How Bath Towel Is Made – Materials, Manufacturing Course Of, Making, History, Used, Composition, Product, Trade

Bath towels are woven items of fabric both cotton or cotton-polyester which might be used to absorb moisture on the body after bathing. Bath towels are sometimes sold in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are always the most important of the three towels. Bath towels are generally woven with a loop or pile that is comfortable and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the physique. Special looms referred to as dobby looms are used to make this cotton pile.

Bath towels are usually of a single colour however may be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-decided pc program pushed designs) or even printed in stripes. Since towels are exposed to much water and are washed on scorching-water wash settings extra incessantly than different textiles, printed towels might not retain their pattern very long. Most towels have a two selvage edges or completed woven edges along the sides and are hemmed (minimize and sewn down) at the highest and bottom. Some toweling manufacturers produce the yarn used for the toweling, weave the towels, dye them, cut and sew hems, and prepared them for distribution. Others buy the yarn already spun from other wholesalers and solely weave the toweling.


Till the early nineteenth century, when the textile industry mechanized, bath toweling could be comparatively expensive to buy or time-consuming to create. There is some question how vital these sanitary linens have been for the common particular person-in spite of everything, bathing was not practically as universally common 200 years in the past as it is today! Most nine-teenth century toweling that survives is, indeed, toweling in all probability used behind or on prime of the washstand, the piece of furnishings that held the wash basin and pitcher with water in the days earlier than indoor plumbing. A lot of this toweling was hand-woven, plain-woven pure linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs characteristic fancier jacquard-woven colored linen patterns (particularly pink and white) however these have been extra prone to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the extra gentle and absorbent terry cloth replaced the plain linen toweling.

Because the cotton industry mechanized in this country, toweling materials may very well be bought by the yard as well as in finished items. By the 1890s, an American home-spouse might go to the overall retailer or order by the mail either woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or may buy terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, reduce it to the suitable bath towel size her household favored, and hem it herself. A variety of toweling was out there-diaper weaves, huck-abacks, “crash” toweling-primarily in cotton as linen was not commercially woven on this nation in great quantity by the 1890s. Weaving factories began mass production of terry cloth towels by the end of the nine-teenth century and have been producing them in related fashion ever since.

Raw Materials

Raw supplies include cotton or cotton and polyester, depending on the composition of the towel in manufacturing. Some towel factories buy the primary raw material, cotton, in 500 lb (227 kg) bales and spin them with synthetics so as to get the type of yarn they want for production. Nonetheless, some factories buy the yarn from a provider. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester mix yarn is purchased in enormous portions in 7.5 lb (3.Four kg) spools of yarn. A single spool of yarn unravels to 66,000 yd (60,324 m) of thread.

Yarn must be coated or sized in order for it to be woven extra simply. One such business coating incorporates PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are generally used to whiten a towel earlier than dyeing it (if it is to be dyed). Again, these bleaches vary relying on the manufacturer, but may embody as many as 10 elements (some of them proprietary) together with hydrogen peroxide, a caustic defoamer, or if the towel is to remain white, an optical brightener to make the white look brighter. Artificial or chemical dyes, of complex composition, which make towels each colorfast and shiny, could even be used.


Most towels are usually not specially designed in advanced patterns. The vast majority is easy terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at top and backside. Sizes range as do colours depending on the order. Increasingly, white or inventory towels are despatched to wholesalers or others to decorate with pc-pushed embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This occurs in a unique location and is commonly achieved by one other company.

The Manufacturing

Course of


– 1 As mentioned above, some factories spin their very own yarn for bath towels. If this is completed on the factory, the producer receives huge 500 lb (227 kg) bales of both excessive or “middling grade” (of medium quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (high quality will depend on the manufacturer and quality of the towel in production). These bales are damaged open by an automatic Uniflock machine that nips a bit off the highest of each bale, opens it up and then lays it down. The Uniflock opening machine blends the cotton fibers together by repeatedly beating it so impurities fall out or are filtered out (these bales comprise many impurities throughout the uncooked cotton). If you loved this article and you wish to get guidance about microfiber yoga towel gym towel ( kindly visit our page. The extra pure fibers are blown via tubes to a mixing unit where the cotton is blended collectively earlier than they’re spun. Increased high quality towels use cotton with fibers which can be blended together thrice before spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester throughout this blending course of.

– 2 The mixed fibers are then blown by way of tubes to carding machines where revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and proceed to take away impurities before spinning. The cotton fibers, while not yet yarn, are shaping up into parallel fibers in preparation for spinning.

– 3 These parallel fibers are then condensed into a sliver-a twisted rope of cotton fibers. These slivers are despatched into one other machine wherein they are blended once more and despatched between different rollers for straightening. The final word objective is long, straight, parallel fibers because they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require much less twisting which additionally produces strong yarns however makes them less tender and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a big roll and despatched on a cart and fed into the combing machine.

– 4 Fibers are combed here, additional straightening the fibers with a finer set of wire teeth than used on the carding machine. Combing removes the shorter fibers, that are coarser and woollier, leaving the finer, longer, silkier cotton fibers for spinning into yarn. Once combed, the fibers are formed right into a twisted rope sliver again.

– 5 The slivers travel to roving machines the place the fibers are further twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving frame also barely twists the fibers. The result is a long roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the final step earlier than spinning.

– 6 Now the roving is ready for spinning. The bobbin is spun on a ring-spinning machine, which mechanically attracts out or pulls the cotton roving out into a single strand. The fibers basically catch each other to kind one continuous thread and twists the thread slightly as it’s pulled or Once the toweling is made, it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as big rolls of fabric and put right into a water bath with bleaching chemicals equivalent to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary substances. All toweling should be dyed pure white earlier than it is dyed any coloration.

spun. As soon as the yarn is spun, it’s routinely wound on giant wheels that resemble rounds of cheese when filled with thread.


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a chunk of woven materials which might be tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads known as weft or filler are passed under and over the warp to form the fabric. The massive spools of just-spun cotton are able to be warped or wound on a beam that will probably be inserted into the loom for weaving. If the yarn is purchased, the 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) spools are readied for warping. A warping beam is then warped wherein threads are anchored and wrapped to a big beam in lots of of parallel rows. Completely different towel widths require completely different numbers of warp threads.- 8 These huge beams, full of wrapped warp threads, are positioned into a rack that holds up to 12 beams and sized in preparation for weaving. The threads have to be sized or stiffened to make the piece easier to weave. PVA starch, urea, and wax are rolled onto and pressed into the yarn. The threads are then run over drying cans-Teflon-coated cans with steam heat emanating from with-in. This helps to dry the warp threads shortly. (1,000 warp ends are pulled over nine cans to dry.) These beams, with coated threads, are now sent to the looms.


– 9 The beams are picked up by a pallet jack or hydraulic carry truck and transported to looms. These looms fluctuate in width but could also be as slender as 85 in (216 cm) or as broad as 153 in (389 cm). (Not surprisingly, the wider the loom, the slower the weaving because it takes longer for weft threads to cross the warp.) The beams are lifted onto the looms mechanically with a warp jack, which may bear the weight and size of the beam.- 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, that means each loom has two units or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp is known as the ground warp and forms the body of the towel and the opposite known as the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Each set of warp threads is carefully fed via a set of steel eyes and is connected to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that can change of their vertical relationships to one another.) These harnesses mechanically increase and lower these warp threads in order that the weft or filler will be handed between them. The intersection of the warp and weft is woven fabric. The filler yarn is programmed so that it’s loosely laid into the woven fabric. When this loose filler is beaten or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up changing into a little bit loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and minimize into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are really shot throughout these giant looms at top-speeds-these towel-making looms may have 18 shuttles fired throughout the warp from a firing cylinder. One shuttle follows right behind the next. As soon as the one shuttle shoots across the warp threads, the shuttle drops down and is transported back to firing cylinder and is shot across again. A typical towel-weaving machine has 350 shuttle insertions in a single minute-nearly six shuttles fired throughout each second. Thus, towels are woven in a short time on these massive mechanized dobby looms. In one small towel-making factory, 250 dozen bath towels will be made in one loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms in the manufacturing unit.


– eleven Once the toweling is made (it is one lengthy terry cloth roll and has no beginning or finish), it’s wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as big rolls of fabric and put right into a water bath with bleaching chemicals reminiscent of hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and other proprietary elements. All toweling have to be dyed pure white earlier than it is dyed any shade. The wet toweling laden with chemicals is then subjected to tremendously high temperatures. The heat makes the chemicals react, bleaching the towel. The roll is then washed a minimum of as soon as and as many as 3 times in a large washer to get all chemicals out of the toweling. The toweling is dried, and if it is to remain white toweling, it is ready to be lower at the highest and bottom, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label attached (all of this is done with one machine).


– 12 Whether it is to be dyed, the big, dried uncut rolls are taken to large vats of chemical dyes, which have confirmed over time to offer colorfast toweling after in depth residential laundering. After being immersed in the vat, the toweling is eliminated and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. A radical steaming sets the coloration. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed in the drying process, after which the dyed towels are ready for reducing, hemming, and labeling.

Reducing, folding, and packaging

– thirteen Last visible inspection of the lower and hemmed towels happens and they are handfolded and conveyed to packaging, the place computerized packaging gear types a bag around the towels and UPC labels are attached to the luggage. These packaged towels are sent to the stock room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

High quality Control

Towels are rigorously checked for high quality management all through the manufacturing course of. If yarn is bought, it is randomly checked for weight and must be the standard established by the company (lighter yarn spools point out the yarn is thinner than desired and should not make as sturdy toweling). Bleach and dye vats are periodically checked for acceptable chemical structure.

Through the weaving course of, some corporations cross the cloth over a lighted inspection desk. Here the weavers and high quality inspectors monitor the towel for weaving imperfections. Barely unevenly woven towels may be straightened out and touched up. But those that can not could also be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or fully rejected by the company. As in all features of the method, visual checks are a key to quality management-all involved in the method perceive minimum requirements and monitor the product at all times.


Doubtlessly dangerous byproducts are sometimes blended within the water that’s used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Particularly, the bleaching process includes components (peroxides and different caustics) that can’t be discharged untreated into any water supply. Many toweling factories run their very own water remedy plants to insure that the water the plant discharges meets minimal standards for pH, temperature, and many others.

The place to Learn Extra


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer time 1895 Catalogue and Purchaser’s Information. NY: Dover Publications, Inc. 1969.

Tate, Blair. The Warp: A Weaving Reference. Ashville, NC: Lark Books, 1991.


Fieldcrest Cannon. “The Making of Royal Velvet Towels.” Unpublished script for a video on towel manufacturing. Kannapolis, NC, 1998.