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Folding Towels for Display or Storage | Towel Supercenter

Benefits of Proper Towel Folding

Why should you bother honing your towel-folding skills? A fold is a fold, right? You don’t need to give too much attention to your towels, but consistent and proper folding comes with some benefits. Advantages of consistent towel folding include:

  • Attractive Storage and Display: Neatly folded and stacked towels look much better than randomly folded ones that don’t line up. Even if you don’t often have guests peeking into your linen closet, it’s a refreshing feeling when you reach for a towel and see the neat stacks.
  • Space Saving: Smooth, consistent towels fit into your linen closet better, which helps maximize your storage space. When the stacks are equal in width from top to bottom, you can place them closer together, without wasted space.
  • Reduced Wrinkles: Taking time to fold and smooth your towels keeps them looking great without wrinkles. This won’t affect the absorbency, but it’s a nice treat to step out of the shower to a smooth, wrinkle-free towel.

Taking time to fold and smooth your towels keeps them looking great without wrinkles.

  • Easy Hanging: When you fold the towel with hanging in mind, you can easily put your towels on the towel bar. This cuts down time straightening up the bathroom or preparing for your shower.
  • Faster Drying: Neatly folded towels dry faster after use. Refold the towels in the same way after you use them.

Factors Influencing Folding Styles

Folding towels isn’t difficult, but you may need to make some adjustments based on several factors. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t exist for every situation or every style of towel. The following factors can influence the way you choose to fold your towels:

  • Towel Size: The size of the towel can affect how easy it is to fold it a particular way. A thick towel may be too bulky to roll, for example. A larger towel may need folded over more times than a smaller towel to create a package that is easy to handle and store.
  • Type of Towel: Bath towels make up the bulk of the laundry folding duties, but you also have washcloths and hand towels to consider. Each type of towel has a different ideal folding method for easy storage and use.
  • Storage Size: Your folded towels need to fit well in the available storage space. If you have shallow shelves in your linen closet, you need to fold the towels differently to fit them onto the shelves easily.
  • Intended Use: If you plan to hang a bath towel on a towel bar, it’s easiest to fold it the way you plan to hang it, typically into thirds lengthwise, so you can place it on the bar quickly. If you fold it one way for storage but fold it another way for hanging, you’re adding an extra step to your routine. The same idea works for hand towels. Fold them the way you will hang them to save time.

Where to Fold: In Your Hands vs. on a Flat Surface

You have two main options for where and how to hold your towels. You can hold the towel in your hands, letting in hang down as you fold, or you can lay it flat on a clean, smooth surface, such a tabletop. Both options work well, and it often comes down to personal preference.

Using a flat surface allows you to smooth the towel more than you can when you hold it in your hands. The towel is also less likely to come unfolded when it is on a flat, non-moving surface.

Some people prefer to fold in their hands because it feels faster. This option works well if your arms are long enough to hold a bath towel without it touching the floor. Your also need to be able to reach out to the sides enough to extend the towel fully.

Experiment with both methods to determine which you prefer. You may find you like to use a table for some sizes of towels and hold others.

Folding Washcloths

Washcloths are easy to fold due to the small size. Follow these steps:

1. Fold the washcloth in half one way. Since the dimensions are the same both ways, it doesn’t matter which way you fold it first.

2. Smooth the folded washcloth, making sure the edges line up exactly.

3. Fold the washcloth in half the opposite direction.

4. Smooth the finished washcloth a second time.

5. Make any adjustments needed for the sides to line up into a perfect square.

6. Stack the folded washcloths in a straight pile.

Folding Hand Towels

Hand towels are slightly larger than washcloths, but they are still fairly easy to fold. The small size makes them easy to maneuver, whether you choose to fold them in your hands or on a flat surface.

Here are the steps to fold a hand towel:

1. Hold the towel in your hand or place it on a flat surface. Smooth the unfolded towel to remove wrinkles.

2. Fold one third of the towel toward the middle lengthwise. Smooth the fold.

3. Fold the other edge in toward the middle so it lines up with the fold you just made. This leaves the towel about one-third of its original width with two lengthwise folds. Smooth the towel again.

4. Fold the towel in half the opposite direction so it becomes half its original length.

5. Stack the hand towels in the linen closet so the final fold points outward. This allows you to easily grab just one towel at a time.

Folding Bath Towels for Storage in a Linen Closet

Bath towels use a similar method as hand towels, but they often require a few more folds, especially when you place them on a shelf or in a linen closet for storage. The size of the towel determines how many folds you need. A large bath sheet may need a few more folds to become small enough to fit on a shelf, for example.

The size of the towel determines how many folds you need.

Here is a basic folding method for towels that will eventually hang on a towel rack:

1. Hold the towel by the top corners of one short side with the finished side facing toward you, or place the towel on a flat surface with the finished side facing downward.

2. Shake or smooth the towel gently to release any wrinkles and bumps.

3. Fold one corner toward the middle to about the two-thirds point of the width. This should leave about one-third of the width unfolded. Shake or smooth any wrinkles.

4. Fold the other corner toward the middle so it overlaps the section you just folded in and its edge lines up with the folded edge you just created. Shake or smooth out any wrinkles.

5. Hold the top edge under your chin. Move your hands to the middle of the towel’s length. Release the towel from your chin so it falls down to fold in half.

6. Line up the bottom edges of the towel for an even fold.

7. Fold the towel in half again the same way to create a compact size.

8. Stack the folded bath towels with the folded seam pointing outward before placing on a shelf or in a linen closet.

This basic bath towel folding method works for most storage areas, but there are other ways to fold the towels, depending on your space. Try one of these alternative towel folding options:

  • Instead of overlapping the two lengthwise folds, make the folds meet in the middle. Fold the first long side to the middle of the towel. Then, fold the other long side toward the middle so the edges line up instead of overlapping. Fold the entire towel lengthwise at the middle point so both edges are sandwiched inside the towel. Fold the two ends toward the middle, leaving a slight gap in the middle to prevent a bulge. Fold the towel in half again.
  • For a narrow space, fold the towel in half to bring the two short sides together first. Fold the towel in half the opposite way, lining up the edges. Fold the open hemmed edge toward the middle so it takes about one-third of the width. Fold the other edge to line up with the newly folded side.

Rolling Bath Towels for Storage or Display

Some people prefer to roll towels either for storage or display. In a linen closet, the rolled towels can help save space. In a bathroom display, even rolls offer a stylish way to show off your towels.

Some people prefer to roll towels either for storage or display.

To roll your towels, follow these steps:

1. Fold the towel in half lengthwise. Smooth out the fold and make sure the edges line up.

2. Roll the towel starting at one short end. Keep the towel tight as you roll.

3. Adjust the fold as you roll to keep the towel even and the edges aligned.

4. Place the rolled towel with the exposed seam down so it doesn’t unroll.

Rolled towels work well for a variety of display options within your bathroom. Try displaying your rolled towels in these ways:

  • Wine Rack: Place one rolled towel in each slot on a tabletop wine rack.
  • Basket: Stack the rolled towels in a decorative basket that coordinates with the bathroom’s overall style. Choose a wicker or wire basket.
  • Stacked: If you have an open shelf in the bathroom, make a stack of the rolled towels on the shelf. A pyramid design works well to support the towels so they don’t roll off the shelf.

Fancy Pocket Fold for Hanging

A few extra steps when folding your hand towels creates a little pocket ideal for displaying a washcloth. This setup works well on a towel bar with a folded bath towel as the base, the pocket-folded hand towel center on top, and an accordion-folded washcloth tucked into the pocket.

Follow these steps to create the pocket in the hand towel:

1. Lay the hand towel on a flat surface with the raw edges up.

2. Fold one of the short edges toward the middle about one-quarter of the way.

3. Turn the towel over, making sure the fold stays straight.

4. Fold one long edge toward the middle to about one-third of the way.

5. Fold the other long edge down, overlapping the other section and lining up the edge with the fold you just made.

6. Position the towel so the pocket edge is closest to you.

7. Tuck the outer edge of the pocket inside the top layer.

8. Flip the towel over and hang it on the towel bar.

Now, create a simple washcloth fan to tuck in the pocket. Here’s how to do it:

1. Fold one edge about 1 inch.

2. Fold the washcloth the opposite way another inch, just like you would fold a paper to make an accordion-style fan.

3. Continue folding back and forth in 1-inch increments across the whole washcloth.

4. Fold the washcloth at the midpoint. The top edges fan out in a slight curve.

5. Tuck the folded midpoint down into the pocket on the hand towel.

6. Fan out the washcloth as desired to get a balanced look.

Tips for Folding Towels

You’re well on your way to a well-organized linen closet, but you still may have a few questions. We’ve compiled some of the best tips for making towel folding easier and prettier.

Your towels should be completely dry before folding them.

Try these tips for folding towels:

  • Check for Dryness: Your towels should be completely dry before folding them. Even a small amount of dampness can cause mildew growth.
  • Fold the Raw Edge Inward: Look for the raw edge on the towel before folding. This edge should go inward, so it’s covered up as you fold the towel.
  • Smooth as You go: If you smooth the towel at every stage of folding, you are less likely to end up with bunching or wrinkling in the finished product.
  • Take Your Time: No one wants to spend all day folding towels, but going slow allows you to get consistent folds. Pay attention to how the towel and folds line up as you go.
  • Watch for Bunching: Towels tend to bunch as you fold them if you don’t pay attention.
  • Be Consistent: Consistent folding makes your stacks look neat and organized on your linen closet or on display in your bathroom. Fold all towels the same way, no matter how you choose to fold them. If your towels have decorative elements or bands, stack the towels so those elements line up consistently.
  • Buy a Matching Set of Towels: Your folded towels look the best when they are all the same size and design. The finished product ends up the same size, which allows you to create neat stacks in your linen closet.
  • Stack Your Towels Before Storing: When doing loads of towels, make your stacks before you put them in the linen closet instead of stacking them one at a time on the shelf. It’s easier to get an even, straight pile when you stack them outside the closet and place the whole pile on the shelf at once.

Now that you know how to fold a bath towel, washcloth and hand towel, it’s time to tackle your own linen closet. You may be surprised how any towels you can fit and how neat they look when you use consistent folding practices. 

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