Towel Selection - a brief guide to choosing towels.

Published: 05th January 2006
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Choosing the right towel at the right price isn't that easy these days...

a quick search for "towels" on the internet, shows us the huge array of textiles, styles, finishes and weights of towel that are available...

With so much choice now, how can anyone decide which towels and what prices are appropriate for your needs?

All towels will have a fabric weight, you will see references to "gsm" weight, and put simply, this just means the density or "amount" of fabric that has been used to make that particular towel. We believe that any towel that is below about 400gsm will feel and look thin and possibly "cheap" (hold it up to the light and see how translucent it is), but if that is what you want, it will no doubt "do the job" perfectly well.

Many promises are made...
about the weight of a towel, and these statements are frequently inaccurate from what we have found. This would be easy to check in a shop just by feeling the quality and weight of a given sample, holding it up to the light, checking thread finish etc, but it is 'very difficult' to check a towel when shopping from the web online.

Before we go into the
details of towels and their many variations we should dispel a common misconception, and that is that the heavier (gsm) the towel, the better.

It all depends what is meant by "better"...
Is your idea of a quality towel softness, or is it absorbency, maybe it's longevity, it really shouldn't just be based on weight. It's like saying that the car you bought had the biggest engine you could find, never mind that it looked awful, or that it handles badly (excuse the awfull analogy).

Sometimes a lighter weight towel can have great absorbency and softness, or simply be the ideal product in a business application due to the cost of replacement, cost of laundry, practicality with storage.

So how do you choose?...
Well the first question to ask is "what is the main use of the towels?", and what do you need from them. In a domestic application, a soft luxurious towel will be appreciated by the whole family (this doesn't mean you need to get a prestigious towel from a fashion house as the quality is certainly not guaranteed in our experience). In a business application your needs may well be practicality of care - easy wash, quick drying, cost effective to replace etc.

To add to the choices we now have variations of textiles and finish - modal fibres, bamboo, cotton of course, linen (soft and coarse) mixes and weaves etc, etc and surely more will follow. The finishes mentioned are great, and essentially all are easily cared for - no special requirements as such.

can't really go wrong with a 100% cotton bath towel though, whatever the weight of that towel, however...of more importance would be the finish, and if it will "thread up" or keep its tight weave and quality after successive washes, and that can only be judged by trial and sample.

What Towelsrus have tried to do...
is provide a good broad selection of what they consider quality towels at different weights and fabrics for most every day applications

Where possible, they classify the towels by using precious metal references - Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze .. generally speaking this would denote the weight of the towel (as a reference), with the Aztex Silver Towel Range being 450gsm weight, and their most popular practical, business towels - hair dressers, salons, therapists, golf clubs, restaurants, hotels, guest houses and so many more - they are easy to wash, absorbent, hard wearing stock. The Luxury Egyptian cotton towels are 650gsm and a heavier (dense) weight, with the luxury and strength of Egyptian cotton, still regarded as a sign of quality (not necessarily the case in the near future).

of course the new kid on the block - Lenzig Modal fibre towels - 50% Natural Modal fibre and 50% cotton mix for ultimate softness and absorbency - a rare example of new blending methods of natural fibre meets natural fibre that works very well. You can see a good broad selection of towels and their finishes at this towel and robe website

The choice is ultimately yours...
as to what you feel fits your requirements, but no matter what the choice, ensure the seams and stitches are tight, close and not "threaded" or hanging out, and always follow the care instructionsand guidelines to ensure your towels last a long time, but if you do find the odd renegade thread peeking out, simply cut it off with the scissors neatly
and continue using your towel.

Oh and by the way, never ever leave your towel damp and wet for too long. Once that musky smell sets in, there is no removing it, and your towel will always reek of dampness (sorry Mum!)

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