What Towel Grade Do I Need?

What Towel Grade Do I Need?

They say luxury is a state of mind, but we know that the towels you use can be the difference between patting one’s face with fluffy fabric and what may feel like rubbing one’s body with scratchy, worn-out cloth. So, how do you go about picking towels that are heavy, soft and absorbent enough — especially when shopping wholesale towels online?

To understand what towel grade you need, we need to dive deeper into defining thread counts, understanding what towel GSM is and how they work together to create all the varied towel products you’ve come to love.

What Does Thread Count Mean for Towels?

Thread count refers to how many threads go across, both horizontally and vertically, within one square inch of towel fabric. Unlike bedding, the thread count and weight of towels are measured in grams per square meter (GSM). Many different factors play into a towel’s thread count, but typically, a higher thread count means the towel is heavier and more absorbent.

Does Towel Thread Count Matter?

Does Towel Thread Count Matter?

When choosing towels for your guests, thread count matters. Towels with a high thread count are very plush, soft, durable and absorbent — like Egyptian cotton towels. These towels, when cared for properly, last for years and are a staple in many spas and hotels.

Although it may seem like a fairly straightforward practice, some businesses have bent the rules of thread count in the past. They would indicate the thread count as the number of strands instead of the number of threads. Multiple strands of cotton make up one thread, so counting each small fabric strand can result in an exaggerated thread count.

When examining thread count, make sure you examine:

  • The number of threads per square inch
  • High-quality stitching with tightly packed, thick loops
  • Whether you can see the base layer
  • How heavy it feels

Heavier towels with more material and denser loops will feel softer and provide more volume for absorbency. A heavy towel means more threads were used, adding to its overall quality. Lightweight towels where you can see the base easily have less material and won’t absorb a lot of water or feel soft.

Different Types of Thread Construction

The number of threads per inch is only part of the main picture when choosing towels. The type of thread and how the towel is constructed also contribute to the durability and quality of the towels. Double-turned edges, double stitches and tightly packed loops make a huge contribution to the final product, but the construction technique used for the threads is critical.

Here are four common techniques:

  1. Combed: With combed threads, the fibers are combed, and the manufacturing process removes shorter threads. This leaves only the strongest, longest and highest quality threads for weaving the end products.
  2. Twist: With this technique, the threads are twisted together at various rates to achieve different results. For instance, a high-twist thread yields a more durable and stronger towel. However, low-twist threads result in towels with a softer and smoother feel.
  3. Ringspun: Ringspun, unlike the combed cotton, combines the short and long-staple threads, twisting them together tightly, making a stronger and smoother thread. This results in a more luxurious feel than with combed cotton.
  4. Terry: A terry towel uses extra thread to create larger thread loops, which results in a higher absorbency towel.

Different Types of Thread Construction

Ordinary towels can break down after many laundry days with frequent washings. Commercial towels need to be extremely durable — without losing absorbency. That’s why towels come in multiple colors and weights while keeping their shape and softness. If you’re still uncertain about the quality you need when shopping online, you can look for other categories or shop by application to ensure you buy towels that will last for their function.

What Is GSM?

In addition to thread count and thread construction, factor in GSM in towels. What does GSM mean in towels, exactly? It describes the towel’s thickness or linear density and is the standard measurement for the fabric’s quality and weight. Towels are typically between 300 to 900 GSM. As with thread count, the higher the GSM number, the thicker the towel.

Why is towel thickness such a big deal?

  1. Thick towels are highly absorbent, making drying simple.
  2. A weighty, soft towel provides a sense of comfort.
  3. Thick towels often withstand more wear and tear.

When shopping for wholesale towels, consider this general GSM breakdown to help you make an informed decision:

  • 300 to 400 GSM: The towels are thinner and lighter, meaning they’ll dry quicker. These are ideal for the kitchen or gym.
  • 400 to 600 GSM: Standard bath and beach towels that are thicker and heavier normally fall within this GSM category. 
  • 600 to 900 GSM: Usually considered luxury material, these towels are thicker and heavier, thereby offering amazing absorbency. They’re the least favorable option for commercial purposes.

A higher towel GSM means it will soak more water up, but take longer to dry. Standard cotton towels are made and priced for everyday use. On the other hand, the more costly towels, such as the premium varieties Pima and Egyptian cotton, have much longer threads that allow them to have more moisture-absorbent loops per inch.

Towel loops improve the absorbency of a towel by trapping water drops in their hoop. Although there’s no way to measure the absorbency of a towel without actually trying it, towels with higher thread counts will likely provide more towel loops, meaning they will offer maximum absorbency.

How to Understand a Towel’s GSM

There are drawbacks to purchasing towels with very high or low GSM ratings. You’ll find the best middle ground from purchasing towels with GSMs that fall in the middle range. However, to determine where this middle range falls, it’s necessary to break down the meaning of GSM in towels:

  • 200 GSM: A GSM of 200 is typical for economy towels. These are towels you might buy if you’re looking for something inexpensive and easy to throw away. They will be quite thin, but still good for wiping down surfaces and other simple tasks.
  • 400 GSM: 400 GSM represents a very middle-of-the-road towel. Think of your average beach or bath towel, and you’ll have a good idea of what 400 GSM feels like. They offer consistent, reliable performance and feel soft without being too heavy. Towels falling in this category also perform well in humid areas.
  • 600 GSM: Towels with 600 GSM are high quality. Businesses that need luxury items often use these towels as they possess superior absorption abilities. You can count on them to perform well for many years.
  • 800 GSM: These towels represent serious luxury. They’re extremely absorbent and beautifully soft on the skin for fantastic long-term performance.
  • 800+ GSM: Towels can generally rate as high as 900 GSM and still function extremely well. Once the number begins to climb much higher than 900, however, you may start to run into some of the pitfalls of handling towels that are too heavy and take much longer to dry.

How Does GSM Determine the Thickness of a Towel?

GSM measures the density of a towel’s loops, otherwise known as its pile. But how does this translate into a towel’s thickness? It’s simple — the denser a towel’s loops are, the thicker, fluffier and softer the towel feels. In contrast, if a towel has only a few loops, this towel will feel thin and rough. It may even feel scratchy along the skin.

Although this is certainly a factor, a towel’s thickness is about more than comfort levels. More dense towels will feel soft against the skin, but they will also absorb far more liquid. It’s a matter of how much fabric — or how many loops — a towel has. Towels with a lot more fabric can absorb moisture more easily. It will take far longer for this towel to reach the point of saturation when it can’t absorb any more.

In comparison, thin towels contain much less fabric in their composition, and thus, have lower absorption power. It will take a smaller amount of water before these towels hit the point of critical mass where they can’t absorb any more. They may feel light and flimsy, but they can be loaded in bigger bundles for washing and dry quickly afterward.

How Does GSM Determine the Thickness of a Towel?

GSM directly correlates to a towel’s thickness and by extension its absorption levels.

  • The higher a towel’s GSM, the thicker the towel.
  • The lower the GSM, the thinner the towel.

Knowing the GSM towel grade can also help to estimate the degree of other factors, such as softness and absorption.

Can a Towel Be Too Thick?

Thick towels have a whole host of benefits, including superior absorbency, longer lifespan and increased softness on the skin. But can a towel reach a point where it’s too thick and no longer desirable? Would it become less useful if you were to keep adding fluffiness? While a thick towel is wonderful, it becomes more absorbent as its thickness increases. 

Because this material is so efficient at absorbing water, it’s difficult to get rid of it. This turns out to be a real problem when it comes to washing your towels. Washing machines saturate towels with soap and water in the cleaning process and dryers use intense blasts of heat to dry them out.

Washing extremely absorbent towels, such as those with high GSM counts, brings up a few challenges:

  • More than one drying cycle is necessary to remove all moisture
  • Higher energy consumption from using washing machines and dryers regularly
  • Washing process takes longer to complete without overloading the washing machine
  • Higher water consumption from regular washing
  • Fewer towels can be washed per washing cycle

Even though it’s inconvenient to wash thick, heavy towels after every use, it becomes even more problematic if you wash them only after a couple of uses. In ordinary cases, after using a towel, one would hang it up where it air-dries slowly until it’s ready. The problem with extremely thick towels is that this air-drying process takes too long to be effective — if it happens at all.

This means that the next time you grab your towel to use it, it will probably still be damp and chilly. Plus, since it has been wet for so long, it may also have developed a slight smell. Towels can be breeding grounds for bacteria if you leave them in a damp state for too long.

Thick towels are wonderful products to stock in your home or use in your business. They’re more effective for drying, feel gentler on the skin and last longer. For this reason, we can say that thicker towels offer superior performance and are more reliable in every situation. If these are the qualities you’re looking for, then thicker towels are undeniably better than their thin counterparts.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for an inexpensive towel that you can easily throw away after a handful of uses, then a thick, luxurious towel is not the best choice. To prevent a lack of drying ability, a musty odor and the growth of bacteria, it’s best to avoid buying towels that are too thick. Seek out a happy medium instead of buying the very thickest towel you can find.

What’s the Best GSM for Wholesale Towels?

When choosing the best towel weight, it is a matter of personal preference or the type of business you run. You wouldn’t want to offer your guests bath towels below 400 GSM if you’re running a hotel — you’d probably want to go with a towel weight of 600 GSM or higher. Lower GSM towels may dry faster, but they absorb less water.

Additionally, you need to judge the towels by more than their in-store softness. Many towels come with added softener from manufacturers to make them appear soft and fluffy, but will start to feel rough and coarse after several washes. One great way to ensure the luxurious longevity of your towels is to look for the “made from 100 percent cotton” label. Cotton fibers absorb water naturally and can hold about 25 times its weight in liquid.

Most towels are made from cotton. However, there are various high-end cotton towels with different GSM rates and levels of quality to look for when buying wholesale towels, including:

  • Economy quality: Economy-quality towels come in various sizes and shapes, from bath towels to washcloths. They’re the best type of cotton towel if you’re looking for thirstiness and quick drying.
  • Premium quality: The fibers in the premium quality towels are looped more tightly and provide more fluffiness than the economy-quality towels.
  • Premium-plus quality: You’ll typically find these top-line, premium-plus quality towels in hotels, spas and country clubs as they are the highest quality level of wholesale towels.

Types of Wholesale, Durable Towels at Towel Super Center

Deciding on the best wholesale towels for your business involves much more than simply the type and color. When choosing towels for your customers and guests, you’ll want to look at factors like feel, size, weight and quality. You also need to buy towels that suit your type of business — hotel guests will find small, low-absorbancy towels impractical as much as gym patrons will find huge, luxurious towels needlessly cumbersome.

No matter what your business is, Towel Super Center has wholesale towels available in bulk for you. See some examples of our inventory:

  • Gym towels: When working out at the gym, no doubt your patrons will break out in a sweat. Therefore, you’ll need to provide a quality gym towel to keep your patrons dry and wipe the sweat off the gym equipment. Offering quality gym towels will provide your patrons with an added special touch to their gym experience.
  • Spa towels: If you are a spa or salon owner, you no doubt require an endless amount of towels each day. Whether you’re using towels on a customer’s hair after a perm or coloring or providing them to your customers to dry their hands or steam their face, you can’t have enough fresh spa or salon hand towels on hand. White-colored towels are ideal because they retain their quality in both hue and texture. Premium hand towels are made with resilience and durability.
  • Hotel towels: When running a hotel, supplying rooms with thin 300 GSM towels will just not do. You want soft and fluffy, luxurious hotel-quality bath towels that your guests expect from any hotel. These towels’ GSM rating are usually on the higher end of the scale.
  • Yoga towels: Yoga studios also need towels in various colors and sizes. There are many different qualities of yoga towels, both economical and premium for just the right level of comfort.
  • Grooming towels: If you run a pet grooming company, you need a dependable set of tools, alongside durable towels. Towels for pets need to be strong, absorbent and easy to clean, which makes investing in high-quality grooming towels essential.
  • Bleach-resistant towels: When you own or manage a spa, hotel, restaurant or salon, you no doubt want to have your towels washed with bleach. If your signature towels match your brand’s colors, then bleach-resistant colored towels offer the safeguard you need to keep those colors vibrant.
  • Rally towels: Rally towels are great for marketing or encouraging support and unity at different events. These towels are soft and strong and even have enough space to print any messages or designs.
  • Cleaning towels: Whether you manage bar counters or restaurant tables, you need high-quality cleaning towels and materials to keep your space in tip-top shape.
  • Car wash towels: As a car wash dealer, you know the importance of using suitable towels and products for car washing, detailing and polishing. Choosing the right towel for cleaning cars makes all the difference.
  • Golf towels: Golf clubs need to provide everything that golfers may need for their game, including towels. You can easily select from a wide range of sizes and colors to match your establishment’s aesthetic.

Shop for High-Quality Wholesale Towels at Towel Super Center

Shop for High-Quality Wholesale Towels at Towel Super Center

No matter what kind of business you run, we understand that you need high-quality towels to use and supply freely with pride. That’s why we stock a wide selection of towels in a variety of sizes and colors, from simple economy to premium plus luxury. We are committed to offering you the most extensive range at very affordable prices.

Ensure you buy enough towels that match in quality, size or color and have them delivered to your front door without the hassle of heading to multiple stores. Shop for high-quality wholesale towels at Towel Super Center today.

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What Towel Grade Do I Need?

what towel grade to I need?

While many people know that there are different types of towels for different purposes, you probably don’t realize that there are different materials used for towels associated with those different purposes. And examining what types of materials and weaving processes are used in different towels will ensure that you will be able to get the best type of towels for your desired use.

Many types of towels are made of cotton. The appearance and feel of towels will be dependent upon the type of cotton that is used and the amount of synthetic materials that may be combined with the cotton. Towels used for most purposes will be made primarily from cotton, but the most luxurious bath towels are made from Egyptian cotton.

As towels increase in expense, they will have threads that are longer and more fibrous. This means that there are a greater number of threads per inch to be able to absorb more moisture. These towels have a greater number of grams per square meter (GSM). Most spas or expensive hotels will have towels with a higher GSM, and these towels are often made of Egyptian cotton, though some have started using the popular American-grown version of Egyptian cotton, which is known as pima. Pima is used to make towels of similar quality and feel to those made from Egyptian cotton.

Bath Towel Materials

Bath towels have a variety of purposes. They can be mostly ornamental, and they can be functional as both a way to dry off after a shower or as a luxurious indulgence after coming out of a long soaking bath after the end of a difficult day.

As part of a bath towel buying guide, you will need to look at certain elements such as size, color, weight, type of fabric and how it’s made when choosing your particular bath towel. Though most bath towels are made from cotton, there are different materials that may be used in bath towels, and you will want to take a look at these various materials when selecting your bath towels to ensure you get the perfect towel for your needs.

organic cotton bath towels

  • Organic cotton bath towels are made from cotton materials that have not been impacted by any pesticides or herbicides. These types of towels are extremely environmentally friendly. Towels that are made from this type of cotton will feel no different from those made of non-organic cotton, but they must be certified that they are made from cotton that has been grown without using any fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
  • Hemp bath towels are another popular choice for environmentally conscious buyers, as they are naturally resistant to mildew. Users of hemp towels claim that they are even more absorbent than cotton, will last longer and can resist mildew much more easily than cotton.
  • Bamboo towels are made from either a combination of cotton and bamboo or of just bamboo. These towels are very absorbent and are made from a plant that is anti-bacterial, because of its natural properties. The bamboo plant also grows well in an environment where it does not attract any bugs or other pests.
  • Egyptian towels create the feeling of luxury and are very long-lasting. These types of towels are great for wrapping yourself in after a nice hot bath or long shower, because of the long cotton fibers that are used in these towels. Egyptian towels are very durable and made from cotton of high-quality.

    They’re also very fluffy, and are often considered the epitome of luxury and soak up water very quickly. Make sure when you’re purchasing Egyptian towels that they are actually made of 100% Egyptian cotton, as sometimes manufacturers will advertise that their towels are made with Egyptian cotton when they actually have other materials included with them. Bath towels advertised for “luxury” may advertise that they are Egyptian cotton, when they actually include other synthetic materials to give them a shinier look, which also has the effect of making them less absorbent.

  • Pima cotton towels are grown from the cotton plant used to make Egyptian cotton, except these towels are made from plants that are grown in the southwestern areas of the United States. These types of towels have a reputation for being very absorbent and durable.

Microfiber bath towels have unique cleaning properties.

  • Microfiber bath towels are a relatively new type of towel that’s popular, because they have unique cleaning properties which allow them to trap substances such as dirt, flaky skin and makeup without the use of harsh chemicals. These types of towels are made from manufactured materials, such as a combination of polyester and fibers made from polyamide.

    There are only man-made materials used in these towels. They also store easily and dry faster than any other towels. Microfiber towels are thinner than cotton towels and weigh less, though they are excellent at absorbing water. They are perfect for getting water out of wet hair and are not too heavy to wrap around your head.

  • Turkish bath towels are luxurious in the same manner as their cousin, the Egyptian bath towels. While the cotton which is grown near the Aegean Sea is both soft and strong, it is not as absorbent as Egyptian cotton. The luxury and lesser absorbent properties of this type of cotton towel make it the perfect towel to use in a very humid climate.
  • Suvin cotton bath towels are made from a very rare cotton. This type of towel feels very soft to the touch and is one of the most luxurious towels available.
  • Modal bath towels are made from the cellulose that is found in beech trees. Bath towels made of this product are said to be even more absorbent than cotton towels, and may not fade as quickly as cotton towels.

Bath Towel Sizes

In addition to being made from different types of materials, bath towels come in different sizes. They can be made as big as bath sheets, which are the largest towels available, and provide greater coverage. They’re used in spas, alongside the smallest wash cloths that are used to wash your hands and face, whether you’re in the shower or bath tub or you’re cleaning up quickly outside of the shower.

Between the extremes of the bath sheet and the wash cloth is the bath towel, which is easier to hang up and wash than the bath sheet. A towel that is smaller than the bath towel is the hand towel, which is used to dry your hands and is stored on towel racks. Hand towels can be just as decorative as their counterparts, the finger towels, which are slightly smaller than the hand towels and may be used to accentuate the decorations in the bathroom.

Another standard type of towel is the tub mat, which is very absorbent and is placed outside of the shower or tub to prevent your floor from getting wet. This type of towel is woven in a tight weave and measures about the same size as a bath towel: around 27 inches by 52 inches.

Weight also makes a difference with bath towels. Though you can have regular bath towels that will weigh around 21 ounces, luxury bath towels will weigh more — between 24 and 28 ounces. Though part of the description of a good towel is that it feels heavy, it may be possible to have a heavy towel that is inferior to a lighter towel, because the heavier towel is made from cotton of a lower grade.

Weaving Process for Bath Towels

Though the quality of the types of materials used in the towels will help determine the overall quality of the towel itself, it is important to look at how the materials are put together when making the towel. The actual construction of the yard fibers will turn those quality fibers into a quality towel, and there are a few common methods of putting the threads together.

  • Combed cotton bath towels are formed in a manner just like their name indicates. They are combed so that only the longer, stronger threads are remaining, and any shorter threads are removed. The longest threads are then made into the bath towel.
  • Terry cloth bath towels are made when yarn is woven with loops of thread that are larger. Adding the extra loops mean that the material becomes more absorbent.
  • Ringspun cotton bath towels are constructed when longer and shorter fibers are woven together to create a yarn that is actually smoother than combed cotton towels. The combination of the shorter and longer fibers makes for a stronger yarn, which in turn makes towels that are strong and very durable. These towels are not likely to fade, and are able to withstand much washing and drying.

soft no twist yarn

  • Towels that have no twist to them means there’s no twisting used in the yarn, making the towel feel softer. These towels are made from yarn that’s called “zero-twist yarn,” and these types of towels are very absorbent. Those who prefer zero-twist towels believe that the lower number of twists in the yarn means that the towel will be more plush. These towels not only soak up moisture, but are also not extremely heavy, and will not weigh down towels racks.

Towel Grade Chart

Though the materials used in the towel and the weave will help you determine what towel will be most appropriate for your needs, there is another method of choosing the type of towel that you want. It’s based on a grading system.

Towel grades are determined by grams per square meter (GSM). Because every fabric has weight, most fabrics are measured by this method, and are assigned a number that shows the fabric’s density. Towels with lower GSMs are going to be thinner and lighter, which means they’re a better choice for beach towels or towels you use at the gym. The heavier towels with a higher GSM are towels that you will likely want to use as bath towels. Towels of the highest quality, such as Turkish towels, will have a greater absorbency and will be heavier.

The range of GSM in towels is between 300 and 900. The way this range works is that a thinner towel that weighs less will have a lower GSM than a heavier towel.

  • Towels between 300 and 400 GSM: These lighter towels are going to dry much faster. You may want to select towels with these GSMs for kitchen towels or beach towels, because they will not be too heavy and you’ll be able to hang them to dry quickly. Choosing a towel with a low GSM will also be appropriate if you’re looking for a towel that will be used for drying an automobile or cleaning up spills.
  • Bath towels will probably have a GSM of 400-600. This weight is considered a medium weight. If you plan on being at the beach and getting in the water repeatedly, you may want a heavier, more absorbent towel of this GSM. You’ll also probably want to have a towel in this GSM range for a bath towel, which should be more absorbent than a kitchen towel.

luxury dream towels

  • Towels that are considered to have a “luxury weight” are between 600 and 900 GSM. These very dense towels will have a greater absorbency, take longer to dry and will be considered members of the luxury category because they are both heavier and denser. If you’re looking for a Turkish towel that’s used at a spa or high-end hotel, you’ll want to choose a towel with a higher GSM.

The Best Way to Care for Your Towels

No matter what type of towel you choose, you will want to make sure that you launder them with care. If you have very expensive towels, you’ll want to take special care of the towels to ensure they will last for many years to come.

Here are some important tips:

  • Wash your towels before using them.
  • Do not use fabric softeners on your towels, as they can cause the towels to have a residue which could make them stiff.
  • Add one cup of vinegar to your wash cycle occasionally. This will not only remove the musty smell from your towels, but will also get rid of the residue that sometimes accumulates on the towels and decreases the absorbency.
  • To lessen the likelihood that your towels will get spots on them or become bleached, don’t spill your skin care products on your towels.
  • Make sure you read the label on the towel carefully before you wash it. Even some white towels should not be bleached if the manufacturer’s instructions indicate this. Bleaching for long periods of time may make the towels less absorbent and weaken the fibers.
  • You can keep the full look of your towel by shaking out your towels after you wash them, and then shaking or fluffing them again after you take them out of the dryer.
  • If you are getting pilling materials on your towels, you can use either a lint roller or tape wrapped around your hand to remove the pilling. Additionally, if you remove the lint from the lint trap of your dryer prior to every use, this will help reduce the amount of pilling.

Get in Touch Today!

At Towel Super Center, we offer terry towels made of 100% cotton in various sizes. If you’re purchasing for a business and plan on going through towels rapidly, get in touch with us to discuss your wholesale needs — buying in bulk could save your gym, salon or other business substantial money in the long run.

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