafted from high-twist or multi-ply yarn, these towels have a shorter, more densely woven pile and a substantial, weighty feel. Soft to the touch, the uniform surface of the towel is exceptionally dense and absorbent, soaking up water quickly.

4. Care
Following these simple towel-care tips will help you get years of use out of your new bath towels:

1.       Wash once before use Washing your towels before using them for the first time will help set the color, improve absorbency and reduce lint.

2.    Avoid fabic softeners.  Fabric softeners leave residue on the fibers that will reduce absorbency and stiffen the pile.

3.       Add a dash of vinegar Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash periodically to remove residue, improve absorbency and combat the musty smell sometimes found in damp towels.

4.       Keep skin care products on your skin Avoid contact with skin care products to help minimize towel spotting and bleaching.

 

 

                Susan Kelley in Denver on Houzz        
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