Turkish Towels – A Complete Guide
One of the most massively useful yet underrated items in our lives is the towel. We use it every day in the shower, we wrap things in it, and we spread it on the beach to have a lie-down. This small, comfy piece of fabric often saves us during accidental spills, acts like a blanket when we are cold, and also doubles up as a makeshift bag when there’s nothing else at hand. We might not think of it, but a towel is much more than a strip of cotton hanging in the bathroom.
Larger, softer towels have been gaining popularity in recent times, and this has led to the growing demand for Turkish towels. They are thinner, softer, and provide a luxurious feel to the user. You must have seen them displayed at stores or spread out on beaches, in various colors, designs, and prints. But what exactly are Turkish towels? Read on to find out.
What Are Turkish Towels?
Turkey is the place where towels originated back in the 17th century. They were a long, woven piece of fabric called a pestamel. Even today, Turkish towels or pestamels are made from luxurious Turkish cotton, which has extra-long fibers and requires less number of joints while weaving. This makes them ultra soft and more comfortable than regular towels.
Towels usually range between being extra absorbent or not absorbent at all. Both of these have their own problems. Being too absorbent means the towel will remain wet for a long time and the dampness will make them smelly, and less absorbency means it will hardly soak any water, defeating its purpose. Turkish towels have no such problem. They offer a perfect balance, being extremely moisture-wicking yet quick to dry. The best quality of Turkish cotton is that it becomes softer and fluffier the more you wash it. The more you use Turkish towels, the softer and more comfortable they get.
Types of Turkish Towels
Turkish towels are generally known to be bath towels. They are long, super absorbent, comfortable, and can be used for various purposes. While the Turkish bath towels remain the most popular, there are other varieties that are also available, including cotton and linen towels, hand towels, bamboo towels, peskir, tea towels, and hair towels. These traditional towels are hand-woven on looms and usually come in a striped pattern, although there are more colorful varieties available now.
Premium Turkish towels are organic and made with natural materials. From the cotton or linen yarn to the vegetable dyes, every element of a Turkish towel is a part of Nature. Needless to say, they take a lot of time and effort to make and are only sourced from the Aegean region in Turkey. While the towels are now available all over the world, there are a few rare bath items that are woven the same way but available only in Turkey. The bath gloves are one such item that have the same construction like a pestamel and feel ultra soft and luxurious.
Benefits of a Turkish Towel
Compared to other towels, Turkish towels are more absorbent and also dry quickly. This balance is what makes Turkish towels so popular worldwide. They are also a lot larger and more versatile than regular towels. Bath and beach towels are most common, with the length and texture of the pestamel ideal for wrapping yourself in or spreading out on the sand. When you are lying on the beach, one Turkish towel is often big enough for two people.
These towels are also travel-friendly because they are thin and lightweight and do not add to the bulk. They can be used as wraps and throws, and even as blankets and sarongs. When you don’t have a pillow nearby, Turkish towels can be rolled and used for support. Unlike regular towels that usually come in loud colors and designs, Turkish pestamels are pleasing to the eye with their pastel shades and simple patterns. It might be a towel, but a pestamel is multipurpose and has a variety of creative uses.
Caring for a Turkish towel
Since they are hand woven and more delicate than regular towels, Turkish towels need more care, especially when it comes to washing and drying. The better you care for them, the longer they last and softer they get.
Turkish towels can be easily washed in a machine like other towels, but be very careful to put it in cold or tepid water. Hot water isn’t recommended for washing Turkish towels since the fabric might get coarser. The detergent and fabric softeners must also be carefully used because harsh chemicals can affect the absorbency and softness of the fabric.
Turkish towels love to dry naturally since they are super absorbent. Usually, if you hang them on a clothesline on a sunny day or even on the back of a chair under a fan, they dry within a few hours. They don’t remain damp and don’t smell. But rainy days are unpredictable, and in such cases, it is safe to put your Turkish towel in a dryer on low heat.
Turkish towels have tassels that add to their beauty and appeal. With time, these tassels might come undone, but they are easy to redo at home. Simply separate the untied tassel into two sections of equal size. Twist the two sections separately, and then roll the twisted sections together, before knotting the tip. To ensure the tassels don’t come undone too often, tighten them frequently, especially before and after every wash. Limit the times you wash your Turkish towel to keep the fibers intact.
Turkish towels come all the way from Turkey and should be washed before the first use (unless they are pre-washed). Once found only in luxury hotels, Turkish towels are slowly becoming commonplace, with most online stores selling them. The demand has also led to a drop in the price. Use them as a beach towel, blanket, or throw, the versatility of Turkish towels makes them ideal for several purposes. Switch to Turkish towels, and experience the difference yourself.