How Bath Towel Is Made – Materials, Manufacturing Process, Making, Historical Past, Used, Composition, Product, Trade

Bath towels are woven pieces of fabric both cotton or cotton-polyester that are used to absorb moisture on the physique after bathing. Bath towels are sometimes offered in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are always the largest of the three towels. Bath towels are typically woven with a loop or pile that is comfortable and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the physique. Particular looms called dobby looms are used to make this cotton pile.

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

Historical past

Until the early nineteenth century, when the textile business mechanized, bath toweling could be relatively costly to purchase or time-consuming to create. There is some question how necessary these sanitary linens have been for the average person-in spite of everything, bathing was not practically as universally in style 200 years ago as it is as we speak! Most nine-teenth century toweling that survives is, indeed, toweling probably used behind or on top of the washstand, the piece of furniture that held the wash basin and pitcher with water in the days before indoor plumbing. A lot of this toweling was hand-woven, plain-woven natural linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs function fancier jacquard-woven colored linen patterns (particularly crimson and white) but these have been extra more likely to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the extra comfortable and absorbent terry cloth replaced the plain linen toweling.

Because the cotton trade mechanized on this country, toweling materials may very well be bought by the yard in addition to in finished goods. By the 1890s, an American home-wife might go to the general retailer or order by way of the mail both woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or may buy terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, cut it to the appropriate bath towel dimension her family liked, 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 in this country in great amount 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 trend ever since.

Raw Materials

Uncooked supplies embody 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 as a way to get the kind of yarn they need for production. However, some factories purchase the yarn from a supplier. 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 comprises 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 range relying on the manufacturer, but could 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 advanced composition, which make towels each colorfast and brilliant, may even be used.


Most towels are not specifically designed in complicated patterns. The vast majority is easy terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at prime and bottom. Sizes vary as do colors depending on the order. Increasingly, white or inventory towels are sent to wholesalers or others to decorate with pc-driven embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This occurs in a special location and is usually finished by one other company.

The Manufacturing



– 1 As mentioned above, some factories spin their very own yarn for bath towels. When you liked this article and also you would like to be given more info with regards to beach towel – Home Page – i implore you to go to our internet site. If this is completed on the manufacturing unit, the manufacturer receives big 500 lb (227 kg) bales of both high or “middling grade” (of medium quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (quality is determined by the manufacturer and quality of the towel in manufacturing). These bales are damaged open by an automated Uniflock machine that nips a bit off the highest 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 inside the raw cotton). The more pure fibers are blown by way of tubes to a mixing unit where the cotton is blended together earlier than they are spun. Increased quality towels use cotton with fibers which are blended collectively thrice before spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester throughout this mixing course of.

– 2 The mixed fibers are then blown through tubes to carding machines the place revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and proceed to take away impurities earlier than spinning. The cotton fibers, whereas not but 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 sent into one other machine through which they are blended once more and sent between other rollers for straightening. The final word objective is lengthy, straight, parallel fibers as a result of they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require less twisting which also produces robust yarns however makes them much less soft 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 here, further 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. 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 further twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving body additionally slightly twists the fibers. The result is a protracted roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the ultimate step before spinning.

– 6 Now the roving is ready 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 basically catch one another to form one continuous thread and twists the thread barely as it is pulled or As soon as the toweling is made, 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 reminiscent of hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and other proprietary ingredients. All toweling must be dyed pure white before it’s dyed any color.

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


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a piece of woven materials which can be tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads referred to as weft or filler are handed underneath and over the warp to form the fabric. The massive spools of simply-spun cotton are able to be warped or wound on a beam that might 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 by which threads are anchored and wrapped to a big beam in lots of of parallel rows. Different towel widths require totally different numbers of warp threads.

– Eight These huge beams, filled with 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 simpler 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 quickly. (1,000 warp ends are pulled over nine cans to dry.) These beams, with coated threads, at the moment are despatched to the looms.


– 9 The beams are picked up by a pallet jack or hydraulic raise truck and transported to looms. These looms vary in width but could also be as narrow as eighty five in (216 cm) or as huge 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 can bear the burden and measurement of the beam.

– 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, meaning every loom has two units or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp known as the ground warp and varieties the body of the towel and the other is known as the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Every set of warp threads is carefully fed by way of a set of metal 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 elevate 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 is loosely laid into the woven fabric. When this free filler is overwhelmed or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up turning 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 across these massive looms at high-speeds-these towel-making looms could have 18 shuttles fired throughout the warp from a firing cylinder. One shuttle follows right behind the subsequent. As soon as the one shuttle shoots across the warp threads, the shuttle drops down and is transported again 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 across every second. Thus, towels are woven very quickly on these large mechanized dobby looms. In one small towel-making manufacturing unit, 250 dozen bath towels may be made in one loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms in the manufacturing unit.


– 11 Once the toweling is made (it is one lengthy terry cloth roll and has no beginning or end), 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 similar to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary ingredients. All toweling have to be dyed pure white before it is dyed any coloration. 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 no less than 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 reduce at the top and backside, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label hooked up (all of this is done with one machine).


– 12 If it is to be dyed, the massive, dried uncut rolls are taken to giant vats of chemical dyes, which have confirmed over time to offer colorfast toweling after extensive residential laundering. After being immersed in the vat, the toweling is removed and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. An intensive steaming sets the color. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed in the drying process, and then the dyed towels are prepared for reducing, hemming, and labeling.

Chopping, folding, and packaging

– 13 Ultimate visual inspection of the reduce and hemmed towels occurs and they’re handfolded and conveyed to packaging, the place computerized packaging gear varieties a bag across the towels and UPC labels are attached to the baggage. These packaged towels are despatched to the inventory room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

High quality Management

Towels are rigorously checked for quality management all through the production process. If yarn is bought, it is randomly checked for weight and must be the standard established by the company (lighter yarn spools indicate the yarn is thinner than desired and will not make as sturdy toweling). Bleach and dye vats are periodically checked for applicable chemical structure.

Through the weaving course of, some corporations pass the cloth over a lighted inspection desk. Here the weavers and high quality inspectors monitor the towel for weaving imperfections. Barely unevenly woven towels could also be straightened out and touched up. However those who can not may be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or fully rejected by the corporate. As in all aspects of the process, visual checks are a key to high quality control-all involved in the method understand minimum requirements and monitor the product always.


Potentially harmful byproducts are often blended within the water that is used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Notably, the bleaching course of includes ingredients (peroxides and different caustics) that can’t 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 so forth.

Where to Be taught Extra


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer 1895 Catalogue and Purchaser’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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