At Soft Line Design, we sell traditional Turkish “peshtemal” towels that have been used for centuries in Turkish baths because they are both absorbent and dry quickly. That may surprise you since they don’t have the classic “terry cloth” feel of a regular bath towel. But most people who try them find that they are just great for the pool, the beach or your bathroom!
For centuries these towels have been woven with 100% cotton on hand-operated looms. We decided to go to the source, to the villages where these towels have been traditionally made, in the province of Denizli, Turkey. We sat down to drink tea with the families who have been passing down the trade for generations. These days, mechanical looms have largely taken the place of handmade work because of the speed of production and higher quality. Some of the towels are also woven with other natural fibers, such as bamboo, which make the towel feel softer.
Natural cotton feels a bit stiff and rough before it is washed. For best results, you should soak the towel for six hours and then wash in warm water before use. This loosens up the cotton fibers, making them softer and more absorbent. Then you can line dry them or tumble dry on low heat. You will find that your towels gets softer the more you use and wash them.