What to Look for in Luxury Towels
How to Find the Most Luxurious Bath Towels For Your Money
Shopping for bathroom linens, whether in-store or online, can be a bit of a minefield. All too often, the word ‘luxury’ reflects the price tag but not the actual quality of the towels. In addition, so much depends on personal preference that it pays to do your research before you buy. This guide explains what to look for in luxury towels so that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
What to Consider When Buying Towels
1. The source(s) of the cotton
Egyptian cotton towels have a longstanding reputation as the best on the market. However, there are a number of lesser-known alternatives that are not far off in terms of softness and durability. These include American and Turkish cotton, both of which have extra long fibres for a silky feel.
Tip: Don’t be fooled by common marketing ploys. For example, towels are often sold as ‘Egyptian cotton’ when they actually contain as little as 10 percent Egyptian cotton, so read the label carefully before you buy.
2. The type of weave
There are four weaves that are commonly used to make luxury bathroom towels:
- Terry weave. Often used for hotel towels, terry weave is the most popular choice. This weave consists of large, uncut loops, which makes terry towels soft, absorbent and strong.
- Waffle weave. Waffle weave towels have raised squares woven into the fabric in a waffle or honeycomb formation. They are lighter, more absorbent and faster-drying than terry towels but don’t have the same plush feel.
- Velour. Velour towels are similar to terry towels, but with the loops sheared on one or both sides. This gives a soft, velvety feel but also makes the towel a little less absorbent.
- Jacquard. Jacquard weave towels comprise of a terry weave with patterns woven into them. These appear on both the face and back of the towel. Jacquard towels look attractive but tend to be more expensive than plain towels.
Tip: If you’re looking for decorative towels, it’s worth paying more for jacquard ones rather than going for the cheap option of printed designs. These only appear on the face of the towel and tend to make the fabric feel stiff.
3. The manufacturing processes
The manufacture of luxury towels involves removing small fibres and debris from the yarn to leave only the longest and strongest threads. This makes for a softer and more robust towel. There are two ways of doing this:
- Carding – This removes tangles in the fibres but does not fully align them, so they tend to go off in different directions, creating a super fluffy towel.
- Combing – As the material is spun, the fibres are aligned using fine-toothed combs to create a very smooth and silky towel.
Combing is a laborious process, so combed cotton towels tend to be more expensive than carded ones. However, this doesn’t necessarily make them better; it’s more about what feels right for you.
4. The weight of the towel
The higher the GSM (grams per square metres), the heavier, denser and, generally speaking, more absorbent the towel is. On the flipside, heavier towels take longer to dry so are more prone to odour retention. Again, it’s all about striking the right balance for you.
Still not sure which kind of towel to choose? Woods Fine Linens has a longstanding passion for luxury linens dating back to 1733, and their experienced staff will be more than willing to help you come to an informed decision.
Call 01423 530111 to discuss your requirements in detail, or visit their shop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire to feel the softness of their luxury towels for yourself.