So you may be asking yourself, what’s the big deal with Turkish Towels? Most towels we use every day are just ordinary. They dry you after a shower, provide a place to lay on sand, mop up spills.
You probably don’t even give your current towels a second thought. And why would you? They are nothing special.
Why Turkish Towels?
Turkey was where I fell in love with Turkish towels. Appropriate right? Turkey has a part of my heart. I have had the chance to visit many times over the last decade and even live there and do volunteer work in relation to the Syrian crisis. I would regularly wander the markets and talk with folks about towels and other artisanal crafts. By the time I came back home to America, I had easily acquired a collection of these towels for my own personal use-- a collection soon became the envy of friends and family.
In Turkey, these towels are used for all sorts of things, chief among them providing comfort for patrons of the traditional Turkish baths. I love the baths, particularly the historic ones that dot the landscape of Turkey. So it was easy to regularly use both my own as well as those provided by the establishments. I was amazed at how well they held up after so much hard use.
Superior material is key. Turkish towels are made from Aegean cotton, which is renowned for its absorbency and softness. This cotton, grown along the coast of Turkey, is known for its long fibers which account for its strength, softness and absorbency.
The Story of Turkish Towels
Would you believe that Turkey invented the towel? It sounds crazy, but it does make sense. Turkey has a long history of weaving and public bathing, so the towel marks a natural progression.
Historians believe that towels as we know it were invented in the coastal city of Bursa. So when you use a Turkish towel, you're using something practical, but also sharing in a piece of material culture that been refined over the centuries. Turkish towels are a part of our shared human history. How cool is that?
What can you use these towels for?
Turkish towels have a lot of great uses. They make great bath towels, and the perfect beach towels. They also make for light-weight, stylish sarongs or shawls. In Turkey, men wear them in the bath houses, and if you're in a hot environment you could wear it as a sarong around the house as well. But unlike my AirBNB host in Turkey, you may want to avoid doing so around house guests.
I love my Turkish towels, particularly the ones with bold colors on the beach. They look good, they stand out, and when the weather changes it also makes a quick shawl or umbrella when you need it most.
Are Turkish Towels really absorbent?
Yes, yes they are. And the more you wash them, the softer and more absorbent they seem to get. No, really!
Actually, that’s one of the most surprising things about these towels. They may be thin, but they are strong, and super absorbent. They dry you off better and then dry out faster than conventional terry cloth towels. This prevents that mildewy stink you get with heavy cotton towels that never fully dry out. These quick-drying Turkish towels are ideal for day trips to the beach, when you're in and out of the water and need to dry off more than once.
Important. It may take a wash or two to bring out some of these amazing characteristics in your Turkish towel.
One of the things I love about these these towels (in addition to all the other things we discussed), is the size. These are more akin to what department stores call “bath sheets” instead of bath towels. Our towels are roughly about 40 inches x 70 inches, which is what makes them great for all those uses.
I almost hate referring to them as towels, because that seems to pigeon-hole them, when they have so many different uses. We’ve sold at our shows to customers who had no intention of using them as bath towels. A lot of our customers plan to use them as throws. picnic blankets and shawls.
We’d love to hear what you use the towels for!
Caring for your towels
Given their quality, Turkish towels are generally easy to care for, but that doesn’t mean you won’t shorten their life span if you don’t treat them well. Here's some some advice on how to care for your Turkish towel:
- Wash your towel on a gentle cycle in cold or warm water.
- Be sure to not to overdo it with the detergent. Detergent’s can be harsh on the natural cotton fibers. Actually, limiting use of detergent is a good rule of thumb for most of your clothes.
- Dry on low heat or hang dry. These actually hang dry better than typical terry cloth towels do. When you hang dry a terry cloth towel, they tend to dry out stiff, rather than soft. This isn't a problem with Turkish towels.
What towel is best for you?
Towels come in many shapes, colors, designs, and sizes. The towel for you may not be the best one for your mom or best friend. You might want to go with a more traditional design, like those with a striped or diamond pattern. Personally, I'm more a fan of those with bold colors, like our Bodrum Zirve.
Be sure to check out our towel page to see the various options we have in stock.
Our inventory regularly updates as we are constantly looking for interesting patterns and designs from around Turkey.