Turkish towels, also known as peshtemal or hammam towels, have gained popularity in recent years as a stylish and versatile alternative to traditional bath towels. But what exactly are they, and why should you consider adding them to your linen collection?
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything about these towels, from their history, uses and to how to care for them properly.
Origin and History
1) Ancient Roots
Turkish towels, or peshtemals, have roots in the ancient hammams of Turkey, public bathhouses where cleansing and relaxation were a communal experience. These towels were traditionally used in hammams due to their quick-drying and absorbent properties.
2) Traditional Craftsmanship
Craftsmen in Turkey have been hand-weaving these towels for generations. The intricate weaving process using locally grown cotton made Turkish towels highly sought-after items, both for personal use and as valuable exports.
3) Global Influence
Over time, these towels made their way into international markets and became fashionable not only for their functionality but also for their aesthetic appeal.
How they are Made?
Understanding the manufacturing process can give you a deeper appreciation for these remarkable towels.
1) Natural Cotton
They are typically made from 100% natural cotton fibers, which are grown locally in Turkey. This ensures the towels are soft, absorbent, and eco-friendly.
2) Weaving Techniques
The weaving process of Turkish towels is where their uniqueness shines. They are woven using a special flat-weave technique that allows for a lightweight, yet highly durable fabric.
3) Decorative Elements
Many towels are adorned with colorful patterns and fringes. These designs are often a result of meticulous hand-embroidery or jacquard weaving.
What Are They Used For?
Beyond the bathhouse
While these towels were originally designed for hammams, their uses have expanded significantly over the years. Today, they are a versatile accessory with a myriad of applications:
- Beach Companion: Turkish towels make the perfect beach companion. Their lightweight and quick-drying nature make them ideal for lounging on the sandy shores.
- Travel Essential: These towels are a jet-setter’s dream. They fold compactly, saving valuable luggage space, and can be used as a shawl or blanket during your travels.
- Yoga Mat Cover: Elevate your yoga experience by using this towel as a mat cover. Its grip and moisture-wicking properties enhance your practice.
- Home Decor: These towels serve as chic home decor items. They can be used as tablecloths, bed throws, or even stylish curtains.
- Fashion Statement: As scarves or wraps, these towels add a touch of elegance to your attire. Their vibrant colors and patterns make for fashionable accessories.
Difference Between Turkish Towels and Regular Towels
|Feature||Turkish Towels||Regular Towels|
|Weave||Flat-woven||Loop or terry cloth|
|Weight and Thickness||Lighter and thinner||Heavier and thicker|
|Absorbency||Quick-drying and highly absorbent||May be slower to dry|
|Versatility||Can be used as towels, wraps, and more||Primarily used as bath towels|
|Space Efficiency||Compact and space-saving||Bulkier and require more storage space|
How to Wash Them Properly
Here are washing steps:
- Separate Colors: Always wash these towels with like colors to prevent bleeding.
- Cold Water: Use cold water to maintain the vibrancy of the colors and to prevent shrinkage.
- Gentle Cycle: Opt for a gentle cycle to prevent excessive wear and tear.
- Minimal Detergent: Use a small amount of mild detergent to avoid detergent buildup.
- Avoid Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can reduce absorbency, so it’s best to skip them.
- Air Dry: These towels love fresh air. Hang them outside on a sunny day for the best results.
- Low Heat: If using a dryer, choose a low-heat setting to prevent any damage.
- Optional: Ironing is not necessary, but if you prefer a crisp look, use a low-heat setting.
- Fold, Don’t Hang: Fold your towels to maintain their shape and prevent stretching.
- Dry Storage: Ensure your towels are completely dry before storing to prevent mold or mildew.
Exploring the Market: Where to buy Turkish Towels
Authentic Turkish towels can be found in various places:
- Online Retailers: Numerous online platforms provide access to a diverse collection of Turkish towels such as Amazon, allowing you to explore and choose according to your preferences.
- Local Markets: For an immersive experience, visit local markets where you can find a wide range of handmade Turkish towels.
- Specialty Stores: Many specialty stores around the world offer authentic Turkish towels with unique designs and patterns.
How to Care for Turkish Towels
Caring for Turkish towels goes beyond washing. Here are some additional tips to ensure they stay soft and beautiful:
- Avoid Overloading: Don’t cram your washing machine; give them room to breathe.
- Shake Them Out: After washing, shake out the towels to fluff them up.
- Iron on Low: Iron on low heat to smooth out wrinkles.
- Rotate Use: Rotate your towels to ensure even wear.
In conclusion, these towels are more than just towels; they are a symbol of craftsmanship, tradition, and modernity all rolled into one. So, if you’re wondering what Turkish towels are, now you have the answer, and you might just find yourself falling in love with these remarkable textiles.
What is so special about Turkish towels?
Turkish towels, also known as Peshtemal or Hammam towels, are special for their lightweight, absorbent, and quick-drying qualities. They are woven from premium cotton and often feature unique patterns and designs.
Are Turkish towels better than regular?
Turkish towels are considered better than regular towels for some due to their versatility, absorbency, and quick-drying capabilities. They are a popular choice for the beach, bath, or travel.
Are Turkish cotton towels better?
Turkish cotton towels are highly regarded for their softness and absorbency. They are often considered better than regular cotton towels due to their premium quality and luxurious feel.
Why is it called a Turkey towel?
The term “Turkey towel” likely comes from the historical association of these towels with Turkey, where they have been used for centuries in bathhouses, known as “Hammams.”
What is a Turkey towel made of?
Turkish towels are typically made of 100% cotton, with some variations featuring blends with bamboo or other natural fibers. The quality and feel of the cotton used can vary.
What is the best Turkish towel?
The best Turkish towel is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Look for Turkish towels made from high-quality cotton, with a design and size that suits your needs, whether for the beach, bath, or travel. Brands like Cacala, Turkish T, and Bosphorus offer quality options.