Sep 092013
 

towels

June is a month when you may find yourself searching for the perfect gift for one of numerous occasions that mark the start of a new chapter in someone’s life. Whether you have a relative who is graduating and living on his own for the first time, a dear friend who is getting married or someone who is buying their first home, a towel cake is a great way to turn a gift of necessities into a chic, creative masterpiece that other guest will envy and the recipient will surely appreciate.

Towel cakes can be a variety of sizes and can be made to fit any theme, taste or budget. To begin, you will need to organize your ingredients. The following description is for a moderately sized three layer “cake.” However, the “recipe” can be tweaked to make other variations.

2 large bath towels
3 hand towels
3 wash cloths
Large Safety pins
Long straight pins (decorative pins, those with pearls or colorful balls for heads are ideal.)
Ribbon – Satin or organza work well
Decorative items and finishing touches that only you can add

1. For the base layer, you will use the large bath towels. Each one needs to be folded in half lengthwise twice. Pin the ends together then roll it into a tight coil, using pins to anchor it. Then repeat with the other towel.

2. For the second layer, use the hand towels and the wash cloths will serve as the top layer. For each layer repeat the folding, rolling and pinning.

3. Place each coiled layer on top of the larger layer and pin it to the previous one, to add stability. Be sure you are using a tray or cake stand so it can be easily transported. The tray or stand can be another gift for the recipient.

4. With the foundation complete, add ribbon around each layer for aesthetics and add any other decorative items that will complete your theme.

5. In addition to towels, you can add kitchen utensils, decorative soaps, scented candles, toiletries, tools, office supplies, or any other items that strike your fancy and may be useful to the receiver. There are no rules about what can or cannot be added, have fun with it and use your imagination to make it a one of a kind gift that is both attractive and practical and not likely to be found anywhere else.

Sep 052013
 

towels23
It doesn’t matter how old your kids get, there is nothing like wrapping your arms around them with a nice soft towel when they get out of the pool. My little 8-year-old son is always ready to snuggle, but especially when he gets out of the cold water! Somehow, crawling up on Mom or Dad’s lawn chair in the sun is way more fun than staying in the pool and playing water games. I think these moments will stay with me forever, even as he and my daughter grow up.

For my daughter, the idea of a warm towel in the sun is something a little more like growing up. She wraps herself up like a little lady and walks around like she’s queen of the pool. As she continues to grow each day, I love seeing these little flashes of her future life as a woman and knowing I was there to enjoy every second along the way.

So what’s a great towel got to do with all of this? For some reason, the cheap versions you find in dollar stores and other discounted places don’t give you that same level of comfort. Thick, soft towels are more than just an investment–it’s a feeling of love and security you wrap your loved ones in every time you use them. These are memories you’re making and not just times when they need to dry off.

If you’re able to spend some time looking for just the right towels, they will be around for a long time and you won’t have to make another purchase again for a while. This is why shopping for towels is not something you should do on a without checking out your options. See what’s available, what fits in your budget and then go with the best you can afford. You’ll love the feeling they give you and your family alike!

May 272013
 

cottonMost towels, bathrobes and bath mats are made either partially or completely from cotton, and this versatile fabric has been part of our lives for approximately 5,000 years.

There are four main species of the cotton shrub, which are categorized in terms of the different locations in which they are cultivated and grown. Most cotton produced for commercial use is white, but shrubs that naturally provide green and brown cotton fibers are also found although they are not widely cultivated. As cotton fabric is generally identified by the location in which the shrubs were grown, it’s not unusual for items such as towels and bath robes to be said to be made of, for instance, Egyptian cotton, Turkish cotton or American cotton.

The cultivation of cotton changed during history. Although the USA and Europe implemented mechanical cotton harvesting machines, cotton is still picked by hand in many countries including, among others, India, Egypt and Pakistan.

Organic cotton is becoming more and more popular in this modern day and age, and here, the term “organic” means that the cotton shrub has not been genetically modified and that it has also not been subjected to foreign substances like pesticides. A fair percentage of the organic cotton bathroom items – including both towels and monogrammed towels – are made in Turkey, China, India and Portugal, and these towels generally come in a wide range of colors, like browns, light blues and beiges, and are made of 100% organically grown cotton.

Robes, towels, mats and other bathroom linens can also be made of a mixture of cotton and other fabric like, for instance, the Bamboo washcloths and towels that are made of both bamboo rayon and Egyptian cotton and the Waffle kimono robes that are made of 35% polyester and 65% natural cotton. Other brands are made solely of one highly specific type of cotton like long staple Turkish cotton, American superior Pima cotton, combed Egyptian cotton and fine Egyptian cotton.

Cotton has become an integral part of our everyday life – with the growing and harvesting of cotton now being a multi-million dollar international business – and western civilization probably wouldn’t be able to function quite so well without it.

 

May 082013
 

matsThere’s nothing quite as nice for any bathroom as a quality bath mat. High quality mats come in bamboo, Egyptian cotton, supima, organic and more. But one thing that you’ll find with all the good bath mats is a lack of a rubber backing. It’s a sure sign of quality, because there are a number of problems associated with mats that have rubber backs. What are reasons to avoid rubber backed bathroom mats?

Mats with rubber backings can’t go in the dryer

If you like to throw your bathroom mat in the dryer, chances are you’re ignoring the fact that its rubber backing will eventually deteriorate. You’re probably telling yourself,”I didn’t pay that much for this mat. So it doesn’t matter.”

Change your attitude and invest in a quality bath mat. Purchase one that can be washed and dried with ease. If it looks flat after cleaning, give your bath mat a vigorous shake.

The rubber backing of a bath mat gets moldy over time

Even if you’ve never put your bath mat with a rubber backing in the dryer, you’ve got another problem. Rubber backings get moldy over time. You’re not going to want a mat with a moldy backing. So you’ll throw it out and get a new one. Buy a superior mat instead, and get rid of the mold problem forever.

A rubber backing can discolor your bathroom floor

Your bathroom floors are important. So why buy a bathroom mat that could stain it? A good reason to avoid rubber backed bath mats is because they can discolor your bathroom floor.

Dirt is hard to get out of the rubber of a bath mat

You’ve got small kids, a cat or a dog. Accidents happen, and when urine comes in contact with the rubber backing of a bath mat, you’re headed for trouble. You can try getting rid of the odor with vinegar and water or water and ammonia, but why not just buy a decent bath mat with no rubber backing so that you can wash urine out easily?

Apr 292013
 

Mudanya_13Legend has it that towels were invented in the Turkish city of Bursa, and, although this may or may not be true, beautiful Bursa is most certainly worth a visit.

Bursa – the jewel of Northwestern Turkey – is home to just under two million people, and, every year, more and more tourists are discovering this city’s fascinating mix of history and natural wonders. From bubbling hot springs to marvelously informational museums and from vibrant shopping centers to magnificent marble palaces, Bursa has it all, and there can be nothing better than lounging around on soft and fluffy monogrammed towels at the gorgeously appointed Celik Palas thermal bath.

Towels and other bathroom accessories – including bath mats and bathrobes – have many uses in today’s society, and, for instance, there’s most definitely no shortage of bath mat-like prayer rugs to be seen in Bursa’s main attraction: the Ulu Camii mosque. Also known as the Bursa Grand Mosque, Ulu Camii is a brilliant example of early Ottoman architecture and sports twin minarets as well as no less than 20 decorated domes. The mosque is, however, best known for housing the largest collection of incidental Islamic calligraphy in the world, and every tourist who visits this divine building simply has no choice but to gape at the wonderful writings on its walls.

Bursa is also located close to several of the nicest beaches found on Turkey’s northwestern coast, including Kursunlu, Armutlu and magnificent Mudanya, which lies on the Marmara Sea’s stunning Gulf of Gemlik. Robes and swimsuits are the costume de rigueur for all Bursa beaches, and the town’s proximity to so many attractive bathing venues – and the resulting need for so many people to get dry – could possibly just have something to do with why the town is credited for inventing towels.

Turkey is known for many things – including tasty Turkish Delight and steamy Turkish baths – but towels are generally not the first things that spring to mind when the prospective tourist thinks about visiting this fascinating country. Given Bursa’s unique history, however, perhaps they should be.

Apr 262013
 

towelsThe majority of today’s towels and robes, and even most bath mats, are made out of Terrycloth, a little known but very common type of fabric that pops up in the most interesting of places.

What ties the sport of cricket, squalling babies, bath time, clothing items and bed-linen together? If you answered “Terrycloth” – or Terry toweling as it is also known – you would be correct. Due to the very specific way that Terry cloth is manufactured, it has an extremely high absorbency rate, which makes it ideal to use in any situation where cloth is needed to soak up large amounts of liquid. Terry also turns up in the unlikeliest of places, and can be found making up wristbands, diapers, sheets, hats, bathrobes, and, of course, towels.

Terry cloth is so special because, while one side of the fabric is straight, the other side is woven in such a way that long loops are formed from each individual strand of cotton. The general terry rule is the longer the loop, the more absorbent the fabric will be, and this is because a longer loop means there is more open fabric area to absorb liquid. Terry cloth is usually manufactured completely out of cotton, but there are instances where lycra and polyester are also thrown into the mix. The manufacturing process, which is, furthermore, extremely complex, involves the fabric being woven on special looms sporting two longitudinal warp beams, and the weaving technique that produces terry cloth is known as “warp knitting”.

Although extremely popular, terrycloth isn’t the only fabric that towels – even monogrammed towels – are made of, and, these days, these bathroom necessities are also made of synthetic microfiber and waffle fabric. Nothing beats the warmth, comfort and absorbency of terry cloth, however, and it’s no wonder that bath robes, bath towels, hand towels and bath mats are almost exclusively made out of this versatile fabric.

Terrycloth may not be named after anyone – the name most likely comes from the French work “terir” meaning to pull through – but almost everyone knows its name.

Apr 182013
 

bath towels

These days, remodeling a bathroom can cost many thousands of dollars. With the economy still rather fragile, some people are simply unable to afford such a luxury. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Here are six tips for improving a bathroom on a budget.

Wallpaper

Remove the old wallpaper by renting a steamer. Then paint the walls with a color that matches your towels.

Bathroom

Go to one of the popular DIY centers and replace your old toilet with a new one. Check the sales papers beforehand for discounts. You’re sure to find a toilet for sale at an affordable price.

Vanity

After you’ve replaced your toilet, do the same thing with your old vanity. Again, check the sales papers and visit one of the popular DIY centers. There are always lots of vanity options to choose from.

Old towels

Invest in a good set of towels. These will cost you more than cheap alternatives. However, the cost will be worth it in the long run. So throw out those old ones and consider Egyptian, Supima, Bamboo or other quality types. The best place to find them is online for the largest selection.

Grungy bathtub

This doesn’t mean replacing the bathtub, because to do so would cost big money. Instead, give your bathtub a good cleaning. You’ll be surprised at how much you like your bathtub once you clean it out.

Old shower curtain or shower door

Replace your old shower curtain with a new one that matches your towels. Or replace your old shower door with a new shower door.

Mar 152012
 

SupimaTowels

You’ve heard of Egyptian cotton or Turkish cotton, but how about Supima. If you’re a lover of good quality cotton, Supima cotton products are products you should check out.

Supima is actually a licensed trademark owned by Supima. It is an abbreviation for Superior Pima. It is products made of 100 percent American Pima cotton.

Supima cotton has extra-long staple or ELS and it’s grown in the Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas as well as in other locations such as Australia. In the United States, if the cotton is at least an inch and 3/8 or longer, it’s ELS or American Pima.

Good quality cotton lasts longer after washing, gets softer with increased use and feels great against the skin. It also is void of harmful chemicals. So it is good for the skin. To buy Supima towels, all you have to do is look for 100% American Superior Pima Cotton. Look for it in stores, but one of the best places to find it are high quality towel sites.

Also, look for towel sets, such as 3-piece towel sets that include one bath, one hand, and one washcloth. Consider monogramming and also be sure to coordinate the color of your towels with the look of your bathroom.

 

Mar 022012
 

Kids Robe

As you age, you probably worry about the health of your skin. But what about your kids? Caring for the skin should begin at a young age, and that includes worrying about the sun. Yes, the sun is a beautiful thing, but it’s one of the main causes of skin damage, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

One of the best ways to teach your kids a valuable lesson is to lead by example. What are some things you can do to show your kids how to protect their skin from painful sunburns?

Sunscreen

A sunscreen with an SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, of at least 30 is important. Sunscreen filters the sun’s harmful rays, causing less of it to injure the skin.

Teach your kids how to apply it, and do it at least 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure. Teach them the importance of reapplying often, about every two hours, and especially after a dip in the water. Help them to apply the sunscreen in areas of the body that are difficult to reach, and make sure they don’t forget places like the tips of the ears and the back of the neck.

Some kid sunscreens are scented. Let your child pick one out! Also, sunscreen sticks are fun for them to use as well.

Hats

Hats are always a smart buy for protecting the skin from the sun. A colorful, fun hat will be loved and desired by your child. Let your child choose the hat, but look for a hat with a brim all around to protect not only the scalp, but the ears, forehead, eyes and nose. Some hats have added fabric to protect the neck.

Kids Robes

When your child is done swimming in a pool, lake or ocean, give them a kids robe to wear. A comfy hooded kids robe, such as one made of velour out of 100% Turkish cotton, is a fun way to protect your child from the sun’s rays.

As you can tell, showing your kids that sun protection is important will teach them to protect their skin when they are older. Allow them to have fun under the sun, but be sure to keep them safe.

 

Feb 212012
 

towel animal

When most people hear the word “towels”, they bring to mind the soft rectangular squares of fabric used for drying off after a bath or shower. For those with creative minds, however, bath towels and hand towels can provide a rich crafting ground for fun and gift-worthy projects. As an added bonus, most towel craft projects can be unwound or unwoven to serve their more familiar purpose after the owner is done displaying them.

Towel Origami

An art form that’s gained popularity on cruise ships worldwide, delighted patrons have embraced this unusual craft on dry land as well. In addition to photo-filled books for sale that instruct novices how to make swans, turtles and more out of their towels, video sharing social sites also offer free videos for the curious. Towel origami is a great way for those interested in the traditional paper style of origami to get some experience without risking papercuts.

Boo Boo Bunnies

This super-easy craft project only requires a washcloth, rubber band, and some adhesive details like googly eyes and a pom pom. Simply roll the washcloth into a long tube, curve into a U, fold the U in half lengthwise and secure at this second fold with the rubber band. The result will be a small O shape at the bottom, a head-like bump at the front, and two tails that resemble ears above the head. Glue the eyes and nose at the appropriate places and you have a boo boo bunny! If a child is injured, an ice cube can be placed in the center of the O to enable easy handling and application to the injured area.

Bleach Art

This project works best with darker colored towels or mats and a large stencil of your desired shape. Using a clean, dry towel, place flat on an area that won’t be affected by discoloring, such as a driveway or front lawn. Fill a cheap spray bottle with laundry bleach (be sure to mark the bottle as poison for safety’s sake). Placing the stencil on the towel or mat and either securing with painter’s tape or a gloved hand, gently spray the bleach at the void area from a distance of about a foot. This will discolor the towel into a lighter hue in the shape of the stencil. For added style, spray around the edges of the stencil to make a unique frame effect. Let the towel dry completely, then wash alone to “set” the design.

Feb 022012
 

Monogram

Calligraphy – sometimes called the art of fancy lettering – might, given the advent of the digital age, not be as popular as it once was, but it’s making something of a comeback disguised as the art of monogramming.

Styles of calligraphy are usually categorized in terms of factors like the language the work is written in and the country that language originated in, and, as such, styles like Tibetan calligraphy, which used to be practiced by the High Lamas, and Islamic calligraphy, which is written in Arabic, are common. The art of monogramming, on the other hand, involves embroidering the owner’s initials on articles of clothing like bathrobes or towels, and, therefore, doesn’t involve using any one particular language.

While those who indulge in the art of calligraphy use specialized pens to write on paper, parchment or similar surfaces, those who are in the business of creating monogrammed towels, robes and other such items will embroider the owner’s initials directly onto the fabric. Similarly, while most calligraphists will use black ink – although the use of colored ink is not unknown – monograms can be embroidered in a variety of different colors, including such exotic hues as papaya, espresso and cranberry.

One aspect common to both calligraphy and monogramming is the use of different fonts, and, in calligraphy, this would especially apply to documents written in English. A font can best be described as a style of lettering, and common fonts would include Ariel, Calibri and Times New Roman. Those buying new towels or bathrobes can often choose the type of font they would like their initials embroidered in, and these fonts can range from those utilizing simple, utilitarian styles to those that exhibit greater flourish and are, perhaps, more aesthetically pleasing. Another curious fact that’s relevant only to the art of monogramming is that the middle initial is always slightly larger than the other two.

Fine works of calligraphy are always treasured, and, in the same way, monogrammed bathrobes, towels and even bath mats are always thought of as just a little bit classier than items without monograms.

 

Jan 202012
 

Quality Towel Sets

You’re the owner of a new home. You’ve worked hard and saved to buy your American dream, and now all that working and saving has paid off. Congratulations!

However, you know that owning a new house is just the beginning. Now it’s time for the fun part – furnishing and decorating.

Let’s take a look at the bathroom. One of the things you’ll need are towels. Everyone uses them: to dry off the body, to dry hair or to dry hands after washing. But what is the best way to buy towels?

Consider quality 3-piece towel sets. They are a good way to make sure you have all the towels you’ll need for your new bathroom. A 3-piece towel set includes a washcloth, a hand towel and a bath towel.

Where should I buy 3-piece towel sets?

Look online. You will find that purchasing 3-piece towel sets online will give you the widest selection at the best prices. Some sites even offer free shipping when your order totals a specified amount.

How many 3-piece towel sets do I need?

Look at your household count. Are you moving into the house alone? One 3-piece towel set is fine. However, if you’d like to have two sets, consider buying a 6-piece towel set. That way, while one washcloth, hand towel and bath towel are in the laundry, you’ll have another set handy. If it’s you and a spouse in the new home, go for one or two 6-piece towel sets. Also, some towel sets include the bath mat. This is an excellent way to get a matching bath mat to go along with your towels. When the mat matches the towels, it gives your bathroom a put-together look.

How much should I spend on a 3-piece towel set?

Although funds may be tight now that you’ve spent it on a new home, skimping on bath towels is not always a smart idea. Sure you’ll spend less money initially, but cheap towels are less absorbent, are thin, are not as soft as quality towels, and they deteriorate faster. In the end, you’ll have to buy new towels faster than if you’d bought quality towels from the start.

Look for Egyptian or Supima towels for supreme softness. Other good towels to look for are Bamboo or Organic. These towels are eco-friendly, don’t contain lots of chemicals and are good for the body.

What color 3-piece towel sets should I choose?

What is the color scheme of your bathroom? To really pull the look together, choose towels to match the dominate color. Towels and bath mats that don’t match the color of the bathroom ruin the overall appearance of the room.

Jan 062012
 

Towels

My favorite set of towels ever was the cheesy, thin, scratchy bath towels I bought when I was about thirteen years old. There was a reason for their popularity, though, as they had painted on them in cheap and gaudy colors pictures of my favorite superheroes.

I grew up a lonely child whose close friends included Wonder Woman, Spiderwoman and Super Girl. From them I learned truth, justice and, if not the American Way as I was living in Africa at the time, that it was better to align oneself with the light than the dark. The day the superhero carnival came to my tiny town, I saw through the illusion cast by the sweaty and uncomfortable actors in their ill-fitting costumes, but I was entranced by the memorabilia I could buy, and thus did the superhero-embossed the towels come into my life.

I’ve kept those towels for over thirty years now, and, each time I look at them, I’m instantly transported back to a time when everything was so much simpler because the world could be divided into solid colors and solid concepts: Black and white; good and bad. It isn’t, however, the towels themselves that are important – with their slightly out-of-proportion fantastical figures they actually seem rather ridiculous now – it’s the idea behind the towels. It’s the understanding that the towels are souvenirs of a time that no longer exists.

People tend to keep things that mean a lot to them for many years, and, those who are looking to give their loved ones gifts that last should learn The Lesson of the Towels. Towels – including monogrammed towels – are not the only gifts that can be given, however, and, if we continue the bathroom trend, bathrobes and bath mats should also feature on the gift menu. Robes would, in fact, be more personal gifts than towels, and, it also stands to reason that monogrammed robes top the list of desirable bathroom-wear.

The moral of the tale is fairly simple: Memories do last but they sometimes need a little help from something solid…like superhero towels.

 

Nov 132011
 

bathrobes

It’s a little known, but interesting, fact that bathrobes are classified into different categories on the basis of factors like the type of neckline or collar they have, the type of fabric they’re made from, the type of weave displayed and the type of sculpture sewn onto the fabric.

If robes are categorized according to their collar type, then those with hooded collars, kimono-style collars and shawl collars would dominate the market. The hooded collar bathrobes are quite self-explanatory, and contemporary fashion is actually inundated with items of clothing of the “hoodie” variety. Kimono-style robes all, for all intents and purposes, collar-less, and, on the whole, this makes for an extremely comfortable robe with great flexibility of style. Last but not least are the robes with shawl collars, which are collars that are able to be drawn together around the wearer’s neck.

Bathrobes are made from only certain types of fabric – those with above average absorbency – and robes made out of wool, nylon and silk are common. A fairly new innovation in the world of bathrobes was the advent of synthetic microfiber, and more and more robes are now being manufactured from this material, which is both super-absorbent and super-lightweight. The way the fabric is woven is also extremely important, and, to date, four very specific bathrobe weave styles have developed: terry, waffle, velour and flannel. The major difference between these four weaves concerns whether or not the fabric has loops, and whether these loops are cut or uncut, and this would influence things like how heavy and absorbent the robes are.

Bathrobes are among the only items of clothing that have sculpture – “bas-relief” type fabric texturing – sewn onto the basic fabric. Fabric sculpture is also known as styling, and styling is added to a base fabric for a number of reasons including increasing the fabric’s water absorbency and adding weight to the garment, which is desirable as the heavier the robe, the better it will hang. There are many different sculpture patterns, with linear patterns like Window Pane, Zig-zag and Ribbed possibly being the most common, and buyers can choose whichever pattern they find most attractive.

There’s truly a lot more to the simple bathrobe than what meets the eye, and buyers are spoiled for choice when they are shopping for robes that promise quality, stylishness, absorbency and durability and yet won’t break the budget.