Turkish Towels are well known for their exceptional softness and thickness which make them stand out among regular towel. These unbelievably plush and cosy towels are an indulgence indeed. Turkish bath towels are typically made of Turkish cotton and can also serve as Beach Towel. These towels are woven with looped pile section in the middle, which makes them extraordinarily fluffy. Turkey ranks amongst the leading three suppliers of cotton towels in the world. So, how and when Turkish towels came into being? Although there are a lot of myths about the actual origin according to the prevalent legend, they originated somewhere in the 18th century in modern day Bursa, Turkey.
Turkish Towels are an absorbent towel that works by having a close yet thick weave. This is opposed to a regular towel that has a loose weave. Where a regular towel will absorb liquid more quickly, but it also holds liquid longer. Turkish Towels will expel liquid more readily and thoroughly, leaving it drier and more able to absorb after wringing. Another factor helping absorbency and expulsion is the material being used-natural versus synthetic. Normal towels contain synthetic materials, which will expel moisture quicker.
Weavers, who initially wove carpets to earn their living, thought of trying out a new way of weaving towels. These weavers used their well-polished carpet weaving skills and invented a revolutionary technique which made drab bath towels look incredibly stylish, plush and thick. Besides making warp and weft of the towel, these weavers also added pile or loops of fibre to it. This weaving technique also increased the absorbency of the bath towels by several times.
Turkish bath towels have a religious significance for the people of Turkey, and thus it forms an important constituent of their social life as well. Initially, Turkish towels were used during the ceremonial bath which the bride takes before her wedding and not only that; they were also used during other important ceremonies afterwards, in life. Turkish Towels also have an irrefutable association with ‘humans’ or ‘Turkish baths’. A complete set of Turkish towels consisting of shoulder, hip and head towels is used for the ‘Turkish baths’.
These Turkish weavers used their style, imagination and creativity to change the entire look and texture of rudimentary towels. They named it ”havly’ ‘ initially, which later came to be known as ‘havlu’ which means ‘towel’ in Turkish. What made Turkish towels even more special was the fact that they were hand woven, which restricted its production count from three to four bath towels per day.
With the passage of time, production of Turkish Cotton was mechanised, and hence they were manufactured on a large scale. With the advent of 19th-century Turkish towels were being exported to many parts of Asia and Europe. Gradually, Turkish bath towel and its weaving techniques became very popular all around the globe, even in the west. The tribute of introducing Turkish towels to the West goes to Henry Christy. He took this exceptionally soft and plush towel to England in 1840. Ten years later his brother Richard Christy found out how the production of these towels can be mechanised. Owing to its high quality and popularity, these days, Turkish towels are being manufactured in many parts of the world and hence are readily available.