Different Types of Bathroom Towels

Designing a room is fun, but turning a house into a home involves such individualized elements as picking bath towels for the bathroom. Although many consider bath towels to simply be an afterthought, a full set of good quality towels in an appropriate color scheme for your bathroom's design can give it a coordinated and inviting appearance both for visitors and for yourself. There are several specific forms of bath towels, such as a washcloth, which is a small square of fabric-usually terrycloth, that assists in washing faces at the bathroom sink or in lathering up in the bathtub. Because few people would want to use a washcloth that has already been used by another, most people keep a generous supply of washcloths on hand to ensure single usage. Washcloths are generally low in price; therefore most of us can afford to have a fair amount of them available.

Hand Towels, Bath Towels and Bath Sheets

Next in line is the hand towel, which is most commonly hung near the bathroom sink to enable those who wash their hands or face to have a smaller towel to dry off with. Ideally, your hand towels and washcloths should be color-coordinated with your larger bath towels. Bath towels are used to dry off following a bath or shower, and are most often made from terrycloth for maximum absorption. The largest size of bath towel is called a bath sheet-at one time these were known as beach towels, and were much larger to enable a person to lay on the beach on top of the towel. Gradually people began realizing how nice the beach towel was when used after a bath or shower, and now bath sheets are sold most everywhere regular towels are sold. While most bath towels are made of some type of cotton or cotton blend, the exact type of cotton used will determine both how soft and how absorbent the towel is. Like sheets, a longer fiber length will make the towels more luxurious and longer lasting.

Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton is widely considered to be the very most luxurious type of cotton used for bath towels as it is one of the oldest cotton species around, and was originally grown near the Nile River Delta. While bath towels made of Egyptian cotton will almost certainly be more expensive, they are also softer and more absorbent, due to the higher number of loops per inch; the good thing about the extra cost involved is that they will also last considerably longer than bath towels made from other types of cotton. Most of your luxury hotels will offer Egyptian cotton bath towels as an enticement for their visitors. Egyptian cotton towels are more rare than other types of towels, making up only about 10% of the total towels manufactured.

Sea Island Cotton

Even rarer than Egyptian cotton is sea island cotton which makes up approximately three percent of the worldwide cotton production and is grown on the southeastern coast of north America. This type of cotton is naturally bright white in color, although it can be dyed various colors for bath towels. Sea island cotton towels have an even higher number of loops, making them luxurious, soft,--and even more expensive than Egyptian cotton because of the rarity of this type of cotton.

Brazilian, Turkish, Pima and Organic Cotton

Brazilian cotton is another extremely high-quality cotton used for making bath towels, and like Egyptian and Sea Island cotton, it can be expensive, but is a luxurious and amazingly soft towel. Pima cotton is a mixture of Egyptian and Sea Island cotton, and has a registered trademark known as "Supima." Pima cotton is grown in the Southwest United States, Peru, Australia, and a few other places in the world, and was named for the Native Americans who first cultivated the plant. Pima cotton is extremely durable and absorbent, however only about 3 percent of the cotton made in the U.S. is Pima. Turkish cotton is grown in the Aegean area of Turkey and has exceptionally long fibers which makes it very strong and gives it a natural shine. Turkish cotton towels are plush, soft and long-lasting. Finally, organic cotton bath towels are made of cotton produced with no pesticides or chemicals. Organic cotton is not treated with bleach during the growing process, making them excellent choices for those who have skin allergies. Choosing your bathroom towels is a very individual decision, and can set the tone for your bathroom's look and feel.