How to Choose (and Care for) Towels You'll Love
Choosing Your Towels
First, consider the thread. Egyptian Cotton is considered the king of cottons for its extra-long staple and strong, highly absorbent fibrous threads. It produces a fabric that is soft, absorbent, and durable. Turkish is a long staple cotton that is grown exclusively in Turkey. Also considered a premium cotton, it is often noted for its natural sheen and extra durability. Inferior cottons are composed of shorter fibers, twisted together to form longer threads. Those twists ultimately feel like tiny bristles against your skin.
The towel’s construction affects how long it will last and how comfortable it feels on your skin. Loops make towels more absorbent while twists make them more durable. The lower the amount of twist in a yarn, the plusher and more absorbent the towel will be. If you enjoy a soft and fluffy feel, zero-twist towels like Matouk’s Milagro and Aman styles are great choices. If you prefer a more textured, exfoliating dry-off that is still soft against your skin, try a low-twist style like Cairo or Lotus.
Caring for Your Towels
- Washing your towels before using them for the first time will help set the color, improve absorbency and reduce lint.
- Avoid fabric softeners! They leave residue on the fibers that will reduce absorbency and stiffen the pile.
- High heat also damages cotton fibers. Use a lower heat setting, never hot.
- To remove residue, improve absorbency, and combat the musty smell sometimes found in damp towels, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash periodically.
- Avoid contact with skin care products (like benzoyl peroxide and some acids) to help minimize towel spotting and bleaching. Or, if these products are unavoidable, stick to white towels!