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

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Bath towels are woven items of fabric either cotton or cotton-polyester that are 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 at all times the most important 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 coloration however could also be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-decided laptop program pushed designs) or even printed in stripes. Since towels are uncovered to a lot water and are washed on sizzling-water wash settings more frequently than other textiles, printed towels could not retain their pattern very long. Most towels have a two selvage edges or finished 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, minimize and sew hems, and ready them for distribution. Others purchase the yarn already spun from other wholesalers and only weave the toweling.


Until the early nineteenth century, when the textile business mechanized, bath toweling may very well be comparatively expensive to purchase or time-consuming to create. There is some question how important these sanitary linens were for the average person-in spite of everything, bathing was not practically as universally in style 200 years ago as it is right this moment! Most 9-teenth century toweling that survives is, certainly, toweling most likely used behind or on top of the washstand, the piece of furnishings that held the wash basin and pitcher with water in the times before indoor plumbing. A lot of this toweling was hand-woven, plain-woven natural linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs characteristic fancier jacquard-woven colored linen patterns (particularly pink and white) but these had been more prone 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 business mechanized on this country, toweling materials could be bought by the yard in addition to in finished items. By the 1890s, an American house-wife could go to the overall retailer or order via the mail both woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or could purchase terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, cut it to the appropriate bath towel measurement her family appreciated, 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 nation in great amount by the 1890s. Weaving factories started mass manufacturing of terry cloth towels by the tip of the 9-teenth century and have been producing them in related trend ever since.

Raw Materials

Uncooked supplies include cotton or cotton and polyester, relying on the composition of the towel in production. Some towel factories purchase the primary raw materials, cotton, in 500 lb (227 kg) bales and spin them with synthetics in order to get the type of yarn they need for production. However, some factories buy the yarn from a supplier. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester blend yarn is purchased in big quantities 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 should be coated or sized to ensure that it to be woven extra easily. One such business coating comprises PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are typically used to whiten a towel earlier than dyeing it (whether it is to be dyed). Once more, these bleaches fluctuate depending on the manufacturer, but could embrace as many as 10 components (a few 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. Synthetic or chemical dyes, of complex composition, which make towels each colorfast and brilliant, could even be used.


Most towels usually are not specifically designed in advanced patterns. The overwhelming majority is simple terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at top and backside. Sizes vary as do colours relying on the order. Increasingly, white or inventory towels are despatched 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 commonly finished by one other company.

The Manufacturing

Course of


– 1 As talked about above, some factories spin their own yarn for bath towels. If this is done on the manufacturing facility, the producer receives huge 500 lb (227 kg) bales of either high or “middling grade” (of medium high quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (high quality is dependent upon the producer and high quality of the towel in production). If you treasured this article and also you would like to receive more info with regards to beach towel –, i implore you to visit our web-site. These bales are damaged open by an automated 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 inside the uncooked cotton). The more pure fibers are blown through tubes to a mixing unit the place the cotton is blended collectively before they’re spun. Greater high quality towels use cotton with fibers which might be blended collectively thrice earlier than spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester during this blending course of.

– 2 The combined fibers are then blown by means of tubes to carding machines where revolving cylinders with wire teeth are used to straighten the fibers and proceed to remove impurities earlier than spinning. The cotton fibers, whereas not but 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 during which they’re blended again and sent between different rollers for straightening. The final word purpose is lengthy, straight, parallel fibers as a result of they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require less twisting which additionally produces strong yarns however makes them less delicate and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a large roll and despatched on a cart and fed into the combing machine.

– 4 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 right into a twisted rope sliver again.

– 5 The slivers journey to roving machines where the fibers are further twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving frame also barely twists the fibers. The result is an extended roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the ultimate step before 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 primarily catch one another to form one steady thread and twists the thread barely as it’s pulled or Once the toweling is made, it’s 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 resembling hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and other proprietary substances. All toweling must be dyed pure white before it is dyed any color.

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


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a chunk of woven material which are tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads called weft or filler are handed below and over the warp to kind the fabric. The big spools of simply-spun cotton are ready 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 in which threads are anchored and wrapped to a large beam in a whole bunch of parallel rows. Different towel widths require totally different numbers of warp threads.

– Eight These big 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 should 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 rapidly. (1,000 warp ends are pulled over 9 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 differ in width however may be as slender as 85 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 may bear the burden and measurement of the beam.

– 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, meaning every loom has two sets or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp is named the bottom warp and kinds the body of the towel and the other known as the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Every set of warp threads is fastidiously fed by a set of steel eyes and is attached to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that can change of their vertical relationships to each other.) These harnesses mechanically increase and lower these warp threads in order that the weft or filler may be handed 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 crushed or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up becoming somewhat loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and minimize into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are truly shot across these large looms at prime-speeds-these towel-making looms could have 18 shuttles fired across the warp from a firing cylinder. One shuttle follows right behind the next. As quickly because the one shuttle shoots across the warp threads, the shuttle drops down and is transported again to firing cylinder and is shot throughout once more. A typical microfiber towel-weaving machine has 350 shuttle insertions in a single minute-nearly six shuttles fired across each second. Thus, towels are woven very quickly on these large mechanized dobby looms. In a single small towel-making manufacturing unit, 250 dozen bath towels can be made in a single loom in a single week-and there are 50 looms in the factory.


– eleven As soon as the toweling is made (it is one long terry cloth roll and has no starting or end), it’s wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It’s then transported to bleaching as big rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals equivalent to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and other proprietary elements. All toweling have to be dyed pure white earlier than it is dyed any color. The wet toweling laden with chemicals is then subjected to tremendously excessive temperatures. The heat makes the chemicals react, bleaching the towel. The roll is then washed at the very least as soon as and as many as thrice in a large washer to get all chemicals out of the toweling. The toweling is dried, and if it is to stay white toweling, it is ready to be lower at the top and bottom, lock-stitched sewn, and have a label hooked up (all of this is finished with one machine).


– 12 Whether it is to be dyed, the large, dried uncut rolls are taken to large vats of chemical dyes, which have confirmed over time to offer 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. A thorough steaming units the shade. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed within the drying process, and then the dyed towels are prepared for reducing, hemming, and labeling.

Chopping, folding, and packaging

– thirteen Remaining visual inspection of the lower and hemmed towels occurs and they are handfolded and conveyed to packaging, where automatic packaging tools types a bag across the towels and UPC labels are connected to the baggage. These packaged towels are sent to the inventory room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

Quality Control

Towels are rigorously checked for high quality management all through the production course of. If yarn is bought, 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 may not make as sturdy toweling). Bleach and dye vats are periodically checked for acceptable chemical structure.

Through the weaving course of, some corporations move the cloth over a lighted inspection table. Right 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 people who can not may be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or completely rejected by the company. As in all aspects of the method, visual checks are a key to high quality control-all involved in the method perceive minimum requirements and monitor the product at all times.


Potentially harmful byproducts are sometimes blended in the water that is used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Particularly, the bleaching course of includes substances (peroxides and different 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 standards for pH, temperature, and so on.

The place to Study More


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer season 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.

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