How Bath Towel Is Made – Materials, Manufacturing Process, Making, History, Used, Composition, Product, Trade

Bath towels are woven items of fabric both cotton or cotton-polyester which might be used to absorb moisture on the physique after bathing. Bath towels are sometimes offered in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are at all times the most important of the three towels. Bath towels are generally woven with a loop or pile that is soft and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the body. Particular looms known as dobby looms are used to make this cotton pile.

Bath towels are generally of a single shade however may be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-decided pc program pushed designs) and even printed in stripes. Since towels are exposed to a lot water and are washed on sizzling-water wash settings more frequently than different textiles, printed towels could not retain their sample very lengthy. Most towels have a two selvage edges or completed woven edges along the sides and are hemmed (reduce and sewn down) at the top and backside. Some toweling manufacturers produce the yarn used for the toweling, weave the towels, dye them, reduce and sew hems, and ready them for distribution. Others buy the yarn already spun from other wholesalers and only weave the toweling.

Historical past

Till the early nineteenth century, when the textile business mechanized, bath toweling might be comparatively costly to purchase or time-consuming to create. There is a few question how important these sanitary linens had been for the average person-in spite of everything, bathing was not almost as universally standard 200 years in the past as it is immediately! Most 9-teenth century toweling that survives is, indeed, toweling most likely used behind or on top of the washstand, the piece of furnishings that held the wash basin and pitcher with water in the times before indoor plumbing. A lot of this toweling was hand-woven, plain-woven pure linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs feature fancier jacquard-woven coloured linen patterns (notably crimson and white) but these have been extra likely to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the more delicate and absorbent terry cloth replaced the plain linen toweling.

Because the cotton trade mechanized in this nation, toweling material might be bought by the yard in addition to in completed goods. By the 1890s, an American house-spouse may go to the final store or order by means of the mail either woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or might purchase terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, lower it to the appropriate bath towel measurement her family preferred, and hem it herself. Quite a lot of toweling was out there-diaper weaves, huck-abacks, “crash” toweling-primarily in cotton as linen was not commercially woven on this nation in nice quantity by the 1890s. Weaving factories began mass manufacturing of terry cloth towels by the tip of the nine-teenth century and have been producing them in similar style ever since.

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Uncooked Supplies

Uncooked materials embody cotton or cotton and polyester, depending on the composition of the towel in production. Some towel factories purchase the first uncooked material, cotton, in 500 lb (227 kg) bales and spin them with synthetics as a way to get the type of yarn they need for production. Nevertheless, some factories purchase the yarn from a supplier. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester mix yarn is purchased in big quantities in 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) spools of yarn. A single spool of yarn unravels to 66,000 yd (60,324 m) of thread.

Yarn have to be coated or sized to ensure that it to be woven extra simply. One such business coating comprises PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are generally used to whiten a towel earlier than dyeing it (whether it is to be dyed). Once more, these bleaches fluctuate relying on the producer, however could embrace as many as 10 components (some of them proprietary) together with hydrogen peroxide, a caustic defoamer, or if the towel is to remain white, an optical brightener to make the white look brighter. Artificial or chemical dyes, of complicated composition, which make towels each colorfast and bright, could also be used.


Most towels should not specifically designed in complex patterns. The overwhelming majority is simple terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at prime and bottom. Sizes vary as do colours depending on the order. More and more, white or inventory towels are sent to wholesalers or others to decorate with pc-driven embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This occurs in a unique location and is usually executed by one other company.

The Manufacturing



– 1 As mentioned above, some factories spin their own yarn for bath towels. If this is done at the manufacturing facility, the manufacturer receives enormous 500 lb (227 kg) bales of either excessive or “middling grade” (of medium high quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (high quality relies on the manufacturer and quality of the towel in manufacturing). These bales are broken open by an automatic Uniflock machine that nips a bit off the highest of each bale, opens it up after which lays it down. The Uniflock opening machine blends the cotton fibers collectively by repeatedly beating it so impurities fall out or are filtered out (these bales comprise many impurities throughout the raw cotton). The more pure fibers are blown via tubes to a mixing unit the place the cotton is blended together before they are spun. Larger high quality towels use cotton with fibers which can be blended collectively thrice before spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester throughout this blending process.

If you have any kind of concerns regarding where and how to make use of microfiber yoga towel (, you can call us at our internet site. – 2 The blended fibers are then blown via tubes to carding machines where revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and proceed to take away impurities earlier than spinning. The cotton fibers, whereas not but yarn, are shaping up into parallel fibers in preparation for spinning.

– 3 These parallel fibers are then condensed into a sliver-a twisted rope of cotton fibers. These slivers are despatched into one other machine by which they are blended once more and sent between other rollers for straightening. The ultimate purpose is long, straight, parallel fibers because they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require much less twisting which also produces sturdy yarns however makes them less delicate and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a large roll and despatched on a cart and fed into the combing machine.

– 4 Fibers are combed here, additional straightening the fibers with a finer set of wire teeth than used on the carding machine. Combing removes the shorter fibers, which are coarser and woollier, leaving the finer, longer, silkier cotton fibers for spinning into yarn. Once combed, the fibers are formed into a twisted rope sliver again.

– 5 The slivers journey to roving machines the place the fibers are further twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving body additionally slightly twists the fibers. The result is a protracted roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the final step before spinning.

– 6 Now the roving is ready for spinning. The bobbin is spun on a ring-spinning machine, which mechanically attracts out or pulls the cotton roving out right into a single strand. The fibers essentially catch each other to form one continuous thread and twists the thread barely as it is pulled or As soon as the toweling is made, it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It’s then transported to bleaching as large rolls of fabric and put right into a water bath with bleaching chemicals comparable to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary ingredients. All toweling have to be dyed pure white earlier than it’s dyed any color.

spun. Once the yarn is spun, it is automatically wound on massive wheels that resemble rounds of cheese when filled with thread.


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a bit of woven material that are tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads called weft or filler are passed underneath and over the warp to form the fabric. The big spools of simply-spun cotton are ready to be warped or wound on a beam that might be inserted into the loom for weaving. If the yarn is bought, the 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) spools are readied for warping. A warping beam is then warped wherein threads are anchored and wrapped to a big beam in lots of of parallel rows. Totally different towel widths require different numbers of warp threads.- 8 These large beams, stuffed with wrapped warp threads, are placed into a rack that holds up to 12 beams and sized in preparation for weaving. The threads have to be sized or stiffened to make the piece easier to weave. PVA starch, urea, and wax are rolled onto and pressed into the yarn. The threads are then run over drying cans-Teflon-coated cans with steam heat emanating from with-in. This helps to dry the warp threads rapidly. (1,000 warp ends are pulled over nine cans to dry.) These beams, with coated threads, at the moment are sent to the looms.


– 9 The beams are picked up by a pallet jack or hydraulic lift truck and transported to looms. These looms differ in width but could also be as narrow as eighty five in (216 cm) or as vast as 153 in (389 cm). (Not surprisingly, the wider the loom, the slower the weaving as it takes longer for weft threads to cross the warp.) The beams are lifted onto the looms mechanically with a warp jack, which may bear the load and dimension of the beam.- 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, meaning each loom has two sets or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp is called the bottom warp and types the physique of the gym towel and the other known as the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Every set of warp threads is fastidiously fed through a set of metallic eyes and is attached to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that can change in their vertical relationships to each other.) These harnesses mechanically increase and lower these warp threads so that the weft or filler could be handed between them. The intersection of the warp and weft is woven fabric. The filler yarn is programmed so that it is loosely laid into the woven fabric. When this free filler is beaten or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up changing into a little bit loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and minimize into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are really shot throughout these giant looms at prime-speeds-these towel-making looms may have 18 shuttles fired throughout the warp from a firing cylinder. One shuttle follows proper behind the subsequent. As quickly because the one shuttle shoots throughout the warp threads, the shuttle drops down and is transported back to firing cylinder and is shot across once more. A typical towel-weaving machine has 350 shuttle insertions in a single minute-almost six shuttles fired throughout each second. Thus, towels are woven very quickly on these giant mechanized dobby looms. In a single small towel-making manufacturing facility, 250 dozen bath towels might be made in one loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms within the manufacturing unit.


– 11 Once the toweling is made (it’s one lengthy terry cloth roll and has no starting or end), it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as huge rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary substances. All toweling must be dyed pure white before it’s dyed any coloration. The wet toweling laden with chemicals is then subjected to tremendously high temperatures. The heat makes the chemicals react, bleaching the towel. The roll is then washed at the least as soon as and as many as three times in a big washer to get all chemicals out of the toweling. The toweling is dried, and whether it is to remain white toweling, it is able to be minimize at the highest and backside, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label hooked up (all of this is done with one machine).


– 12 Whether it is to be dyed, the massive, dried uncut rolls are taken to massive vats of chemical dyes, which have proven over time to offer colorfast toweling after in depth residential laundering. After being immersed within the vat, the toweling is removed and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. An intensive steaming sets the color. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed in the drying process, after which the dyed towels are ready for reducing, hemming, and labeling.

Cutting, folding, and packaging

– 13 Last visible inspection of the cut and hemmed towels happens and they’re handfolded and conveyed to packaging, where computerized packaging gear varieties a bag around the towels and UPC labels are attached to the bags. These packaged towels are despatched to the inventory room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

High quality Management

Towels are rigorously checked for high quality control all through the production course of. If yarn is bought, it is randomly checked for weight and have to be the standard established by the company (lighter yarn spools point out the yarn is thinner than desired and will not make as sturdy toweling). Bleach and dye vats are periodically checked for acceptable chemical structure.

Throughout the weaving course of, some firms cross the cloth over a lighted inspection table. Right here the weavers and high quality inspectors monitor the towel for weaving imperfections. Slightly unevenly woven towels could also be straightened out and touched up. But those who cannot may be labeled “seconds” or microfiber yoga towel imperfect or fully rejected by the corporate. As in all features of the method, visible checks are a key to high quality management-all involved in the method understand minimum requirements and monitor the product always.


Potentially dangerous byproducts are often mixed within the water that’s used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Notably, the bleaching process includes elements (peroxides and different caustics) that can not be discharged untreated into any water provide. Many toweling factories run their own water remedy plants to insure that the water the plant discharges meets minimum standards for pH, temperature, and so on.

Where to Learn More


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer 1895 Catalogue and Purchaser’s Guide. NY: Dover Publications, Inc. 1969.

Tate, Blair. The Warp: A Weaving Reference. Ashville, NC: Lark Books, 1991.


Fieldcrest Cannon. “The Making of Royal Velvet Towels.” Unpublished script for a video on towel production. Kannapolis, NC, 1998.

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