How Bath Towel Is Made – Material, Manufacturing Process, Making, Historical Past, Used, Composition, Product, Business

Bath towels are woven items of fabric both cotton or cotton-polyester which are used to absorb moisture on the body after bathing. Bath towels are sometimes bought in a set with face towels and wash cloths and yoga towel are all the time the largest of the three towels. Bath towels are usually woven with a loop or pile that’s smooth and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the body. Particular looms known as dobby looms are used to make this cotton pile.

Bath towels are generally of a single shade however could also be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-determined laptop program pushed designs) and even printed in stripes. Since towels are exposed to much water and are washed on scorching-water wash settings more ceaselessly than different textiles, printed towels may not retain their sample very lengthy. Most towels have a two selvage edges or completed woven edges alongside 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 ready them for distribution. Others purchase the yarn already spun from different wholesalers and solely weave the toweling.


Till the early nineteenth century, when the textile business mechanized, bath toweling may very well be comparatively costly to buy or time-consuming to create. There is a few query how vital these sanitary linens were for the average particular person-after all, bathing was not nearly as universally in style 200 years in the past as it is as we speak! Most nine-teenth century toweling that survives is, certainly, toweling probably used behind or on high of the washstand, the piece of furniture that held the wash basin and pitcher with water in the times before indoor plumbing. Much of this toweling was hand-woven, plain-woven pure linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs function fancier jacquard-woven coloured linen patterns (significantly crimson and white) but these had been extra more likely to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the extra tender and absorbent terry cloth changed the plain linen toweling.

As the cotton business mechanized on this nation, toweling materials might be purchased by the yard as well as in completed goods. By the 1890s, an American home-wife could go to the general retailer or order by means of the mail either woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or could purchase terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, lower it to the appropriate bath towel dimension her family appreciated, and hem it herself. Quite a lot of toweling was obtainable-diaper weaves, huck-abacks, “crash” toweling-primarily in cotton as linen was not commercially woven in this country in nice quantity by the 1890s. Weaving factories began mass manufacturing of terry cloth towels by the top of the nine-teenth century and have been producing them in similar trend ever since.

Raw Supplies

Uncooked materials include cotton or cotton and polyester, depending on the composition of the towel in manufacturing. Some towel factories purchase the first uncooked materials, cotton, in 500 lb (227 kg) bales and spin them with synthetics in order to get the type of yarn they want for production. Nevertheless, some factories purchase the yarn from a supplier. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester mix yarn is purchased in enormous quantities in 7. In the event you loved this post and you wish to receive more information relating to yoga towel ( please visit our webpage. 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 to ensure that it to be woven extra simply. One such trade coating accommodates PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are usually used to whiten a towel before dyeing it (whether it is to be dyed). Again, these bleaches vary depending on the producer, however could embody as many as 10 ingredients (a few of them proprietary) together with hydrogen peroxide, a caustic defoamer, or if the towel is to stay white, an optical brightener to make the white look brighter. Artificial or chemical dyes, of complicated composition, which make towels both colorfast and brilliant, may even be used.


Most towels are not specifically designed in advanced patterns. The vast majority is straightforward terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at top and bottom. Sizes fluctuate as do colors depending on the order. Increasingly, white or inventory towels are sent to wholesalers or others to decorate with laptop-pushed embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This occurs in a special location and is commonly completed by one other company.

The Manufacturing



– 1 As talked about above, some factories spin their very own yarn for bath towels. If this is finished at the manufacturing unit, the producer receives enormous 500 lb (227 kg) bales of either high or “middling grade” (of medium quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (quality is determined by the producer and quality of the towel in production). These bales are broken open by an automated Uniflock machine that nips a bit off the top of each bale, opens it up after which 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 inside the raw cotton). The more pure fibers are blown by tubes to a mixing unit where the cotton is blended collectively earlier than they’re spun. Higher high quality towels use cotton with fibers which might be blended collectively three times earlier than spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester throughout this blending course of.

– 2 The combined fibers are then blown by tubes to carding machines the place revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and continue to remove 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 right into a sliver-a twisted rope of cotton fibers. These slivers are despatched into one other machine wherein they’re blended again and sent between different rollers for straightening. The ultimate goal is long, straight, parallel fibers because they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require less twisting which also produces strong yarns but makes them less tender and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a large roll and despatched on a cart and fed into the combing machine.

– Four Fibers are combed right 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 once more.

– 5 The slivers journey to roving machines where the fibers are additional twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving frame additionally slightly twists the fibers. The result is a protracted roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the ultimate 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 primarily catch each other to type 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 huge rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals corresponding to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary substances. All toweling should be dyed pure white earlier than it’s dyed any coloration.

spun. As soon as the yarn is spun, it is robotically wound on large wheels that resemble rounds of cheese when full of thread.


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a chunk of woven material which might be tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads called weft or filler are passed beneath and over the warp to type the fabric. The large spools of simply-spun cotton are ready to be warped or wound on a beam that will likely be inserted into the loom for weaving. If the yarn is bought, the 7.5 lb (3.Four kg) spools are readied for warping. A warping beam is then warped during which threads are anchored and wrapped to a large beam in a whole bunch of parallel rows. Completely different yoga towel widths require completely different numbers of warp threads.

– Eight These enormous beams, full of wrapped warp threads, are placed right into a rack that holds up to 12 beams and sized in preparation for weaving. The threads must 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 rapidly. (1,000 warp ends are pulled over 9 cans to dry.) These beams, with coated threads, are actually sent to the looms.


– 9 The beams are picked up by a pallet jack or hydraulic raise truck and transported to looms. These looms differ in width but could also be as slender as 85 in (216 cm) or as vast as 153 in (389 cm). (Not surprisingly, the wider the loom, the slower the weaving as 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 burden and measurement of the beam.

– 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, which means every loom has two sets or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp known as the bottom warp and kinds the body of the towel and the opposite is called the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Every set of warp threads is rigorously fed by way of a set of metal eyes and is attached to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that can change in their vertical relationships to each other.) These harnesses mechanically raise and lower these warp threads so that the weft or filler may be passed 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 unfastened filler is crushed or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up turning into a little loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and cut into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are truly shot throughout these large 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 because the one shuttle shoots across the warp threads, the shuttle drops down and is transported back to firing cylinder and is shot across once more. A typical towel-weaving machine has 350 shuttle insertions in a single minute-almost six shuttles fired throughout each second. Thus, towels are woven very quickly on these large mechanized dobby looms. In one small towel-making factory, 250 dozen bath towels can be made in a single loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms in the manufacturing facility.


– eleven As soon as the toweling is made (it is one lengthy terry cloth roll and has no starting or finish), it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It’s then transported to bleaching as large rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and bath towel different proprietary substances. All toweling must be dyed pure white before it’s 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 at least as soon as and as many as 3 times in a big washer to get all chemicals out of the toweling. The toweling is dried, and whether it is to stay white toweling, it is able to be cut at the top and bottom, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label connected (all of this is finished with one machine).


– 12 Whether it is to be dyed, the big, dried uncut rolls are taken to giant vats of chemical dyes, which have proven over time to offer colorfast toweling after in depth residential laundering. After being immersed within the vat, the toweling is eliminated and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. A thorough steaming sets the colour. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed in the drying course of, and then the dyed towels are prepared for cutting, hemming, and labeling.

Chopping, folding, and packaging

– thirteen Ultimate visual inspection of the lower and hemmed towels occurs and they are handfolded and conveyed to packaging, where automatic packaging tools varieties a bag across the towels and UPC labels are attached to the bags. These packaged towels are despatched to the inventory room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

High quality Management

Towels are rigorously checked for high quality control all through the manufacturing course of. If yarn is purchased, it’s randomly checked for weight and must be the standard established by the corporate (lighter yarn spools indicate the yarn is thinner than desired and should not make as sturdy toweling). Bleach and dye vats are periodically checked for applicable chemical structure.

Through the weaving course of, some companies move the cloth over a lighted inspection desk. Here the weavers and high quality inspectors monitor the towel for weaving imperfections. Slightly unevenly woven towels could also be straightened out and touched up. However those that can not may be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or utterly rejected by the company. As in all features of the process, visual checks are a key to high quality management-all involved in the method understand minimal standards and monitor the product at all times.


Doubtlessly harmful byproducts are often combined 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 not be discharged untreated into any water provide. Many toweling factories run their very own water therapy plants to insure that the water the plant discharges meets minimum standards for pH, temperature, and many others.

Where to Study More


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer time 1895 Catalogue and Buyer’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.

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