How to Choose the Best Towel Fabric | Towel Supercenter

Towels are necessary to daily life — whether we use them for drying off after a bath or a swim, or for all sorts of various cleaning duties, towels serve a variety of purposes. With so many different types of towels on the market, it can be hard to know which type is best for you. From microfiber to cotton to chamois, among other types of towels, how do you know which to choose? Each of these towel types excels at different tasks, so you need to know what you want the towel to do to determine the best towels for you. We’ll go over these main types of towels, what uses each is best for, and how to choose the right ones for you.

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 What Fabric Is Used for Towels?

There are many different types of towels, each made of different materials, but here we’ll focus on three main towel categories — microfiber, cotton and chamois. Each of these fabrics has different properties, so they are ideally suited for different purposes. Let’s start by exploring these three towel fabrics more closely:

  • Microfiber: As the name suggests with this type of fabric, microfiber is made up of lots of tiny fibers. These fibers are generally made from plastic derivatives, mostly polyester and polyamide — also known as nylon — but they can include different ratios of these two materials, as well as other fiber types too. The fibers in this cloth are manufactured to be thinner than human hair and even silk and are woven in a way that splits the fibers, making the cloth ultra-absorbent. Towels made of microfiber are incredibly soft and lightweight, and once used to mop up moisture, easy to wring out and use again.
  • Cotton: One of the most popular towel choices available, cotton fabric has been around for hundreds of years. Cotton is the earliest known material used for towels and is a natural resource, harvested from cotton plants and manufactured into fabric. With a soft, comfortable feel, cotton towels are most commonly used for bath towels in both homes and businesses. The downside to cotton is that it has a lower absorbency than the other fabrics, and can take longer to dry.
  • Chamois: Originally introduced in the 1920s as a shirt fabric, chamois is a fabric made from cotton, viscose, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or a combination of these. It feels similar to flannel. The fabric is relatively heavy, tightly woven and very absorbent. Chamois towels do get very heavy when wet, but they are very good for drying off and easy to wring out and use again.

What Material Is Best for Towels?

With so many different choices for towel fabric — not to mention colors and sizes — it can be difficult to know which type is right for you. There is no one right answer here, as it depends on how you will use the towel. Each of these three main types of towels has some clear advantages and disadvantages that suits it for different industries, businesses and uses. We’ll cover the pros and cons of each of these towel types next.

Microfiber Towels

These cleaning powerhouses are made from tiny fibers of plastic-derived materials. The concentrated, tiny fibers make this type of towel great at absorbing liquids and effectively cleaning up messes. Microfiber towels are an excellent choice as a cleanup tool for restaurants, bars, hotels and many other types of businesses. Here are some of the best advantages of using microfiber towels:

  • Compact and lightweight: The nature of the small fibers in microfiber towels makes them incredibly lightweight when compared to other towels, especially cotton-based ones. Easy to fold and carry, microfiber towels can be ideal for a travel bag or in camping gear. Throw one in your suitcase or backpack, and it won’t weigh you down like other towels.
  • Durable: Microfiber towels last an incredibly long time, especially when cared for properly. The fibers in microfiber towels are incredibly strong and designed to last, even with heavy use and wear and tear. These towels can remain in great condition for anywhere from 500 to 1,000 washes.
  • Great for cleaning: Microfiber towels are ideally suited for cleaning tasks. For everything from household chores such as doing the dishes, kitchen cleanup and dusting to business tasks such as wiping down tables or industrial cleanup in workshops and auto shops, these effective, absorbent towels make cleaning a breeze. The super-thin, plastic-derived fibers have a slight static charge, which means they can act as a dust magnet, easily trapping dirt and debris in the cloth’s fibers. Microfiber towels can be used wet or dry, and require very little cleaning solution to work effectively. This can save you tons of money on chemicals and cleaning products.
  • Quick drying: Microfiber towels dry out very quickly, which means they are fast and easy to clean. And in more humid climates, this can be a huge benefit, as it prevents mildew growth and bad smells.

Some of the disadvantages of microfiber towels include:

  • Special care instructions: While it’s not difficult to take care of microfiber towels, some extra care is necessary to keep them working at their best potential. Microfiber towels should only be washed with other microfiber fabrics to avoid attracting extra lint. You also need to avoid heat when washing and drying, which can melt the tiny fibers, as well as fabric softeners, which can clog the fibers and cause buildup that reduces the effectiveness of the cloth.
  • Environmental issues: Microfiber towels can save certain resources by using fewer paper towels and requiring less cleaning chemicals. However, as a petroleum by-product, microfiber is not biodegradable, and as it breaks down, the micro-plastics can contribute to the destruction of aquatic life and habitats.
  • Tough on sensitive skin: The tiny fibers of microfiber cloth that are so good at grabbing dust particles also grab at dry skin and any other skin imperfections, making it an uncomfortable choice for anyone with sensitive skin.

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Cotton Towels

advantages of cotton towels

As noted above, cotton fabric has been around for hundreds of years, and cotton towels have been a common and popular choice for generations. There are a wide variety of types of cotton to choose from, with Egyptian cotton and Turkish cotton often considered the highest quality. Cotton fabric comes from the cotton plant, which can also be grown organically, making it even more environmentally friendly. There are many advantages to cotton towels, including:

  • Affordability: While more luxurious types of cotton exist too, for the most part, cotton is easy and affordable to produce. Even some of the cheapest cotton still provides a good quality towel.
  • Easy to wash: Cotton towels are one of the easiest linens to launder. Just wash, dry and go! No need to worry about specific care instructions or complicated cleaning routines.
  • Premium softness: For a luxurious, plush feel to your bath towels, cotton is the perfect choice. Cotton towels provide the ultimate in softness and plushness. It’s no wonder that premium cotton towels are the top choice for hotels, as well as salons and spas, to give customers a luxurious touch while they are pampered in comfort.
  • Breathable: As a natural fiber, cotton is very breathable, allowing air to pass through easily. This makes them more comfortable as a bath towel and aids in their drying ability.
  • Natural and biodegradable: Cotton is harvested from plants and made into fabric, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than synthetic options. When they reach the end of their lives and are thrown away, cotton towels eventually biodegrade. Cotton can also be grown organically, which is an even better choice and further reduces its environmental impact.

Some of the disadvantages of cotton towels are:

  • More prone to damage: The natural fibers in cotton fabric are more susceptible to wearing out more quickly than synthetic options. Cotton is also more prone to shrinking in the wash, affecting the overall size of the towel.
  • Heavy when wet: Cotton towels don’t wring out as easily as other options such as microfiber or chamois and hold on to their moisture longer. This means that the wet towels are much heavier to carry around. If you use cotton terrycloth towels on the beach, they can pick up a lot of sand as well.
  • Longer drying time: Because cotton towels hang on to moisture and are not always as easy to wring out as alternatives such as microfiber or chamois, they can also take a long time to dry. Whether you’re using a dryer or air-drying the towels, cotton towels typically have a longer drying time when compared to other types of towels.

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Chamois Towels

Also referred to as “shammies,” chamois towels have a soft felt-like or flannel texture and are great for quickly absorbing moisture. These towels are often seen with professional swimmers at the pool due to their superior absorption. They are also ideal for cleaning cars and drying off pets after a bath as well as light dusting and other household chores. Here are some of the advantages of using chamois towels:

  • Superior absorbency: Chamois towels are some of the best when it comes to soaking up moisture. This is what makes them so ideal for professional swimmers and divers needing to dry off quickly after a swim. And for car enthusiasts wanting a perfect finish after a car wash, a chamois towel is a great choice. When used for drying a car, the chamois towel absorbs moisture and acts as a squeegee, pushing any excess moisture away from the surface. A chamois towel can be wrung out until it feels nearly dry and used again and again.
  • Incredibly lightweight: When dry, chamois towels are small and very lightweight, making them an excellent choice for travel or camping. They are easy to wring out as well, so when it’s time to come home, you’re not carrying around much heavier, wetter towels.

Some of the disadvantages of chamois towels are:

  • Not comfortable on the skin: While chamois is incredibly absorbant, many people report that it can feel like drying off with a pair of wet blue jeans. Chamois is a purely functional towel and doesn’t offer the same comfort as wrapping up in a big plush cotton bath towel. Because they are less comfortable, chamois towels are generally only available in smaller sizes, not in full bath towel sizes.
  • Special washing instructions: Just as with microfiber towels, chamois cloth should be cleaned without fabric softeners or heat. Don’t use hot water or heated settings on the dryer when cleaning chamois.

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How to Choose the Best Towels for Your Business

With all of this in mind, how should you go about choosing the right kind of towels for your business? Evaluate your needs and determine what the towels will be used for. Do you need towels for customers or clients to use to dry off, or are the towels more for dusting, cleaning and other purposes?

For any business that uses towels for client use — pools, gyms, salons, spas, hotels and more — cotton towels are probably your best bet. Cotton towels offer the best option for softness, comfort and plush luxury. So your customers can dry off after a swim or shower, or wrap up for a spa treatment and feel pampered with soft, plush cotton towels.

If the towels are for cleaning purposes, consider other options such as microfiber or chamois cloths. For hotel housekeeping, restaurants and bars, or for cleanup at salons and spas, chamois and microfiber towels are perfect to have on hand. These cloths make easy work of dusting and cleaning up messes, and should be in ample supply at any type of business.

Order Wholesale Towels From Towel Supercenter

Once you’ve decided on the best types of towels for your business’s needs, stock up at Towel Supercenter. With discount prices on wholesale towels, Towel Supercenter is your destination for the best selection in all types of towels — and in all shapes, sizes and colors too. You’ll be sure to find just what you’re looking for at a great price. Our website makes finding the right towels easy — categories of towels are neatly organized by quality, application and size. And when you order in bulk at Towel Supercenter, you’ll save even more.

Order all of your bulk towels from Towel Supercenter and experience our premium quality, streamlined ordering process, and super fast shipping. All of your towels will be delivered to your place of business ready to use. You — and your customers — will be pleased with the quality of the towels at Towel Supercenter.

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