How Bath Towel Is Made – Materials, Manufacturing Process, Making, History, Used, Composition, Product, Industry

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 bought in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are always the largest of the three towels. Bath towels are usually woven with a loop or pile that is mushy and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the body. Special looms called dobby looms are used to make this cotton pile.

Bath towels are generally of a single shade but could also be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-decided pc program pushed designs) and even printed in stripes. Since towels are uncovered to a lot water and are washed on scorching-water wash settings more steadily than other textiles, printed towels might not retain their pattern very lengthy. Most towels have a two selvage edges or finished woven edges alongside the sides and are hemmed (cut and microfiber golf towel sewn down) at the highest and backside. Some toweling manufacturers produce the yarn used for the toweling, weave the towels, dye them, reduce and sew hems, and prepared them for distribution. Others buy the yarn already spun from other wholesalers and solely weave the toweling.

Historical past

Until the early nineteenth century, when the textile trade mechanized, bath toweling could be relatively costly to purchase or time-consuming to create. There is some query how important these sanitary linens have been for the average particular person-in any case, bathing was not almost as universally fashionable 200 years in the past as it’s today! Most 9-teenth century toweling that survives is, certainly, toweling in all probability used behind or on prime 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 natural linen. Fancy ladies’ magazines and mail order catalogs function fancier jacquard-woven colored linen patterns (particularly crimson and white) however these have been more more likely to be hand and face cloths. It wasn’t till the 1890s that the more smooth and absorbent terry cloth changed the plain linen toweling.

As the cotton business mechanized on this country, toweling material might be purchased by the yard in addition to in finished items. By the 1890s, an American home-wife might go to the final retailer or order via the mail both woven, sewn, and hemmed Turkish toweling (terry cloth) or may purchase terry cloth by the ‘y’ard, lower it to the suitable bath towel size her family preferred, and hem it herself. Quite a lot of toweling was out there-diaper weaves, huck-abacks, “crash” toweling-primarily in cotton as linen was not commercially woven on this nation in great quantity by the 1890s. Weaving factories began mass production of terry cloth towels by the end of the nine-teenth century and have been producing them in similar trend ever since.

Uncooked Supplies

Raw materials embody cotton or cotton and polyester, depending 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 to be able to get the kind of yarn they need for manufacturing. Nevertheless, some factories purchase the yarn from a supplier. These yarn spools of cotton-polyester blend yarn is purchased in big 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 should be coated or sized to ensure that it to be woven extra simply. One such industry coating accommodates PVA starch, urea, and wax. Bleaches are usually used to whiten a towel earlier than dyeing it (whether it is to be dyed). Once more, these bleaches range relying on the manufacturer, but might include as many as 10 elements (some 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. Synthetic or chemical dyes, of advanced composition, which make towels each colorfast and vivid, might also be used.


Most towels will not be specially designed in complicated patterns. The vast majority is simple terry towels woven on dobby looms with loop piles, sewn edges at high and bottom. Sizes fluctuate as do colours depending on the order. More and more, white or inventory towels are despatched to wholesalers or others to decorate with laptop-pushed embroidery or decorate with applique fabric or decoration. This happens in a unique location and is often done by another company.

The Manufacturing

Course of


– 1 As talked about above, some factories spin their own yarn for bath towels. If this is completed at the factory, the manufacturer receives huge 500 lb (227 kg) bales of both high or “middling grade” (of medium high quality) cotton for conversion into yarn (quality is dependent upon the manufacturer and high quality of the towel in manufacturing). These bales are broken open by an automatic 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 throughout the uncooked cotton). The more pure fibers are blown through tubes to a mixing unit where the cotton is blended collectively earlier than they’re spun. Increased quality towels use cotton with fibers that are blended collectively thrice before spinning. In some factories, the cotton is blended with polyester during this mixing course of.

– 2 The combined fibers are then blown by way 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 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 sent into one other machine during which they’re blended again and despatched between different rollers for straightening. The last word objective is lengthy, straight, parallel fibers because they produce stronger yarns. (Stronger yarns require less twisting which also produces strong yarns however makes them less gentle and absorbent.) The fibers are wound on a big roll and sent on a cart and fed into the combing machine.

– 4 Fibers are combed right here, further 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 travel to roving machines where the fibers are further twisted and straightened and formed into rovings. The roving body additionally slightly twists the fibers. The result is an extended roving of cotton, which is then wound onto bobbins in the final 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 into a single strand. The fibers primarily catch each other to type one steady thread and twists the thread barely as it is pulled or Once the toweling is made, it is wound on an off-loom take-up reel. It is then transported to bleaching as big rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals comparable to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary substances. All toweling have to be dyed pure white before it’s dyed any colour.

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


– 7 Warp is longitudinal threads in a piece of woven materials which might be tightly stretched or warped on a beam. Latitudinal threads referred to as weft or filler are passed underneath and over the warp to type the fabric. If you have any kind of questions relating to where and just how to use microfiber golf towel (, you can call us at our own site. The large spools of just-spun cotton are ready to be warped or wound on a beam that will be inserted into the loom for weaving. If the yarn is bought, 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 large beam in tons of of parallel rows. Totally different towel widths require totally different numbers of warp threads.

– 8 These huge beams, stuffed with wrapped warp threads, are placed 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 rapidly. (1,000 warp ends are pulled over nine cans to dry.) These beams, with coated threads, are actually despatched to the looms.


– 9 The beams are picked up by a pallet jack or hydraulic raise truck and transported to looms. These looms fluctuate in width but may be as slim as eighty five in (216 cm) or as vast 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 load and measurement of the beam.

– 10 Towels are woven on dobby looms, which means every loom has two units or warp and thus two warp beams-one warp is called the bottom warp and kinds the physique of the towel and the opposite is known as the pile warp and it produces the terry pile or loop. Every set of warp threads is fastidiously fed via a set of metallic eyes and is attached to a harness. (Harnesses are separate, parallel frames that may change in their vertical relationships to each other.) These harnesses mechanically raise and lower these warp threads in order that the weft or filler will be handed 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 free filler is overwhelmed or pressed into the fabric, the slack is pushed up becoming a little bit loop. After being dyed, the towel is hemmed and reduce into standardized sizes.

Shuttles, which carry the filler threads, are really shot across these large looms at prime-speeds-these towel-making looms may have 18 shuttles fired across the warp from a firing cylinder. One shuttle follows proper behind the next. As soon as the one shuttle shoots throughout 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-nearly six shuttles fired throughout each second. Thus, towels are woven in a short time on these massive mechanized dobby looms. In a single 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 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 huge rolls of fabric and put into a water bath with bleaching chemicals comparable to hydrogen peroxide, caustic defoamers, and different proprietary elements. All toweling must be dyed pure white before it is dyed any coloration. 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 whether it is to stay white toweling, it is ready to be lower at the highest 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 big, dried uncut rolls are taken to massive vats of chemical dyes, which have proven over time to supply colorfast toweling after intensive residential laundering. After being immersed in the vat, the toweling is eliminated and pressed between two heavy rollers which forces the dye down into the toweling. A radical steaming units the coloration. The toweling is again steam-dried, fluffed in the drying process, and then the dyed towels are prepared for slicing, hemming, and labeling.

Slicing, folding, and packaging

– thirteen Final visible inspection of the cut and hemmed towels occurs and they’re handfolded and conveyed to packaging, the place computerized packaging equipment varieties a bag across the towels and UPC labels are hooked up to the baggage. These packaged towels are sent to the stock room, awaiting transport out of the plant.

Quality Management

Towels are rigorously checked for high quality management throughout the manufacturing course of. If yarn is bought, it is randomly checked for weight and have to be the usual 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 constitution.

Throughout 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 people who cannot may be labeled “seconds” or imperfect or completely rejected by the corporate. As in all aspects of the process, visible checks are a key to high quality control-all concerned in the process perceive minimal standards and monitor the product always.


Potentially harmful byproducts are sometimes mixed within the water that is used to bleach, wash, and dye the towel fabric. Notably, the bleaching course of includes ingredients (peroxides and other caustics) that cannot be discharged untreated into any water provide. Many toweling factories run their own water treatment plants to insure that the water the plant discharges meets minimum standards for pH, temperature, and so forth.

Where to Study More


Montgomery Ward & Co. Spring and Summer 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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