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

Bath towels are woven items of fabric both cotton or cotton-polyester that are used to absorb moisture on the physique after bathing. Bath towels are often offered in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are always the biggest of the three towels. Bath towels are usually woven with a loop or pile that is comfortable and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the body. Particular looms called 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 computer program pushed designs) or even printed in stripes. Since towels are uncovered to much water and are washed on scorching-water wash settings more regularly than different textiles, printed towels could not retain their pattern very lengthy. Most towels have a two selvage edges or finished woven edges alongside the sides and are hemmed (lower 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 only weave the toweling.


Until the early nineteenth century, when the textile trade mechanized, bath toweling could possibly be comparatively expensive to purchase or time-consuming to create. There is some query how important these sanitary linens had been for the common person-in any case, bathing was not almost as universally widespread 200 years ago as it is today! Most 9-teenth century toweling that survives is, certainly, toweling most likely used behind or on top of the washstand, the piece of furniture 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 feature fancier jacquard-woven colored linen patterns (particularly pink and white) but these had been more more likely to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the extra smooth and absorbent terry cloth changed the plain linen toweling.

As the cotton trade mechanized on this country, toweling material could be bought by the yard in addition to in finished goods. By the 1890s, an American house-wife could go to the general store or order through the mail either woven, microfiber bath towel sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or might buy terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, lower it to the appropriate bath towel dimension her family favored, and hem it herself. A variety of toweling was obtainable-diaper weaves, huck-abacks, “crash” toweling-primarily in cotton as linen was not commercially woven on this country in great quantity by the 1890s. Weaving factories began mass production of terry cloth towels by the top of the nine-teenth century and have been producing them in comparable fashion ever since.

Raw Materials

Uncooked supplies include cotton or cotton and polyester, depending on the composition of the towel in manufacturing. Some towel factories buy the first uncooked material, cotton, in 500 lb (227 kg) bales and spin them with synthetics with a view to get the kind of yarn they want for manufacturing. Nevertheless, some factories purchase the yarn from a provider. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester blend yarn is bought in huge portions in 7.5 lb (3.4 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 easily. One such trade coating incorporates PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are usually used to whiten a towel before dyeing it (whether it is to be dyed). Once more, these bleaches differ depending on the manufacturer, but could embrace as many as 10 substances (some of them proprietary) including 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 advanced composition, which make towels each colorfast and bright, may even be used.


Most towels aren’t specially designed in complex patterns. The vast majority is straightforward terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at prime and backside. Sizes fluctuate as do colors depending on the order. Increasingly, white or stock towels are sent to wholesalers or others to decorate with computer-pushed embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This happens in a distinct location and is usually performed by another company.

The Manufacturing



– 1 As talked about above, beach towel some factories spin their very own yarn for bath towels. If this is done at the factory, the manufacturer receives big 500 lb (227 kg) bales of both high or “middling grade” (of medium quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (high quality depends upon the producer and high quality of the towel in production). These bales are damaged open by an automatic 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 contain many impurities throughout the raw cotton). The more pure fibers are blown by way of tubes to a mixing unit where the cotton is blended together before they’re spun. Increased high quality towels use cotton with fibers that are blended together 3 times before spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester during this mixing process.

– 2 The combined fibers are then blown by means of tubes to carding machines the place revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and continue to take away impurities earlier than spinning. If you beloved this article and also you would like to collect more info concerning beach towel [new content from Pastelink] please visit the web-site. The cotton fibers, while not yet yarn, are shaping up into parallel fibers in preparation for spinning.

– Three These parallel fibers are then condensed into a sliver-a twisted rope of cotton fibers. These slivers are despatched into another machine in which they’re blended once more and sent between other rollers for straightening. The final word aim is lengthy, straight, parallel fibers as a result of they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require less twisting which additionally produces robust yarns but makes them much less tender and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a big 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, which are coarser and woollier, leaving the finer, longer, silkier cotton fibers for spinning into yarn. As soon as combed, the fibers are formed into a twisted rope sliver once more.

– 5 The slivers journey to roving machines the place the fibers are additional twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving body also barely twists the fibers. The result’s a long roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the ultimate step earlier than spinning.

– 6 Now the roving is prepared for spinning. The bobbin is spun on a ring-spinning machine, which mechanically draws out or pulls the cotton roving out right into a single strand. The fibers essentially catch one another to form one steady thread and twists the thread barely as it’s pulled or As soon as the toweling is made, it’s wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It’s then transported to bleaching as huge rolls of fabric and put right into a water bath with bleaching chemicals corresponding to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary elements. All toweling should be dyed pure white earlier than it is dyed any coloration.

spun. Once the yarn is spun, it is mechanically wound on giant wheels that resemble rounds of cheese when stuffed with thread.


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a piece of woven material which can be tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads referred to as weft or filler are handed below and over the warp to type the fabric. The large spools of just-spun cotton are able to be warped or wound on a beam that can be inserted into the loom for weaving. If the yarn is purchased, the 7.5 lb (3.Four kg) spools are readied for warping. A warping beam is then warped wherein threads are anchored and wrapped to a large beam in lots of of parallel rows. Totally different towel widths require different numbers of warp threads.

– Eight These huge 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 should 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 elevate truck and transported to looms. These looms range in width however could also be as slim as eighty five in (216 cm) or as extensive 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 can bear the weight and size 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 is called the ground warp and forms the physique of the towel and the opposite is named the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Each set of warp threads is fastidiously fed by way of a set of metal eyes and is connected to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that can change in their vertical relationships to one another.) These harnesses mechanically elevate and lower these warp threads in order that the weft or filler might be passed between them. The intersection of the warp and weft is woven fabric. The filler yarn is programmed so that it is loosely laid into the woven fabric. When this loose filler is overwhelmed or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up changing into a little loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and minimize into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are really shot throughout these massive 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 following. 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 throughout once more. A typical towel-weaving machine has 350 shuttle insertions in a single minute-practically six shuttles fired across every second. Thus, towels are woven in a short time on these large mechanized dobby looms. In one small towel-making manufacturing unit, 250 dozen bath towels could be made in one loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms within the manufacturing facility.


– eleven As soon as the toweling is made (it’s one lengthy terry cloth roll and has no starting or end), it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as huge rolls of fabric and put right into a water bath with bleaching chemicals reminiscent of hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and other proprietary components. All toweling have to be dyed pure white before it’s dyed any color. 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 the least as soon as and as many as three times in a large washer to get all chemicals out of the toweling. The toweling is dried, and whether it is to stay white toweling, it is ready to be minimize at the top and bottom, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label hooked up (all of this is completed with one machine).


– 12 If it is to be dyed, the big, dried uncut rolls are taken to large vats of chemical dyes, which have proven over time to supply colorfast toweling after extensive residential laundering. After being immersed within the vat, the toweling is removed and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. An intensive steaming units the colour. The toweling is once more steam-dried, fluffed in the drying course of, after which the dyed towels are ready for slicing, hemming, and labeling.

Chopping, folding, and packaging

– 13 Last visual inspection of the minimize and hemmed towels happens and they’re handfolded and conveyed to packaging, the place computerized packaging tools varieties a bag across 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 control throughout the production course of. If yarn is purchased, it is randomly checked for weight and should be the usual 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 appropriate chemical structure.

In the course of the weaving process, some companies go the cloth over a lighted inspection table. Right here the weavers and quality inspectors monitor the towel for weaving imperfections. Slightly unevenly woven towels may be straightened out and touched up. But those that cannot may be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or fully rejected by the company. As in all elements of the method, visible checks are a key to high quality control-all involved in the process perceive minimum requirements and monitor the product at all times.


Probably dangerous byproducts are sometimes blended within the water that is used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Particularly, the bleaching process consists of components (peroxides and other caustics) that cannot be discharged untreated into any water provide. Many toweling factories run their very own water treatment plants to insure that the water the plant discharges meets minimum requirements for pH, temperature, and many others.

The place to Learn Extra


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