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.

 

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.