It is not enough to buy 100% cotton and expect to receive a quality towel!
I've searched through the ebay stores and auctions for quality towels and have mostly been disappointed. I was left with many questions about the product which should have been provided as common details prior to purchasing. However, without doing any research - most people dont know what questions to ask. If you want to have a towel that gives quality as well as a long life, then listen close because it's very easy to differentiate between a mistake and the right choice!
Understanding the difference between bargain-priced towels and those of better quality requires a look at a few major points that define a towels quality. First lets look at some different types of cotton:
Egyptian (really grown in Egypt) and Supima (grown in America) are luxury choices.
Turkish towels are also of the same high quality. Their long fibers provide strength and smoothness.
Combed cotton is an economical alternative. Combing improves lower-grade cotton by removing short fibers.
Ring-spun cotton is made of yarn that has been strengthened and softened through mechanical twisting and thinning.
Organic cotton is grown without pesticides and processed without toxic chemicals.
Becareful when choosing a type of cotton towel; by industry standards, a towel can be called an Egyptian Cotton towel if it contains at least 10% of Egyptian Cotton. The balance on the towel is lower quality and results in a rougher feel. Make sure you get 100% Egyptian Cotton.
Another major point to consider is the gram weight of a towel. If you see "500 gram Turkish Cotton" this means that this towel is made from fabric that weighs 500 grams per square meter or 500GSM. When it comes to the weight of a towel, it is important to note that everyones preference is different; while a towel that is 800GSM is one of the thickest, naturally absorbing more - it also takes a lot longer to dry. It's all about comfort and finding that medium that suits you best.
DO NOT get pulled into buying a towel just because its gram weight is high! This is one of the draw cards that cheap bargain towel shops use to make a sale, there is more to consider! Which brings us to the type of weave:
- Terry Cotton is the common name for all cotton that is woven with un-cut loops. This is the most popular by far as the double-sided terry cotton towel is manufactured for opimal absorbency and is the strongest. This leaves the towel with a most wonderful plush feeling.
- Velour towels are terry cloth towels in which the loops on the face of the of the fabric have been cut or sheared on one or both sides to create a smoother feel. These towels are valued more for their soft and velvety look and touch, but lose absorbency.
- Jacquard towels are yarn-dyed terry towels woven on a special hook with an attachment allowing patterns to be woven into the terry pile. Jacquard weaves also have different heights of terry loop and intricate color designs. A jacquard design will appear on both the back and face of the towel. Since they take longer to weave than solid color looped terry towels, jacquard tend to be more expensive.
- Printed towels have designs or patterns printed on a solid terry towel which can feel scratchy. The print only appears on the face of the towel.
Now that you're aware of the things to look for by thinking of the above three major points before you buy any towel, you will make sure you get the right choice, the first time!