Towels - Choosing the Right Towel
There is nothing like a warm fluffy towel after a shower or bath. Because unlike our four legged friends, we cant just shake the water off.
However, when it comes to towels, what should be an easy purchase can quickly become quite complicated. The culprit is the enormous selection of sizes, colors, materials and prices.
Not only that, but there are towels for a girl and towels for a boy and special sets for different occasions. It's enough to send anyone running out of the bed and bath department of any store.
The good news is that buying towels can be easy and fun once you know what to look for. (OK, fun may be stretching it, but it will definitely be more enjoyable.) The most important thing to consider is material. Unlike clothing, towels come in one material; cotton. The difference between towels is the type of cotton. Cotton's quality is based on the length of its staple or fiber . The longer the staples the stronger, more absorbent, more durable and luxurious the towel will be.
When it comes to cotton, there are three common grades:
Most of the towels you see in stores will be terry. This simply means that it has loops. The longer and denser the loops, the thicker and more absorbent the towel will be. For the highest absorbency, look for towels with no decoration and loops across the entire surface. A towel with a pattern or design on it is called a print towel, and a towel with decorative embroidery on it is called embellished.
If you have ever come out of the shower only to find your towel bar has nothing on it but a wash cloth, than you know first hand that size matters. It is a luxurious feeling to wrap yourself in a thick over-sized bath towel. There are six standard sizes of towels. However manufacturers may vary their towel size specifications slightly, bath towels can come in a range of sizes and not all towel lines carry all sizes. That being said, here are the common sizes:
- BATH SHEET: 35 x 60 inches (Not as large as a sheet, this name is a little misleading. But these towels are big enough to wrap yourself up in!)
- BATH TOWEL : 27 x 52 to 30 x 58 inches
- HAND TOWEL: 16 x 30 inches
- WASH CLOTH: 13 x 13 inches
- FINGERTIP: 11 x 18 inches
- TUB MAT: 22 x 34 inches
Virtually all towels are machine washable and can go in the dryer. Just be cautious as to what the manufacturer recommends. They may suggest warm water as opposed to hot and a cool dryer instead of a hot one. An important thing to remember when laundering your towels is not to use a fabric softener. Fabric softeners coat the fabric causing it to loose its absorbency.
Finally, when choosing your luxury towel consider the frequency at which you will be using it. If you will be using them everyday, spring for a higher quality towel. Although they will cost you more, they will also last longer and withstand lots of use and abuse by your washer, dryer and you