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Buyers Guide to Towels

Posted by Louise Wood on

Creatd buying Guide to Towels

Towels are just one of those things. From the humble hand towel that we use every day in the downstairs restroom, to the more luxurious Egyptian cotton soft towels we might use on a spa day, to the seasonal use beach towel that we spend more time lying on than actually drying ourselves. Largely towels are in the background, we take them for granted and don't give them much thought, perhaps until we need one that is and don't have one at hand! There are a few things to consider when buying towels though, so here are our five top tips for buying:

  1. Consider the purpose
  2. Consider the fabrics
  3. Feel the weight
  4. How big?
  5. Looking After My Towel

1/ Consider the purpose

Probably the number one consideration in your buying journey. 'What am I going to use the towel for?' Knowing the answer to this, means you are half way there already. Of course in most instances the towel will be used to dry yourself in some way, shape or form, but sometimes towels are just on display, but rarely used. Towels can be used for occasional trips to the beach and at the other end of the spectrum, light weight hand towels are used every day in our cloak rooms and bathrooms. 

A towels primary purpose and where it is put to use,  will drive many of the key decisions from the type of fabric to its size. So whilst heavy weight Egyptian Cotton might be perfect for a treat, drying these towels can be a challenge. Likewise every day towels need to trade off their practically against their size and feel.

2/ Consider the fabrics

Towels can be made from a number of different materials, including bamboo, linen and hemp, although most towels are made from cotton. Cotton is naturally soft and absorbent and is fluffy to the touch. Cotton is also breathable, which helps with drying, a practical consideration.

The material and the pile gives a towel its feel.  Egyptian cotton is recognised for its luxurious feel, with typically a deep dense pile, making them soft, warm and highly absorbent. Supima cotton is only grown in the USA and sought out for its luxury, plush weighty feel.  Zero twist cotton also known as Hydro cotton, is a method where yarn is spun with a low amount of twist. The result is a towel that feels as soft and plush as Egyptian cotton, without the weight and faster drying. 

Finally if you are concerned about the environment (and lets face it we all should be!), look for organic cotton, certified by the GOTS label (Global Organic Textile Standard). All the towels we sell at Creatd interiors are GOTS certified. 

Organic Cotton Towels 

3/ Feel the weight

How heavy a towel you choose will depend on the task in hand and is therefore a key decision point. Towel weight is measured in GSM (grammes per square metre). As a general rule, more weight is more material and absorbency creating a more luxury and expensive feel. The trade off is the time and energy they take to dry. Likewise lighter towels are perfect for every day tasks such as hand drying, or something you might pop in your bag to take to the gym. 

Lightweight, up to 350 GSM: High traffic areas, every day tasks such as drying your hands. Fast drying for every day use.

Medium weight, 400-700 GSM: Perhaps the sweet spot, with higher absorbency than lightweight towels, perfect for the family bathroom, with relatively quick drying. Most of our towels sit in this range.

Heavy Weight, 700-900 GSM: Super absorbent, soft & luxurious. For luxury moments and treats. Slow drying. 

4/ How big?

When it comes to towels, size matters. There are no absolutes here, but the right size towel for the right task is key:

Face Towel (Flannel) - 35cm(L) x 35cm(W) (also used for cleansing)

Guest Towel 65cm(L) x 40cm(W) (instead of a hand towel in a guests bathroom)

Hand Towel 100cm x 50cm (for hand drying and the gym)

Bath Towel 130cm x 70cm (for every day use & in easy reach!)

Bath Sheet 160cm x 90cm (Perfect for wrapping up in)

Beach Towel 160cm x 80cm (perfect for lying on)

Bath towels and hand towels are really the staples in the towel world, the other options providing more flexibility. 

Bath Towel & Hand Towel in Classic Grey

5/ Looking After My Towel (care instructions)

Last but not least, taking care of your towels, should mean they last for many years, depending on how heavily they are used. It goes without saying, you should always read the label, but here are some general guides and tips:

Washing

  • Generally wash towels between 30-60°C - (always read the label)
  • Wash with similar colours!
  • For coloured towels, avoid bleaching or brightening agents that can fade the colour. The opposite for white towels. 
  • Use fabric conditioners sparingly as they will affect absorbency over time.  
  • Shake towels before and after washing; this opens up the fibres slightly to allow the detergent to sink in, and helps to promote drying .
  • Avoid using fabric conditioner the first few times you wash new towels

Drying

  • Tumble dry your towels to keep them soft and fluffy. Used textured 'dryer balls' to get air into the towels and restore their fluffy feel. 
Ironing
  • Generally towels can be ironed, but check the label. Low temperatures and don't flatten the pile. 
Tips
  • Wash separately from garments with zips or trims to avoid snagging
  • Snags can just be cut off, but don't worry this won't unravel the towel!