How Bath Towel Is Made – Material, Production Process, Making, Historical Past, Used, Composition, Product, Trade

Bath towels are woven items of fabric both cotton or cotton-polyester that are used to absorb moisture on the body after bathing. Bath towels are sometimes sold in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are all the time the most important of the three towels. Bath towels are typically woven with a loop or pile that’s delicate 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 coloration but may be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-determined laptop program driven designs) or even printed in stripes. Since towels are exposed to much water and are washed on hot-water wash settings more often than different textiles, printed towels may not retain their pattern very long. Most towels have a two selvage edges or completed woven edges alongside the sides and are hemmed (reduce and sewn down) at the highest and backside. Some toweling manufacturers produce the yarn used for the toweling, weave the towels, dye them, lower and sew hems, and ready them for distribution. Others purchase the yarn already spun from other wholesalers and solely weave the toweling.


Till the early nineteenth century, when the textile trade mechanized, bath toweling could possibly be relatively expensive to buy or time-consuming to create. There is some query how essential these sanitary linens were for the average particular person-in any case, bathing was not nearly as universally widespread 200 years ago as it is in the present day! Most nine-teenth century toweling that survives is, indeed, toweling most likely used behind or on prime of the washstand, the piece of furnishings that held the wash basin and pitcher with water in the days earlier than indoor plumbing. Much of this toweling was hand-woven, plain-woven pure linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs function fancier jacquard-woven coloured linen patterns (particularly purple and white) however these had been extra more likely to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the extra soft and absorbent terry cloth changed the plain linen toweling.

As the cotton business mechanized on this country, toweling material could possibly be bought by the yard in addition to in finished items. By the 1890s, an American house-wife might go to the general store or order through the mail either woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or may purchase terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, reduce it to the suitable bath towel size her household liked, and hem it herself. A variety of toweling was obtainable-diaper weaves, huck-abacks, “crash” toweling-primarily in cotton as linen was not commercially woven in this nation in nice quantity by the 1890s. Weaving factories began mass manufacturing of terry cloth towels by the top of the nine-teenth century and have been producing them in comparable vogue ever since.

Raw Supplies

Raw supplies embrace cotton or cotton and polyester, relying on the composition of the towel in production. Some towel factories purchase the primary raw material, cotton, in 500 lb (227 kg) bales and spin them with synthetics in an effort to get the type of yarn they need for production. Nonetheless, some factories purchase the yarn from a supplier. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester mix yarn is bought in big portions 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 must be coated or sized to ensure that it to be woven more simply. One such trade coating contains PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are usually used to whiten a towel earlier than dyeing it (whether it is to be dyed). Again, these bleaches vary relying on the producer, but may include as many as 10 elements (a few of them proprietary) together with hydrogen peroxide, a caustic defoamer, or if the towel is to stay white, an optical brightener to make the white look brighter. Synthetic or chemical dyes, of complicated composition, which make towels each colorfast and vibrant, might also be used.


Most towels aren’t specifically designed in advanced patterns. The overwhelming majority is simple terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at top and backside. Sizes vary as do colors relying on the order. More and more, white or stock towels are despatched to wholesalers or others to decorate with pc-driven embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This occurs in a different location and is often achieved by another company.

The Manufacturing

Course of


– 1 As talked about above, some factories spin their own yarn for bath towels. If this is finished on the manufacturing unit, the manufacturer receives huge 500 lb (227 kg) bales of either excessive or “middling grade” (of medium high quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (high quality is determined by the producer and quality of the towel in manufacturing). These bales are broken open by an automated Uniflock machine that nips a bit off the top of each bale, opens it up after which lays it down. In the event you adored this information and also you desire to acquire more details about microfiber towel ( i implore you to visit our own web site. The Uniflock opening machine blends the cotton fibers together by repeatedly beating it so impurities fall out or are filtered out (these bales comprise many impurities within the uncooked cotton). The more pure fibers are blown by tubes to a mixing unit the place the cotton is blended collectively before they are spun. Higher quality towels use cotton with fibers that are blended collectively 3 times before spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester throughout this mixing process.

– 2 The mixed fibers are then blown by tubes to carding machines where revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and continue 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 sent into another machine during which they are blended once more and sent between other rollers for straightening. The last word goal is long, straight, parallel fibers as a result of they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require much less twisting which additionally produces robust yarns but makes them less soft and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a big roll and sent 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, golf towel silkier cotton fibers for spinning into yarn. Once combed, the fibers are formed right into a twisted rope sliver again.

– 5 The slivers journey to roving machines the place the fibers are additional twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving frame additionally barely twists the fibers. The result’s a long 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 draws out or pulls the cotton roving out right into a single strand. The fibers basically catch one another to kind one continuous thread and twists the thread slightly as it is pulled or Once the toweling is made, it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as huge rolls of fabric and put right into a water bath with bleaching chemicals similar to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary substances. All toweling should be dyed pure white earlier than it’s dyed any color.

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


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a chunk of woven materials which are tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads referred to as weft or filler are passed under and over the warp to form the fabric. The massive spools of just-spun cotton are able to be warped or wound on a beam that will likely be inserted into the loom for weaving. If the yarn is purchased, the 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) spools are readied for warping. A warping beam is then warped during which threads are anchored and wrapped to a big beam in lots of of parallel rows. Completely different towel widths require totally different numbers of warp threads.- Eight These huge beams, full of wrapped warp threads, are placed right into a rack that holds as much as 12 beams and sized in preparation for weaving. The threads must 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 9 cans to dry.) These beams, with coated threads, are now sent to the looms.


– 9 The beams are picked up by a pallet jack or hydraulic raise truck and transported to looms. These looms vary in width but may be as slim as 85 in (216 cm) or as large as 153 in (389 cm). (Not surprisingly, the wider the loom, the slower the weaving because it takes longer for weft threads to cross the warp.) The beams are lifted onto the looms mechanically with a warp jack, which might bear the weight and size of the beam.- 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, that means every loom has two sets or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp is named the ground warp and kinds the body of the towel and the other known as the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Each set of warp threads is rigorously fed by means of a set of metal eyes and is attached to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that can change in their vertical relationships to one another.) These harnesses mechanically elevate and lower these warp threads in order 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 in order that it’s loosely laid into the woven fabric. When this loose filler is beaten or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up becoming just a little loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and lower into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are really shot throughout these massive looms at high-speeds-these towel-making looms may have 18 shuttles fired across the warp from a firing cylinder. One shuttle follows proper behind the following. As soon as the one shuttle shoots across the warp threads, the shuttle drops down and is transported back to firing cylinder and is shot throughout again. A typical towel-weaving machine has 350 shuttle insertions in a single minute-nearly six shuttles fired across every second. Thus, towels are woven very quickly on these large mechanized dobby looms. In one small towel-making factory, 250 dozen bath towels will be made in a single loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms within the factory.


– 11 As soon as the toweling is made (it’s one long terry cloth roll and has no starting or finish), it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as big rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary components. All toweling should be dyed pure white earlier than it is dyed any colour. The wet toweling laden with chemicals is then subjected to tremendously excessive temperatures. The heat makes the chemicals react, bleaching the towel. The roll is then washed at the very least once and as many as three times in a large washer to get all chemicals out of the toweling. The toweling is dried, and whether it is to stay white toweling, it is able to be cut at the highest and backside, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label attached (all of this is finished with one machine).


– 12 If it is to be dyed, the massive, dried uncut rolls are taken to large vats of chemical dyes, which have confirmed over time to supply colorfast toweling after extensive residential laundering. After being immersed in the vat, the toweling is removed and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. A radical steaming sets the color. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed within the drying course of, and then the dyed towels are prepared for chopping, hemming, and labeling.

Reducing, folding, and packaging

– thirteen Ultimate visual inspection of the minimize and hemmed towels occurs and they are handfolded and conveyed to packaging, the place automated packaging tools kinds a bag across the towels and UPC labels are connected to the bags. These packaged towels are sent to the stock room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

High quality Control

Towels are rigorously checked for high quality management throughout the production process. If yarn is bought, it’s randomly checked for weight and should be the usual established by the company (lighter yarn spools indicate the yarn is thinner than desired and may not make as sturdy toweling). Bleach and dye vats are periodically checked for appropriate chemical structure.

Throughout the weaving process, some firms go the cloth over a lighted inspection table. Right here the weavers and high quality inspectors monitor the towel for weaving imperfections. Barely unevenly woven towels could also be straightened out and touched up. But people who can not could also be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or utterly rejected by the company. As in all aspects of the method, visual checks are a key to quality control-all concerned in the process understand minimum requirements and monitor the product at all times.


Probably harmful byproducts are sometimes combined in the water that’s used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Significantly, the bleaching process contains ingredients (peroxides and different caustics) that cannot be discharged untreated into any water supply. Many toweling factories run their own water therapy plants to insure that the water the plant discharges meets minimum requirements for pH, temperature, and many others.

The place to Be taught More


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer season 1895 Catalogue and Purchaser’s Information. 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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