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Ever wondered what is the name of those very soft towels that you use? Or the robes that you put on after a shower, making you feel like a part of the royalty? Well, we are thankful to a little thing called the terry cloth for this very soft experience. What is terry cloth, you ask? It is a miraculous technology with ancient roots that is still used in the production of cloths in all areas of a house and life in general. Let’s unpack what is terry cloth!
Let’s dive in beneath the surface of this softness. What is terry cloth? Terry cloth is a type of fabric with the ability to absorbe large amounts of water. Because of its structure, the terry cloth is preferred as a material in many different areas. Maybe you are using it on a daily basis, but it is possible that if you are not a textile engineer or a sewer, that you don’t know the name of it. Terry cloth is a part of our daily life.
The terry cloth technology is generally used in towels, regardless of whichever type or shape that it comes. A hand towel that you dry your hands after each time you wash them, a feet towel that you step into right after your morning shower, a nice rope that you put on after the bath that you take at the end of a busy day… All of these materials are made out of terry towel. In addition to that, the terry towel structure can be used as beach towels, in the towels that are used by hair dressers, or in the kitchen to dry the washed dishes or to clean up the wet surfaces. Nevertheless the fact that it is highly absorbent makes the terry towel ready for use in many different areas of life. It is especially the number one choice of parents because it makes the bath time so much fun and so much easier.
The first question in our minds, what is terry towel, is more or less answered. Let’s discover the essence of the terry cloth experience!
The name terry cloth in English is coming from French word “tire”, which means “drawn” or “draw out”. Ttrès Français, isn’t it? However the origin of the terry cloth is not a completely western. The terry cloth is a product of Turkey. In order to understand why the French named, and Turks made; we need to look into the culture!
The Turkish bath, or as it is called in the language hammam, is a very important part of the Turkish culture. Traditionally hammam is the Turkish spa experience, where people come together in a steam room and got deeply cleaned. There are often masseurs, or tellak if you will, to give you a very relaxing bubble massage.
There are many customs revolving around the concept of hammam, including the wedding traditions. Mothers of prospective grooms would check out the beautiful girls of the neighborhood in hammam in order to fid the perfect fit for their sons. The bridal party would visit the hammam before the big day! Especially during the Ottoman Empire, hammam was a place more than a common bath. It was believed to be a very health thing.
Even though today the Turkish baths are less common as a result of the constant hot water and showers in all of the houses, it is still an important part of the culture as a leisurely activity. It is not so difficult to imagine the expansion of a special technique for a towel for hammam-lovers to help them try easily, Therefore the Turkish terry cloth emerged. It is a part of the large textile industry in Turkey and exported to many different manufacturers of the world.
So, what is terry towel exactly? What is so special about it? Its secret is coming from its structure. There are uncut string loops on the fabric. This gives the terry cloth two overlapping surfaces, or warps. The ground warp is the base of the towel and of forms the structure. In addition to that there is also the pile warp which is where the loops are structured. These loops can be observed on either or both side of the towel. Sounds tick, isn’t it? These stings are left uncut purposefully to increase the absorbency of the fabric. Along with the absorbency this second warp makes the terry cloth very soft.
What is terry towel is a question that depends so much on the material that is used to structure it. As a raw material, cotton is the mostly preferred base to make a terry towel. Cotton is specifically preferred in order to create the softness of the product. It makes the terry cloth very soft. In addition to the softness there is also the element of breathing. Unlike fabrics with synthetic qualities, cotton as a raw material breaths. That is what it is traditionally used as a material to make cloths.
One of the most fascinating qualities of the terry cloth is the fact that it is absorbent. Yes, we already mentioned it. But there is no exaggeration here! The terry cloth towels can absorb almost 30 times of its own weight. This is also assured with a combination of cotton as an element of raw material and the loop structure that i t has which works almost like a sponge.
We talked about the French origins of the terry cloth as well as its significance in the Turkish culture. Now we are taking a journey and going ot the past in order to find out when was terry cloth invented.
Just like many other textile products, the first mass manufacturers of the terry cloth were Europeans. It is later mastered by the Turkish manufacturers as well, however its industrial origins are reaching to the English. With the inclusion of steam power to the machinery, the industrial revolution started in the United Kingdom. This process not only revolutionized the textile industry, but also completely changed the structure of the world.
The first known mass industrial producer of the terry towel was the English company Christy. This company dates back to 1833. It was established by William Miller Christy and produced textile products. However his son Henry Christy was unsatisfied with how things are and wanted to come up with a product that would change the company’s whole production and make it famous. His quest took him to Istanbul, then capital of the Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul, he saw the terry toweling, The looped pile of fabric on the surface of the product fascinated him and the decided to bring this “Turkish Towel” to the United Kingdom.
Back at home, Henry Christy and his team started to develop a method to replicate the Turkish Towel. One of the designers in his team found a way to make the terry towel with industrial machinery. This helped the Christy Towels to produce the terry cloth as a fabric that is used with various wet surfaces. Even the Queen Victoria was a customer and that made the terry cloth globally famous.
If you are interested in making your own terry cloth towel, we gathered some tips for you. It might be a little bit tricky to sew the edges of the terry cloth; but with these methods, you can make it easier for yourself!
First of all, when it comes to sewing, it is important to know which way to sew. In order to decide, there is a very easy test. Run your hands on the surface of the terry cloth. If it feels smooth that is the nap and you should sew in that direction.
Second, the question of thread comes to mind. Here oyu are advantaged because the terry cloth can hide the thread in the same color. Try not to choose the exact shade, and go with a contrasting color in order to be able to see it.
It is important to keep in mind that the terry cloth sheds a lot. Once you cut it, you decide that the shed falls down like snowflakes. It is a good idea to cover the surface of the work station in order to make it easier to clean later.
Now it is time to sew the edges. It is a good idea to use pinking shears on the raw edges of your terry cloth fabric. It is also highly significant to take your time. Rushing would only make things worse! Finishing seams are the parts that require special attention. while sewing the edges of the terry cloth, a serger comes in handy as well.
You analyzed it, and you are in love! You want this softness at your own home, we have a great suggestion for you! RobesNmore has a large collection of high quality terry cloth robes. You can find different sizes for womens robes, mens robes and kids robes. There are also terry cloth kimono robes for fashion lovers, terry cloth hooded robes for drying your hair (comes especially hand with children) and terry cloth shawl collar robes for more comfort.
All of the terry cloth robes in RobesNmore comes in various colors. Pink, coral, blue, green… There is a robe for every color on the rainbow. If you are looking for something more traditional, you can go for black or white robes as well.