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.

Sep 092011
 

Bath Mat

A lot has been written about towels – even monogrammed towels – as well as about bathrobes, but bath mats tend to be the country cousins of the bathroom-decor world as not much is ever heard about them. This is not quite fair, however, as, just like towels and robes, every single bath mat has a lot to offer.

There are several different types and brands of bath mats to choose from, and, if one is decorating a bathroom on a budget, then pure cotton bath mats are the way to go as these are generally the least expensive. They also come in a variety of different colors – enough to match any color-scheme – including smoke blue, garnet red, tearose and moss. Bamboo bath mats, on the other hand, come in such brilliant and weather-themed hues as rain and cloud, and they are made of 60% combed Egyptian cotton and 40% bamboo rayon.

Elegance bath mats are made solely of long staple Turkish cotton, and these reversible mats are also completely machine washable. The words seafoam, moonstone and desert sand conjure up visions of moonlit vistas on far away shores, but they should also conjure visions of beautiful bath mats, and this is merely a sampling of the shades the Elegance mats are available in. Unlike the Elegance mats, Supima bath mats are made of 100% American Supima cotton, and they are known for their sheer luxuriousness. Supima mats also come in colors that will put one in mind of dinner – examples include merlot, bisque and butter – and they are the perfect side-dish to any main bathroom meal.

The most eco-friendly of all the bath mat types must surely be the organic bath mats, which, as their name suggests, are made of certified organically grown cotton. These mats are manufactured in Portugal, and their stunning color options include stone, coffee and Aegean blue. Egyptian cotton mats are different from the rest as they are textured, and they also extremely absorbent because of their unusual thickness. Starkly simple white, cream and charcoal are on the Egyptian cotton bath mat color menu, as are the more complex – but equally as exquisite – shades of air blue, espresso and lite gold.

Given all of the above choices, no one can say that there isn’t a bath mat to suit every single person, every single bathroom and every single occasion.

Apr 202011
 

ice cream

Gather-up your clean bath towels, hand towels and bath mats. With summertime almost here, it is time to treat all of the youngsters in your life to some cheap ice cream in a bag.

What you will need to make cheap ice cream in a bag:

Cheap Ice Cream In A Bag

~ Towels, Towels, Towels

~ 1 gallon size Ziploc style of plastic freezer bag

~ 1 pint size Ziploc style of plastic freezer bag

~ ½ cup milk, buttermilk or cream

~ 5 or 6 drops of flavor extract (Example: vanilla, cherry, orange or strawberry)

~ 1 tablespoon of sweetener (Example: white sugar, brown sugar or honey)

~ 1 heaping 1/3 cup of rock salt, about 6 tablespoons

~ Ice Cubes

  1. Line your work surface with a clean bath mat, terry robe or other item that will provide padding.
  2. Dump the milk, extract and sweetener into the small Ziploc-style bag and zip the top closed.
  3. Fill the large Ziploc-style of bag about half full of ice and add the rock salt.
  4. Place the small bag of ingredients inside of the larger bag and zip the top closed.
  5. Lay a towel flat on top of your workspace padding.
  6. Wrap the ice cream bag in the terry or cotton towel so that it becomes a bundle.
  7. Tell your child to roll the bundle back-and-forth on your padded work surface for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Un-bundle the hand towel or bath towel wrapper, release the small bag of ice cream and enjoy.

Optional: Older children often enjoy playing catch with their bundled ice cream bags until the ice cream is ready. The terry towel wrappers should be taped or tied to keep them around the ice cream bags during these games.

This activity is fun for children of all ages. The soft towel that is wrapped around the ice cream bags helps to hold the children’s interest because their hands do not get cold. Adults can do away with all of the formalities and make this style of homemade ice cream while they are sitting around in their bathrobes. Simply shake the ice cream bags for about 5 minutes whenever you are in the mood for some cheap fun-filled ice cream.

Apr 152011
 

towels

According to Douglas Adams, author of the incredibly successful “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series of sci-fi/fantasy books, a towel is the most important item that a galactic traveler could ever carry around with him.

In his books, Adams lists the many and varied uses to which towels can be put, and, although most of us don’t have to battle Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal on a daily basis, we can surely think of at least ten practical situations that could instantly be improved should towels be introduced into the equation. Although towels – along with fine bathrobes and bath mats – are usually found in bathrooms, there’s no rule saying that they have to stay there, and the congenial towel is also known for its appearance in the kitchen (the oven towel), next to the pool (the awesomely absorbent chamois sports towel) and on the beach (the common-or-garden beach towel).

Towels are popping up in all sorts of strange places these days, and, while Japan gives us the exotic oshibori wet towel – used to wet one’s hands before eating – England offers the traditional tea towel, which dries cooking implements in the kitchen. Specific types of towels have also been developed for specific parts of the body, and foot towels and hand towels are common examples of these types of towels.

Monogrammed towels – where the towel-owner has made his or her ownership of a particular rectangular piece of absorbent fabric obvious by embroidering his or her initials on it – are no longer the domain of only the rich and famous, and, these days, anyone who buys a towel can choose to have it so personalized. Bath robes can also be monogrammed, but, as towels generally run a larger risk of getting lost among general bathroom laundry, monogramming seems to work better for towels than bathrobes.

Those who worship towels should mark every May 25th on their calendars: this is when Adams’ Towel Day is celebrated and also when every wannabe galactic hitchhiker carries their favorite – and oh so useful! – towel around with them.

Apr 052011
 

water

Warning: Your bath towels are at risk. As graduation time comes around again, parents everywhere must understand that their favorite Egyptian cotton towels, soft hand towels and luxurious bath mats are leaving home for good. Your graduating high school seniors are not going to be thinking about sharing as they happily start boxing-up your complete collection of bath linens to take with them to college or into their own first apartments.

As parents, grandparents and friends are searching for the perfect graduation gifts for their favorite scholar, remember this upcoming bath linen dilemma. Graduating high school seniors need a collection of cotton towels and a bath tubmat at graduation time. Parents can be left with terry kids robes to chop into washcloths or they can prepare now to ensure that all members of the family have the bathrobes/towels that they need.

Monogram bathrobes and bath linens make very nice high school graduation gifts. The gift of household necessities adds to the thrill of leaving childhood behind after the high school graduation day ceremonies are completed. A luxury waffle bathrobe, eco-friendly pile of cotton towels or an organic Turkish spa mat will be appreciated daily after your graduate leaves home for college. Monogramming on graduation robes or towels ensures that these adult items will stay with your graduate under all types of conditions.

Feb 032011
 

Organic Mats

Along with bathrobes, hand towels and bath towels, bath mats have been around for a long time. There is, however, far more to the simple tubmat than meets the eye, and those interested in reading up on the history of the mat will, no doubt, be fascinated by what they uncover.

Today the luxury bath mat comes in several styles, including the reversible bamboo mat of combed Egyptian cotton and bamboo rayon and the incredibly soft Supima bath mat, available in such interesting colors as merlot, chestnut and marine. Far less luxurious and eco friendly, however, were the Marsden or Marston mats that were popular during World War II, which were made of perforated steel and which were used to build temporary landing strips and runways.

Mats have been around for thousands of years – the hand-woven funeral mats on display at the Pecos Rio Grande Museum in Arizona were created between 2,000 an 5,000 years ago – and, as today’s quality mats can testify, cotton bath mats are now made with an extremely high degree of sophistication. The Organic bath mats, for instance, are manufactured in Portugal of 100% certified organic cotton, while the Elegance bath mats are made of long staple Turkish cotton and are equally at home in the bathroom or the upscale spa.

Although some mats are made from the tough brown and white coir fibers found in coconut husks, luxury bath mats, just like quality bath robes, towels and kids robes, are made from materials such as organic cotton, rayon and supima cotton. For those who like matching sets, Terry Velour Turkish bathrobes and towels can be paired with made-in-Turkey Supima mats while a Kimono Waffle bathrobe – complete with fancy monogram and made from 65% natural cotton – can be combined with a machine washable Pure Cotton bath mat to make the perfect bathroom linen set.

No matter what the history of the mat actually is, today’s best dressed bathrooms should all sport quality bathmats, and, as high quality mats are eminently affordable, why not buy a different color mat for every day of the week?

Jan 182011
 

bathmats

There’s nothing worse than coming out of your shower and stepping on a cold bathroom floor. That’s why bath mats are wonderful. They are a necessary piece for your bathroom. We use bath mats as devices to place on the floor of our bathrooms to provide comfort for our wet feet, to give us a secure place to put our feet and also to add some color and warmth to our bathrooms.

However, not all bath mats are made equal. Cheap mats get dirty easier and retain mold. A good mat will be not only soft and absorbent, but they will be less likely to get moldy.

Some of the best bath mats include organic bath mats that are eco-friendly. Also good for the bathroom are Egyptian cotton bath mats, made from the best materials. Good mats come in pleasing colors that match well with the colors found in nature and are resistant to mildew and stains.

Jan 052011
 

bath towels

The relationship between people and bath towels is something that has developed over many thousands of years, and possibly the first noteworthy use of the bath towel was when Noah packed at least a hundred of them into his ark and took to the waters with his doves looking for a drier climate.

Noah wasn’t the only biblical figure to place great value on towels, and they also came in handy for the wedding guests and disciples when the water was turned into wine as there was apparently a great deal of spillage. It is, however, fairly certain that Noah and his ilk didn’t have access to quite the abundance of luxury, quality bath and hand towels that are available to us ark-less people today not to mention the soft and luxurious kimono bathrobes, the many-colored eco friendly bath mats and the plush Egyptian cotton kids robes.

It is also a little known – but perfectly true – fact that Queen Cleopatra did not wrap herself up in a carpet when delivering herself to Caesar but that she chose, instead, to wrap herself in a sparkling white waffle bathrobe, complete with monogram and layered with several organic cotton bath towels. Towels of considerable historical significance next surfaced during the Boston Tea Party where they were used to mop up the excess sea-water after the tasteless tea bags had been upended into the harbor by Samuel Adams and his band of merry helpers.

Last but not least must be the tantalizing tale of the terry Turkish bathrobes / towels and how they figured in the creation of the world’s ultimate social network: Facebook. It is a well known fact that, while Mark Zuckerberg walked the corridors of Harvard and worked out the kinks on his worrisome website, he wore nothing but Turkish cotton terry kimono bath robes and snuggled up only to sandstone, coffee and aloe-colored bamboo rayon / Egyptian cotton bathtowels.

Given man’s past association with quality bath towels – not to mention a tubmat or two in the spa – there is literally no telling where this relationship will go next.

Oct 232010
 

I have always been fascinated by colors and am totally in my element whenever I’m in a paint or crafts shop where hundreds of hues are displayed for my enjoyment. It wasn’t, however, until I started shopping for luxury towels and bathrobes that I realized I could provide a fix for my color addiction in my very own bathroom.

Quality bath towels and hand towels were on top of my list of must-buys, and I was simply stunned at the number of colors that towels are available in today. Egyptian cotton towels, for instance, come in no less than eight different colors ranging from the fairly predictable white and cream to the excitingly new espresso, meadow, rosebud and air blue. Supima towels, on the other hand, which are made of American Superior Pima cotton, come in such intriguing shades as bisque, merlot and tarragon while organic towels – 100% eco friendly – come in, among other colors, green tea, Aegean blue, coffee and stone. Bath mats were next on the list, and, when I looked at the luxurious Bamboo bath mats, I had a hard time choosing between the mat in adorable aloe, the tubmat in calming cloud and the bath mat in soft sandstone.

The world of bath robes also opened up a world of colors for me, and I was totally in my element exploring the different robe brands and their cleverly creative colors. The Terry kimono robes, for instance, came in sparkling white while the Waffle bathrobe was available in a beautiful shade of beige. The Ultra Soft cotton / bamboo bathrobes, on the other hand, dazzle the eye in coffee and the interesting shade of light blue that’s known as rain, and kids robes – possibly the most fun of them all – are pretty in pink and wonderful in white.

The fact that most of these Turkish bathrobes/towels and pure cotton bath mats are machine washable, of excellent quality and can even sport a monogram will – strangely – always be less important to me than the fact that they come in such gorgeous colors.

Oct 132010
 

Lisa Simpson, of the animated, long-running series, The Simpsons, once observes about her mother: “Her heart won’t just wipe clean like this bathroom countertop: it absorbs everything that touches it, like this bathroom rug.” The bathroom rug in question is revealed to be more a science experiment than a rug, with various items growing out of it.

Hopefully your bathroom rugs and bath mats don’t look like the ones in The Simpsons. If they do, here’s a suggestion: wash it.

Why Bath Mats and Rugs Get So Dirty

Our bath mats get dirty for two main reasons. The first problem is the environment in which our mats and rugs live. The bathroom, especially inside or close to the shower, tends to stay moist and warm, making it a breading ground for mildew and other nasties.

The second problem is the nature of a bath mat. Bath mats are textured so that we don’t slip and fall inside the shower, but the texture means that there are plenty of nooks and crannies for dirt to hide in.

Three Easy Ways to Wash Your Mat

1. Bath mats are easily cleaned with a pressure washer. The next time you use your pressure washer, take the mat outside and wash it, too.

2. Most bath mats, and almost all rugs, can be easily thrown into the laundry. Wash your bath mat with a bath towel, as the friction between the two will help wash the mat clean.

3. If you’ve been meaning to wash your bath mat but never seem to find the time, just do it at the end of your shower. After you step out of the shower, spray it with your favorite bathroom cleaner, give it a quick scrub, and hang it to dry. It will take you all of two minutes, giving you no real excuse not to clean it.

Just Do It

Don’t become the butt of a Simpsons joke. Clean your bath mat and bathroom rug on a regular basis to improve your family’s bathroom hygiene.

Oct 092010
 

towel cats

I always knew towels had their place in the home, bath-time wouldn’t be the same without them! but little did I realize how much my bath towels would mean to my cats until I relocated to California.

I had contracted with an international pet courier to transport my precious cats from Africa to Los Angeles, and they had mentioned that it would be a good idea to put some small personal item in the cat-carriers along with the cats to remind the kitties of home and to calm them down during the trip.

At first, I was at a loss as to what to put in the carriers but then I had an idea: I would put the cats’ favorite hand towels in with them. I had often seen how much my cats enjoyed lounging around on the gorgeously soft and luxurious bath towels and bath mats I had populated my bathroom with, and I knew these would be the perfect reminders of home to keep them company during their long journey.

Quality organic bath towels and hand towels – no matter whether they were made of Egyptian cotton, combed Egyptian cotton or the luxury cotton / bamboo rayon mix  have always been favorites of mine, and I’d bought enough of them over the years to keep my cats and I in towels for a good long time. (I had also bought enough matching Terry velour, Supima and Kimono bathrobes to populate a small country, but that’s another story!) It was therefore no problem at all to choose a towel or two to put in the carriers with each kitty duo – cats travel overseas in pairs – and I was happy to see that they snuggled down into the towels’ soft and silky material as soon as they were put into the carriers.

Three days – and many thousands of miles – later, the cats and their towels arrived in Los Angeles. Their flight to sunny California had treated them well, and they had luxuriated in their eco friendly towels all the way across the Atlantic.

Oct 032010
 

Bamboo Towels

Towels are mostly made of cotton fibers. Nowadays, there are different types of fibers being used to manufacture towels, bathrobes, bath mats and bath textiles.

American Upland Cotton: which grows in the South, from Virginia to Oklahoma and Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California has short and durable fibers.

Egyptian Cotton: is known with its durability and absorbency. Egyptian cotton has extra long staple length grows in Egypt, which allows to produce luxurious towels worldwide.

Pima Cotton: which is considered as the highest quality cotton among those grows in US. Pima name is given after the Pima Indians who helped to develop this cotton type. This extra long staple cotton provides shiny, durable and firm fiber. Supima is the trademark that appears on products entirely made of pima cotton.

Sea Island Cotton: grows in the West indies and the islands of South Carolina and Georgia coast, known with its long staple and silky texture.

Organic Cotton: grows without using any pesticides, insecticides and defoliants. SKAL certified organic cotton is tested and verified according to international organic farming standards.

Turkish Cotton: grows in the Aegean and southeastern part of Turkey known with its strength and natural shine. The long staple fiber gives durability and softness.

Bamboo Fiber: is gaining popularity in the last 5 years. It is known as highly absorbent, antibacterial, soft and quick drying.

Microfiber: is a blend of polyester and polyamides which is a man made fiber known with its softness.

Linen: is made of fibers of the flax plant which is known with its smoothness and strength.

Sep 282010
 

Bamboo Robe

I grew up in a hotel in semi-rural South Africa approximately thirty years ago, and, looking back at that time, I often wonder what life would have been like if I had had access then to the resources for bath mats, towels and bathrobes that I have now.

As I recall, the towel sets at the hotel consisted of hard, scratchy lengths of material that, now, wouldn’t be welcome in a prison, and, when I compare them to today’s pure cotton bath towels that are silky and soft but still durable, I often wonder how hotel guests dried off from their baths and managed to keep their skins intact. The hotel towels were all one color too – a non-committal off-white – and simply can’t compare to the beautiful Smoke Blue, Terracota, Garnet Red and TeaRose shades that high quality bath and hand towels come in today.

Complimentary luxury guest bath robes were also not an option in the South Africa of 30 years ago, and today’s travelers should realize how lucky they are when their hotels present them with decadent Terry Kimono bathrobes made out of 100% Turkish cotton or beautiful Bamboo bathrobes made out of a sultry mixture of Bamboo rayon and Egyptian cotton. Guests may also be confronted with a complimentary Waffle bathrobe when they open their bathroom door – and these look stylish in either white or beige – or, perhaps, with a Supima robe, which comes in such intriguing sounding colors as bisque and chestnut.

Concepts like “organic” and “eco friendly” were also totally foreign to the hotels of yesteryear because towels, tubmats and hand towels were made to last and not to add value to the environment. Times sure have changed: now guests can wander down to the hotel’s spa dressed in the finest Turkish bathrobes – even kids’ robes are available – and wallow in luxurious hydrotherapy tubs instead of sharing the austere communal bathroom at the end of the passage.

Given how today’s hotels differ from those of years long past, I can hardly wait to see the hotels of the future.