The towel has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Turkey. The soft, fluffy luxurious towels we are so familiar with started out as flat woven pieces of material that were widely used in Hamams or Turkish baths. They were known as Pestamel and were made of cotton or linen and embroidered by hand.
The royalty of the Ottoman Empire played a big part in driving the progression of the towel forward. They demanded more and more elaborate designs from their weavers, finally resulting in the production of the first looped towel in the 18th Century. This formed the basis of the towel that we all know and use today.
A quick guide to towels
As we said the towel has come a long way since then. Now you can purchase towels in all sorts of materials including Turkish and Egyptian cotton, linen, bamboo, modal and organic for all sorts of functions. In fact there’s a towel for just about every part of your body, well almost.
Bath towels and sheets
Don’t you just hate stepping out of a warm bath or shower and grappling with a ridiculously small towel? Bath towels and sheets are bigger than your standard sized towel and allow you to wrap up and dry off quickly. They are particularly useful in the winter months when exposed wet skin can instantly ruin the warm glow of a bath.
These handy (no pun intended) sized towels are essential in every kitchen and bathroom because let’s face it, hygiene is paramount.
We treat our faces to all sorts of pricey lotions and potions to care for our delicate skin in our constant battle to fight the signs of ageing. So it’s only fitting that we provide them with a dedicated face cloth too.
What did we do before head towels? What you’re not familiar with them? These towels are designed especially for your hair. Gone are the days of wrapping your head in oversized, heavy towels in a bid to stop your wet hair dripping down your back. Now you can use a lightweight head towel that easily loops around your head instead. Job done.
Whether you have a spare room that doubles as a guest room or a dedicated guest bathroom, towels for just this purpose are a nice little touch. Your guests will thank you for the extra care and attention to their stay.
In the same way that head towels are designed for your hair, baby towels are specially designed for your little ones. Some have cute little hoods attached to one corner allowing you to keep your baby warm and snugly after bath time.
These often brightly coloured or patterned towels are great for adorning your sun lounger on the beach or around the pool. Not only do they get you dry after a splash in the water, they’re also great markers to help you identify your sun lounger on a crowded beach.
These are a fantastic idea for families to eliminate Towel mix ups and squabbles. Names and images can be added to them making them great gifts as well.
Rob Rudd lives in a hard water area and as such his life is plagued by the quest for a fluffy towel or bathrobe. He is a keen writer and regularly contributes to several health and lifestyle blogs.