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.

 

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.

 

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.

Aug 132011
 

Bathtub Addition Towels

The idea of soaking in a warm, relaxing bath is a thought that appeals to many. In addition to the benefit of solitude and quiet in a bathtub, the warm water stimulates the body’s blood flow, an effect that has the well-known result of reducing tensions both physical and mental. While bathers that are truly tired and stressed out find it easy to “check out” and relax, others may find a bath rather boring! The remedy? A selection of fun and interesting bathtub additions that can turn any relaxing soak into one that’s stimulating for all the senses.

Bath Bombs

Sometimes called fizzies, tablets, or bathballs, bath bombs are spheres of baking soda, colors, scented oils, flower petals, and other fun ingredients that fizz when added to the bathwater. The water and baking soda react to one another, providing a science-fair-like stream of bubbles that feel good on sore backs and feet. The oils and other additives float in the tub, coloring the water fun hues like blue or rose, and in some cases even shedding sparkling glitter along the way. Bath bomb addicts recommend sliding large bombs or ones with a lot of “confetti” into a knotted hosiery sock before tossing it in the bath, thereby keeping any stray pieces in an easy-to-toss container.

Bubble Bath

This familiar favorite of kids everywhere is one that moms and dads are calling their own these days. With the development of solid “bubble bars” that can be crumbled under running water, luxurious scents like chocolate, lavender and orange blossom are quickly gaining popularity over youthful “bubble gum” type scents. People of all ages love a big tub of bubbles, after all!

Bath Salts

As much a staple of the high-end bath experience as Turkish bathrobes, bathers are enjoying this spa ritual at home on their own time. Made from actual salt crystals blended with essential oils and occasionally herbs, bath salts help open the pores for true relaxation. When using salts, be sure to put the crystals in while the bath is filling up, otherwise you may end up sitting on an uncomfortable patch of gravel.

Whether using one addition or several, these fun and enjoyable products can turn any regular bath into an experience you’ll be anxious to repeat. Happy bathing!

Jul 092011
 

Towels

Gift-giving holidays like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas teach us that items like monogrammed towels and bathrobes make great gifts, but the world is wide, and there are many exciting and intriguing festival days to be found and enjoyed if only one knows where to look.

Maundy coins may not be in quite the same league as towels or robes, but they are what’s given out in the United Kingdom – and usually by the Queen of England no less! – during Maundy Thursday. This celebration, which commemorates the Last Supper, takes place on the Thursday before Easter and is also known as The Thursday of Mysteries and Covenant Thursday.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is an important holiday and is observed around the world in such diverse countries as India, Mauritius, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Although the exchange of gifts only represents a small part of this fascinating celebration, which, in some cultures, signifies the ascendance of good over evil, the giving of presents among family members is becoming more and more important.

El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla – more commonly known as Cinco de Mayo – is celebrated in both Mexico and the USA, and the practice of giving gifts in celebration of this sometimes rowdy and boisterous holiday has slowly become more popular over the years. Although The Day of the Battle of Puebla is not synonymous with Mexican independence, it does present a good reason to celebrate as it is probably the most well known example of paying homage to the culture and traditions of Mexico.

Although one doesn’t usually see people celebrate Maundy Thursday, Diwali or Cinco de Mayo by giving each other monogrammed bathrobes, towels or bath mats, these types of gifts are extremely popular and are often exchanged during the more traditional Western festivities like Christmas. Children can also join in the fun, and International Children’s Day would be a fine time to give the teenager in your life a personalized terry velour pastel pink kids robe.

Gifts will never go out of fashion, and neither will luxury bathroom accessories.

Jun 092011
 

Kids Velour Bathrobe

Once upon a time, bathrobes were serious garments that were more at home in luxury spas, hotels and resorts than in actual homes. Often very plush and luxurious, robes were almost certainly something reserved for adults, while kids had to make do with wrapping themselves in character towels when the time came for drying off post-bath. These days, things have definitely changed, with bathrobes joining the ranks of bath time fun for kids in a variety of super-creative colors and styles.

Where mom and dad might be more comfortable in white terrycloth, junior is bound to opt out in favor of a bright green “dino” style robe, complete with a flip-up hood and soft sewn “spikes” to complete the look. His sister will dance with delight when she wraps herself up in a princess robe, which can feature popular movie characters and even an embroidered flower or crown that is the pinnacle of style for the under-ten set. A great incentive for tots who dislike the tub to hop in, kids bathrobes are showing up in major department stores everywhere and thankful parents are having a much easier time keeping their kids clean.

Strangely enough, the best time of year to look for these kids robes may be in the summer, not the winter. Why? Many of them masquerade as “bathing suit coverups”, but function perfectly as bath robes too, as both are typically made of absorbent terrycloth. Kids bathrobes, of course, may also be used as bathing suit coverups, with hooded models providing an excellent escape from the glaring sun for sensitive younger eyes at the beach or pool.

Even when bath time or swimming activities are nowhere in sight, these colorful kids robes are a fun addition to dress up play, enabling a child to “transform” into anything from a mermaid to a ninja master, depending on the style mom and dad select for them. A creative dress up “toy”, a safe sun shelter, and a truly interesting towel all in the same product? Perhaps magic isn’t limited to the imaginations of the youngsters wearing these uniquely designed kids robes!

 

May 182011
 

Bamboo Towels

If you’re interested in luxury bath linens, you’ve probably heard about bamboo towels, and you wonder what all the fuss is about. You see that articles and ads of bamboo bath and kitchen products popping up all over. Why are bamboo towels becoming more and more popular?

When we finish with our shower or bath, we want a soft towel. Bamboo towels and bathrobes are naturally soft, and therefore, feel great on the skin. In addition, bamboo towels and robes are absorbent, even more so than cotton. And each time you use them, they get even more absorbent.

One fundamental reason for their popularity is because bamboo towels were advertised as naturally antibacterial due to their fibers. These ads were especially for newborn babies or people with sensitive skin or medical conditions, such as ringworm or athletes foot.

According to some sellers, due to the fact that bamboo towels are antibacterial and sustainable, they are also eco-friendly. Most people are interested in protecting and saving the environment, so many people thought that buying bamboo towels is one way to do that.

A bamboo plant can grow several feet in one day during its season. Therefore, they are easy to restore. The downside to using bamboo is that it is imported, and there are chemicals needed to make bamboo into towels. Bamboo fibers are hard by nature and they need to be processed with chemicals to make soft bamboo rayon from them. When bamboo becomes bamboo rayon, it is not antibacterial any more. Experts agree that when it comes to environmentally friendly options, the use of bamboo rayon as a textile fiber does not qualify.

Although they don’t qualify as antibacterial or eco-friendly, they absorb more water and they are softer than cotton towels. Quality continues to be one of the best ways to get the most out of your money. Bamboo towels are towels of quality. Yes, they cost more, but their construction is better and they last for a long time. Therefore, it is money well spent.  However, make sure you buy your bamboo towels from a company you can trust. Imitations exist in a variety of ways, and the same can happen to bamboo towels.

May 092011
 

towels

I remember being on a family vacation at about the age of ten, and as we were packing up to leave the hotel room, my father started to pack the hotel towels into our suitcases. My mother looked at him with a puzzled expression and asked him what he was doing. He replied, without fanfare, that we were taking the towels home.

“No!” she immediately exclaimed. “That’s tacky.”

They argued about it for a minute or two, but my father finally acquiesced and returned the towels to his rack. His argument had been that the hotel simply expects patrons to take the towels with them, not unlike the mini-soap and the mini-shampoo. My mother had a very different view on the situation, and couldn’t imagine (a) that the hotel wanted us to take their towels or (b) what need we had of the scratchy, white, and oft-used hotel towels at home anyway.

Technology Bests Criminals Again

If that family vacation had been taken today, however, my father might not have been so quick to start packing the towels. These days, many of the fanciest hotels are incorporating radio frequency identification, or RFID-chips, into their towels and robes.

There’s nothing new about RFID-chips. They have long been used to prevent the theft of books, to track the movement of animals, and to prevent illegal logging, but up until now they were not part of a hotel’s security system.

As of April 2011, three upscale hotels have invested in the RFID technology. They’ve put tags on their towels, their bathrobes, and other linens. A hotel in Hawaii says that before they tagged their towels, they would lose an astonishing 4,000 per month to people like my Dad. Now that everything’s tagged, that number has fallen to 750. While there are still 750 towel thefts per month, it’s a heck of a lot better than 4,000. The hotels are said to save almost $16,000 per month. Remember this the next time you’re tempted to take a towel or a bathrobe home with you as a vacation memento!

 

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.

Mar 302011
 

pwilliam_kmiddleton2

Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry on April 29, and everyone is catching the Royal Wedding fever. Although few people are royal members of the world, it’s nice to treat yourself like a king or queen. One way to do that is with products used in your bathroom. Here’s how:

Bathrobes

When you wrap yourself in a bathrobe, after a shower or bath, you just feel better. Bathrobes are cozy, and they keep you warm while covering you up. They’re so comfortable, you may keep yours on all day. To get the most out of a comfy robe, choose Egyptian, Supima or Turkish cotton bathrobes. You treat yourself like royalty when you wear a quality bathrobe.

Towels

No royal bathroom experience is complete without quality towels. Those towels that you find at the chain stores aren’t all of quality. They may lose their color, softness and even mildew over time. A royal bathroom experience includes quality towels of pure luxurious cotton. Egyptian, Supima and Turkish cotton are excellent choices. Quality towels are also made with bamboo and other organic materials. You get what you pay for when it comes to quality towels, so spend the money and treat yourself well. Find a large variety of quality towels at an online retailer.

Bath Mats

Don’t forget a quality bath mat for your royal bathroom experience. As with bathrobes and towels, the best mats are made of bamboo, Supima, Egyptian and more. When you step out of the bath or shower, you want to step onto clean, absorbent and soft bath mats. Match the color of your bath mat with your towels.

The Extras

Once you’ve taken care of the basics, don’t forget the extras. Invest in quality, natural bath products to cleanse your body and hair.

Give yourself a total royal bathroom experience. You deserve it!

Mar 062011
 

bamboo robe

The bamboo plant is one of the most interesting plants on our planet. Here are some facts you should know.

1. Bamboo replenishes itself faster than most plants. After a bamboo cane is cut, full growth is achieved in six months as it grows up to 12 inches a day. It needs only sun and rain to grow and will fully mature in 3 to 5 years.

2. There are over 1,000 species of bamboo. Bamboo can found be found in a variety of locations across the globe.

3. Bamboo trees release 35 percent more oxygen than other types of trees.

4. Bamboo products dry quickly and have a natural antibacterial element that resists odor and mildew. It’s a perfect choice for people who suffer with skin conditions.

5. Bamboo rayon is the type of fiber used in some towels and bathrobes. To achieve the result, the bamboo is manufactured chemically. The mixture of bamboo rayon and Egyptian cotton is popular for soft, high quality towels and bathrobes. Bamboo rayon is actually softer and more durable than rayon and cotton.

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 122011
 

leopard1

Teenagers of America, prepare to roll your eyes at your parents, and possibly shout “Gross!”: Mom and Dad might be coming home from their next romantic getaway with matching, leopard-print bathrobes.

Kimpton, an American hotel chain founded in the early 1980s, always strives to offer its guests plenty of comfort and style – they call themselves a “boutique hotel”. This time, they might have outdone themselves. Their current special is a “robe-mantic” retreat.

During the month of February, the hotel chain will offer overnight accommodations for two, along with a $25 credit for hotel dining and, yes, two matching leopard-print bathrobes. The idea is to increase their couples traffic in time for the Valentine’s Day holiday.

Keep the Bathrobes

At many hotels, nice warm, fluffy bathrobes are often on offer – but you’re not supposed to keep them. If you’re in the habit of stealing hotel towels and other amenities, be warned that when it comes to bathrobes, hotels intend to keep them. Some hotels will charge you up to $150 when they discovered you’ve pilfered their bathrobe.

Not in this case – those leopard-print bathrobes are yours to keep.

Teens, you might want to leave the living room now before your parents start fake-growling and clawing at each other.

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?