A towel is a piece of absorbent fabric used for drying or wiping a body or a surface. It draws moisture through direct contact.
Bath towels are woven pieces of fabric either cotton or cotton-polyester that are used to absorb moisture on the body after bathing. Bath towels are often sold in a set with face towels and wash cloths and are always the largest of the three towels. Bath towels are generally woven with a loop or pile that is soft and absorbent and is thus used to wick the water away from the body. Special looms called dobby looms are used to make this cotton pile.
Bath towels are generally of a single color but may be decorated with machine-sewn embroidery, woven in fancy jacquard patterns (pre-determined computer program driven designs) or even printed in stripes. Since towels are exposed to much water and are washed on hot-water wash settings more frequently than other textiles, printed towels may not retain their pattern very long. Most towels have a two selvage edges or finished woven edges along the sides and are hemmed (cut and sewn down) at the top and bottom. Some toweling manufacturers produce the yarn used for the toweling, weave the towels, dye them, cut and sew hems, and ready them for distribution. Others purchase the yarn already spun from other wholesalers and only weave the toweling.
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