Mar 022011
 

cotton

Some folks have plenty reason to say “I wish I was in the land of cotton”, and it’s no coincidence that these are the folks who have not yet discovered the wonderful world of luxury Egyptian cotton bathrobes, hand towels, bath mats and bath towels.

The story of the cotton blossom began in Mexico a little over eight thousand years ago and, at that stage, there was no way that the primitive laborers could know that their efforts would – many, many hundreds of years later – result in the manufacture of such quality items as the luxurious Supima towel, made of 100% American Superior Pima Cotton, and the eco friendly organic towel, which is made of natural cotton to create the perfect bath towel.

Cotton is not, however, only used to make towels, and this versatile fabric is also the main ingredient in bath robes – including kids robes – as well as most kinds of bathroom mat and tubmat.

In the early days, cotton was also cultivated in such exotic places as India, Iran and far Arabia, but it’s a good bet that the early nomadic traders didn’t carry the organic Terry Kimono bathrobe – made of 100% Turkish cotton – the Platinum bathrobe, which is manufactured completely out of Egyptian cotton, or the Waffle bathrobe, complete with monogram, among their trading goods. The popularity of cotton garments slowly spread across Asia, Europe, Africa and both the Americas, but it took Britain’s Industrial Revolution – with its almost instantaneous infusion of mass produced cotton clothing – to make cotton goods accessible to almost every family on earth.

Today cotton is the main ingredient of several different types of material including the striped seersucker, the heavier and ridged corduroy and the highly absorbent terrycloth, which is the basis of almost all towels and bathrobes. Today’s top cotton-producing countries include the Peoples’ Republic of China, the USA and Pakistan, but not all of these countries are able to compete on the same level as those with less developed infrastructures are not able to command as high a price for their cotton as the more well developed third world countries.

None of our favorite soft Turkish bathrobes/towels, tubmats and spa mats would be the same without that magical white fluffy plant known as cotton, and this magical snowy-white plant will continue to be cultivated for decades to come.

 

Feb 252011
 

bath

The word “Zen” is used in popular culture in many ways, but its real meaning is often obscured under layers of confusion. Zen is a lineage, or school, of Mahayana Buddhism. The religion is most prevalent in Japan, but Zen practitioners can be found in other countries around Southeast Asia.

The “Protestantism” of Buddhism

Zen developed as a reaction to more hierarchical, ritualistic forms of Buddhism that were developing in other parts of Asia. Zen practitioners called for a return to Buddhism’s most basic principles, leaving behind some of the ostentation that was forming within other Buddhist schools. Like early Protestant Christians, Zen practitioners wanted a return to the basics of their faith.

The Zen Style

As a result of this call for simplicity, the exterior style of Zen looks and feels very different from other types of Buddhism, such as what is commonly called Tibetan Buddhism. Zen monks and nuns favor simple, neutral-colored robes over the brighter maroons and saffrons in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. Their temples, too, have a clean, open, simple look and feel that contrasts sharply from the intricate ornamentation of a Tibetan Buddhist temple.

Zen Ideas for the Home and Bathroom

If you like the look and feel of the open spaces, clean lines, and soft earth tones of the Zen style, consider simplifying your own home into a Zen-like sanctuary. Here are some tips for your making your home more Zen-like:

  • Get away from bright, loud colors and go with tans, chocolates, blacks, and creams instead
  • Use light-colored woods, especially bamboo
  • Decorate the walls sparely, with prints that convey a spiritual meaning
  • Reduce heavy drapes and fill the house with natural light

For your bathroom, try these tips:

  • Use bamboo towels for eco-friendliness and comfort
  • Bamboo bath rugs and bamboo bath mats are also available
  • Trade in the hot pink bathrobe for a tan or cream-colored bathrobe
  • Keep decoration minimal, and use a shade-loving house plant to add a splash of color

Ultimately, Zen is a spiritual tradition and a way of life, not a decorating style. However, you can encourage your inner peace by letting your inner sanctum copy Zen’s design principles.

 

Feb 192011
 

towels

Even during a down economy, stadium vendors and hawkers of souvenirs manage to make a living. As the Associated Press reported after the Super Bowl, one of the most popular items being sold outside the Cowboys Stadium before the Super Bowl kicked off were towels – specifically, Terrible Towels.

Who would want to buy a Terrible Towel? Apparently everyone did. The towels were selling at a much faster pace than the foam cheeseheads, according to stadium vendors. The Terrible Towels, though, were not made for Packers fans, but for Steelers fans. A gold-colored yellow towel, it says simply, “terrible towel” on it. The towel also came in black, with gold “terrible towel” printed on it.

The towel has a long history; designed by radio broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975, the towel has become a tradition for Steelers fans for a generation. One popular gimmick is to take the towel on vacation and snap a picture of it in odd spots. Photos of the towel have been taken on Mount Everest and in outer space.

The last laugh, however, goes to the Packers once again. Not only did they create their own green “Titletown Towel”, it also so happens that the Terrible Towel is, like the Packers, produced in Wisconsin! Furthermore, Gregg McArthur, who produces the towels in his Baraboo, WI, factory, is a deeply devoted Packers fan.

Did the Wisconsin-made towels, which are meant to curse the other team and convey the Steelers wrath, actually turn on their owners and hex the Steelers? Surely, there’s probably at least one rabid Steelers fan out who thinks the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Feb 092011
 

pool1

Before planning pre-wedding celebrations that are hosted at the beach, alongside of a pool, or inside of a hot tub location, remember to order the new soft cotton towels or bathrobes that are needed for this type of event.

Luxurious monogram cotton bathrobes and towels or hand towels are always thoughtful friendship gifts that will be used and appreciated by the special people who were invited to your pre-wedding events. Monogrammed bath towels, terry robes and kimono wraps are reasonably priced gifts that your friends can use daily for years. Unlike the other types of wedding party trinkets, these luxury bath accessories are fun and sensible gifts.

Monogramming normally includes two or three letter choices that represent individual names. For wedding parties, it is possible to have these eco-friendly gifts monogrammed with the texting abbreviations for special favorite friends or laughter. The three spaces provided on an order form for monogrammed bathroom accessories can be used to create towels with scout troop or date numbers and other gifts with unusual meaningful initials.

Jan 252011
 

cotton

Lovers of cotton bath products are on the look out for premium cotton, such as Egyptian or Supima. Premium cotton is better than conventional due to its strength, absorbency and softness, a feeling that becomes even softer after each washing. These towels cost more, but because of their quality, the price is worth it.

Another cotton in the premium category is Turkish cotton. Turkish cotton is a cotton with long fibers, and most are grown in the Aegean area of Turkey.

What is the best way to care for products, such as bath towels or bathrobes, made from Turkish cotton? Wash the towels in warm water with laundry detergent. The best laundry detergent for this type of cotton is natural laundry soap or detergent that is not filled with chemicals. Do not use fabric softener.

With towels, it’s best to place them in the dryer, but feel free to use a lower setting than high. A hint, put a cup of white vinegar in your rinse cycle once a month. The vinegar will remove excess detergent.

Jan 212011
 

Prince William - Kate Middleton

If you want your wedding to be classy, give your guests commemorative china, but if you want a truly royal wedding, don’t leave out the commemorative tea towels.

People Magazine recently reported that the Royal Collection will be producing tea towels for the April 29th wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Royal Collection, in case you didn’t know, is a trust held by the Queen on behalf of the nation. It includes artifacts gathered by more than five hundred years of English royalty, with such items as sculptures, jewels, manuscripts, suits of armor, delicate fans, paintings, furniture, ceramics, and more. The items within the trust date as far back as King Henry VIII, but most of the older items were dispersed when Oliver Cromwell briefly ousted the English monarchs.

Why is an institution of such regality and historical significance putting out a line of tea towels? It probably has something to do with the way the china sold: the commemorative china sold tens of thousands of units, or roughly thirty times better than the Collection anticipated. Because the marriage of William and Kate has become a worldwide news story, more than half of the sales came from outside the United Kingdom. No doubt, the Royal Collection is hoping the tea towels garner the same sort of response.

The towels will not picture William and Kate, but they will feature their embroidered initials entwined upon each towel, along with the prince’s coronet. In US dollars, the towels will sell for about $12 each.

Jan 162011
 

bath

January is recognized as, ‘National Bath Safety Month’ in America, and observed globally by other regions on the planet. Wherever people, slippery soaps, and water merge, there can be unexpected slip or fall accidents happen. To guard against these bath-time mishaps, many people plan ahead before they start their cleaning processes.

Safety tips:

  • Towels, bathrobes, and bathmats should be placed into an area of the bathroom where they can be reached easily from inside or outside of the tub. Bath towels, robes, and thick luxury mats within arms reach can be used to keep a person warm if they cannot get up after falling.
  • Always place a soft cotton towel or terry hand towels under a cell phone that is resting on a bathroom counter. If a fall occurs after a bath, the edge of the towel can be tugged easily from the floor to aide in reaching the phone.
  • For children, your eco-friendly kid’s robes, organic Egyptian cotton towels, and luxurious tubmat collection can be stored in a sturdy basket. During bath-time, this heavy basket can rest on top of the toilet lid to deter small children from playing in that unsafe water.

Bathroom safety goes beyond the preventative steps that we take to avoid injuries and falls. In some homes, kimono robes, waffle bathrobes, and Turkish bathrobes/towels are used to prevent bathers from getting sick after they step out of the bathtub. Monogram spa robes and terry-style bathrobes are popular germ-fighting accessories in homes, at the gym, and in motels or resorts everywhere.

Jan 132011
 

towels

While most of us are struggling to stay warm during this already harsh and snowy winter, some people are engaging in a winter sport that seems like pure madness. Stripped down to just bathing suits, they leap into ice-cold lakes all over the country. As soon as they get out, they busily wrap themselves up in the warmest, thickest towels and bathrobes that they can find.

In Saratoga Springs, NY, this year’s New Year’s Day Polar Plunge will draw more than 1,000 people. Although the event started in the early 1970s, it was fairly small up until the last ten years. In 2000, the event drew about 125 people. Today, whole families come, equipped only with a cadre of warm cotton towels (Source: Saratogian.com http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2010/12/29/news/doc4d1bf0902e68c056953750.txt?viewmode=default).

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Illinois, and Wisconsin, polar plunges are held to raise money for the Special Olympics. Wisconsin’s polar plunge is one of the biggest, drawing almost 10,000 supporters of the Special Olympics to jump into a number of nearly-frozen lakes in February and early March. In Wisconsin, plungers must raise a minimum of $75 to participate; the 2010 event raised nearly $2 million for Special Olympics Wisconsin (Source: SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org http://www.specialolympicswisconsin.org/polar_plunge.asp).

Is Cold Water Swimming Dangerous?

Perhaps you’re wondering if these nutty polar plunges are actually safe. Indeed, the body reacts instinctively when one jumps into freezing water. First comes the involuntary gasp, frequently followed by hyperventilation. Hyperventilation, in turn, leads to a lowering of carbon dioxide in the blood and an elevated pH level. The heart rate might increase by as much as 50%, while blood pressure plummets.

However, unless you already have heart problems or start jumping in your old age, cold water swimming is not actually dangerous. Just remember to bring a few thick beach towels with you to dry off once you get out, because the longer your body stays cold and wet, the more difficult it will be to recover from the plunge. A nice terry cloth bathrobe wouldn’t hurt, either!

Jan 102011
 

monogram

The concept of indicating ownership of a certain item through putting the owner’s initials on it in the form of a monogram has been around for centuries, and just because monograms were originally put on things like coins, fine paintings and expensive furniture, it doesn’t mean that they can’t appear on more mundane items like organic Bamboo or Supima towels, terry velour bathrobes and bath mats.

A monogram can be defined as a series of – usually three – letters of the alphabet that are either physically connected or just placed extremely close to one another. These letters can be painted on a hard surface, carved into wood or, for cloth items like luxury bath robes and quality bath towels, embroidered onto the material itself. Over the centuries, monograms have evolved from being symbols that indicate absolute ownership to being symbols of personal indulgence. Who, for instance, wouldn’t feel special to receive a soft beige Egyptian cotton Waffle bathrobe beautifully monogrammed with their own initials in a lovely contrasting color – cranberry, perhaps, or maybe fox – with a set of luxurious hand towels and a tubmat or spa mat to match?

In order for a symbol to be considered a classic monogram, the design has to follow certain rules. It is, for instance, customary to use the initials of a person’s first name, middle name and last name but not in that order: true monograms would show the last name’s initial in the middle and the first name’s and middle name’s initials to the left and right respectively. The last name’s initial would also be designed with a special flourish – perhaps larger or more elaborate than the other two letters – and an example of a traditional monogram found on kimono Turkish bathrobes and towels or eco friendly cotton kids robes for “Joe T Smith” would be “jSt”. Monograms are also available in a stunning array of colors, including such gems as apricot, lavender, papaya and raspberry.

Monograms are here to stay, and monogrammed towels and bathrobes will always make a lovely – not to mention highly appreciated – gift.

Jan 032011
 

spa

Ringing in the New Year is a great time to renew your spirit too. Even if you’re unable to get away to an exotic spa retreat, you can still take time to pamper yourself. With a few items that you can easily find around your house or apartment, you can relax and renew in a spa environment right in your own home.

If you’ve ever visited a spa, you know that many of them offer different experiences. Think about what you’d like to recreate at home first. Do you want to relax with a long, hot bath or spend some time giving yourself a manicure or pedicure? Whatever treatments you decide on, remember that the most important thing about the spa experience is the ambience.

In preparing to create just the right atmosphere, you should find some relaxing music, bath gel or beads, and aromatic candles. Also, have plenty of plush towels, washcloths, soft slippers, and even a comfortable robe on hand. By having all of the essentials close by, you won’t have to rush into another room to get something you forgot.

The next step is to make an appointment. If you have a roommate, friends that like to stop by, or young children running around, you’ll want to make sure that they’ve got somewhere else to go during your spa time. Distractions won’t allow you to truly relax and enjoy your spa experience.

The last step is to follow through. Now that everything is prepared, go ahead and light the candles, begin the music, and dim the lights. Whether you’ve set aside 30 minutes, an hour, or an entire evening for your appointment, have fun, relax, and enjoy renewing your body, soul, and mind.

Dec 162010
 

bathroom

Although luxury towels, bath mats and bathrobes may seem like Western concepts, a little research will show that almost every continent has chipped in to make robes, hand towels and bath towels what they are today.

The more popular styles of bathrobe include the waffle kimono and the terry velour kimono robes, and, of course, everyone knows that the kimono came out of Japan, where, for centuries, it was the outfit of choice for not only men and women, but children as well. The modern bathrobe is, in fact, extremely similar to the classic kimono as, not only can it too be worn by both sexes – and there are also special kids robes – the luxurious waffle and terry bathrobes can, just like today’s kimono, also be made from cotton and polyester.

The oriental influence can also be seen in the stunning line of quality bamboo towels and bathrobes that are made of an innovative bamboo cotton / rayon mix and that are also available in a myriad of colors. Bamboo is an extremely versatile plant that’s used to make anything from fabric to musical instruments, and it grows naturally in both East and South East Asia. Bamboo rayon is also a very important component of the soft, organic and eco friendly Turkish bathrobes/towels that are so popular today, and, as Turkey is one of the world’s major exporters of textiles, the latter also serves to highlight the Eurasian influence on quality bathroom wear.

Moving from Asia to Africa, the dark continent’s influence is nowhere more noticeable than in the world of bath towels where Egyptian cotton towels, although fairly rare, are among the best on the market. With or without a monogram, Egyptian cotton washcloths, hand towels and bath towels are highly sought after and are found not only in the luxury spa but also in the middle-class home right next to the more pedestrian tubmat and floor mat.

The USA is also part of the equation, and the cotton used to make the delectable Supima towels and bathrobes is cultivated in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

Dec 132010
 

christmas

The holiday season is one of the most happy, exciting times of the year. During this time you’re likely traveling to the homes of friends and family, attending office parties, and hosting your own get-togethers.

Have you ever noticed that flu season coincides perfectly with the holidays? Most families with school-aged children know that this is the time that the flue and other ailments run rampant throughout the schools.

The last thing you want is to have the whole family sick during this happy time.

Here are a few tips to keep you healthy. Wash down countertops with an antibacerial wipe. Other areas you need to wipe down frequently include doorknobs, light switches and the handles of refrigerators, cupboards, doors, and faucets.

Already done this? Great! But there’s another area you may not think about-towels. Do you have hand towels or bath towels in the bathroom? These can become breeding grounds for germs. How often do you wipe your hands only to find that the towel you are using is already wet? The solution? Give each member of your family a special towel color. This ensures that germs don’t spread inadvertently.

Lastly, wash linens frequently, including bathrobes. The pockets of bathrobes are the perfect place to store extra tissues, and extra germs. You may end up doing lots of extra loads of laundry, but follow these few simple steps and enjoy a fun, healthy holiday season.

Dec 082010
 

towels

Homemade bath salts are luxurious gifts to make for family and friends during the holiday season. When this type of an inexpensive gift is coupled with set of soft Egyptian cotton hand towels, or a few long-fiber organic cotton washcloths, a whole family can enjoy your thoughtful gift as they go about their daily bathing routines.

Ingredients:

  • Bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid
  • Plain Epsom Salts crystals
  • Few drops of perfume or essential oils
  • Few drops of food coloring
  • Gift bath towels or hand towels (optional)
  • Ribbon to match the towel colors (optional)

To start, wash and dry your jar and lid so that they sparkle like new. Fill your container with plain Epsom Salt crystals. Next, pour your crystals into a mixing bowl. Add 3 drops of any food coloring that will complement the color of your chosen bathroom gift. Add 3 to 5 drops of perfume or essential oils. Mix the Epsom Salt with the food coloring and fragrance. Pour the salts back into the jar and tightly cap your homemade luxury gift.

Your jars of tinted homemade bath salts can be packaged with towels, bath mats, robes to give the appearance of a very fashionable gift. When the jars are tied with a piece of ribbon that matches the terry towels or his-and-her bathrobes, the container will be displayed in the bathroom along with your high-quality monogrammed towels. To have a monogram placed onto a hand towel or waffle bathrobe is an inexpensive gesture that will make your bath gift items very special presents for the gift recipients.

Dec 042010
 

towels

Winter is just around the corner – in some parts of the country it’s already arrived – and that means two important things: it’s hard to get out of that nice, warm, cozy bed, and it’s also hard to finish that nice, hot shower and face the chilling blast of cold air when you open the shower door.

One trick you can use to mitigate the pain of stepping out of the shower is to use a heated towel rack. Place your towel and/or your bathrobe on the heated towel rack, and turn it on before you step into the shower. By the time your shower is done, your towel and your bathrobe will already be toasty.

On the high-end of heated towel racks, some devices have as many as 10 bars, so both your towel and your bathrobe have enough contact with the towel rack to make it plenty warm for you. Other devices are a little less expensive, but have fewer rails for your towel and bathrobe.

With a heated towel rack, you can change your attitude towards ending your hot shower in the dead of the winter. Instead of stepping out of the shower only to be greeted by goose bumps and chattering teeth, you’ll step into a warm towel and a warm bathrobe.