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The Making Of A Bath Towel

Jun 9, 2008
As everyone knows, a bath towel is a large piece of woven fabric, made out of either cotton or a cotton and polyester blend. We use them every day of our lives, most often for patting ourselves dry after a nice shower or bath, although their usefulness as makeshift sarongs or blankets at the beach cannot be discounted. Bath towels come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. They can be plain or can even be embroidered or woven into different patterns and designs for those of us who may think of them as an integral part of our bathroom decor. Since their invention, they have really grown into something that we couldn't live without. But have you ever given any thought to how they are made? Turning raw materials into a bath towel is a pretty detailed procedure, you know. It takes several different steps to turn raw cotton into the soft and absorbent piece of fluffy goodness that is the bath towel we know and love.

To start with, many bath towel manufacturers spin their own yarn. This process starts with big bales of cotton. The bales are broken up and blended, in order to get rid of any impurities in the raw cotton. The mixed fibers are then blown through tubes to straighten them out. After that, they are condensed into twisted ropes of cotton strands. Wire teeth are then used to further straighten these out and get rid of any shortened fibers. This material is then loaded into a spinning machine. The final result is a long, continuous thread of cotton, which is then rounded onto a large wheel. It has a similar look to a huge, circular block of cheese. I would definitely not recommend trying to eat it though. Not even to mice!

Warping is the next step in the process. This gets the materials ready to be woven into warm, towelie decadence. Long pieces of thread are tightly stretched onto a beam, and are anchored into hundreds of parallel rows depending on the size of the bath towel to be made. The beams are then stacked. Starch, urea, and wax are applied in order to make the strands stiff and easier to weave.

Once this is completed, they are ready to be inserted into looms for weaving. Filler threads are shot into the beams, going in and out of each strand that has already been stretched onto the beam. They are inserted loosely at first, and are tightened later, once the entire weaving process is complete. Most bath towel companies use machines for the weaving process, which makes it possible to complete up to 250 towels each week on a single loom.

Once the weaving is complete, the large pieces of fabric are taken off the loom. They are ready to be bleached, dyed, and cut, therefore transforming them into the final product. Hot baths of chemicals are used to bleach the entire piece of fabric. They must be bleached before being dyed any color at all. Don't worry about the nasty chemicals in this process though. The towels are washed three times or so to remove any impurities that may be present. They are then placed into large vats of colored dyes. After soaking in these vats for a short time, the pieces of fabric are pressed between two rollers to push the dye into them. A steam dry then helps to set the dye, and also helps to fluff up the fabric as well.

Once the dying process is finished, these large pieces of fabric are cut and hemmed into separate bath towels. They are given a final inspection, hand folded for packaging, and shipped off to retail locations all over the world. Once there, they are felt and tested for softness and touchability by throngs of consumers each day. As you can see, a lot actually goes into making a beautiful bath towel. The next time you find the perfect one, maybe you'll like it just a little bit more. Each one contains a small amount of artistic inspiration. It wasn't so long ago that it started off as a bail of raw cotton straight from the farm.
About the Author
Sebastian Marders loves writing about a variety of things and sharing the website that inspires each piece with his readers. If you would like to browse luxury bath towels, spa bath robes, and women's long bath robes then please visit.
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