What Makes Terry Towels so Absorbent?

Absorbency of terry towels

The main aim of the towel is to dry our hand or body. That’s why we produce almost all terry towels with cotton because the cotton fibers absorbency is too higher.

On the other hand, The cotton yarn gets stronger when wet and it can be washed in very hot water using strong bleach and detergent without harm. Especially for hotel textiles, it is the best choice!

Cotton can absorb up to 17 times its own weight in water. Let me give you a simple example to understand that;

A hand towel weight, 50×100 cm, 500 gsm ( 250 gr/pc) can be 5 kg when it gets!

That is absolutely not a good thing for our environment because we really consume too much water to wash towels!

💡 Poly-Cotton Terry Towels&Bathrobes: ı suggest laundries or hotels using polycotton towels or bathrobes to decrease water consumption to save the planet and MONEY – That will be another topic in the next days!

So what is the secret magic of the terry towels?

Terry towel is made with looped pile and the loops act like very small sponges. There are almost 100 piles in the 1cmx1cm. The piles increase the surface area of the towels.

Loosely twisted loops are softer and more absorbent than tightly twisted loops, which produce a rougher fabric. We call them ”Soft Twist Towels”.

The long pile is more absorbent than a short pile in terry towels. It is all about the surface area of the cotton yarns. More pile height means more surface area.

Terry towel is most absorbent when it has loops on both sides. There are also some light-weight beach towels. Their one side has terry piles and the reverse side is plain towels. We call them peshterry towels.

The towel produced by double-ply pile yarn also has higher absorbency than the towels produced by single-ply pile yarns.

White or light-colored towels have slightly better water absorbency than the dark-colored towels. Because dark-colored towels have more dye chemicals on the fibers. Those chemicals prevent water penetration into fibers.

If you like that article, you can read my another article about yarn types for towels: Choosing Towels | Yarn Properties